E. has been into bugs lately (the influence of some new kindergarten friends) so she decided to be a spider this year at Halloween. I was looking for a spider costume but couldn’t buy the right one hence I made a spider costume for her instead.
The most difficult part was finding a black long-sleeved top in her size (116). In the 3rd shop (H&M) I managed. The basic garment for the spider costume: black long-sleeved top and black tights or leggings with black socks.
What you need – legs:
black long-sleeved top in your child’s size
2 pairs of black tights (I used 60 den tights adult size)
yarn (E. chose red as it’s more spooky and she said she was a black widow)
How to make it:
Cut off the tights as long as your child’s arms are or a little shorter (actually we cut off the leg parts at the bottom and after filling them half way we cut them in the right length)
Fill up the tights with pillow filler (The thicker the tights are the more likely the white filling won’t be visible)
Sew the openings on the four legs.
Sew 2 legs on one side and the other 2 on the other side. ( I made E. put on the black top and checked where the legs should go so they are about the same distance from each other. I measured it only on one side and signed it with chalk. Then she took the top off and I folded it half and signed the places of the other legs on the other side too)You can stop here but the legs will be hanging down on the sides.
At the wrist and the elbow parts of the legs I pulled through a red yard (with a big needle) and sewed them to the top. After trying it on the legs slipped down on the yarn therefore with a small piece of red yarn I tied knots under the top legs to stop the slipping.
What you need – eyes:
black satin ribbon
6-8 googly eyes (bigger ones, they can be different in size)
hot glue gun
How to make it:
If your hair band is black go to step 2. if it’s not then cover the with the black ribbon (use a hot glue gun and you’ll be ready in no time)
Glue on 6-8 googly eyes on top of the hair band. E. wanted only 6 as she’s got 2 more that makes 8, just like the number of the legs. You see the logic?
And you’re done. Now you can enjoy the spark in your child’s eyes. Don’t be surprised if your little one will wear it for one more week or even longer after Halloween. She was really proud of her costume in her own reserved way.
As E. is into sea animals and we haven’t had a craft project in ages, I though I would put together this easy jellyfish craft for the girls. I was keeping my fingers crossed throughout the preparation so they would both enjoy it.
What I prepared:
2 paper plates (the bottom was cut off in a semi-circle line)
two colours of paint (pink and green; baby paint for Baby L. would have been better)
2 pairs of googly eyes
2 colours of yarn (pink and green)
scissors (2 pairs)
hole puncher (I punched the paper plates before we started the activity, so it wasn’t around)
After nap time I put everything on the dining table and placed Baby Sis in her high chair. She was quite excited. E, with a curious smile on her face, settled down next to us. I told them easy instruction as we went along because of Baby Sis.
Like: Here is your paintbrush. Put it in the paint. It’s green. E. has pink. Touch the yarn. This is glue. I’ll put a dab of glue on the paper. etc.
First, we painted the paper plates. ( I used a hairdryer to speed the drying process up)
Baby Sis tasted it a bit and wiped it in her hair.
Then I told them we needed to cut pieces of the yarn.
Baby Sis enjoyed touching and pulling the yarn apart.
E. was great with the scissors and cut quite many stings which were more than less the same length.
On behalf of Baby L. I was cutting the yarn. She took great interest in the scissors.
We halved the yarn pieces, the part which formed a loop went through the punched hole on the paper plate. Then the other end of the string was pulled through the loop. These stings made up the jellyfish’s tentacles.
Finally, we glued on the eyes and drew a mouth. E. did it all by herself I worked for L. while she was busy with something (fingering the yard, trying to open the scissors, putting the googly eyes in her mouth so I needed to be really watchful)
Baby Sis decided to decorate her jellyfish with the marker a little more so E. added some spots and eyebrows to hers.
We displayed the happy jellyfish on our living-room door. When Daddy came home he immediately noticed the lovely creations.
This activity was absolutely great for both girls:
At long last we had a CRAFTY afternoon.
L. had great SENSORY experience.
E. practised fine moter skills like CUTTING with scissors and threading.
L. learnt the word jellyfish and listened to new INSTRUCTIONS.
Another year has gone and we celebrated E.’s 5th birthday last weekend. This year seemed faster than the others. With 2 kids, with many programmes the days are long but the year is short.
She has grown a lot, actually she’s grown out of all her clothes during wintertime. She’s grown not one but 2 sizes. Compared to her 4-year old self 3 sizes.
She got a “big girl” bike for her birthday. It’s size 16′.
She’s quit taking naps in the afternoon, still she’s got quiet time for 1-2 hours, depending on Baby Sis’s nap. She reads in bed or plays with her water animals, then an hour later she sits at her table and draws (stories about Waterland, an imaginary place where fish and cetaceans live freely)
jumping on the sofa
games on the tablet
going to the library
tomato soup and lentil dish
having her fringe cut
being in a hurry
getting out of the bathtub early
Baby Sis touching her drawings
going to bed early
competitions and races
making her hand dirty
trying unknown foods
Her main interest of this year has been water animals, mainly sharks and cetaceans – whales and dolphins. She’s been reading about them, drawing them, playing with them (made out of plush or on the tablet – Real Whales) , watching them on youtube or on TV (NatGeo).
When she takes a break from her whales she listens to the Periodic Table Song (that she’s learnt by heart like the youtube star, 6-year old American girl Julia Barker. The only difference between her and Julia is that E. can sing it in real-time and not the slower version)
After or better to say next to chemistry, dinos returned in her life as well for a short while.
Due to health reasons she stopped going to kindergarten in November 2016. She had been ill for 6 months when we decided it was enough. After 2-3 DAYS in the kindergarten she had to stay at home for 2-3 WEEKS to recover and as soon as she returned everything started all over again.
Although she’s not in kindergarten she hasn’t missed kids’ company. We’ve regularly been meeting her old kindergarten mates either at the playground, at their birthdays, or while going for a short excursion on Magaret-island nearby.
We went to the Helen Doron Halloween party as well as their Carnival. Our friends’ children came to visit us before Christmas to have the usual Gingerbread Party or she’s had fun with her Godparents children.
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We’re not buying books in Hungarian any longer as we signed up at the local library and she rather borrows books. On the other hand, I buy a lot of English books online. My best source has been Kadosarok on facebook. The books are second-hand and affordable, sometimes rreally cheep indeed.
As for books, apart from the water animals, she enjoys reading and acting out Julia Donaldson stories. We’ve read and/or acted out Room on the broom, Gruffulo, The whale and the sail, What the ladybird heard, just to mention her (and my) favourite ones. I have hidden some more J.D. books for the near future to explore.
Apart from Julia Donaldson books she finds it fun to read Richard Scarry‘s books both in English and Hungarian.
As for her reading skills, she is absolutely fantastic. She reads fluently in Hungarian, only words with 6+ syllables can cause her trouble sometimes. In English she is a bit slower but one day I heard her reading one of her ocean encyclopedia without any problem. She’s amazing.
The love of chess has faded and slowly dissapeared this year, but taking photos is still in. Her favourite topics are nature (flowers and trees), toys, our dog (who’s passed away) and her baby sister.
Unfortunately, I haven’t had time for many craft projects this year. With 2 kids at home, with the little one tearing, crumpling and destroying everything she touches it’s almost a mission impossible. On the other hand a lot of times E. wasn’t in the mood or wasn’t interested in what I prepared for her (like the paper plate heart activity she gave up after 2 minutes)
But here are 5 of the fun craft activities we managed to do and enjoyed a lot:
She watched only 2 animations this year: Finding Nemo (in English at home) and Deep (in Hungarian at the cinema). I looove going to the cinema but I find it too early for her to go regularly. She’s got millions of questions during the film so it’s quite disturbing for other viewers. We can stop the films and discuss whatever she’s interested in here at home.
E.’s relationship with her baby sister is getting better… quite slowly. They still cannot play together for more than 3-5 minutes. E. sometimes tries to show her books but L. gets bored within few minutes. They’ve been taking a bath together for quite a while, which is fun for both of them. E. developed a copy cat game. It starts at dinner time and she copies whatever L. is doing or saying. Baby Sis enjoys it a lot. There’s plenty of giggling and laughing in the evenings. However, there’s the other side of the coin. L. drinks from E.’s flask, crumple her drawing or scribble in her books, screams at her, pulls her hair or scratch her out of the blue. Understandably this makes E. angry.
I feel as if her English has stagnated, although sometimes she has some utterances which I listen to agape:
“Tiger sharks are really fierce; the stronger baby sharks eat up the smaller brothers and sisters in their mommy and only the two strongest are born.”
She read this piece of information all by herself from this book:
Our Canadian nanny has disappeared and to be honest I wasn’t pushing her coming as she had some other priorities in her life and became unreliable towards the end. So now MY priority is to find another native speaker who enthusiastically provides the native input in our language quest. I’m on it.
E. speaks English fluently at a near-native level, close to what a 5-year-old native would speak. Or I just guess as I don’t know any 5-year old native child personally. Her active vocabulary could be a little wider but as for her passive vocabulary, I think she understands everything even more academic language. I found a test online which approximated her vocabulary to more than 4000 words.
I really need to focus on a variety of grammar structures (e.g. complex conditional sentences, correlative constructions – the… the… ) as well as idioms and sayings (e.g. I’m all ears, an apple a day keeps the doctor away) I’m using more consciously as she picks them up extremely quickly and starts using them if I use them systematically and frequently. The phrases in brackets are the ones she has starteted or at least tried to use.
I cannot be any prouder of my beautiful, clever 5-year old daughter. She’s the best!
We’ve been collecting a lot of autumn leaves and fruit so it would have been a pity to let them go waste. I found a really nice squirrel template online so the idea came: we should decorate the squirrel’s tail with these dry autumn goodies.
What you need:
bushy-tailed squirrel template
shredded leaves (other flat autumn fruit like Norway maple fruit)
brown crayon or coloured pencil
1 googly eye
a black or brown pom-pom
How to make it:
The dry leaves we shredded and the Norway maple’s paired samara fruit was used as it was found. You can prepare it before hand but you can do it with your little one.
I prepared a squirrel as an example
E. coloured the body of the squirrel
She glued on the googly eye and the pom-pom nose
She glued on the samara fruit first
She glued the rest of the tail and sprinkled the dry leaf flakes on the glue