Fruit, veggies and colours

L. is always gets interested in whatever her big sister is crazy about. This time fruit and veggies.

Little L.’s attention span is still quite short so the long planting procedure was too much for her. Therefore I decided to make her busy with fruit and veggies in another way.

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I found this lovely free printable on food at Life over C’s which is a huge pack of several activites. I chose the one in which the child needs to decide the colour of the fruit and veggies on the card. The original activity recommends using clothes pegs to mark the right answer but L. has difficulties in using it all by herself so I decided to give her decor stones of the same colours as she needed to identify.

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She did this activity with me and with our native nanny too. She enjoyed it so much for quite a long time (8-10 minutes per occasion).

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After shopping at the market I gave her the real vegetables. She was fascinated to see, touch and even smell them.

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The pack contains a memory game set. I used it a little differently. I cut up only the half of the cards and L. needed to recognise and match the fruit and vegetables on the bigger sheet. This activity was a hit too, although she is not like her sister, who could do educational tasks forever.

If your kid is bigger you can select plenty of fun activities (number recognition, puzzles, memory game) within the topic, food on the link above.

Enjoy you fruit and veggies.

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Days of December 2017

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.)

1st December

The kids were at their grandparents and the Angels have brought us the advent calendar.

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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.

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2nd December

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.)

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Gingerbread team
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In the making
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When all our guests were gone E. did the washing of the cookie cutters all by herself.

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Mommy’s little helper
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3rd December

  • In the morning we went to buy winter boots for E. as this week it’s started to snow.
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  • 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.

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  • E. read The Gingerbread Man for L.

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  • I read How the Grinch stole Christmas by Dr. Seuss to E. as a bedtime story.

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Here are the Christmas books we read at this time of the year

4th December

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.

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L. was  walking around in her pretty red shoes the heels of which light up.26123635_W_1

Of course, more stickers got on our Christmas tree.

5th December

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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6th December

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.

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They opened their gifts with great excitement. Although we were in Hungarian, they got books, and activities in English, some toys and sweets.

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Our native nanny, N. was here in the morning and they tried to paint a magic booklet L. just got from Santa.

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E. met “the real Santa” (as she put it) in her kindergarten.

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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.

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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.

7th December

We had some healthy snacks, like raw broccoli in the market and dried cranberries at home.

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Our native nanny was here and E. showed her what she got from Santa.

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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)

8th December

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.

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9th December

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.

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Fooling around in the changing room

We were invited to our Helen Doron school to make some advent crafts. I’ve written a separate blog post on it.

10th December

We lit the second candle on our advent wreath.

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The girls improvised dot-market painting. The end result looked like Christmas lights.

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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.

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We’ve started to prepare some Christmas presents and cards with E.

We received our Christmas photos. They turned out pretty well.

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11th December

Our Advent Christmas tree is getting nicer and nicer with all kinds of stickers.

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We finished some greeting cards for Christmas with the girls. (I’ll be writing a separate blog post on the cards and the baubles.)

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12th December

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.

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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 and friends.

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13th December

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.

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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.

Zs. sent me how her bauble looks on her Christmas tree.

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In the afternoon we went on to make some more Christmas presents.

With Little L. we made Christmas tree decorations out of air-dry clay and sequins.

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With E. we made a clay hand-shaped , which I’d been planning to make for a long time but we didn’t have the time for it (see the source and step-by-step instructions  of the idea on the link above).

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They are all waiting to dry:

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14th December

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 much-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. E. gave N. our little mainly home-made Christmas presents

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E. is explaining what she put in the bauble

and the girls also got a really pretty Christmas card with N.’s poem written directly to E. and L. How sweet is that?

15th December

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 are 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.

16th December

L. was 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. She woke up talking to me English. What a nice start, only if it had been at about 8.

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When E. got up we prepared her best friend’s present for Christmas. 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.)

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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 as for our health. And of course, we just couldn’t miss out on the choo-choo train in the shopping mall.

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Late at night I put together the yearly photo book gift for the grandparents.

17th December

Literally, nothing happened today apart from lighting the 3rd candle. Well, it not totally true. In the afternoon I went to meet my friends. A little bit of me time is a big thing around here.

18th December

We went on creating more Christmas gifts, like this pine cone Christmas tree.

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Two small snow globes were waiting for the girls in the advent calendar.

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We read  Maisy makes gingerbread about 15-20 times. Little L. loooooves it.

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E.’s bedtime story was Angel Mae:

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19th December

In the morning we “had to” make some more gingerbread. It was a family project. In the making Daddy needed to read Maisy makes gignerbread a few time. L. matched her rolling pin to Maisy’s.

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As E. is into the periodic table again (I’ve already written a few words about her craze for the chemical elements in the post when she celebrated her 5th birthday) she and Daddy made the letters for the elements and Little L. and I were making more Christmassy gingerbread.

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Today was the Christmas party in the kindergarten. We just went to give the presents to E.’s kindergarten teachers. We didn’t stay for the party due to our viral illness.

We also met E.’s best friend and gave her our Christmas present too. She also got some surprises for E. They played a little outside but it was terrible cold so we soon said our good-byes.

As we got home we finished the ring holder presents for grandmas and prepared our door wreath.

The girls used their second waterbomb at bath time.

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20th December

The angels decorated the bedrooms with lights and window decor while the girls were away.

I started to prepare our very first home-made Christmas candy. (If I have time I’ll add the recipe later on)

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21st December

Our cleaning lady was here today and we gave her our Christmas present. The girls got 2 beautiful baubles from her.

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E. is into the periodic table again. We were listening to it all day instead of Christmas music.

In the evening we finished the Christmas candies with E. We dipped them into hot chocolate and put them in the fridge. There are 50 of them altogether. In the meantime L. was riding on Daddy’s back.

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Our mistletoe is hung finally, and there’s been a lot of kissing under it.

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22nd December

We celebrated Christmas with my best friend, B., who talks to the girls English only. It was a fun party with really nice presents. (a clever bug, jewellery boxes, snug slippers, just to mention a few) . Below: Clever bug called Cutie came to have lunch with us. She eats only fruit as she’s allergic to veggies – according to E. 🙂

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B. got here quite early, so she and E. helped me to wrap the Christmas candies. Just like my Mum.

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And we tested them too. Yum!

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23rd December

In the morning we made pizza.

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In the afternoon Daddy took the girls to their training.

While they were away I was cooking the Christmas dinner. This year there’s no fish. E. and L. like it more or less, but we’d decided that I’d cook their favourite: chicken soup, and stew with noodles.

24th December

In the morning the final touches were done before Christmas Eve, cooking cleaning and decorating. The girls opened the last pocket in the advent calendar where they found the star (in 2 pieces) and stuck it on the top of our paper tree.

Later we played a snowflake matching memory game we’d accidentally found.

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While the kids took their afternoon nap the Angels brought us our gorgeously decorated Christmas tree. Nobody could enter the living room, where the Angels were working, until the sound of their bells.

While we were waiting for the jingle we made chestnut balls for dessert and got dressed in pretty clothes.

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Around 5 o’clock the door could be opened and the kids were amazed by the sight.

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The whole evening was about opening presents, playing together and having a wonderful Christmas dinner. According to E. this Christmas is not simply great but divine.

She said the best present was the chemical element cards, which she immediately put out according to the periodic table.

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Linda loved everything she got she didn’t know what to play with suddenly. Maybe her very favourite one on Christmas Eve was the little pink scooter.

25th December

We celebrated Christmas at my mother-in-law’s place.

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26th December

We celebrated Christmas at my Mom’s. Finally I could have a good use of my new camera.

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27th December

The girls’ Godparents and their kid came over in the afternoon so we could surprise one another with presents.

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28th December

E. went to the Helen Doron School for a one-day winter camp, where she had English sessions, arts and crafts, film watching all in English. Her favourite activity was making this bird feeder out of pine cone, peanut butter and seeds. As we don’t have a garden we hung it in the park near to our flat.

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29th December

LITTLE L.’S 2ND BIRTHDAY PARTY.

In the morning we went to buy balloons for L. with E. We were in English and the lady in the party shop was amazed that E. understood both languages.

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On the way we checked out the bird feeder and this scene waited for us:

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The seeds had nearly been eaten up

We saw a robin, a finch and a blackbird that suddenly took wing as we were getting closer.

Update——-09.01.2018—-

We went to see the bird feeder with Little L. and we saw this:

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Few seeds left, even the peanut butter was gone too

At nap time I picked up L.’s birthday cake (dairy and egg-free chocolate cake because of E.’ diet) and decorated the flat for the afternoon birthday party. It was just for our extended family.

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Little L. was amazed by the balloons and all decoration but she was over the moon to see presents again, I’m not sure if she understood why there were so many gift at this time of the year (St. Nicolas Day, Christmas and now her birthday)

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30th December

We were playing and playing and playing in English with all the toys and games the girls received for Christmas and L’s birthday.

31st December

A quiet New Year’s Eve. The girls cannot stay up until midnight so we celebrated in the evening with New Year’s Eve activity, sparklers and balloons in the bath and paper trumpets. They went to bed at about 9.30 and fell asleep immediately.

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Sticky board notes in connection with the new year

HAPPY NEW YEAR FOR EVERYONE!

I wish you all the best, loads of second language exposure, fun and happiness in 2018.

Baking and reading (with recipe)

We’ve been cooking and baking with E. a lot ever since she could sit on the kitchen counter safely. (Check out my housework fun or Christmas gingerbread baking blog posts on our cokking adventures)

This week one day there was one of the rare occasions that L. (E.’s baby sister) was not sleeping in a sling on me so I managed to put her down and I could prepare a baking activity for E. while she was at the nursery.

As E. is familiar with the alphabet (check out this post on the alphabet activities and other ABC posts) and quite a lot of sight words (I haven’t written about it separately but I should) and E. has been handling picture and story books since she was born, it is no problem for her to recognise/read certain words.

I wanted to expand her knowledge of recognising words in a fun way.

Here is our oat and pumpkin cookie baking and reading fun:

I prepared everything beforehand (maybe next time it’ll be a measuring activity, when SHE can prepare all the ingredients).

Whoops… the R is missing from “butter” – sorry about the poor photo

Ingredients:

  • 150 g oat flakes
  • 100 g flour (I used oat and wholemeal flour mixed)
  • 100 g sugar (I use Xylitol)
  • 100 g butter or margarine
  • 120 g pumpkin purée (pre-baked)
  • 1 teaspoonful of baking powder
  • 1 egg

    optional: 

  • 5 g dried fruit of any kind (I use cranberries and raisins but you can add chocolate chips too)
  • vanilla extract
I made little cards for her to read and I placed them in front of each bowl. The twist was I mixed them up before she started the activity. 
First, she needed to swap the cards around to place them in front of the right bowl.

After that she cracked the egg.

Then the mixing could start. She added everything in a big bowl. I asked her to report me what she was doing as in a cooking show.
– I’m putting the flour in.
– Now comes the butter.

After all this, I made little balls out of the mixture (she doesn’t like to dirty her hands) and placed them on a tray covered with baking paper. Finally, I managed to convince her to flatten the balls with her fingers and palm.

It was a lovely treat after dinner time and we practised a lot of English. (Unfortunately the cookies were gone so quickly I couldn’t take a photo of them)

Do you cook or bake with your little one(s)? Let me know what in the comments.

Pizza time

E. is quite excited every time she can spend some time in the kitchen with me. For me it’s rather a challenge and I need to be extra relaxed,  plus in a good mood to shoulder all the mess and fuss around it.

Whenever I pull myself together and dare to enter the kitchen with a 2,5 year old hurricane to do some cooking or baking projects, it’s always fun and the result is fantastic, though.

Cooking and baking together together with your child/children always gives you a great chance to learn and practice new things. Not only kitchen activities like whisking, stiring and pouring but also your second language.

This is what we did a few months ago when E. made her first pizza.

Today I wasn’t prepared for the kitchen mess so I only entered into the spirit of painting.

While doing it we practiced a lot of food names:

salami
fish
tomato slices
corn
olives
pineapple
mushroom
pizza dough
salt (shake)

As well as colours and how to get certain colours by mixing two:

red + blue = purple
yellow + red = orange
red + green = brown

The kitchen stayed clutter- and mess-free and we were all happy.

Planets and the Solar System

The Solar System craze started about a half a year ago (August 2014). Planets caught E.’s attention while having the usual pre-dinner-youtube-video-watching session. Since then she’s been an expert in this field just like we needed to become.

Let me start with our favourite videos:

The very first song in the line – The Solar Sytemn Song by KidsTV123

She liked it so much that we had to watch it several times and of course more came:

The planets song by KidsTv123

She quickly learned the next one, so at bedtime I had to sing this song 7/11:
(Carful, this tune is so catchy that you might wake up in the middle of the night singing it in your head)
After What shape is it? here is another video from the same youtube channel with the title: What planet is it? Annoying for parents, fascinating for kids 🙂 You can also learn about some dwarf planets like Pluto, Ceres, Makemake, Charon etc.
E. loves the next  Solar system video too, although the colours of the planets are not so accurate. She mentions it every time we watch it. I guess it is an Indian video, and the pronunciation is a little funny. Still, we watch it a lot. She knows exactly how to pronounce the names of the planets and I want her to listen to as many different accents as possible.

These videos are not only about the names of the planets in our Solar System but also give some interesting information about them.

Then, we found Storybots on youtube. It’s hilarious. Even for parents. At last something I and Daddy love watching, too. Well, the next videos are not typical children videos. First: The Solar System Rap
(For a week we were playing the “Microphone game” i.e. throwing a microphone to each other – E. was the Sun, I was Mercury, Daddy was Venus (!) and  Doggie was Mars. The game always ended with Mars as the dog couldn’t catch the microphone 🙂 By the way, Daddy made the microphone out of a kitchen roll tube, a deodorant cap and some duct tape.)

I’m hot – the Sun song

I could go on and on adding more videos in the topic. But if your child is intereted in the planets you’ll find them anyway through the above mentioned examples.
Other fun with planets and the solar system:
After the videos, I had to make the Solar System on her plate. The following is just one occasion. The Solar System made out of frankfurters, but I’ve already made it out of fruit, cheese and bacon, vegetables etc.:

 

Here is a link where you can find a fruity solar system snack for kids together with a colouring sheet of planets.
I love the asteroid belt 🙂
 If something is in the  middle of E.’s attention, she recreates it in all fields of life – like drawing:
(While she was drawing the picture below she was in English, later we changed languages and she asked me to write the names of the planets in Hungarian)
Why did she put the cotton buds on the planets?  – It beats me…

I prepared a pom-pom colour sorting activity for her one afternoon (in September), which turned into a Solar System activity again. (It’s a kind of size comparison as well.)

Here is a video about her naming the planets in English and at the end she also sings one of the planet songs.

At the playground (at the beginning of October) we made the Solar System out of sand. It wasn’t my idea, but hers.

Sand Solar System

 

Destroying the Sun

 

Destroying all the planets

I made her a magnetic Solar System to play with. I found the following printable online at 2teachingmommies.com. You can find their Planet shadow match in their Space unit. (After downloading a zip file you need to print the Planet_shadow_match.pdf)

I printed and laminated the shadow sheets (2 x A/4) and the planets (1 x A/4). I cut out the planets first then I laminated them and cut them out again. In this way they are more durable. Adding Velcro is recommended in the explanations of the original planet shadow matching task but I used small magnets (you can buy them in Creative Hobby Shops) which are sticky on one side (I couldn’t glue the Velcro on the laminated sheets)

Sometimes we play with it on the floor, but nowadays the Solar System is on our fridge:

Here is a video how we play with it in Hungarian.

Last, but not least – salt dough planets. I’m sure the time comes in every family when they make salt dough, or some sort of home-made dough but you can use any kind of modelling clay as well. In this way E. could see the sizes compared to the sun (which is a yellow plastic ball). Originally we wanted to paint them, but somehow they disappeared during Christmas time.

E. wanted Pluto added. It’s made out of kitchen foil

For Christmas, E. got a Solar System Model Making Kit.

On Boxing Day the three of us were working on it all day.

mixing the right colours

We needed to paint and assemble the planets, then hang them on rods with fishing lines placing them around the sun in the centre.

drying the planets

I added some glow plaint (which was included in the set. The planets glow in the dark.) It was a great family activity (in English). It looks nice in our living room hanging from the central lamp. (Sorry, the photo was taken with my mobile phone.)

Let’s read how we should put the whole thing together

 

measuring the fishing line
This post has turned out to be a long one, but my main aim was to show you how many different activities you can do around a subject, let it be the Solar System, fruit or cars. You don’t need to spend a lot of money on buying props or toys (see the sandpit or the pom-pom or the drawing fun). And there are just a few activities which needs preparation (planet shadow match or the model making). So let your and your little one’s imagination fly and build the topic of interest in your everyday playtime.