Jump&Fun Camp with Little L

Little L.’s first English summer camp has just started. In this blogpost I’m going to collect the happenings and activities.

First of all, I’m also at the camp as an English-speaking helper next to my university mate A, who organises the Jump&Fun camp for non-native English speaker kids. Apart from us, our British nanny C. is there too, together with a Hungarian, kindergarten nanny to help around the kids.

The age group in the camp was really varied ranging from 2,5 up to 13,5. We needed to concentrate on working with the kids in smaller groups according to their age. It was quite a challenge to integrate them, but we sorted it out smoothly. It was exciting to see how well kids interacted with their peers and with older/younger kids.

The location of the camp was pretty central in Budapest. A playhouse provided two rooms for us.
(All images in this post © 2019 GA, LE – please do not download or share)

Day 1

The first day turned out great. We arrived at the playhouse location around 8.30. There was a getting-to-know each other game with parents and kids. L. was silent all through the ice-breaking game and didn’t want to speak to anyone, so I was her English voice.

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We got a very practical red hat and Jump&Fun rubber bracelets as presents. L. chose the blue bracelet (her favourite colour), of course. After that A. started a Jump&Fun session with the whole group: 22 kids out of which 2 are her own. There were a lot of singing (Hello Everyone) and playing involved with balls (Roll the balls) and moving around (Green light Go!) that the kids loved. The session took about 35 minutes.

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Around 10 we left for the playground with the kids and had real fun there too. The weather is very hot this summer but this playground was mostly in the shadow. The kids played in smaller groups at different parts of the playground (jungle gym, sand pit, swings, football pitch, see-saw etc). The teachers who were supervising them joined in the kids’ game and talked to them in English only. It was fantastic to see how these little children understood almost everything and quite a lot of them were able to interact in English as well thanks to taking part in A’s weekly Jump&Fun sessions and the English time they spend with their parents at home.

First, I was with a group of kids at the jungle gym and the slide where I helped them climb up and slide down etc. commenting on every detail of what they were doing. I also moved with some of them to the swings where I was singing them swing songs and other songs that came to my mind.

Last but not least they cooked me sand cakes and lunches and it was so sweet to see how much they were enjoying their playtime. Sometimes Little L was disappointed that I didn’t focus on her alone, but she also had lots of fun.

We had a short snack/singing break then the kids went back to playing.

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Lunchtime was at about 12.30 where everything went in English too: bathroom time, serving the food, wishing them bon appetite, helping with the spills,  etc. Lunch was ordered and delivered hot for the kids. The amount was too big for children and there was plenty of leftovers unfortunately. I brought our own food from home due to our special diet.

The little children went to take a nap in another room where A. read them a short story and sang them lullabies while the older kids who do not sleep anymore together with C., the native nanny, had some activities and play time in English.

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After this we left the first camp day and went to Grandma to take a nap as E. has her first German school camp at her new school she’s starting in September and we needed to pick her up in time early afternoon. Little L wanted to stay at the camp for the nap time too, which is a clear sign she was enjoying herself.

But at the camp they were very active in the afternoon too.

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Day 2

After arrival the kids had breakfast and a Jump&Fun session with lots of English songs, games and moving around.

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Everything went in English: everyday activities like offering food, washing hands, reading books, singing songs while getting ready for going out etc.

All the children understand nearly every instruction, but most of them answered in Hungarian. Gently I could direct some of them to say some sentences (requests, thank yous and other simple interactions) but they knew a lot of songs and whole books by heart in English. It was amazing to see other kids feeling comfortable in English not just mine.

Later we headed to the park to play and splash in the water. (It wasn’t my favourite part as it was a kind of public fountain and I’m a germaphobe) The kids looooooved it. Again, we were spending time with the kids talking to them in English, singing to/with them songs about splashing, the sun and the summer. (Oh Mr Sun for example)
Older kids played with C, the British nanny, games like What’s the time Mr Wolf, Duck, duck, goose, Colour shark and other playground games (Check out this book about playground games.)

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The ones who got tired could rest on the blankets and play Dobble or other quiet games.

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Lunch was at the same time as the previous day. Little L wanted to stay for the nap time, but I had to stay with her for a long time and finally she managed to fall asleep. During naptime I played with the older kids. The topic was All about me, so we played with body parts, clothes, feelings, the game called Simon Says. The kids drew around themselves and we made a Summer Suzy and Winter Willy picture, which they enjoyed a lot and added several details to the drawing, like jewellery, bags, a crown and other accessories.

Going home was a rush. After nap time it took quite a while to leave the camp with Little L and we were late for picking up E. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay for the afternoons at the camp.

Day 3

Around breakfast some kids were working on the books that everyone got titled All about me. We were talking about the same topic as yesterday but from different perspective, plus the book offered fun sticker time for the younger kids.

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Some other kids who didn’t feel like working in the activity book, painted a magic picture using only water. Still, the painting turned wonderfully colourful.

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In the morning while A. was having her Jump&Fun session with the younger kids I was making faces with the older ones. Little L stayed with me of course 🙂 and made her own face as well. This activity comes from the Flying Tiger shop; a book of face templates of different kinds with tons of body parts and accessory stickers. We made some really funny faces. The kids were commenting what they added, finally they talked about the faces they’d made and had a good laugh.

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We left after lunch to pick E. up from her school camp in time.

The afternoon was spent with a lot of arts and crafts, more Jump and Fun sessions and a lot of playtime in English until the parents came to pick up their children.

Trace-your-hand animals

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I can draw myself 🙂

 

Day 4-Day 5

To be honest, I was low on energy at this point by the end of the day so I stopped writing daily notes. Still here are some fun moments from the last two days of the camp (which had more or less the same schedule as the other days).

Playground time

Relay races in the park

Pizza for lunch

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Fireworks painting

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Making prop for the show

End of camp show
(a Jump&Fun session with all the children, and an act with the bigger kids performing Sugarlump and the Unicorn by Julia Donaldson). Both the kids and the parents enjoyed it very much.

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At the very end of the camp kids got 2 books best suited for their age out of these beautiful Usborne books:

Apart from the baseball cap, a rubber bracelet, they also received a balloon, and an eggshaker, a certificate and a group photo of the camp:

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All in all, the camp was absolutely fantastic, active and full of English time for the kids. It’s very difficult to work together with so many children (I’m only used to my 2 girls and they ARE often rather tiring) but it was very rewarding and energising. It’s absolutely wonderful to see these little children being able to interact in English and having loads of fun on their way of acquiring the English language with ease. Thank you for the great experience and all the fun!

 

 

Summer camp 2.0

We wouldn’t have missed this year summer camp at our Helen Doron School. Last year it was a wonderful experience for E., this year she’s been waiting for it with great excitement.

Day 1 – Rex Animal Farm

The more tiring programmes were at the beginning of the week as the kids had more energy. After a short getting to know each other and an English session they headed to Rex Animal farm.

The whole group at the gate of the farm (as you can see they all got a HD hat):

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Lots and lots of animals

 

 

Some playground time:

 

The best thing ever happened at the end of the day on the way home:
E.. – Mommy!
M.: – Yes.
E.: – Do you know what happened today?
M.: – What, Sweetie?
E.: – I made a new friend.  Kapcsolódó kép

It took me quite a while to find out her name and who she was, but ever since the first day they were hanging out together.

Day 2 – Tarzan Park

E. had been waiting for this day a lot. She loves this fun park and she had been there before but had never tried the water playground area. Well, we packed her swimming suit and sunscreen in her backpack. But they started the day with the English session

 

Water playground – the weather was kind to them

 

Of course, they had fun on the other playground areas too:

 

E. did sleep well after the fun-packed day.

Day 3 – Crafts and playground (water bombs, slime)

This day was all about slime, fingerpaint, waterbombs, and fun at the playground apart from the usual English lesson in the morning.

Day 4 – Crafts and ice-chalk

Just like the other days the kids enjoyed themselves mostly in the fresh air. Though they prepared a UFO in the morning (or in the afternoon… I don’t remember. I really need to write the posts when they actually happen.)

I’m not sure if it was this day’s craft or one of the previous days’ but here is the result of some finger painting:

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English lesson – preparation for the performance

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And playground time where the ice-painting took place with some home-made ice-chalk.


Conversation between E and Zs (the teacher):

Teacher: – Did you like the ice chalk?
*no answer*
Teacher: – How was it?
*long pause*
E: – COLD.

Picnic in the park:

 

Day 5 – Performance for the parents

Again I’m uncertain whether the kids got their tattoos on the very last day or on another day but here’s E’s Sunny, the Cat. It lasted for almost 3 weeks much to her delight.

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And of course the final performance, where the kids showed to their parents what they’d learnt throughout the week (though I’m positive this performance was just a tiny piece of what they’d learnt). They were singing, dancing, creeping like a snail 🙂 and it was evident that they all enjoyed it very very much.

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I might add a video soon, so come back and check it out.

 

English camp for the first time – long post, loads of pics

E. took part in her very first day-time camp in the first week of August. Of course, it was an English camp. What else?

Zs. from our old Helen Doron school founded her own HD school and summer camps were organised for kids throughout the summer. On the first week of August E. took part in  fantastic adventures in English.

Every day started at 9 (with breakfast) and ended at 15:30 when kids needed to be picked up (one could arrived later and the kids were taken care of. They watched some animations until parents arrived). The age group was quite appropriate for E.: from age 4 to 8.

Here comes the detailed overview of the week:

Day 1 – Introductory day

This was a getting to know each other day. They stayed in and did a lot of arts and crafts and played games so the kids could get familiar with each other and the teachers (Zs. and Z.). E. was rather quiet on her first day, but I expected that. She always needs time to get used to a new situation.

They painted a mask

E.’s mask
There was English circle time in the morning

…and in the afternoon
They went to a playground nearby and “found” some dinos frozen in eggs

For a while E. was watching the frozen dino and waiting for it to melt… but it was BORING so she went climbing a bit…
Then returned and waited and waited patiently…

The dino is free!!!

As the topic of the day was dinosaurs, dino fossils were also made by the kids.
Day 2 – Tarzan Park

After breakfast there was some English circle time again

They always had some free playtime with lots of fun toys, books and games, too.

They visited Tarzan Park  (an outdoor fun park) after lunch. (By the way lunch was ordered for the kids from Egészségkonyha and arrived every day in the morning. As for food, kids got food 4 times a day – breakfast, snack in the morning, lunch and snack in the afternoon too – got bakery products, cereals, vegetables and fruit. E. liked them all and didn’t complain at all. On the first day their chicken nuggets were dino-shaped)
The group in Tarzan Park with Zs.:

E. got really tired after this day full of climbing and moving around a lot. She didn’t nap in the afternoon. (After lunch on most days they had some quiet time. Whoever wanted (needed) could sleep but a Disney film was usually shown and E. was more interested in watching it than taking a nap)
She was a little bit braver this time as for talking in English but I needed to motivate her with something. As Baby Sis didn’t let me do anything creative I offered her some treats when I pick her up if she spoke more than the day before. And she did. I took her some M&Ms. A rare treat so she did appreciate it.
Day 3 – Rex Animal Farm – E.’s favourite day

They visited Rex Animal Farm where they fed the goats (as well as some rabbits)


…saw some special animals

…listened to a lady talking about how to be a responsible pet owner. 
Your dog has to be vaccinated – just pretend in this pic
They also had a dog agility training session. E. was brave enough to take the dog (called Gesztenye) through the course.

They also had their lunch at the Farm

They had time to enjoy the small playground at the farm

The whole group with their teachers Zs. and Z.
There was no English session at the farm only the HD teachers talked to the group in English but the other days were full of English from morning till the afternoon. The teachers know it well that E. is bilingual and they didn’t use any Hungarian to her throughout the whole week.
Day 4 – Picnic

After the usual morning session in English (when they painted some stones and their dino fossils from day 1 with glow-in-the-dark paint) the kids went to Margit sziget (Margaret Island) to have a picnic.

They were watching the big fountain show, 
went to a playground, 
walked on dino feet 
and had their picnic (yummy lángos, E.’s favourite street food). 
The kids were really tired after the long and action-packed week so when they got back they had some nap time. At last E. slept a bit and felt more relaxed in the evening.
Day 5 – Mini show for parents

On the last day a mini show was prepared for the parents to finish the camp with.
There were some arts and crafts: kids prepared their presents for their parents by themselves (and with a little help from the teachers.

The parents received a paper basket decorated by the kids with some hand-made artwork, like an origami frog or the painted dino fossils, plus a greeting card with the best photo of the child taken during the week, stuck in it. The show was great and touching all the kids could show themselves a bit in English.
All in all, the whole camp was a great experience for E. (trying herself in an unfamiliar English environment and meeting new people), packed with a lot of fun activities and programmes in English. It was value for money indeed. We’re surely signing up for the next year’s camp too.