Big Sister teaches Baby Sis

Whenever E, is in the mood (more and more frequently) she shows Baby L. how we do things around a house, how she should eat with a spoon or drink with a straw. Baby Sis always has a great time whenever her Big Sister pays a close attention to her.

Of course, we do it in both languages. It’s great practice for E. and learning opportunity for L.

“Teaching” started when L. was about 6 months old. With flashcards and books:

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Later on E. enjoyed feeding Baby Sis to show how to use a spoon.

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After a few months now Baby Sis can do it all by herself.

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E. is explaining Baby Sis how to unload the dishwasher.
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Big Sister is teaching baby L. how to place the dish-washer tablet in.

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Then starting the dishwasher.

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It’s still housework time. Loading the washing-machine.

“These are your tights” – said E. and put them in the washing-machine. Then L. gave her a purple onesie.20170307_121027.jpg

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It’s baby L.’s privilege to push the start button.

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Drinking with a straw is not a problem if you can watch your Big Sister how to do it.

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Don’t get me wrong. It’s not all sunshine and lollipops. There are quite a lot of screaming, and some hitting, pinching, scratching when the girls get frustrated in some tense situations. But it’s getting better and better. Now I (and E. too) see the light at the end of the tunnel. All in all, it’s great to have a Big Sister, as well as a Baby Sis.

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Housework fun

As E. doesn’t really like playing alone and wants to be with Mommy all the time we need to do housework together. Actually, she is a great helper and likes taking part most of the times. I’ve read a lot about Maria Montessori and her method on the net and in this book:

I do not wish to popularise her method, I just found some interesting points I can build in my parenting theories and also in our bilingual journey. One of them is:

“He who is served is limited in his independence”

Doing housework together means a lot of language input, quality time together and E’s preparation for real life assisting her in her developing independence.

IN THE KITCHEN

– Preparing food for cooking

Opening pea pods help to develop E’s fine motor skill.
She could examine how the peas are in the pod.
She also learnt a sequence: taking one pod out of the bag, putting the peas in a bowl, placing the empty pod in the rubbish bag.
She can help wash the peas, but as soon as I turn the hob on she is finished in the kitchen.

Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:

     green peas
     pod

     crack

     separate

     throw it away
     grub
     off
     tiny

     

cutting the butter-bean up

examining the inside
placing the beans into a pot
Using a knife is something E has been longing for. With my very close supervision she had the chance to try it and found it hard: – Mommy, cutting is difficult.
Helping make the bean dish didn’t mean she ate it 😦 although according to some blogger moms, their children became really enthusiastic to eat the food they prepared themselves.
Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:
   chopping board

   knife, knives
   pot (stripy, big, empty, full)

   butter-bean

   bean dish
   What’s yummie for you? (offers the practice or revision of a lot of food)

   wash

   dirty, dirt

– Baking:

whisking

I made this rhubarb cake











Baking a cake has a better chance of success in the eyes of your child. They are more likely to consume what they made. It also involves a lot of kitchen tasks and equipment and the activities have to follow each other quickly, which keeps up the interest of a young kid. Developing gross motor skills is also a key point here, like whisking, mixing, measuring, stirring, pouring etc.

Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:
   flour
   baking powder
   rhubarb

   cake
   scales

   measuring spoon
   wooden/mixing spoon
   bowl
   whisk
   mix
   stir
   grab

   crack an egg
   white/yolk
   lick the spoon 

   apron
   delicious
   tasty
   sweet
   sour
   hot
   dangerous

   baking try
   heat the oven

– Packing in and out of the dishwasher:

emptying the baby bottle into the sink

putting the baby bottle into the dishwasher

placing the cutlery into their draw

 After a while I rearranged a shelf so she can easily reach her spoons, plates and glasses.


This is E’s favourite household chore. No matter when I ask her to help with it, she never refuses. (It’s not the case with hanging the clothes to dry). Also, she practises with this chore how to select and group similar objects, to name the objects and say their colours or material. She also learns where to find things she needs around the house.

Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:
   cupboard

   cutlery
   tablespoon
   fork
   knife
   teaspoon
   ladle
   glass
   mug
   cup
   pot
  bowl
  plate
  draw
  sharp
  dangerous
  carefully
  place
  baby bottle
  plastic
  steal

IN THE BATHROOM

Another pleasant activity for E is to help with the laundry. Packing the clothes in the washing machine is not as much fun as pulling the wet clothes out.

 Usually we put some of her clothes in a separate basket and while I’m putting the adult clothes on the rack, she is putting hers on a smaller rack (which we bought at REGIO toy shop but also available at Fakopáncs online toy shop)

hanging the clothes
opening the dry rack
fixing it with a peg
socks
matching socks with Daddy
on the way to the draw to put the socks away

This is not her favourite activity but she uses her English (and Hungarian) a lot when she is in the mood to help.

Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:
   washing gel
   softener
   dry rack
   hang
   line
   clothes peg
   match
   carry
   fix
   dry
   still wet
   pull out
   pack in
   laundry basket
   dirty
   clean
   take off
   names of clothing (socks, tights, trousers, shorts, T-shirt, blouse, panties, vest etc.)
   Daddy’s, Mommy’s, E’s

MISCELLANEOUS

The best part for me is when we decorate our home together. Of course, when she paints or creates something I put it on the wall or in her room. However, she takes pleasure in decorating for us not only for herself. At the market we bought 2 bunches of flowers and she made them into 4, arranging them in small vases.

adding some green leaves to the dahlias

we need some pink in this composition

She also enjoys watering the plants on the balcony.

Involving her in the household chores was one of the greatest idea and I’m really glad she likes it, too. It gives us the opportunity to be together, to practise her languages, to experience some practicalities of everyday life and to help her become more and more independent.