Easter patterns

We’ve already covered the basic patterns when we were talking about clothes, but decorating Easter eggs has brought the topic up again.

Checked, flowery, stripy, plain, spotty were the words to revise. Much to my surprise E. remembered them.

We did a little painting but E. was not willing to paint patterns, so I followed her lead. It was a long time ago when I gave up sticking to a project.

At another occasion I drew Easter eggs on the whiteboard and also the name of their patterns mixed up. She enjoyed matching the words and the patterns. She also mentioned that we can call something spotty polka-dotted as well.

That’s all about patterns at Easter. I’ll come back with another post on our Easter this year.

 

March 15 – cockade cookies and other activities

Perhaps this post should be written in Hungarian as March 15 is one of the most prominent national holidays in Hungary. And it means more to the Hungarians than to anybody else.

Last year we celebrated it with lots of fun activities like the ice experiment or the 3 Ps: pompoms, patterning and painting.

And this year…

I had very little time to prepare for our national holiday so I took the easy way and downloaded/printed/laminated an absolutely fantastic collection of activities from gyereketeto.hu

Here are the activities I prepared:

E. started with the pre-writing practice:

 

 

Then she read (!!!) the questions herself concerning the sheet in front of her (like Which is the biggest cockade? or How many flags turn left?)

Clearly you can see she was enjoying it

A little bit of maths – counting and matching numbers and dice:

 

Finished

After the activities we went on to make cockade cookies. Click for original cockade cookie recipe.

What you need (5-7 cookies):

1 tube (150gr) sweetened condensed milk here you can read about the difference between condensed and evaporated milk– something that I myself have just learnt)
80-100 gr grated coconut
food colouring (in our case red and green)
(In the original recipe the proportions are double)

How to prepare it:

We mix the condensed milk and the coconut so we get a playdoh-like texture. (Well, we did not unfortunately. We need to make it again to experiment with the proportions)

We’ve learnt a new expression: evaporated milk

Halve the mixture and add red food colouring to one part.
Take the one third of the remaining white mixture and add the green food colouring.
Make green balls and place them on baking paper (on a tray).

Yes, yes… that is Baby Sister on me in a sling

Around the green ball make a white “sausage” then around it a red one. They should touch each other. Our mixture didn’t turn out so well. I couldn’t make “sausages” so I just placed the stuff in circles. E. was very helpful… with cleaning (i.e. licking).

Pre-heat the oven at 150 Celsius degrees and dry the cookies out within 15-20 minutes. (We had a problem with this because after 10 minutes they got a little brown. So I turned the oven down to 100 degrees and let them stay in for another 5 minutes)

Before baking

 

A little over-baked still tasted nice

They’re tasty and crunchy; for me a little too sweet so I don’t mind we have fewer cookies than in the original recipe.

Of course, we spent our time in Hungarian and E. learnt quite a few new words, some international ones like huszár and csákó 🙂

Snowdrop craft with our new native nanny

Spring has arrived and brought us a new nanny, L. from California. Unfortunately, how long she’ll stay is uncertain, but even a few months will do. Here is a fun craft activity they did together.

I found this snowdrop idea on pinterest:

http://krokotak.com/2015/02/three-ideas-with-eye-make-up-remover-pads/

While E. was in the nursery I prepared the following:

The quality of the pictures are so poor… sorry.
  • 15-16 cotton pads cut-outs
  • blue construction paper
  • green construction paper (the leaf cut-outs)
  • glue
  • green markers
L, our new nanny came at 5 and they immediately sat down to make the snowdrops excitedly. I made an example for them to follow to make the whole process easier.

They started with drawing the stems and gluing the leaves.

They also coloured the snowdrops’ top green:

Some cutting and gluing:

“I need more snowdrops”

 

 
Adding some more snowdrops:
 
We displayed them on the living room door:
Of course, this wasn’t their first occasion to meet but the 3rd or 4th. However, E. and L. hit it off at the very beginning. E. needed time to realise L. doesn’t understand when she mixes some Hungarian in her talk. I’m glad to say E. uses less and less Hungarian when she speaks English, and not only when our new nanny is around. Thanks, L! We’ve really needed the native input.

If you liked this flower craft have a look at other flower projects we’ve had:

Flower flashcards
Colour changing flower experiment
Flowers made out of crepe paper and bottle tops

5 + 1 tips to sneak in some English time

With a newborn in the house it’s extremely difficult to spend time in English with E. It’s challenging to spend time with her at all when L. needs me 7/11.

Here is a few tricks we sneak some English time in our weekdays:

1. E. goes to the nursery and comes home in the afternoon. Whenever she enters the door I greet her in English. Sometimes she doesn’t want to speak English at all, at other times I tell her that Mommy has been in English with L. all day then she is more likely to give in and we spend the evening (playtime, video time, dinner, bath and bed/story time) or part of it in English.

Bedtime reading – Picture Atlas

2. I rely on her new interests., i.e. at the very moment wind types and the Beaufort scales. She got a book for Christmas from her Godparents (in Hungarian):

She loves the Beaufort scale in the book, so with Daddy’s help we made our English version of it.

3. New nanny: Although our new nanny is only temporary (for max. 2 months as she’s returning to the US) her visits have increased our English playtime.
Making snowdrops with or new native nanny, L.
4. Holidays: preparing for a birthday or St. Patrick’s day for instance has also given us a chance to practice our in English
Heart garland for Valentine’s Day
5. Helping around Baby Sister: E. helps a lot with bathing, dressing or entertaining Baby Sister. Every now and again I manage to convince her to use English in these situations.
Helping Baby Sis get undressed

+1 Cooking/baking together is always a hit with E. She is always happy to help me in the kitchen and it goes without saying we do things there in English most of the time.

String the mixture

Life seems bright again 🙂