… at our Helen Doron school. We were invited to creat some Christmas-related decorations. It came really handy as at home it is really difficult to do any arts or crafts lately, as Baby Sis has been doing nothing else but destroying whatever she puts her hands on. Of course, for her it’s the exploration phase, for us, an “Oh, noooo!” phase.
It was lovely to get out of the house a little just E. and me. As we arrived at the school the Christmas decorations created the vibe just as the Christmas music and the big screen showing a fireplace.
E. was really happy to find some treats she could eat (dairy and milk free gingerbread, popcorn, apples, tangerines and peanuts). She decoratively packed a plate for herself with all the goodies and this was the closest she could get to being creative.
She was lying on the floor eating, and sometimes helping me out.
We made a pine cone Christmas tree with tiny pom-poms and an elf.
When E. finished eating (well, she was munching something all the time) she started to play with the glue coming out of the hot glue gun.
Our new angel socks were admired by everyone.
All in all, it was fun to be together without high expectations and had a great time in our Helen Doron school, which is always welcoming and offers fantastic programmes.
First, E. didn’t like the elf so much (she called him poopy and blaaah) but on the way home we chatted with Mr Elf and it turned out he’s got magic power and can grant wishes.
We placed our (khm… MY) beautiful creations next to our advent candles, so our table decoration is full now.
Last year I started a hopefully long tradition: taking note of daily memories of December, the advent period, our Christmas itself, the days between holidays and New Years Eve too. Here is the last year’s post.
Now come all the memories of December 2017 day by day in one long post. (This year we’ll be making a paper-based memory booklet as well.)
The kids were at their grandparents and the Angels have brought us the advent calendar.
This year the main theme is decorating a Christmas tree with stickers. It’s great as both girls can do it and enjoy it.
Our advent “wreath” is ready. It’s evident we didn’t have much time for it this year either. Perhaps next year.
In the morning we had a family photo shoot in our home. See the photo collage a little further down.
Our annual Gingerbread Party was in full swing by the afternoon. Friends came over and we made and decorated more than a kilo of gingerbread (this time it was dairy- and egg-free. If you’re interested in the recipe, just drop me a line. It’s really tasty and soft.)
When all our guests were gone E. did the washing of the cookie cutters all by herself.
And we had some more fun at the dinner table. E. made sure L. can’t take out her hair clip(s).
In the morning we went to buy winter boots for E. as this week it’s started to snow.
We lit the first candle on our Advent wreath today.
E. has been singing 12 Days of Christmas all day in birdy voice. (Check out this short video if you want to hear how a bird sings 12 Days of Christmas)
We’ve been playing with the choo-choo train nearly all afternoon.
E. read The Gingerbread Man for L.
I read How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss to E. as a bedtime story.
This was a quiet day. E. was in kindergarten and I was running errands. Little L. spent the whole day at her Grandma. We picked E. up from kindergarten together and we immediately changed into English.
At home E. found an old English writing practice book and started to work on it.
L. was walking around in her pretty red shoes the heels of which light up.
Of course, more stickers got on our Christmas tree.
In the morning Little L. and I went to the Helen Doron English session (Toddler’s Best Start is the name of our new course) which she enjoyed a lot because our new topic was vehicles (trucks, cars, trains, planes) L.’s been crazy about them lately.
But the highlight of the day was the play performed by E.’s kindergarten teachers – St Nick’s glove. It was a cute and loveable show.
My Mum was taking care of Little L while we were watching the play in the kindergarten. After having arrived home the kids opened some presents that St. Nicolas had brought to their grandma’s house.
In the evening the girls cleaned their boots and put them out into the window waiting for St. Nick to fill them with goodies. E. was really excited. She wanted to stay up to have a look at Santa.
I didn’t have to say twice to the kids to get out of bed in the morning. Within a blink of an eye they were in the living-room checking their boots.
They opened their gifts with great excitement. Although we were in Hungarian, they got books, and activities in English, some toys and sweets.
Our native nanny, N. was here in the morning and they tried to paint a magic booklet L. just got from Santa.
E. met “the real Santa” (as she put it) in her kindergarten.
In the afternoon Little L. met St. Nick in our main square. At first she was a little scared but then she got a candy (szaloncukor) and she kept saying she wanted to go back. We were in English but Santa and his helpers, of course, spoke Hungarian, still Little L. talked to me in English.
We didn’t stay out much as it was very cold and windy. All the way home L. buried her little face in my shoulder. At home we made Santa’s beard out of cotton wool balls.
We had some healthy snacks, like raw broccoli in the market and dried cranberries at home.
Our native nanny was here and E. showed her what she got from Santa.
In the advent calendar we found an instruction to put some Christmas lights on the windows. (If I can take a photo of it I’ll attach later on)
I was brave enough to give E. our paper-based Days of December album. She was cutting out some photos and I glued them in, but what she enjoyed the most was putting stickers all over the album.
In the morning we went shopping with E. as she’d grown so much that all her leggings are short, her socks are too small.
We were invited to our Helen Doron school to make some advent crafts. I’ve written a separate blog post on it.
We lit the second candle on our advent wreath.
The girls improvised dot-market painting. The end result looked like Christmas lights.
The girls had been eating so much sweets all day that I made them an obstacle race field in our living room where they could burn their energies.
We’ve started to prepare some Christmas presents and cards with E.
We received our Christmas photos. They turned out pretty well.
Our Advent Christmas tree is getting nicer and nicer with all kinds of stickers.
We finished some greeting cards for Christmas with the girls. (I’ll be writing a separate blog post on the cards and the baubles.)
Gingerbread party in the kindergarten. L. is a little snotty so she didn’t come but enjoyed the company of her grandma and grandpa. We could spend the day together with E. in her kindergarten.
What she enjoyed the most was she could show me her favourite toys and we could play together both inside and outside, in the playground. After lunch we came home and took a nap. next We prepared some Christmas baubles we’ll give to her teachers.
Last Helen Doron lessons of this year for the girls.
Little L. surprised her teacher, Z., with Christmas presents (a Christmassy pen and a Christmas card that we’d made with her hand-and fingerprint) and she said Merry Christmas in the morning.
E. gave her Christmas present to Zs. (her Helen Doron teacher) in the afternoon after her lesson. It was a Christmassy pen, the green-yellow bauble we’d made the day before and her hand Christmas tree card. She wrote Merry Christmas inside.
Our English-speaking friends visited us. In the morning my friend, B., who speaks only English to the girls, came over and played with E. and L.. She also stayed for lunch too. The kids were excited and a little ill so the whole morning was chaotic and tense. Still, we survived and spent the morning in the company of a loved friend.
After nap time N, our native nanny came to have our last session this year. On Tuesday E. invited her for dinner, so she stayed to dine with us. W. gave N. our little mainly home-made Christmas presents and the girls also got a really pretty Christmas card with N.’s poem written directly to E. and L. How sweet is that?
I was preparing for Christmas while the girls spent the day at their grandparents. Both of them have a runny nose. I and my hubby is coming down with the same illness. At least we’re done with it until Christmas. (Fingers crossed)
I was lucky enough to buy white and silver lackmarker with which I’ll be able to decorate out Days of December album.
L. wa s really early bird, got up at 5, I managed to keep her quiet and in bed for an hour, hoping for her falling back to sleep but she didn’t. So we started cooking together. He woke up talking to me English. What a nice start, only if it had been at about 8.
When E. got up we prepared her best friends present. She wanted to save the tatoo for herself, and of course I needed to apply some body art immediately for both of them (Actually this was L.’s first tattoo ever.) What’s more, we found some self-adhesive earrings. The girls got all pretty when they went to the library with their Dad.
In the afternoon we went out to buy infrared heat lamp as we are not getting better.
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 o 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:
We went to pick E. up from the kindergarten and when we arrived home this had been waiting for them:
E. got really excited and L. was also happy to see the droppers again.
E. noticed that all the colours are connected to autumn. She chose the colour combinations very accurately and used the dropper very gently.
Not like Little L.
She was pushing, stirring, squeezing the dropper. She had lots of fun too.
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”.
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.
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.
The first stork came back from Africa on March 3 this year (2017). I showed pictures of him in his nest (his name is Báró) to E.
E. got excited. For quite a while she hasn’t been excited about anything but water animals therefore I myself got excited too.
I quickly looked up a stork craft online and found this cute and easy-to-make paper napkin storks. We watch the how-to-make video together with E. Of course, to make the stork was too difficult for her, so I made them.
What she did was the decoration. We did the whole craft in 2 goes. First, we made Báró. E. took him to bed, she even drew pillows for him. Not to mention that he was hurt during the flight (E.’s imagination is unlimited, in real the stork had no problem whatsoever) so she drew some medicine bottles too.
Báró is in progress:
She asked me to make some more storks. She wanted to give some to the Grandmas whose birthday and name-day were coming.
Then I made some more and she decorated some more. First, colouring them with markers:
Then adding water onto the napkin:
We talked a lot about bird migration: why they fly away and how they can fly so much. We also looked at a map where one can see the flying routs of individual storks. Some bird related vocabulary like feathers, beak, wings, nest, fly, flight were revised as well.