Goodbye, Ms R. – a farewell note

Another heart-rending event has entered our lives. E.’s English speaking nursery teacher is leaving the nursery this May.

Ms R. was great with the kids. She’s taught them tons of English rhymes and songs. With her help the kids have made a great number of art and craft projects in English, too. She’s been always full of life and had a smile both for the children and the parents. (It was rather strange that Mini Klub nursery did not organise any farewell party for her… actually we were not officially informed about Ms. R.’s leaving. She herself told the parents. But this is another matter.)

We are really sorry that she’s leaving (for Ireland – good for her). This is the way we said good-bye to Ms R.

I printed a Farewell note (click on the link to download it) and E. coloured the animals. While colouring we were talking about these funny phrases that can be said instead of good-bye. She herself signed her name at the bottom and added some heart.

When I was in Ireland bought a really good guidebook and I thought Ms. R. would make a good use of it so together with E.’s good-bye note we put it in a gift back.

On her last day E. said good-bye to her in a sweet and shy way:

Bye, bye Ms R. Good luck in Ireland! We’ll miss you!

Irish for a day -St. Patrick’s Day Parade

I know it’s already May but I owe a post on our St. Patrick’s Day, which was great fun with some activities at home and a parade in the city centre.

St. Patrick’s Day was on a Thursday this year but we didn’t have time to celebrate it on that day. Our celebration was left for the weekend.

We started our Sunday with some St. Patrick’s day activities I found online on totschooling.net (nowadays it’s easier for me to find something ready-made than making my own material like last year the St. Patrick’s Day patterning printable.)

Here is a part of the totschooling.net’s St. Paddy pack activities:

Do a dot rainbow:

If you do not have dot markers you can use cotton buds to paint the circles.
Making a rainbow as a writing practice:
Shamrock do-a-dots:
Puzzles with Irish symbols and numbers:

 

a horseshoe and shamrocks

 

leprechaun

Shape matching with pots of gold:

After the activities we got dressed in green,of course, and set off to the Parade in the city centre:
Family ready to go – all in green

Last year we made a shamrock out of all kinds of green scrap paper so this year I added a stick to the back. E. could take it with her and called it Mr. Shamrock.

And she got a clover on her face too.
Let’s not forget about the paper beard and Jameson balloon. (Daddy definitely enjoyed his free whiskey too 😉 )
Baby Sis was a good girl and on arrival at the Parade’s location she fell asleep.We did not join the parade as E. got really tired of the excitement and happenings. Instead we went to a playground nearby to swing a little:
E. was so dead on her feet that she fell asleep on the way home. It was a great family day out in English with fun activities and some culture involved. I hope we can repeat it next year as well.

Sorting rubbish – free printable

Much to my surprise E. remembered last year’s home-made selective rubbish collection activity and asked for it again. I didn’t plan to do this sort of activity this year, but I was kinda gently forced. However, I prepared a follow up activity for her. (You can find the free printable at the end of the post)

So just like last year I collected some recyclable rubbish like plastic bottles, old newspapers and leaflets, egg carton, dog food cans and beer cans, bottles and containers made of glass etc. It wasn’t too difficult as we hadn’t emptied our own selective bins. I printed selective bin signs (plastic, paper, glass, metal) and stuck them on 4 shoe boxes. I prepared the recyclable rubbish in a plastic container (originally used for storing toys in it)

 

 

E. wasn’t as fascinated about it as last year but she did the selection (I might have given her too many items to sort.) This year we added a little twist.

I asked her how she can decide what is made of which material. She didn’t know.
I asked her while she was checking the objects:

– Can you rip it?
– Can you crumple it?
– Is it hard or can you squash it?

The bold words were new to her so when I asked these questions I showed her the actions.

So she tested every piece and then threw them in the right box. (Cartons were hard to rip but she tried anyway 🙂  )

While she was doing the sorting I told her how we use these materials to make other things, like new paper out of old cardboard and newspapers or shoes and backpacks out of plastic. She wasn’t talking much but I hope she listened.

 

To reinforce selective rubbish collection with another activity that is different from the one last year I made a worksheet for her.

She needed to place recyclable rubbish in one group and non-recyclable in the other one.

We needed to discuss that dirty napkins cannot go to the recycle bin but should be thrown into the households rubbish bin.

 

Done!

Download free printable for the sorting rubbish task. Just click on the link.

Water pollution – the experiment

I wanted to create a sensory bin for E. connected to Earth Day. What makes this difficult is she doesn’t like to dirty her hands, so we tried the water pollution idea I saw at Every Star Is Different, as she could use some tools to work with rubbish.

What you need:
– clean water in a tub of any kind
– rubbish (banana peel, orange rind, crust of bread, tea bag, plastic packaging of any kind etc.)
– oil (optional – it makes cleaning up difficult)
– tongs
– strainer
– a bowl to put the rubbish in


What to do:

We talked about the clean water and name every piece of rubbish. We also mentioned natural waters (seas, oceans, rivers and lakes) and that animals live in there.

Then I asked E. to throw all the rubbish in the water. She was quite reluctant at first.

– Why Mommy? It will be dirty.

That was the point. I told her about the scarce drinking water on Earth and also about poor animals which try to survive in the dirty waters.

She also poured the oil in, which was a brave move from my part as everything got oily. The cleaning up lasted forever.

Then she fished out the rubbish from the dirty water.

She tried to clean the oil and the small tea leaves too with a strainer but she didn’t manage, of course.

We drew the conclusion: We need to take care of water and keep it clean because we can’t drink it  or animals can’t live in it if it’s dirty. And water is essential for life.

 

Earth Day Patterning – free printable

Celebrating our Planet on Earth Day (22 April) is a good occasion to have another patterning activity with the well-known symbols like the recycling sign, bins, bottles, newspaper, plants and the globe itself. In the past we did quite a lot of patterning activities on Valentine’s Day or on St. Patrick’s Day and it has always been a hit with E.

(The link to download the free printable is at the end of this post)

As soon as she saw the prepared material she sat down to work on it. First, we named what she can see in the picture. She could name them all. She didn’t understand why there was a tree among the picture cards:

E.: – Why is the tree here?
M.: – Because they make the oxygen for us.
E.: – Yes, and we need air.

She didn’t ask about the flower, though.
When she found the water drop picture, she simply stated: – We need water too.

She moved from the easier ABAB pattern…

 

…to a little bit more difficult AABAAB and ABBABB patterns

 

We left the most difficult to the end: ABCABC But she enjoyed it very much, although it was hard for her to concentrate this long.

The four sheets were long enough for her. She didn’t want to make her own patterns on the empty grid. Maybe at another time. But you can do it 🙂

Download the Earth Day pattern activity for free on this link. And have fun!