Baby sister’s 3 months old – beware: a long post

Time flies with 2 kids. L. is already 3 months old and loads have been going on. In this post I’ll try to focus on her development and what I do with her in English though it’ll be hard.

First of all, some parametres:

She is 57 cms “tall”, 5.23 kgs. Her eyes are still blue. Her hair is light brown (showing tinges of ginger) and getting longer in the back and started to grow in the front. She only sleeps on Mommy or Daddy, or in the sling. She can’t push herself up while on her tummy but can lift and turn her head nicely. She’s got her first 2 shots at the age of 2 months. She gurgles and babbles a lot. She’s smiley if her tummy is full, on the changing table or when she can look around. Though she’s got a stomach ache quite often mostly in the evenings then she cries desperately. She’s breastfed and I can see white lines on her lower gum so the crying might be caused by the staring of her teething.

English time:

The routine is the same as it was with E. I just started it earlier (at her birth) with L. Whenever we are just the two of us I speak English to her. I’ve already introduced the little song we always sing with E. before changing languages (showing the Makaton signs to L. as well):

Hello, hello how are you?
Hello, hello, it’s good to see you.
I say hello, I’m happy that you came

I say hello, please tell me, please tell me, please tell me your name
Mommy (pointing at me)
L. (pointing at her)

(This song is -or rather used to be- the theme song of a BBC series Something Special. On the link you can listen to the new version of it. But you can use any song of your choice if you want to signal the beginning or the end of the language usage)

So what we do in English:


1. Lullabies

It seems I sing continuously. Whenever I try to rock L. to sleep I sing the following lullabies:

Rock-a-by baby

Hush little baby

Go to sleep lullabies (Go to sleep, Moonlight so sweet and pale, Golden slumbers)


(This last one I used to sing to E. ALL THE TIME. You can check out a less detailed post about E.’s first 6 months)
2. Changing table fun:

When I need to change L.’s nappy or clothes (and we are in English) I start with this rhyme:

…. (child’ name) ‘s got a dirty nappy.
What shall we do? What shall we do?

Clean is up, clean it up
For Mommy, and for you.

When her legs are free from clothes I make her little feet march:

Oh, the grand old Duke of York

(I march with her feet) Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of (Lift her feet up) the hill
and he marched them down again. (Put her feet down)
And when they were up they were up. (Lift her feet up)
And when they were down they were down. (Put her feet down)
And when they were only half way up, (Wiggle her legs)
They were neither up nor down.
(When I sing UP I lift her feet up, and when I sing down I put her feet down)
I go through her body parts with this song from the BBC series Something Special- Baby episode (The song starts at 4.03 mins in the video but it’s worth watching the whole episode)

Two little eyes that open and close
Right in the middle a little nose
Two little ears on either side
one little mouth that opens wide

That’s baby (2x)

Two little legs that kick and wiggle
Two little feet that like a tickle
Two little arms that stretch up high
Two little hand that wave goodbye

That’s baby (2x)

The other thing she likes is tickling under her chin (or rather double chin *grin*). I chant these two rhymes:

Round and round the garden (stroking her tummy in a circle)
Like a Teddy Bear (showing the teddy bear sign)
One step, two steps (walking my fingers on her tummy)
Tickle you under there (tickle her under the chin)

Another variation can be you do the circling in the palm, the walking movement up the arm and tickle the armpit in the end


Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker’s man (patting the tummy)
Bake me a cake as fast as you can (patting faster)
Pat it and prick it and mark it with B (patting/rolling movements on tummy, forming a B with fingers)
Put it in the oven for baby and me. (2 palms up as if putting a tray in the oven, when saying BABY I tickle her tummy)
If you want to sing a tune here it is.

And finally 2 finger plays:

1. This little piggy went to market
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
And this llittle piggy cried wee wee wee wee wee all the way home

Have a look at a video of This little piggy by Patty Shukla:


2. Two little dickie birds sitting on the wall
Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall
One named Peter the other named Paul
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

Here is a video about what to do with your fingers:

3. Bath-time
As for bath-time I have a great helper apart from Daddy and that is L.’s big sister, E. She helps taking off L.’s clothes, 

prepares what we can put on her afterwards, checks and throws the nappy into the bin, helps with the splashing too 🙂
Great practice for E. and L. hears not only me but her big sister talk in English. Sometimes we play the changing table games together again before bath-time.
One day E. sang a song for her little sister while I was busy with something and Daddy was preparing E.’s bath (that’s the noise in the background)
—–Oh, no! I can’t find the video anywhere 😦 As soon as I find it I’ll put it on——–
They’re just too cute.
—– 23/07/2016 I found the video 😀 ——-
4. Books
Baby books, of course. Black and white board books, cloth books or touch and feely books. 
Sometimes she just looks at the books while in the playpen/on the play mat and at other times I describe what she sees or tells her a story around the characters on the pages.  I’m working on a short list of useful and fun baby books you can read about in the next post.

5. Baby’s Best Start
When L. has some tummy time or just looking around in her playpen I put on Baby’s Best Start Helen Doron CD about once a day. I’m not showing to her anything (no pictures, no soft toys, nothing) she just getting familiar with the music. I’m planning to start the course with L. soon, maybe September. (And I think we should restart with E. as well.)
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Our first dental project III. – 4 more activities

As a part of our dental project we did some more tooth crafts, experiments and had a fascinating insight into the structure of a tooth combined with some letter recognition. Here they come:

Stick the teeth

I enlarged and printed this mouth without teeth from the net, the cut out small pieces of rectangles for teeth. I also provided E. with some pink, red and claret coloured pencils and crayons to colour the inside of the mouth. Of course, there was glue for her to start the sticking of the teeth

Colouring:

Gluing:
Sticking:
A little bit of fooling around: – Look, Mommy, I’m a rabbit.

Eating oreo and apple

To show E. what happens to her teeth when she eats sweets I “made” her eat an Oreo biscuit. First, she thought I was kidding when I offered her a chocolate biscuit before dinner. She asked with hesitation: – Can I eat it?



After she’d eaten it I took a photo of her teeth and she could have a look in the mirror how they looked.
I guess she won’t forget the meaning of disgusting.
yuckie
Then I served her with a few slices of apple and told her to “clean” her teeth. She didn’t understand what I meant. Still, she enjoyed the experiment so much she ate up the apple slices without any questions. 
munch, munch
She was more than happy after looking into the mirror again.
They are white again.
We talked about healthy and unhealthy food (I have another activity in mind connected to this topic), how food is stuck on our teeth and the importance of eating food good for our teeth and, of course, why it is necessary to brush our teeth.
 

The inside of a tooth

I brought this huge tooth with flaps to open from Ireland. I thought I could use it teaching kids. Although I’ve been teaching quite a lot of children, none of them was at such a level that I could use this fantastic material with them. But the time came when I could have a great use of it.
On the back
The other side with the flaps

Opening the flaps you can examine the inside of the tooth

You can make your own lift-the-flap tooth

We were talking about it both in English and at another time in Hungarian. E. also examined her own tooth crowns and how they sit in her gum. A funny conversation:

M.: – You see how pink your gum is?
E.:- Yes, but why not… purple?
M.: – Because it would mean your gum is ill.
E.: – But mine is beautiful and healthy.
M.: – Sure it is. You take good care of your gum and teeth.

At another time when she wanted to look at the “big tooth” again, I flipped the side flaps back so she couldn’t see them names and I “tested” her a little. I asked her to show me the gum, the dentine, the enamel and the pulp with the blood vessels. She remembered them all. In the book (I’ve already written about in an earlier post), Izgő-mozgó fogaim, she saw funny-looking bacteria chewing themselves through the enamel to the dentine. She remembered this picture and said:

– Mommy, in the book the bad bacteria goed (sic!) into the dentine to eat it.


I think now she’s aware of the fact how important it is to clean our teeth. To be honest, she rarely refused to brush her teeth. Sometimes, when she is tired in the evening or in a bad mood, she asks me to do do it.
– Mommy, you do it, but gently, please.

Letter recognition

As she was really interested and amazed by the task above I thought a bit of letter recognition wouldn’t hurt. I made 4 cards and added some Scrabble letter cubes to them.

Busy buddy at work – concentration on maximum
I also drew a tooth on which she could identify the different parts after finishing a word.
pulp

She needed to recognise the letters and put them in order. I expected her to ask for help or first I thought we should do this activity together but she did it all on her own… 3-4 times, actually. Then I decided to do the same in Hungarian as well.

Much to my surprise, she noticed that dentine (in English) and dentin (in Hungarian) are the same except for the last letter E. She told me this comparison once at dinnertime. Then we had to list a few words that are similar or the same in English and Hungarian. Mind you, we never compare the two languages, it happened in her head totally by herself.

Our dental project hasn’t finished yet, though we’ll take a break (to spend more time with E.’s new craze/hobby/interest i.e. chess).

But I’ll come back with a compelling science experiment, which still belongs to our dental unit.

We do NOT celebrate Valentine’s Day anyway

February has arrived and Valentine’s Day is only 2 days away. In Hungary people didn’t celebrate it for a long time but nowadays it has become very popular. The only reason we deal with it at all is that E. can see a lot of shop windows where Valentine’s Day decorations are displayed and she is asking questions.

I’ve found some fun and useful activities online which have the symbols of this special occasion (hearts, roses, candies etc.) but the main focus is on something more educational.

In the last couple of days we’ve been working on these:

Valentine Patterns (from mrspspecialities.blogspot.com)

I downloaded the Valentine Patterns (freebie) and we cut them out together. This was the first time E. had been cutting properly, holding the scissors in the right way and actually cutting. What a breakthrough! I drew a smiley on her right hand thumb and she kept telling herself: 

– Smiley up and I can cut.

Then we sat down to finish the patterns.

Cracked heart and broken heart

She had no problems with the ABABAB patterns

Sweets or poops?

ABBABBABB was a little more difficult

Little and big hearts

ABCABC patters were challenging

But she got the hang of it by the end

Zig-zag, stripy and spotty hearts

Number heart match (numbers)

I’m getting more and more fascinated by a blog I’ve found recently. At Welcome to Mommyhood you can read about healthy foods, recipes for kids and toddler activities like the Valentine’s Day number matching. This activity is more about numbers than about Valentine’s Day.

I downloaded the printable, laminated and cut the hearts out. E. liked it a lot, though she missed the zero.

I gave her all the numbers from 1 to 20 as she is an “expert” at numbers, but if you are just getting to know the numbers, first give your child the numbers from 1-9 and later the bigger numbers. 19 and 20 were on a separate sheet, but we solved this problem easily. We just put them next to 18 🙂

Look at her face 🙂

 

 

Heart colour gradients (from Welcome to Mommyhood)

E. knows her colours well but I haven’t done an activity like this before. I found the heart colour gradient printable (free!) at Welcome to Mommyhood and I thought we’ll give it a try. As this was the first time we’d done it I gave her only 3 shades then 4, but not all the six.

We also played a memory game. We turned up 2 cards at a time and we needed to name which one is dark or light (I used the darkest and the lightest colours.)

 

 

We really need to practise it more. It was a hard task, though she enjoyed it. (No photos of the memory game… sorry)

My Funny Valentine (art)

Super Simple Learning offers you a free printable Valentine’s Day craft. You can make your own funny Valentine out of eyes, noses and mouths. A great number of other Valentine’s Day activities are available there, like colouring, action songs, connect the dots activities etc.

I picked My Funny Valentine as we could talk about body parts and colours, and we could use the glue for sticking. E. loves them all.

Here is the activity step by step:

 

1. Paint/colour the hearts (so they’ll dry until you get to the sticking part)

2. Colour the body parts

3. Mommy (or bigger kids themselves) can cut out the body parts

 

4. Use glue to stick the body parts on you heart(s)
5. Display it somewhere you and your child can rejoice at the final result

Extras: You can draw ears or hats/tiaras/crowns or add some presents in the other hand. You can also add a speech bubble and write in what your message is for your loved one. We didn’t do any of them as the activity was long enough for E. and she wanted to stick them on the door as soon as she finished with her hearts.

Button heart (art)

We are in the gluing phase. No matter what we glue it’s fun. So I drew 3 hearts on a sheet of paper and put some colourful buttons (that I found in my treasure box) in a bowl, plus the glue and a fun could start.

As we were doing some patterns I started the big heart with blue and white buttons and E. finished it.

 

Unfortunately we didn’t have enough buttons of the same colours so we needed to change the patter in the case of the smaller hearts.

E. had no patience to make more hearts so we stopped the activity. But the next day she asked me to do something with the other 3 hearts. I just threw some confetti, beads and leftover craft stuff in a bowl and give it to her to stick. I had 10-12 minutes of freedom.

 

 

Although we signed Valentine’s Day in our calendar we won’t celebrate it (no presents, no flowers, no chocolate etc.). It’s not our holiday…

Anyways, happy Valentine’s Day!

Dem bones – the skeleton craze

Let me start with THE song, the small pebble that started the avalanche
Dem bones

(Around Halloween it is quite relevant)

E. got crazy about bones and skeletons. So it’s time for us, parents, to learn a little too.
I didn’t have the faintest idea about the names of the bones. I used to have problems with them in my native language, not to mention English. However, I did everything to satisfy my little one’s hunger for knowledge.

Flashcards
I made skeleton cards for her. I found a blog (montessoriworkjobs) where there are black and white skeletons with the major bones highlighted in red. So I printed them and made flashcards.

Cotton bud skeleton – craft
Cotton bud skeleton craft can be reached in another post in more details.

fascinated by the skulls

 

gluing

 

sticking and pushing

 

final touch
finished

Child size skeleton puzzle
I found a child-size printable skeleton on a colouring site. You need to print about eight A/4 pages. You do not need much colouring 😉 I laminated the bones as I want to use them next year too.

the skeleton puzzle
after mixing the puzzle E. put the bones in place

 

“I’m a skeleton”

The book – The skeleton inside you

It’s a funny book with a lot of information on bones. When it says “your skeleton helps you run, jump and stand”, I added some more actions (squat, walk slowly, sit, roll, make a bridge, kick, clap etc.) and E. needed to do what I said. She enjoyed it a lot.

You have 32 bones in your arm

 

the rib cage and the skull protect important organs

 

Halloween costume skeleton

 

“Look Daddy, this is the femur”

Skeleton as food
E. was absolutely amazed when she saw this snack on her plate. Since then I need to cut skeletons out of everything.

Last but not least: Skeleton costume for Halloween

These are H&M skeleton pyjamas and gloves



I do not need to comment this. Or if you wish you can read about our MEC Halloween party we had.

I hope you found some ideas useful if your little one is also obsessed with bones and skeletons.

Over 100 words

E. turned 16 months on Monday and I am not exaggerating if I say she can use much more than 100 words in each language (Hungarian and English).

The calculation was done by D. He added up all the functional language (thanking, asking, giving, objecting, greetings etc.) and words of different topics we’ve been dealing with (see the collection bellow) and the sum must be over 100 words, getting closer to 200.

Now I’m collecting the ones that E. uses confidently in the right context (and not just parroting them or not the ones she understands because in this case there are a thousand words, I guess). Of course, these words and expressions are not 100 % clear. (She tends to pronounce the “k”  sound  “p”, the “g” sound “b” or the vowels sometimes melt into one another). Still, it’s her great achievement.

Now I’m trying to focus on her English only:

Peek-a-boo

Functional language:

  • Thank you
  • Please
  • Pick it up
  • Here you are
  • There (if she wants to go somewhere)
  • Let’s go
  • Come on
  • Bye-bye
  • Hi/Hello
  • Don’t like it
  • Like it
  • Cheers (when drinking)
  • Up
  • Out (of the playpen or high chair)
  • not comfy (on the potty)
  • Oops (when something is fallen)
  • Oh, no! (when something goes wrong)
  • Peek-a-boo (when she hides behind the curtain)

Family members:

  • mommy
  • daddy
  • granny
  • papa (for grandpa)
  • baby
  • + names of our family members (7 people), our native nanny (A.) and my best friend (B.)

Animals: (if she doesn’t know the name of the animal she says the sounds they make)

  • doggie
    Our poor mixed-breed
  • froggie
  • cat/kitty
  • cow
  • sheep
  • kangaroo
  • hippo
  • bear
  • mouse
  • rat
  • panda
  • butterfly
  • ladybird
  • bee
  • pig
  • duck
  • ant
  • turtle
  • whale
  • dino

Fruit:

Window pictures
  • apple
  • pear
  • grapes (a bunch of grapes)
  • banana
  • kiwi
  • orange
  • plum
  • lemon
  • cherries
  • strawberries
  • apricot
  • peach
  • tomato
  • berry

Vegetable:

  • aubergine
  • onion
  • potato
  • broccoli
  • mushroom
  • pumpkin

Other foods:

water
  • cheese
  • bread
  • salami
  • sausage
  • honey
  • water
  • milk
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • butter
  • yogurt
  • coffee
  • ice creme
  • ricecake

Flowers:

  • peony
  • lilac
  • begonia
  • pansy
  • daisy
Flag of Portugal – E.’s favourite right now

Countries/Flags/:

  • Norway
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • Hungary
  • the European Union
  • Turkey
  • Italy

Colours: (the clearest utterances)

    • red
    • orange
    • yellow
    • green
    • blue
    • purple
    • pink
    • black
    • white
    • grey
Bubbles
  • brown

Shapes:

  • oval
  • triangle
  • heart
  • star
  • pentagon
  • rectangle

Everyday object/Toys:

  • spoon
  • plate
  • knife
  • fork
  • bottle
  • kitchen
  • teddy
  • book
  • playground
  • sandpit
  • bath
  • colour pencil
    drawing a star
  • crayon
  • paper
  • drawing
  • nappy
  • creme
  • toothbrush
  • man (a plastic figurine)
  • clock
  • high chair
  • door
  • playpen
    Sandpit
  • video
  • dummy
  • potty
  • poopy
  • pee pee
  • peg
  • mill
  • car
  • choo-choo train
  • ball
  • puddle
  • big
  • bubbles
  • bin
  • balloon
  • sun
  • cloud
Hat and jeans

Clothes:

  • jacket
  • slippers
  • hat
  • trousers
  • jeans
  • shoes
  • cardigan
  • boots
  • pyjamas
  • socks

Body parts:

  • head
  • pinkie
  • nose
  • ear
  • knee
  • mouth
  • toe
  • eyes

Musical instruments: (she’s not so intereted in this topic although she is quite musical)

  • drum
  • piano

Breeds of dog: (I introduced some dog flashcards 3 days ago)

  • Westie
  • Shar-pei
  • bulldog
  • puli
  • mixed breed

E. is making up more and more combinations, like big puddle, red pinkie (for polished fingernails), purple plum, pencil drawing, banana yogurt, black doggie etc.

If it goes like this, in two more months she’ll say sentences. She’s amazing, a little genius. Am I proud? Hard to say how much 🙂