Feelings and emotions

E. has always had difficulties expressing, then later on naming, emotions. Probably, I’m not helping her much as it isn’t easy for me to express emotions so that others can understand it easily.

I’ve tried talking about feelings with her, or identify emotions in different situations but she wasn’t interested, she wasn’t ready to discuss such issues.

But now the time has come. She’s been watching this video for a while and she’s been talking about it ever since. The most frequent question in our home lately is: – Mommy, how do you feel now?

So I’ve made this ad hoc activity on the basis of the character in the video (a rabbit). Hopefully I’ll have time to make a digital version of it and make it available for you to use with your little ones. I have to admit I can’t draw…

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The activities are not only the traditional matching ones. I wanted to make them more fun and help E. be able to focus on them for a longer time. (there were 5 pages altogether)

Apart from “match with a line”, she needed to colour, use building blocks, copying, drawing symbols to match the faces and the emotions.

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Towards the end (4th and 5th pages) the emotions become more and more difficult to identify.

On the way of doing this task we were talking about when we feel in certain ways. She also added some really good examples:

I feel angry when water friends don’t do what I say.

I’m frustrated when I can’t put on my boots.

We’ve reached a very important topic. We must talk about emotions in Hungarian, too. I never make activities that have anything to do translations. I hardly ever draw a parallel between English and Hungarian, but this time I definitely will. Stay tuned, there will be more on feelings and emotions.

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Olympic rings, medals and colouring pages

The Olympic games has just started and Hungary has already won 2 gold medals (swimming and fencing). E. is dying to do Olympic activities all day.

I printed her some colouring pages:

She coloured and coloured and coloured. She used her new colour pencils we’ve just got her: Maped Duo colours
She loved this set of pencils as gold and silver colours are included too.
We talked about the Rio symbol of three people holding hands and dancing, the meaning of the Olympic rings (they represent the five continents where the sportsmen and sportswomen come from) and also mentioned they receive medals if they come first, second or third place. She was fascinated by the medals.
So on the spot I decided to make medals for her. I cut 3 circles out of cardboard. We painted one gold, we covered the other with kitchen foil (i.e. silver medal) and the last one E. coloured brown to reach a bronze-like colour.

E. took this photo of the medals
We pulled out an orange ribbon from Mommy’s leftover ribbon box and we fixed  it cut in three pieces on the back of the medals with double-sided sticky tape.

The proud gold medallist 
As for the Olympic rings we used paper plates. I cut out the middle and we painted them 5 different colours: blue, black, red, yellow and green.

 We let them dry and then E. cut the yellow and the green so we can weave them into each other.

Tangled rings

Some Cello tape and it was on display.
Little preparation and a great outcome.

Pin the heart

E. found a small box of thumb pins before Valentine’s Day and went back to it time and time again. She was asking how we use them and what they are for. So I decided to put together an activity in which she can use thumb pins and also connected to the upcoming Valentine’s Day.

 

I printed a do-a dot heart from the net and picked one our IKEA cork trivet. I coloured the dots so it would be more fun to use the right colour thumb pins.

While doing the pinning you can revise the colours and learn the word “cork” itself.

When finished she put more pins in the middle. The next day she pulled them all out and packed them away.

This activity helped her muscles strengthen in her hands as well. We’ll do more of this kind of activity as E. loved it and it’s a great pre-writing task. (We can revise shapes or have a shamrock to pin for St. Patrick’s Day etc.)

Painting leaves – four autumn activities with leaves

 

As autumn has arrived we started to collect leaves every time we went somewhere. We were talking about the gorgeous colours of autumn leaves like orange, yellow, brown or red. We also observe the different shapes like circular, heart-shaped, hand-shaped as well as their edges (smooth, wavy, toothed).

I checked this image from the net to make sure I do not say anything silly.

Leaf rubbing gave us the chance to have a look at the veins:

 

 

Leaf prints

Then we had painting fun. E. chose the colours (I tried to direct her to the autumn colours with little success) and we painted the backside of the leaves and made prints. At first, we used too much paint, but then we could observe the beautiful prints the veins and the edges gave out.

First try

 

Second try with less paint

Another painting activity: outline of leaves:

I pressed some leaves and stuck them on a white sheet of paper with the help of small pieces of Cello-tape. Then we painted the leaves over creating an outline. This was a hit with E.

 

And finally a counting game with leaves:

I drew these bare trees for E. It can serve as a simple counting activity. Your child needs to stick as many leaves on the tree as the number shows.

I’ve prepared printable trees you can download at the end of this post.

As simple counting is not a challenge for E. any more I thought skip counting would raise her interest much more. And I was right.

 

Although it was a little too long an activity, she managed to finish it after my encouragement and help with the gluing.

Gluing

 

Adding the leaves

 

creating a leaf face with the glue

 

Mommy, this leaf is ill

 

There are not enough branches for 8 leaves, Mommy

 

Placing the magnetic numbers – finished!

First, I pressed all the leaves. It’s easier to work with them. Then I presented, showed and explained what to do with instructions like these:

  • Hold your paper down with one hand and rub with the other hand.
  • Let’s mix 2 colours.
  • Paint the backside of the leaf, like this.
  • You can add more glue this time because this leaf is big.

 

Finally, we displayed everything on our living room doors. E. shows her pieces of artwork to whoever comes to us.

 

And here on this link you can download the bare trees with numbers:

 

 

Hungarian National Holiday- March 15

One of the biggest national holidays in Hungary is the commemoration of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. As it is filled with national feelings and politics I won’t go into details about history and other stuff but I’d like to show how we prepare for it in our home (this year together with St. Patrick’s Day)

The activities we have done are in mainly Hungarian.

How do we prepare for a Hungarian and an Irish celebration at the same time? We are sharing time between English and Hungarian. Let’s say in the morning we do tasks in English concerning St. Patrick’s Day. In the afternoon we spend time in Hungarian doing some fun activities around the Hungarian Revolution. Or the other way round.

We display the art E. makes on our double doors in the living-room.

One wing is dedicated to the Hungarian Revolution, the other one to St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day door wing on the left, Hungarian Revolution door wing on the right

 

In this way she is not confused at all.

I’d like to list some ideas I found online or we made up ourselves concerning our national holiday. This blog wouldn’t be complete without Hungary/the Hungarian language related happenings.

Luckily, last year I made our own button cockade. There’s nothing to do with it this year. We’ll just pin them on our coat on 15 March. (I hope I’ll find them)

E.’s coat and cockade from 2014

It is made out of 3 buttons: a big red, a smaller white and a little green button. I sewed them together with a pin like these:

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Colouring the flag is the most traditional way children prepare for this holiday. We put some fun into it. Thank Goodness for dot markers!

When she saw the sheet E. asked me who wrote there “MAGYAR ZÁSZLÓ” (=Hungarian flag)

 

 

With dot markers all kinds of colouring is more fun. E. did some more of it (colouring a KOKÁRDA=cockade, for example)

Daddy and E. were colouring in full fling so I printed them a map of Ireland and they coloured it too. You can see it in the top picture on the St Patrick’s side. (They didn’t really care about Northern Ireland. We’ll put things to rights next year, when she’ll be more capable of understanding it.)

Red, white and green are used in almost all of our activities. I bought some decor stones in a One Euro Shop (I had to separate the red, white and green stones from many other colours)
We printed the map of Hungary and made up a kind of patterning activity.

The stones had to be placed along the borderline as on the Hungarian flag (red, white, green) making a pattern ABCABC. This pattern is difficult for my daughter to follow so it was quite a strenuous exercise for her.

I’m concentrating like there’s no tomorrow

 

It was a long activity and towards the end it was difficult for her to concentrate. This is quite understandable, she’s not even 3. But Daddy was there for her.

Pinterest offers a lot of wonderful ideas for the occasion. For instance, this pom-pom garland with the national colours. (Through the link you can read about the detailed explanation how to make a pom pom with the help of a fork). If it is too much for your little one just buy some pompoms and

What you need:

  • red, white, green (and orange) yarn
  • a fork
  • scissors

E. tried to make a pom-pom, but she couldn’t. Maybe half a year later she’ll understand how to do it and will be able to make it. We’ll give it a try again.

So I made the pom-poms myself….

 

At first, she was just playing with the yarn.

then she was cutting the yarn like a maniac 🙂

She cut the yarn for 25-30 minutes and I could finish the garland with the Hungarian colours only.

The next day I made the pom-poms for the Irish garland and she was …. *surprise, surprise* cutting the yarn. She can’t get bored of it. E. kept asking: – What I’m doing? which I rephrased:- What am I doing? And then she answered her own question after having repeated it correctly. – I’m cutting yarn. 
This short conversation was repeated for 8-10 times without any alternation.

We’ve hung our pom-pom garlands (with the Irish and the Hungarian national colours) on the double doors.

Tricolour Pizza

Your toddler ALWAYS wants to help you with cooking, not to mention the great excitement if you make pizza. Why not in tricolour? Everybody loves pizza and it’s easy to make it with a toddler.

Ha még nem tudod mit ebédeljetek holnap, akkor íme egy ötlet. A pizzát mindenki szereti, nem? A nemzeti ünnep tiszteletére egy kis átalakuláson ment keresztül, és zászló lett belőle!
It’s not our pizza, but it’s coming soon

Red= tomato sauce with some basil and oregano (minced meat if you wish)
White= loads of grated cheese
Green= broccoli, spinach or any other green vegetables in our case it’ll be ruccola

The lollipop stick is optional, too… but don’t they look cool? Like real flags 🙂

We are making our own on the 15th so I can upload photos of the process later.

I still have some activities up my sleeve, however, I’m not sure we’ll have time for them. Anyways, I’ll have to share some ideas next year too.