Mix it up!

New York is book lovers’ heaven. After our NYC trip, we returned with tons of children books we bough at a really low price. One of them was Mix it up! by Hervé Tullet. It’s an interactive book about colours and colour mixing.

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There are several activities online based on the book. You can check them out on pinterest, but I decided to make our own. A simple but fun activity that my 2 and a half year old could do easily and with joy. (You can download your free copy at the end of this blog post.)

Before starting the worksheet, they were just painting for fun in their journals. (We put a piece of cardboard under the page so the paint doesn’t bleed through.)

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Next, I gave them the Mix it up! copy for each of them. First, they painted the primary colours, blue, red and yellow.

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Then came the mixing. Little L. needed help with washing the colours out of her paint brush, but she wanted to do it all by herself.

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E. painted and mixed the colour like  a pro.

In the meantime our native nanny, N. arrived and joined in. They wanted to paint some more so everyone got a sheet of paper and free painting continued.

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Little L. got tired of the limitation of paint brushes and she started to use her fingers. She used more water than paint. In the end she decided to throw her last work of art into the bin. (lucky I could save the others.)

The difficult part came: cleaning up. The girls could choose what to clean up at the end. E. chose to wash the paintbrushes out, L. helped me put away the paint and clean the table.

Now here you can download your free copy of our mixing activity.

I can highly recommend both the book and the painting activity. Have fun!

 

 

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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.

Paw patrol – the new craze (with free printable)

Since the beginning of this year (around February) E.’s been crazy about a Canadian cartoon series, Paw Patrol. In this blog post I’d like to collect all the activities, games and fun Paw Patrol has brought to our lives:

  1. Our old nanny, L., who has unfortunately returned to America, showed E. a page online where she can watch all the seasons. (www.kisscartoon.com). I’m not sure how legal it is but she is so crazy about the pups I can’t stop her. This series is on Nick Jr. but we don’t have a subscription (we do NOT watch TV due to the millions of commercials) but there is only one episode per day filled with loads of commercials I don’t want E. to see. So she watches it online.
  2. We celebrated her 4th birthday with her friends too, in a playhouse. Her birthday cake was a Paw Patrol bone:

  3. E. was so excited and indulged in this cartoon she wanted the pup figurines for her birthday. Not only did she get them (it was Baby Sis’s present for her) , but she also received a home-made  Paw Patrol board game. (The original idea came from Daddy, who, on the basis of chess, came up with the board game idea. On the link – I’ll add it later, sorry – you can find a more detailed description of the board game)

  4. Apart from the board game I also prepared a Paw Patrol Activity Pack for her birthday. This pack includes puzzle, writing practice, counting cards and many more. You can download your free copy at the end of this post.

    E. was so excited about this activity pack that she started examining it at her birthday party. She stopped opening her other presents.

    But of course, we devoted another, more quiet time to do the activities:

Matching characters and their names
Matching vehicles and their names

If your little one can’t read at all, they can match the characters and their vehicles

Number cards

You can use different manipulatives (beans, gem stones, clips or clothes pegs) or (if you laminate the cards like I did) your child can cicle the right number with a whiteboard marker, which can be easily wiped off after finishing

Pre-writing practice

Badge puzzles with numbers

And many more fun activities….

Bug counting – with free printable counting mats

It took me more than a month to prepare this activity. In a normal case it would have been 2 days. However, since Baby Sis was born there hasn’t been such a thing as “normal case” in our house any more. But now it’s finished.

You need bottle tops, minimum 11, for dots from 0 to 10. I made 2 sets as it is more comfortable to make additions later on. (The caps are from Nestea and Cappy bottles)

The truth is I had a little helper who picked and tested all the bottle tops. This is optional, of course.

I used a black permanent marker to make the body of the bugs plus the dots. On the black tops I used white paint to make the dots visible. If you don’t use black bottle tops you can skip this step.
To make them more bug-like and more fun-looking I glued googly eyes on them:

The first time I presented it to E. she wasn’t very interested. She opened the envelope quite reluctantly. (This should have been the time to put it away and come back to it at another time. But we gave it a try.)

She was looking at the bugs and started to put them in order but when she reached the six-dotted bug she began to imitate a fight with the bugs.

Then she knuckled them from the table claiming the ladybirds wanted to fly away. I asked her if she wanted to have a look at the mats. She didn’t so I packed a month of work away and tried to swallow my frustration.

Then we gave it another try. I didn’t even mention ordering the bugs, I rather showed her the mats. She showed more interest than before. As she is perfectly familiar with the numbers, counting the dots made her uneasy a little bit.

But we managed to do 4 of the mats, …

 

 

…then she made a task for me:

The second addition was really tricky as we don’t have a bug with 14 don’t on them. I asked E. what we should do. And she helped me out in a really smart way:

 

I thought this activity would be much more fun, and E. would be fascinated by the bugs and counting… well… I was a little wrong. Nevertheless, we did have some fun and I’m sure someone might enjoy it even more than we did.

Download your FREE counting mats from here:

If you try it with your children let me know how it went.

 

"Take a photo" scavenger hunt (with free printable)

In the middle of July we went up to the mountains. We were mainly in Hungarian up there but I wanted to have some English fun with E. As she’s into taking photos a lot nowadays I made her an ad hoc “take a photo” scavenger hunt activity.

The sheet I prepared is hand-made but I created a free printable out of it, which you can download at the end of this post.

E. can take better pictures than this
We went for an excursion to a lake. E. at first wasn’t very impressed with this activity, which surprised me to a great extent. But as we went along she got more and more excited.
All the photos were taken by her. Some are blurry some are absolutely gorgeous:
a bush with flowers

 

lake

 

Ms. Photographer

 

Invisible spider web

 

“log”, which is more like a tree trunk 😉

 

roots

 

she can’t use the zoom but the ducks are in the top right corner

She told me to add green plants on her scavenger hunt activity sheet:

green plants

 

blurry dragonfly as a bug

I also needed to add “stones and rocks” as it was E.’s wish

Rock with moss

 

stones

 

the look out tower

 

oak leaves

Unfortunately, she couldn’t take a photo of a butterfly as they never seemed to land. Anyways, this project was more than rewarding if you have a look at the pictures. I think we’ll cover some other topics in the near future, like babies, playground, market, just to mention a few.

Now click on the link to print your own “Take a photo” scavenger hunt activity sheet.