What do we have to do with AUSTRALIA??? Part 1

In short: Nothing. In more details: last month (April) we met a lovely elderly couple from Australia who we’d encountered on our honeymoon in Istanbul in 2011. Quite unusual.

I’ve taken  the opportunity of their visit to Hungary to introduce Australia to E. She loves planet Earth anyway. She already knows about continents (her favourite is Antarctica) so Australia will be fascinating for her. I hoped…

Map of Australia

As E. enjoys looking at maps and our big picture atlas I made a map colouring activity for her. I just printed a blank Australia map with the states drawn on it and after naming each states we coloured them one by one.

E. is practising her A
I also wrote AUSTRALIA below the map and E. traced my letters.

This Australian map puzzle was quite time-consuming to make but the result was beautiful and E. loved it. The link gives you a detailed description how to prepare it. In my version I laminated the pieces. As Queensland and Western Australia consist of 2 parts I sellotaped them together. Then I added sticky back velcro (bought them on sale in Auchan).

The background is a big blue cardboard

 

sticking

 

FINISHED!

I couldn’t buy a big enough cardboard to fit Tasmania in the right place. What a pity!

We can also use this puzzle map in the long run (I also plan to introduce her some cities as well as animals and famous sights. We’ll use this map to pin cities, animals and sights up on it and put it on the wall to display)

She has done the Australian puzzle map several occasions. Sometimes she even said the names of its states.

Painting the flag

As the puzzle map gave me a hard time we did not twist the flag project. I printed a blank Australian flag and painted it while we were talking about what is what on the flag
  1. The British Union Jack flag is in the upper left corner – noting Australia’s ties to Great Britain
  2. The Southern Cross constellation (5 stars) is on the right side of the flag. The constellation can be seen from everywhere in Australia
  3. The large, white, seven-pointed Commonwealth Star

Of course, we displayed our pieces  on our living-room door. You need to imaging the composition as I’ve forgotten to take a photo of it.

Work in progress
Let’s start!

Animals of Australia

First, I created flashcards of the most commonly known Australian animals. (See a printable at the end of the post)

Kangaroo                                         Duck-billed Platypus
Koala                                                Cassowary
Emu                                                  Brown snake
Wombat                                           Salt Water Crocodile
Dingo                                                Echidna
Tasmanian Devil                           Frilled Necked Lizard

E. has already heard about and seen a kangaroo in the zoo, and also seen pictures of koalas. She knows the (white) wombat from the video titled Red Rabbit, Green Gorilla. She is also familiar with the look of a crocodile or a snake as well as an ostrich, which can remind you of an emu. So first, I showed her 7 flashcards out of the 12.

As most of the animals had a familiar look I decided to add some information to the flashcards on their backs.

We had a look at Australia in our Picture Atlas Of The World.

As on this map flora and fauna is depicted, I showed E. an animal, I said its name and  she needed to find it on the map. When she found it we placed the flashcard on the map and I told her some interesting information (1 or 2 pieces) about the animal (eating habit, place of living, offspring etc.)
She was laughing at the platypus and found the Tasmanian Devil cute.

When we finished with this she wanted to see them in real life so we sat down in front of youtube and watched a few interesting videos. (I had prepared for this request so we didn’t need to waste time with searching for them)

The Cow Goes Moo – Kangaroo for Kids

Koala-la-la-la

Bindi and Robert Irwin feature huge salt-water crocodile

Platypus: Animals for Children

E. was fascinated by the platypus, mainly its webbed feet. So we needed to draw a Mommy and Baby platypus webbed “feet”

We’ll have a look at the other animals later.

In the next part:

E.’s 2nd test of her English; the lovely time in Szentendre we spent together with our Australian friends (M. and B.). – You can read about E.’s 1st real life test here
E. got some sweet presents (soft toys and books) from M. and B.

 

 

 

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Hungarian National Holiday- March 15

One of the biggest national holidays in Hungary is the commemoration of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848. As it is filled with national feelings and politics I won’t go into details about history and other stuff but I’d like to show how we prepare for it in our home (this year together with St. Patrick’s Day)

The activities we have done are in mainly Hungarian.

How do we prepare for a Hungarian and an Irish celebration at the same time? We are sharing time between English and Hungarian. Let’s say in the morning we do tasks in English concerning St. Patrick’s Day. In the afternoon we spend time in Hungarian doing some fun activities around the Hungarian Revolution. Or the other way round.

We display the art E. makes on our double doors in the living-room.

One wing is dedicated to the Hungarian Revolution, the other one to St. Patrick’s Day.
St. Patrick’s Day door wing on the left, Hungarian Revolution door wing on the right

 

In this way she is not confused at all.

I’d like to list some ideas I found online or we made up ourselves concerning our national holiday. This blog wouldn’t be complete without Hungary/the Hungarian language related happenings.

Luckily, last year I made our own button cockade. There’s nothing to do with it this year. We’ll just pin them on our coat on 15 March. (I hope I’ll find them)

E.’s coat and cockade from 2014

It is made out of 3 buttons: a big red, a smaller white and a little green button. I sewed them together with a pin like these:

60-150Pcs-Brooch-Back-Safety-Catch-Bar-Pins-Jewelry-Findings-Accessories-basis-for-brooches-Assorted-Sizes.jpg

Colouring the flag is the most traditional way children prepare for this holiday. We put some fun into it. Thank Goodness for dot markers!

When she saw the sheet E. asked me who wrote there “MAGYAR ZÁSZLÓ” (=Hungarian flag)

 

 

With dot markers all kinds of colouring is more fun. E. did some more of it (colouring a KOKÁRDA=cockade, for example)

Daddy and E. were colouring in full fling so I printed them a map of Ireland and they coloured it too. You can see it in the top picture on the St Patrick’s side. (They didn’t really care about Northern Ireland. We’ll put things to rights next year, when she’ll be more capable of understanding it.)

Red, white and green are used in almost all of our activities. I bought some decor stones in a One Euro Shop (I had to separate the red, white and green stones from many other colours)
We printed the map of Hungary and made up a kind of patterning activity.

The stones had to be placed along the borderline as on the Hungarian flag (red, white, green) making a pattern ABCABC. This pattern is difficult for my daughter to follow so it was quite a strenuous exercise for her.

I’m concentrating like there’s no tomorrow

 

It was a long activity and towards the end it was difficult for her to concentrate. This is quite understandable, she’s not even 3. But Daddy was there for her.

Pinterest offers a lot of wonderful ideas for the occasion. For instance, this pom-pom garland with the national colours. (Through the link you can read about the detailed explanation how to make a pom pom with the help of a fork). If it is too much for your little one just buy some pompoms and

What you need:

  • red, white, green (and orange) yarn
  • a fork
  • scissors

E. tried to make a pom-pom, but she couldn’t. Maybe half a year later she’ll understand how to do it and will be able to make it. We’ll give it a try again.

So I made the pom-poms myself….

 

At first, she was just playing with the yarn.

then she was cutting the yarn like a maniac 🙂

She cut the yarn for 25-30 minutes and I could finish the garland with the Hungarian colours only.

The next day I made the pom-poms for the Irish garland and she was …. *surprise, surprise* cutting the yarn. She can’t get bored of it. E. kept asking: – What I’m doing? which I rephrased:- What am I doing? And then she answered her own question after having repeated it correctly. – I’m cutting yarn. 
This short conversation was repeated for 8-10 times without any alternation.

We’ve hung our pom-pom garlands (with the Irish and the Hungarian national colours) on the double doors.

Tricolour Pizza

Your toddler ALWAYS wants to help you with cooking, not to mention the great excitement if you make pizza. Why not in tricolour? Everybody loves pizza and it’s easy to make it with a toddler.

Ha még nem tudod mit ebédeljetek holnap, akkor íme egy ötlet. A pizzát mindenki szereti, nem? A nemzeti ünnep tiszteletére egy kis átalakuláson ment keresztül, és zászló lett belőle!
It’s not our pizza, but it’s coming soon

Red= tomato sauce with some basil and oregano (minced meat if you wish)
White= loads of grated cheese
Green= broccoli, spinach or any other green vegetables in our case it’ll be ruccola

The lollipop stick is optional, too… but don’t they look cool? Like real flags 🙂

We are making our own on the 15th so I can upload photos of the process later.

I still have some activities up my sleeve, however, I’m not sure we’ll have time for them. Anyways, I’ll have to share some ideas next year too.

Our First St. Patrick’s Day – the Irish flag and symbols

Last year we didn’t celebrate St. Patrick’s day as a Hungarian national holiday (March 15) is very close  to it. This year I decided to celebrate both with some fun activities as E. can take more.

Irish Flag

First, we talked a little about Ireland. We took a look at the Picture Atlas E. likes so much. She pointed at the flag and the capital. We also talked about what animals she could see there on the island. (I also mentioned to her that I lived there for a while but she was totally unimpressed)


Then we went on to the flag. She got excited as soon as she saw the colourful stickers. I made the flag and I found some price tag stickers in a One Euro shop.

She immediately started to do the sticking saying: – G is for green and the Os are for orange.
At first she didn’t understand what she would stick on the white part of the flag. She was a little disappointed when I told her to leave it white and there would be no sticking in the middle.

Some white parts are left among the stickers so it gave us a great chance to colour that E. doesn’t like that much. I made sure that she needed to practise a little sharpening too.

She was really happy when she finished colouring. I must admit I had to help her a bit.


However, she proudly stuck it on our living-room door.


St. Patrick’s Day Cutting Practice via Welcome to Mummyhood

Using scissors is a new skill we’ve been trying to practise lately.

I had a very easy task with this: print and cut. I just needed to sit back and watch my daughter focus really hard on cutting along the lines.

Of course, we discussed what the things are in the pictures (pot of gold, rainbow, shamrock). I really hope that the book about the leprechaun (that I’d ordered via bookdepository.com with free delivery) will arrive before or on St. Patrick’s Day.


Mosaic paper shamrock (via Happiness Is Homemade)

I myself drew and cut out a shamrock of cardboard that I found at home. I would have been better off with green construction paper or cardstock and a template, but the result was okay.

I also prepared cut-up pieces of all kinds of green paper (old wrapping paper, leftover construction and scrapbook paper etc). If you have an older child you can do the cutting together. Mine turns 3 in May so I decided on cutting the squares myself.

When she saw the layout she was delighted. She could stick all day.

 

You can also use glue stick that dries clear but I like the idea of E. using her hand muscles when squeezing the liquid glue bottle.

Final results: the left one is mine the right one is E.’s

As in the morning we were drying Rabbit’s hair (pretend play) the hairdryer came handy to dry excess glue.

Before sticking them on our living-room door I turned the shamrocks upside down and trimmed off the overhanging edges.

 

Was it fun? 😉

 

More to come in the next post:

  • Rainbow name puzzle
  • St. Patrick’s Day Patterning
  • More shamrock sticking out of heart and triangle shapes
  • Book review on St. Patrick and the Leprechaun
  • surprise 🙂