Little L is 3.

20180724_210132My baby is not a baby anymore she’s a big toddler ready for kindergarten with exceptional communicational skills both in Hungarian and English.

First of all, her personality is very different from my elder. She is very open with people in general, smiley and friendly. She likes people, mainly kids (babies) who she pats, hugs and kisses at the playground or wherever we are. She’s gentle and affectionate.

As for her language abilities, she has no problem whatsoever to change between the 2 languages and uses them very creatively:

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She loves tractors and one of her favourite sons is Tractors by Blippi. One evening we were having dinner and she was singing to herself eating buckwheat: – Oh, buckwheat oh buckwheat there’s so much buckwheat (sic)

Another funny example of her fantastic acquisition of the language:

– Mommy don’t turn the page I’m look-at-ing it.

She herself asks for being in English. Most of the time she just states:

We’re in English, Mommy.

And of course, I take every opportunity to change into our minority language happily.
Apart from her sweet personality traits she’s got a dark side. We just call her a destroyer. She takes great pleasure in ruining, taking apart, tearing almost everything. I hope this will go with the age.

In her 3rd year we were very lucky with native nannies, which meant a lot concerning her English. We had 3 of them: N, from London, who stayed with us for almost a whole year and had great connection with both of my girls.

For the summer we had a Canadian nanny, C., who came to us only for 2 months but they hit it off almost immediately and had great fun.

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The the Australian J, turned up towards the end of the year, who is still with us for a little more while.

All the nannies were really chatty to L, and they quickly learned what she wanted to play:

  • with N., she mainly played trains, play dough and Mr Potato Head or rode the motorbike to the playground and slid

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  • with C, she liked sliding on our sofa and played in the tunnel

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  • with J, they’ve been reading books a lot and played with the toy kitchen, plus Lego when Little L joined in E.’s playtime

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Another important person in her English language development in B, my best friend who could spend more time with the girls towards the end of the year. We had day trips, like visiting the Tropicarium together as well as sleepovers.

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Another important impact was Daddy’s business/educational trip to America, when he was away for 3 weeks and I was alone with the girls. 80-90% of time we were in English. It was the most natural thing to do, and the girls’ brain was rewired. They behaved and talked like perfectly native speakers of English. Little L benefitted from this period a lot and I felt great about it as at the beginning of January she was supposed to start kindergarten, which is only in Hungarian. This was her final push and reinforcement of the importance of English in her life.

It is more difficult to make arts and crafts or other educational games with her as she can’t sit still (which is perfectly normal at her age but I’m used to E.’s attitude who is really calm, peaceful and very focused). So, I usually concentrated on activities that involve a lot of moving around or splashing in water etc.

 

She also helps around the house but she loses interest very quickly. She follows whatever her Big Sister does or wherever she goes.

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We still take part in Helen Doron Early English sessions. L. finished Baby’s Best Start and started It’s a Baby Dragon course. She got a little more reserved at the lessons but she enjoys them all the same.

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All these different exposures improved her English to a great extent. She’s got no problem understanding and replying in English. Mixing the languages happens very rarely, only if a word doesn’t come to her mind, and when she realises she used Hungarian in her English sentence she chuckles. An amusing example: Little L wants to crawl under the bed: – Mommy, I can’t put my “fej” in.

Favourite topics: cars, construction vehicles

Favourite toys: cars, playdough

Favourite activities: sliding, riding a motorbike, jumping in puddles, hugging

Favourite food: pasta, meat soup

Favourite colours: red and blue

Favourite books: Fox’s socks by Julia Donaldson, Pip and Posy by Axel Sheffler, Goldilocks and the three bears

Favourite cartoons: Paw Patrol, Top Wing, Gyerekdalok és mondókák

Favourite songs: Tractros by Blippi, Hídló végén

Happy birthday, my sweetest Baby!

 

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Two years have passed

L. turned 2 at the end of December. She has changed a lot and grown a lot. Here is an overview on her focusing mainly on her language development (Her words and sentences are in italics).

As for her personality, she’s quite different from her big sister. She is very sociable, both with kids and adults. She likes to hug and give kisses. She is sensitive and emotional. She easily bursts into tears, however, it is easy to calm her down with a bit of cuddling. She often asks me if I’m angry or happy: – Mommy, you happy?

Likes:

  • playing with cars, trains, diggers, and other vehicles
  • playdough
  • shapes20171024_171159
  • riding a bouncy horse
  • scribbling
  • putting on shoes and boots even at home
  • stealing my mobile phone and looking at the pictures or calling someone
  • pasta, raw broccoli, sausages (“kolbász”)
  • reading books20171224_173756
  • watching Blippi videos
  • carrying handbags around
  • turning on the computer

Her favourite songs in English are:

Her favourite songs in Hungarian are:

Her favourite books are (the list is not exhaustive) – English

  • Maisy books (like Maisy’s bathtime)
  • Touchy-feely books (like Halloween DK book)
  • Lift the flap books (Fox’s socks by Juia Donaldson)
  • Push the button books (like Incy-wincy spider or Busy vehicles)
  • Books about feelings and emotions (like Sometimes I feel sunny by Gillian Shield)
  • We’re going on a bear hunt

-Hungarian

  • Berry and Dolly books
  • Mit? Hogyan Miért? book series (like Mentőjárművek)
  • Barátnőm Bori books

Dislikes:

  • when I brush her teeth and she can’t do it alone (I do it)
  • putting a musline square around her neck while eating
  • walking up the stairs  (Pick up)
  • meat (except salami and sausage)
  • sleep alone

Her language abilities are amazing in both languages. As far as I can jugde objectively, her Hungarian and English are on the same level. There are words and expressions that she knows in both languages:

napkin – szalvéta

heart –  szivecske

Can I get it? – Kérem szépen.

Thank you. – Köszönöm

car – autó

potty – bili

There are some words she knows only in English:

bathroom

toilet, loo

hug

Or only in Hungarian:

baba (=doll)

Melyiket választod? (=Which one do you choose?)

Szerintem. (=I think)

She knows synonyms as well:

pants, knickers

toilet, loo

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(I can’t think of any Hungarian words at the moments)

Her 22nd month was the most outstanding concerning her language development. She started to create her very first and very own sentences. On the same day at the beginning of October she said her first sentences:

We are hungry.

We are eating.

Is it broken?

In December she was capable of saying these utterances:

I can eat the strawberry and the apple too.

What shall we do?

Where are you going? (Asking me when I’m leaving home)

Here is my boob and I can touch it (After bathtime, exploring her body)

Towards the end of last year (around November) she started to mix the 2 languages notably. Even within the same sentece. After 2-3 months she corrects herself when using a word in the wrong language. Still, she is mixing them, which is perfectly normal and quite amusing. (Here is an interesting article to read about code-switching.)

Poor grandparents, sometimes they have a really hard time to figure out what she wants to say.

When trying to crawl under our bed: – Look, Momm, I put my “fej” in (fej=head)

When Daddy was trying to hug her: Nem akarok “hug”-ni. (I don’t want to hug)

When we played hide and seek: – I will “elbúj”

She makes very interesting mistakes both grammar- and vocabulary-wise:

  • Double objects: -Can I get it, tractor?
  • Double possessive: – This is for mine. This is for Mommy’s.
  • Wrong use of past: – Can you seed it? (Could you see it?)
  • Mixing syllables: feke=kefe (brush in Hungarian)
    cesond course=second course

There are a lot of times when E. and L. play together in English.

During the night it’s not unusual to hear her talking in English in her dreams.

L. can easily make herself understood when our native nanny is around.

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I’m really proud of my darling. Keep up the good work and always stay a bundle of joy! Happy 2nd birthday, Sweetheart!

 

Match the lids

Little L. loves taking off and putting on lids of all kinds of containers like plastic boxes, lip balms, jars etc. So I collected a few unused containers, empty bottles and jars to entertain her and help improve her fine motor skills.

Here are the different containers I found around the house.

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I took the tops off and put the all in a shoebox:

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Little feet came to explore:

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She loved finding the matching tops, what’s more she didn’t make a mistake at all. Wow!

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We managed to play with the box once. Ever since the tops and containers have been lying all around except for the lip balm, which is the greatest treasure.

It’s L.’s favourite and whenever she can’t find it she asks for it: Can I get it, Labello? or L. find it

Autumn tree with a dropper

Thanks to our Helen Doron teacher we have 2 really easy-to-use droppers we put in use as soon as we got them.

I took out some cotton pads, coloured some water with food colouring in little cups and the dropping could start.

To be honest, I tried the droppers with Little L. while E. was in kindergarten so the initial excitement fades a little away when E. starts working on the colouring project.

On a tray I put 2 pieces of kitchen roll in front of her, plus the autumn colours: brown, orange, yellow, red and green. (Mind you, not at once. She got 3 colours at a time and I changed one colour from time to time)

And she was mesmerised:

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We went to pick E. up from the kindergarten and when we arrived home this had been waiting for them:

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E. got really excited and L. was also happy to see the droppers again.

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E. noticed that all the colours are connected to autumn. She chose the colour combinations very accurately and used the dropper very gently.

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Not like Little L.

She was pushing, stirring, squeezing the dropper. She had lots of fun too.

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After having finished with 2 sets of cotton pads, we let them dry. Then on another day we took them out and painted a tree for them. E. stuck up all the “leaves”.

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We still had some more painted cotton pads.

– But Mommy I don’t want to make another tree.

– Make a bush, then.

Her eyes started to glow with excitement. I got her a new sheet and she did make a bush.

During the making of the autumn tree and bush Little L. were playing with our new nanny. Yes, yes, we’ve got a new native nanny. But I’ll write about her in another post.

Shape board for toddlers

The time has come when Little L. started to have great interest in shapes.

She enjoys playing with the shape sorting cube or the Tomy’s shape and colour sorting eggs:

Her favourite shapes (the ones that she can also say):

  • star
  • crescent moon
  • circle
  • heart (although she always says “szívecske” in Hungarian in the first place)

So I made a shape board for her with some basic shapes and, of course, her favourites.

What you need:

  • a bigger piece of cardboard (mine is a side of a big box)
  • sticky Velcro
  • felt and/or foam sheets
  • shape template (if you can’t draw like me)
  • scissors
  • black marker
  • envelope (optional)
  • If you have an elder child, they can also help with the preparation (mine was too busy watching Alphablocks I wouldn’t have disturbed her for all the world.

How to make it:

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  1. I cut out the template shapes printed from the internet.
  2. I drew the shapes on the cardboard (add strong contours with a thick-tip black marker), then on foam and felt pieces.
  3. I cut out the shapes from felt and foam.
  4. I stuck the velcro on the shapes and on the cardboard (in the middle of the shapes).
  5. I glued an envelope on the back where we can store the shapes when we’re not playing with them.20170903_115817

Ever since I finished it she’s been loving to play with it.

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Checking the rough surface of the Velcro
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Starting the matching
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Busy working

Finished!

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If you want to read about what other shape activities we do or did with E. when she was a little toddler checki it our on the link above.