Popsicle tree

Since autumn arrived we have been collecting leaves, talking about why leaves change colours and why they fall down. We’ve been hugging trees, examining their bark, trying to climb up on them, just to mention a few tree related activities. Outside.

When the weather got really rainy I thought I would bring the tree activities inside. That was when I introduced the popsicle tree activity to E.

What you need:

  • 20-30-40 popsicle sticks (wooden spatulas can be bought at the chemists for 500 HUF – less than 2 euros – but in hobby stores they can be found too)
  • collected leaves (or felt leaves)
  • conkers, acorns or any other nuts
  • felt animals like hedgehog, any kind of bird, squirrel etc.
How we played:
I gave E. the bag which I collected all the goodies in and I showed her how to build a tree. I just started and she took the lead.
While doing it we were talking about the different parts of the tree (tree top, branches, leaves, trunk, bark, roots). Also we mentioned what we can see in the tree top in different seasons. (green leaves in the spring, fruits in the summer, bare branches and yellow leaves in the autumn, nothing in the winter).
She placed the leaves very accurately.
Then some conkers and a squirrel…

After a while I couldn’t hold Baby Sis back and she came to “destroy” E.’s tree. There was some screaming and “don’t touch it” but not much playing together. E. gave L. a conker to play with but I had take it away from L. as it was too small (and I wanted to avoid ER at all cost) E. tried to give Baby Sis a laminated leaf but she wasn’t interested. Baby Sis wanted the popsicle sticks, which meant the end of the tree.

“Noooooooo”
After a while E. gave up  (got a little offended) and turned away from us to build a house instead out of the popsicle sticks.

 

E. was so uninterested at the end that only Baby Sis helped me pack away. At least we practised “put it in” with her.

As you can see life and activities with 2 kids are quite a challenge. I keep trying but success is still far away…

Anyways, I’m thinking of adding some brown yarn or thin ribbons to create the roots. We’ll try again next year when Baby Sis might not want to “destroy” but rather want to build.

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Stomp on the grapes

Harvest season is here and E. was very disappointed that she couldn’t take part in the grapes pressing/wine making fun at the kindergarten. Challenge accepted. We’ll press grapes juice here at home in the traditional way.

In the morning we went to the market and bought, among other foodstuff, 2 kilos of grapes (Szaszla).

We washed them together and put them in a big plastic basin.

I also prepared for her a smaller bowl of water for rinsing her feet and a towel too and waited for V., our new nanny, to arrive.

At first, she was hesitant and  didn’t want to step in. Then she did and started to cry a little. She had ambivalent feelings concerning the experience, the feeling on her feet. She got out of the basin.

So Baby Sis gave it a try too.

After some pressure and reassurance, she tried it again and this was the time when she started to enjoy it. And she stomped and stomped and stomped like a dinosaur. She clawed some of the grapes from the sides and stomped some more.

 

 

She got the hang of it and she was even willing to sing the grapes song she’d learnt in the kindergarten.

E. tried the freshly pressed grape juice but it won’t be her favourite refreshment.

We need to do this again with more preparation from my side and some more harvest activities to follow. Maybe next year when Baby Sis can join in more actively.

Baby sensory bottles

When Baby Sis turned 6 months, E. and I prepared these sensory bottles for her.
The idea was taken from pinterest, where you can find tons of variations. I tried to keep it as simple as possible.

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I picked 5 Jana water bottles for babies. I peeled off the plastic cover. E. and I filled them up with all kind of things we found around the house:

  • heart-shaped pasta
  • rice flakes
  • millet balls
  • cut-up plastic straws and decor stones
  • water beads

Then added water to the one with the straws and the water beads. Simple as that. I know she can’t open the bottles tops just now but sooner or later she’ll be able to so I glued the tops on.

You can fill them up with glitter, hair gel, pom-poms, beans, lentils, buttons, tiny plastic toys, jelly beans, M&Ms, corn, popcorn, beads, elastic bands, jingle bells, sand or you name it.

If you add oil or glycerine to the water the light objects will float slowly.