Pompom run

I had to cook. Little L. wanted to play with me. Challenge accepted.

I took out some kitchen roll tubes and toilet paper tubes, which I’d been storing for a loooong time so we can play with them some day, and made a very quick, ugly but functional pompom run.

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I cooked and she played in the kitchen, sometimes I joined in too. Everybody was happy.

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I wasn’t considering how great it is from language point of view. While she was making the pompoms run she was identifying their colours.

-T his one is yellow. And this is red. Look, mommy the black one is spiky.

Then she compared their sizes:

– This is small. Look, Mommy a big pompom.

In the afternoon my big girl (almost 6) came home and started playing with it using a pair of tongs. She added some more pieces of tube to the pompom run to boot. (It was difficult for her to cut the hard cardboard.)

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DSC01548She was playing with it for half an hour.

It’s still on the fridge and I keep the pompom close by. They can play with it whenever they want to. And they often want to.

The best is it took 5 minutes to make it. Of course, you can spend more time on it, painting the tubes, decorating it with stickers together with the kids, making more interesting and more exciting ways, use it for addition, etc.

But simple is beautiful 😉

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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.

Carnival decorations – garlands

February has come and we are preparing for the carnival (“Farsang” in Hungarian). Although E. keeps telling me it’s not carnival but one of her water friends’ birthday party decorations, I guess we can call these simple paper decor carnival decorations as well.

What you need is

  • coloured paper
  • scissors
  • glue (stick)

Ring garland:

Cut strips of paper. Make a ring (glue the two ends together) and make the next ring so it goes through the first. 20170201_1346401

Continue until you’ll get a long garland:

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Square garland:

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Again cut strips of coloured paper (I used A/4 sized paper but the longer the better). Glue two different colour strips together so they form an L shape. Then all you need to do is fold the strips on top of each other. If you run out of paper strips you can glue on some more.

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We made both creations in 2 languages as we were working on them for several days. In English we revised the shapes, like rectangle, square and circle and colours. We also used vocabulary like glue, fold, cut, join, hang and decorate just to mention a few.

I’ll come back with a fan kind of decor. The stapler was in great use when we made it. Stay tuned.

Peekaboo board

Touching, licking, putting her finger in or on something are L.’s favourite sensory activities at the moment. With E. we created this touchy-feely sensory board from materials we found around the house.

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I started to collect the Zewa moist toilet paper tops quite a while ago. Altogether I managed to collect 8.

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I used a cardboard piece that came as a parcel. We looked around and E. picked 8 different textures:

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  • a strip of white IKEA kitchen drawer mat (bumpy)
  • a yellow sponge wipe (squashy)
  • the blue side of a kitchen scrub sponge (rough)
  • a metallic scrub sponge (silver and shiny)
  • a torn orange plush onsie (velvety)
  • blue jeans
  • bubble wrap (bumpy)
  • shiny green and gold satin (soft)

But you can use whatever you find at home like mop head, sand paper, silk, etc.

We drew the lids around inside/outside on the cardboard…

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… then we marked and cut out the materials

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Finally I glued the materials on the cardboard then glued the white lids on.

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I let it dry for a few days just to make sure the glue won’t let go. (And I put some dictionaries on top of it for pressure.) As for the implementation, I could have been more precise and a little more careful with the glue.

At first sight Baby Sis enjoyed lifting up the lids and touching the different surfaces. But her interest didn’t last long.

Since the first try we’ve been looking at the touchy-feely board but after a glance she moves away. Anyways, E. loved helping make it and she sometimes plays away with it for a while.Baby Sis might be interested in the board a little more in a few months time.

Mummy lantern

This Halloween was quiet. E. wasn’t so excited about it this year and Baby Sis is too little to understand it at all. The party we wanted to throw had to be cancelled as some families got ill some other went away for the long weekend.

Therefore a calm and peaceful (not at all frightening) family fun took place on the 31st.

E. and Daddy went to buy a pumpkin in the morning and after decorating our living room with some Halloween decor …

… Daddy carved the pumpkin. (We made it lit up with led tea light inside as last year due to the flame the pumpkin got cooked on the inside and rotted away quite quickly. Not to mention the fact that led tea lights are more baby-friendly). E. drew the eyes and the nose of this year’s jack-o-lantern.

Then came a little crafting. Mummy lanterns. (The original idea came from last year’s Halloween party at our Helen Doron school).

At first I wanted to make only 2 mummies, but E. had something different on mind. She wanted a mummy family.

What you need:

  • 4 baby food jars (2 little and 2 bigger)
  • 4 (led) tea lights
  • gauze rolls (cheap at the chemist’s)
  • 4 pairs of googly eyes
  • glue
  • cello tape

How to make them:

  1. Wash the label off the jars
  2. Fix the end of the gauze on the jar with a little cello tape
  3. Wrap the gauze around the jar (make one or two layers only or the tea light won’t be seen through)
  4. Fix the gauze with cello tape when finished with the wrapping
  5. Glue the eyes on
  6. Add the tea lights
Mummy family with pet spider 💀👻

Of course, we didn’t miss out on a Halloween party altogether as in our Helen Doron school a spooky-crafty fun Halloween was organised for the kids on 29th and we were invited.

The party was just as fantastic as the last year’s. Here come the pictures:

E. dressed as a (pretty) ghost
Baby Pumpkin with her gourd

Healthy snacks were served: Jack-o-tangerine, Frankenstein fruit mix and ghost popcorn

Dark and scary room with some English activities was on again:

Crafty part: painting a gourd with glow-in-the-dark paint (we missed that as we were a little late) and Halloween card (see bellow)

Plus a bit of colouring

 

This Halloween was much more quiet and relaxed as in the previous years. But to be honest, life’s hard enough with two small kids, and without the hassle of a home party (preparation, decoration, snack making, throwing the party itself, then the cleaning up) it was pleasant and peaceful for me too.