Bottle top Christmas tree

A quick, before-Christmas activity I put together was a hit with the girls. The best thing about it is that you can make the activity, so it suits all ages.


What you need:

  •  12 or more green bottle tops
  • hot glue gun/ or some type of glue
  • a board (I used cardboard of a box)
  • pom-poms of different colours
  • white circles cut out of paper
  • snowflakes of different colours (optional)
  • tweezers

How to make it:

  • arrange the bottle tops in a Christmas tree shape
  • glue them on the board
  • mark the colours in the bottle tops (I used punched-out snowflakes)

I presented the game to the girls on the 23rd December. They had been very excited about the coming Christmas and they had been asking about when the Christmas tree was coming. So here it comes.

It can be a simple colour matching activity…


But I wanted to bring in some more challenge. For Little L I drew dots on paper circles (3 and 4). She put a red pompom if there were 3 dots and a green one if it there were 4.

As in school E learnt addition and take-away up to number 8, I wrote additions on paper circles. The additions equalled either 5 or 8. She needed to put a green pompom if the sum was 5 and a red pompom if it was 8.


When she was done, she made me an activity… khm… a little bit more complex than mine.

This task can be done with numbers, addition and takeaway, division and multiplication, letters (lower and uppercase), sight words and so much more.

With this post I wish you a very Merry Christmas!


Our visitor from Sri Lanka

E.’s school takes part in a volunteer programme, which means from time to time a volunteer arrives at the school to reinforce the students’ English communication skills. At the end of this year a 19-year old young lady, P., from Sri Lanka visited the school. We hosted her in our home for a week (altogether she stayed for 6 weeks and was hosted by other families too).

Although E. doesn’t learn English in school (and never will), I signed up to host the future volunteer in the middle of November.

The girls were excited and very curious about our visitor. They kept asking when P. was coming.


P. arrived on a Sunday afternoon and with her wide smile and cute presents she stole my kids’ heart.



P.’s English was absolutely great (as it turned out, her Mum is an English teacher 🙂 ) and she could communicate and connect with E and L very easily.

During the day she was in school giving lessons about Sri Lanka and practising English with students in the higher grades. (She also taught the kids how to dance a Sri Lankan folkdance, what’s more she performed a gorgeous dance in school when the 3rd advent candle was lit).

After school either she walked home or we took her home from school and spent the afternoons with playing together. She was painting with the girls, or they danced together, sometimes they played with cars or a board game.



Towards the end of the week we had more time to explore Budapest, to show her the sights and to do a little shopping. We saw the parliament and the night lights, Christmas fairs, where we had some lángos,


visited the Buda Castle, where we had some treats,


also took a ride on the funicular railway and saw the beautiful view of Budapest in sparkling sunshine. (After that week of sunshine she could experience snow for the first time in her life)


We had lots of fun; we really enjoyed our time with this sweet, warm-hearted, full of joy young lady.

It was great practice for the girls, moreover a pleasure to have her in our home and she will surely stay in our hearts.



Easter 2016 summary

It seems Easter time is the busiest in our life as I’m always late with the summary of our celebrations. This is the same this year too. It’s June already and I’ve just finished writing about our Easter 2016.

A few days before Easter we decorated our egg tree (catkins twigs). E. was very excited when we opened the Eater decoration boxes. She, almost all by herself, did the whole decoration. (Baby Sis was helping her out with some cooing)

She also found some earlier egg matching activity I had written about in an earlier post. Of course, she needed to do it quickly.

At this time we had been painting eggs for weeks. Most of them were blown-out eggshells therefore rather fragile. (I broke some of them after Easter time).

We also prepared some Styrofoam eggs as well. First, we painted them red, then, as E. was quite fascinated by the pins in my sewing kit box, I let her decorate her red egg with multicoloured pins.

As always E. (and this time Baby Sis, too) was sprinkled by some family members (Daddy and Grandpa) as well as Godfather in the morning. She was well prepared in her rabbit costume.

Sprinkling from Daddy

Kisses to Grandpa

Later on we went to the playground. Daddy ran ahead and hid some presents in the grass while we were slowly walking towards the area. By the time we arrived we saw Daddy quarreling with an 8-10 year boy and his mum as the boy had taken away and almost opened one of the eggs. Nice beginning… Luckily everything was calm and quiet when we arrived and E. could look for her presents.


a bit of reading

finishing the egg hunt with swinging

This year these were the presents:

  • a Green eggs and ham By Dr. Seuss
  • a Shopkins egg
  • a Smarties egg
  • a Hello Kitty dining room set
  • a tiny stapler
  • hair bobbles hidden in a plastic egg (not in the picture)
  • gummies hidden in a plastic egg (not in the picture)

All in all, our Easter was great with lots of Hungarian and a little English, but we all enjoyed ourselves.

A bit of Earth Day gardening

Before our American native nanny left Hungary we had a flower planting last session with her. Although I wanted to do this activity on Earth Day, the weather did not favour us so we had to postpone it for a few weeks.

I bought the plants at a flower market that is close to our place: 6 flowers and  a green plant:

Dakota Sunspot
White-edged Swedish Ivy (a kind of mosquito repellent with leaves that has special smell if you rub it, no flower though)



You can download the flower picture here. (Buttercup is also included as E. found one in a field and we needed to check what it was). The names are added both in Hungarian and in English.


What you need:

  • flowers/plants of your choice
  • flower pots
  • soil (we had 5 kg for 7 plants)
  • shovels
  • watering can with water
How we did it:
Best to do it in the garden or on the balcony but the weather has been very windy (still is) so I put down an old wax tablecloth on the floor and we did the planting on it indoors. In this way we did not dirt the whole living-room and it was relatively easier to clean up.
E. doesn’t really like to dirt her hands. I try to come up with ideas when she needs to do so in a fun way so she can overcome this bad feeling of dirty hands.
She touched the soil/dirt with great hesitation, though.
We filled up half of a pot with dirt.
She took the plants out of its small pot and pinched off some ends of its roots (it was L.’s advice that she’d learnt from her mom)


Then, she placed the plant into the bigger pot in the new soil after having created a little hole in the middle and added more dirt on top of the roots.
We have some nice blue buckets which can be hung on our balcony so the final step was that E. put the pot in the bucket.
When we were ready with all the plants she took them all out onto the balcony and hung them up.
Let’s not forget about watering the plants.

For a few days she wanted to go out and water them, but now it’s been a week she last saw her plants. I need to water them, but it’s true that a lot has been going on recently because of her birthday. Not to mention the fact that this strong wind we’ve had nowadays has destroyed the flowers and, to be honest, they are far from nice at the very moment. I can only hope a little later they’ll revive when the weather gets better and E. will show some more interest in them.

All in all, it was great fun, a nice way to have one of our last sessions with our nanny, L. I admit it was quite messy, but E. enjoyed it and learnt a lot about planting, getting your hands dirty, decorating our home and taking care of a living creature.

Her English vocabulary expanded: she learnt quite many synonyms like shoots/sprouts, spade/shovel, throw away/dump, soil/dirt. (For the Hungarian readers: when she told Daddy about our planting project she said: .” …aztán koszt raktunk a cserépbe”)

What gardening project do you do with your kids in the spring? I’m looking forward to your answers in the comment section so we can do something new next year.

Month of goodbyes – our nanny is leaving too

Farewells follow one another. In the middle of May our American nanny has left us, too. She’s spent just a few months with us still her native presence can be felt on E.’ s English improvement.

E. mixed in a lot of Hungarian at the beginning. After a few weeks she did not try to talk to L. in Hungarian; she ran to me instead and asked me if an English word for something didn’t come to her mind.

We also prepared a little farewell present for L. as well.

L. helped E.’s creative side to soar; they drew a lot together, we did some flower crafts, they also created their own planet. The tally mark race was one of their own inventions.

We used most of the drawings and other colouring sheets they did together and I printed some pictures I’d taken while they were playing. Out of all these we put together a little memory booklet for L. to take it home with herself.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves:

E. coloured the farewell note for L., too

L. is looking at the cover of the booklet that E. decorated with stickers
The snowdrop craft we made together

The “Lemia” planet they made up 

Secret Garden colouring page

 E. got some small presents from L. Some candies, a pup and two little figurines: a dolphin and a parrot.

Thanks L. for being with us. Take care and good luck wherever life takes you. We’ll miss you.