Don’t eat Santa!

This game is a great way to avoid that the kids eat all the chocolate and sweets up they get from Saint Nicolas at once. We played this game a little every day and kept the sweet-eating at bay.

You can find this game at skillo.hu in Hungarian. The Angels brought us a version which can be played in any languages (there’s nothing written on the board).

The idea of the game is that you put a piece of chololate or sweet on each picture of St Nicolas. One person doesn’t look and the others pick a Santa. The closed-eyed person looks at the board and starts eating the sweets one by one.

When she/he wants to eat the sweet on the chosen Santa you shout: Don’t eat Santa! The remaining sweets are put into a little bowl in front of the player. Then it’s the next player’s turn. We had 4 rounds. At the end the winner was who had the fewest sweets left in their bowl.

E. was the lucky one, but we were all winners as we could eat up our remaining marshmellows. Yum!

Days of December

 

The Advent Calendar opened on 29 November when we we lit the first candle on our Advent wreath. The kids were worried that the Angels would bring the calendar only on 1 Dec but they didn’t. On 29 November the Calendar arrived nicely put in the shape of a square, just as the girls had asked for.

I know this post is about December but this year the beginning of Advent is a bit early. The calendar hid some fluffy marshmellows and some sticks so we fried our marshmallows placed above the first advent candle.

The second advent presents were headbands on 30 November. E. took hers to school. Little L was a bit disappointed that they didn’t open them together.

It was funny to see that another cat (the kids call him Mitsy) took over our cat’s outside winter home that we’d built at the weekend.

On 1 December we got a note from school which said the school was closing down the next day due to the pandemic. Quite a few teachers had got infected and substitution became chaotic.

We were quite relieved to hear the news as every day it was rather nonsense to send E. to school while we had been home for more than 2 weeks (home office).

We sat down to play Daddy’s new board game that he got for his birthday: Cottage garden.

2 December

The Angels hid little stamps in the calendar. Suprisingly they did not appreciate them so much. (I guess they have a lot of stamps and ink pads). Still, they said thank you for them.

The morning was about digital education, cooking and playing. Daddy read a lot of stories to Little L in Hungarian snuggling on the sofa upstairs. In the meanwhile we were doing school work downstairs with E.

After lunch we looked through E.’s English workbooks (English, Maths, Reading and Writing). Although E. wasn’t very impressed, Little L came to me to check the activities. I was pretty surprised she could do some tasks from the workbooks designed for 7-8-9 year olds. In the meanwhile E was playing with her Lego (partly in English partly in Hungarian)

In the afternoon we could try a new game that we borrowed from our board game fan neighbours: 80 days around the world.


E. could practise her counting skills. Little L helped me move the counter on the board. When she had enough of it, she went to play with Teach your monster to read on my phone.

The girls found the Christmas books and E. read some storied to Little L. but they refused to tell me which ones.

3 December

The girls found big 3-D stickers in the Advent Calendar.

We made afternoon snack time a family happening. We all sit down to eat fruit and biscuits and chat about anything that the kids come up with.

4 December

Digital education is on hold. We gave E. a little free time. There was only little homework she would be able to do at the weekend at some point.

Again we played 80 Days Around the world until E’s classmate called her on Teams.

I’ve started to worry that we’re spending very little time in English. I hope the Angels will bring us some English speaking games.

5 December

Little L. looked out of the window in the morning and said: Can we go to the river bank? The weather is so sunny and nice. So after lunch we went to the river bank as she’d wished. We took beautiful pictures, the girls were throwing sticks and stones into the river. Even a dog joined them to play sticks.

There was an English speaking Grandpa with two of his grandkids and I encouraged the kids to go and play with them but they are not famous for their social courage.

Much to my surprise we also met some of E.’s schoolmates. We agreed to meet them again.

And the Advent Calender brought us some mini Santa puzzles that the girls had to colour. One is more beautiful than the other.

In the evening we cleaned our boots so Santa could put his presents in them by the following morning. It’s lucky that Santa was coming this weekend as the boots were so muddy due to the river bank adventure that I don’t really know how else I could have motivated the girls to clean them.

They also prepared carrots for the reindeer, biscuits and milk for Santa on the windowsill together with some drawings.

They were extra excited at bedtime. Little L put out her excited photo on the weather/date and emotion board. The magic of believing and hoping filled their hearts and our whole evening.

6 December

The morning started early so we could check Santa’s presents in the boots before going to the stables. The girls were over the moon to see the nice treats and little presents. There were no golden birch (a bunch of golden twigs, which is given to naughty children), thank Goodness.

After breakfast we were off to the stables to ride a horse. There was a little disagreement who could ride Sári, the brown pony, both girls’ favourite. To ease the tension, we promised E. she could ride the pony the next week at an extra session we would include in our weekly schedule.

After lunch we headed to the river bank to meet E.’s classmates again. We had a lovely time, the kids had lots of fun searching for sticks, rolling logs and building forts out of drifwood and sticks.

In the afternoon we played a board game that the Angels hid in the Advent Calendar. It’s called DON’T EAT SANTA!. On the link you can read about it.

We finished the day with another board game we’d already played earlier this week: 80 days around the world. E. managed to see through the main idea of the game and developed her own strategy and finally won. I am not really motivated to play board games any more. I’m always losing whatever we play with.

With Little L. and I played with her new sticker book That’s not my… She really enjoyed the time spent together. She was kissing and hugging me. We finished the whole book.

7 December

Online education was on hold today as both the class teacher and the German teacher were on holiday.

The Advent Calender surprised the girls with 2 candy canes. I made them pumpkin biscuits for breakfast that they could decorate as snowmen.

We were supposed to go horsriding but due to the rain we postponed it to Wednesday. The girls were a little disappointed so they spent the whole afternoon drawing ponies and magic unicorns.

We gave another try to play 80 days around the world, although I was rather unwilling. I had all the reasons … E. won AGAIN.

8 December

The girls got some hair bands, but they complained about that they were too tight so they transformed them into hairbobbles. The rest of the day somehow disappeared without knowing what we did. Probably nothing special. It was a school day so E. had to study and hand in some Maths and German tasks.

9 December

As we couldn’t go to the stables to ride the horses on Monday due to bad weather we had this extra session today in the late afternoon. E. could ride her favourite horse, the brown pony, Little L. was riding on a big grey Arab horse. L. was a little scared on the big horse but E. was delighted on Sári.

10 December

E had an online German lesson in Teams, while I was having a lesson in Zoom with one of my students. The girls got pink and purple hair bobbles from the Angels but they couldn’t agree who had which colour combination so I put them away. At bed time we read When Santa came to stay, which is a hit with the kids. We could talk about a lot of funny happenings on the basis of the illustrations. Great book, I highly recommend it.

11 December

E. got homework from school that made both girls really excited. They had to build a minuscule city out of lego or other building blocks. They had to arrange the builings on a dark surface then snowed it over with flour. After removing the buildings, they could discover the plan of the town from birdsview. Although we were in Hungarian it was great fun.

In the evening the Advent Calendar surprised the girls with glow sticks so we arranged a light bath in the dark. I lit some tea lights and added some thyme oil in the ceramic aroma burner. The kids put the glow sticks in the bath and had lots of fun…. until they started to quarrel about who had which colour of glowstick. Aaaargh…

12 December

Bird feeder – we gave a present to the birds of our garden. I wished the girls to feel how nice it is to GIVE a present to someone else instead of RECEIVING one, and the Angels somehow listened to me and brought a lot of of tools and ingredients to make the birds happy.

Earlier we had prepared bird feeders so it wasn’t unfamiliar for the girls.

Apart from the seeds we added nuts and figs to the mixture this year. Also the kids prepared apple slices as some birds really like fruits. Check out the details on the link. (added later on)

13 December

Candle painting, sorting old artwork, Live advent calendar

14 December

Thanksgiving story bracelet

The Thanksgiving story bracelet project has been sitting around for few years now. I totally fogot about this cute and memorable storytime activity. As I was reorganising my autumn activity box I came across with this well-prepared but overlooked task. I was more than happy to introduced it to the girls before this year’s Thanksgiving.

What you need:

  • a printed copy of the story
  • 8 coloured beads (white, blue, green, black, brown, red, yellow, orange)
  • neutral colour of pipecleaner ( we used white, but elastic fishing line could be good)

How you make it:

Opening the story

I started to read the story and when a colour was mentioned they threaded that colour of bead onto their pipecleaner. (At first we used the elastic fishing line but it didn’t work out for us.)

As the story went on more and more beads got onto the pipecleaner. The kids had to pay attention to the story as the colours represented certain ideas, happenings in the Thanksgiving story.

I didn’t make the girls retell the story, but with older kids you can use the bracelet for reciting the happenings of the first Thanksgiving.

A fun and creative activity that my girls really enjoyed and they also learned a lot about the background of this important US tradition.

Corn craft

Little L. wanted to do some craft out of the blue. As Thanksgiving is coming I came up with the idea of a corn craft. It’s popular food on the Thanksgiving table in the US.

While we were making our corn project, we were talking about Thanksgiving. Families and friends come together and thank for all the happiness, and blessings in their lives with a big feast.

Other foods they serve are turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie, carrots, corn and cranberry sauce among many others.

So after having drawn the corn and its leaves, we glued the corn’s inside and sprinkled it with dry corn kernels. Like every year, I explained that corn kerners are not the seeds of the plant, but inside the kernel you can find the seed.

While we were adding the corn, E. also joined us. I spelt out C-O-R-N as I was writing it on the top of my page and Little L also made a C on hers.

E. decided to write der Mais on the top of her page (she does enjoy her German studies at school).

While having fun with the corn craft, in the background the Thanksgiving playlist was going.

And here are our final final art works:

Welcome back, storks

The first stork came back from Africa on March 3 this year (2017). I showed pictures of him in his nest (his name is Báró) to E.

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E. got excited. For quite a while she hasn’t been excited about anything but water animals therefore I myself got excited too.

I quickly looked up a stork craft online and found this cute and easy-to-make paper napkin storks. We watch the how-to-make video together with E. Of course, to make the stork was too difficult for her, so I made them.

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What she did was the decoration. We did the whole craft in 2 goes. First, we made Báró. E. took him to bed, she even drew pillows for him. Not to mention that he was hurt during the flight (E.’s imagination is unlimited, in real the stork had no problem whatsoever) so she drew some medicine bottles too.

Báró is in progress:

She asked me to make some more storks. She wanted to give some to the Grandmas whose birthday and name-day were coming.

Then I made some more and she decorated some more. First, colouring them with markers:

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Then adding water onto the napkin:

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We talked a lot about bird migration: why they fly away and how they can fly so much. We also looked at a map where one can see the flying routs of individual storks. Some bird related vocabulary like feathers, beak, wings, nest, fly, flight were revised as well.

Spring has arrived with our storks.

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