Felt hand-tree

Autumn’s all about colours. This colour-matching activity has stuck into my mind and I’ve been planning to make it for years. Very easy even if you can’t really sew like me.

What you need:

  • coloured felt (brown, red, orange, yellow, green
  • buttons (of the same colours)
  • thread and needle
  • scissors
  • marker

How you can create it:

  1. First draw your hand around on the brown felt sheet and cut it out. This will be the tree
  2. Sew the button on the finger tips and thumb
  3. Draw a simple leaf on different coloured felt and cut them out. You can decorate them with the marker (draw the veins)
  4. Fold the leaves half vertically and cut a hole in the middle.

How to play:

Give your child the leaves and the tree-hand. Their task is to button the leaves up on the tree branches. They need to match the right leaf to the right button.

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This activity is great for kindergarteners who need practice doing up their buttons a lot.


In the meantime you can identify colours, talk about movements how to push the button through the hole.

Little L had a harder time at the beginning and needed some help with the first 2 leaves. But after that she did it all by herself.

They can take off the leaves and sing Autumn leaves are falling down.

Have a colourful autumn!

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What do we have to do with Australia? – Part 2.

Our Australian friends (who we’d met on our honeymoon in Istanbul) came to Europe for a cruise on the Danube. Their ship left from Budapest and they could visit us as well. They killed two birds with one stone and it was again a great opportunity for E. to “test” her English. (You can read about E.’s 1st real life test here when she met her English speaking cousin)

As soon as M. and B. arrived at our place, M. and E. hit it off. E. wanted to show her room and her kitchen and what she cooked. I was astonished to see it as she is never so open and welcoming to anyone, not to mention a stranger. There was no language barrier as such. It was absolutely natural for her to use English with M.

E. got some sweet presents (soft toys and books) from M. and B, which were all Australia related.

Presents for E. – Books

At first, she was a bit afraid of Jacko and the beanstalk (I guess because of the scary crocodile), but by now she’s okay with it.

She really loves to identify the Australian animals in the little booklet in the top right corner. As this book also includes the national anthem, we spent one evening after dinner to listen to it on youtube

(together with several other national anthems, like the British, the US, Irish, Spanish, Colombian and the German)

Toys E. received from M. and B.
Her favourite is the platypus (E. named her Platy). And we agreed they can talk in English only. She accepted it without any problem.

So our friends, M. and B., came to our place. I showed them around our area and invited them for a traditional Hungarian lunch (goulash soup, fried chicken breast in bread crumbs, mash potato plus green salad).

E. took a nap and as soon as she woke up we left for Szentendre, a town near to Budapest on the bank of the Danube.

Szentendre in pictures
Just arrived
Main Square

On the bank of the River Danube

We had a wonderful time together. E. proved her great level of English again. We’ve been enriched with some books on Australia, some stuffed animals from the country and the time spent with this lovely couple.

Thank you, M. and B.! We hope to see you again!

What do we have to do with AUSTRALIA??? Part 1

In short: Nothing. In more details: last month (April) we met a lovely elderly couple from Australia who we’d encountered on our honeymoon in Istanbul in 2011. Quite unusual.

I’ve taken  the opportunity of their visit to Hungary to introduce Australia to E. She loves planet Earth anyway. She already knows about continents (her favourite is Antarctica) so Australia will be fascinating for her. I hoped…

Map of Australia

As E. enjoys looking at maps and our big picture atlas I made a map colouring activity for her. I just printed a blank Australia map with the states drawn on it and after naming each states we coloured them one by one.

E. is practising her A
I also wrote AUSTRALIA below the map and E. traced my letters.

This Australian map puzzle was quite time-consuming to make but the result was beautiful and E. loved it. The link gives you a detailed description how to prepare it. In my version I laminated the pieces. As Queensland and Western Australia consist of 2 parts I sellotaped them together. Then I added sticky back velcro (bought them on sale in Auchan).

The background is a big blue cardboard

 

sticking

 

FINISHED!

I couldn’t buy a big enough cardboard to fit Tasmania in the right place. What a pity!

We can also use this puzzle map in the long run (I also plan to introduce her some cities as well as animals and famous sights. We’ll use this map to pin cities, animals and sights up on it and put it on the wall to display)

She has done the Australian puzzle map several occasions. Sometimes she even said the names of its states.

Painting the flag

As the puzzle map gave me a hard time we did not twist the flag project. I printed a blank Australian flag and painted it while we were talking about what is what on the flag
  1. The British Union Jack flag is in the upper left corner – noting Australia’s ties to Great Britain
  2. The Southern Cross constellation (5 stars) is on the right side of the flag. The constellation can be seen from everywhere in Australia
  3. The large, white, seven-pointed Commonwealth Star

Of course, we displayed our pieces  on our living-room door. You need to imaging the composition as I’ve forgotten to take a photo of it.

Work in progress
Let’s start!

Animals of Australia

First, I created flashcards of the most commonly known Australian animals. (See a printable at the end of the post)

Kangaroo                                         Duck-billed Platypus
Koala                                                Cassowary
Emu                                                  Brown snake
Wombat                                           Salt Water Crocodile
Dingo                                                Echidna
Tasmanian Devil                           Frilled Necked Lizard

E. has already heard about and seen a kangaroo in the zoo, and also seen pictures of koalas. She knows the (white) wombat from the video titled Red Rabbit, Green Gorilla. She is also familiar with the look of a crocodile or a snake as well as an ostrich, which can remind you of an emu. So first, I showed her 7 flashcards out of the 12.

As most of the animals had a familiar look I decided to add some information to the flashcards on their backs.

We had a look at Australia in our Picture Atlas Of The World.

As on this map flora and fauna is depicted, I showed E. an animal, I said its name and  she needed to find it on the map. When she found it we placed the flashcard on the map and I told her some interesting information (1 or 2 pieces) about the animal (eating habit, place of living, offspring etc.)
She was laughing at the platypus and found the Tasmanian Devil cute.

When we finished with this she wanted to see them in real life so we sat down in front of youtube and watched a few interesting videos. (I had prepared for this request so we didn’t need to waste time with searching for them)

The Cow Goes Moo – Kangaroo for Kids

Koala-la-la-la

Bindi and Robert Irwin feature huge salt-water crocodile

Platypus: Animals for Children

E. was fascinated by the platypus, mainly its webbed feet. So we needed to draw a Mommy and Baby platypus webbed “feet”

We’ll have a look at the other animals later.

In the next part:

E.’s 2nd test of her English; the lovely time in Szentendre we spent together with our Australian friends (M. and B.). – You can read about E.’s 1st real life test here
E. got some sweet presents (soft toys and books) from M. and B.

 

 

 

Earth Day 3.0 – sticky Earth

Today we have made another fun Earth related activity:

It was a sudden idea so I didn’t do the preparation myself. It was a real whole-family task.

What you need:

– contact or sticky paper (here in Hungary you can buy it as the sticky cover for school books)
– green and blue crepe paper
– scissors
– permanent marker (preferably blue)

Optional for the letter:

– green cardboard strips

While I was drawing the Globe on the transparent side of the sticky paper my dear family were cutting the crepe paper into tiny pieces. Excellent cutting practice for little hands. If you don’t want to give scissors into your little one’s hands they can also tear the crepe paper. Then we fixed it on the wall and pulled the paper off. (Note: you need to draw the mirror image of the Earth and after peeling the cover of the sticky paper you need to fix it on the reverse side – sticky side-out – on the wall)

 

Sticking could start. Green went on the land and blue, on the seas and oceans.

It took a while and we needed to help E. She wouldn’t have had patience and persistence to do it all alone.

When we finished, E. stuck the letters up. We directed her how to put the letters. Although we did this activity in Hungarian I chose to put on the English word for our planet as it would have been awfully difficult to cut out the accents in ‘FÖLD’ in Hungarian.

HAPPY

DAY!!!

Earth Day – recycling

April is dedicated to paying more attention to our planet, Earth. 22 April is Earth Day so we did some activities both in English and Hungarian  to “celebrate OUR Earth” – as E. has put it modestly.

While we were painting, drawing and selecting we used plenty of special phrases. I’ll put together a word list concerning Earth Day and recycling in one of my upcoming Earth related posts.

But now, in this post, here comes some selective rubbish collection fun:

Preparation:

    1. I prepared 5 boxes (4 shoe boxes and a blue, IKEA box)
    2. Then I printed, coloured (you can print the bins on coloured paper) and stuck the bins with different labels (plastic, glass metal, paper) on the side of the shoe boxes.
    3. I selected some rubbish items from our recycling bins:
      – beer cans
      – tins
      – a milk and juice carton
      – scraps of paper
      – magazines
      – a glass olives jar
      – a cider bottle (glass)
      – plastic bags
      – bottle tops and plastic bottles
      – yogurt cups (etc.)
    4. I placed the rubbish in the blue box.
    5. I let E. do the selecting.
First, she was checking what is what, which went with several questions.

She didn’t really know how to make a difference between the different materials although she had been helping sort out the rubbish in our everyday life.

So I asked her a few questions and showed her the actions at the same time:
– Can you crumple it up? (And I was crumpling up a piece of paper)
– Can you tear it? (tearing a piece of the magazine’s cover)
– Is it flexible? (I was smashing a yogurt cup)
– Is it hard? (knocking my finger against the glass)

She was copying me while I was showing her crumpling, tearing or smashing.

And she got the hang of it:

 

 

 

I also mentioned to her that we need to flatten the cartons so she tried it.

Having finished we took the boxes to our selective bins and put them in their designated places.

 

E. was really excited about recycling and rubbish selection. Before dinner she wanted to watch “recycling videos”. And she did. Here they are:

Peppa Pig – recycling

https://www.youtube.com/embed/Il1RX6_h9Xc?feature=player_embedded

Betsy’s Happy Earth Day

https://www.youtube.com/embed/PlBLO8_2ix8?feature=player_embedded

Mother Goose Clube – Earth is our home

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gLAp30NQ0E0?feature=player_embedded

What is recycling for children? – HooplaKidz

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gSATRSB4OcE?feature=player_embedded

Happy Earth Day, Everybody!