Match the lids

Little L. loves taking off and putting on lids of all kinds of containers like plastic boxes, lip balms, jars etc. So I collected a few unused containers, empty bottles and jars to entertain her and help improve her fine motor skills.

Here are the different containers I found around the house.

20171123_173754

I took the tops off and put the all in a shoebox:

20171123_173108

Little feet came to explore:

20171123_173124

She loved finding the matching tops, what’s more she didn’t make a mistake at all. Wow!

20171123_17383620171123_17390120171123_17391820171123_174039

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We managed to play with the box once. Ever since the tops and containers have been lying all around except for the lip balm, which is the greatest treasure.

It’s L.’s favourite and whenever she can’t find it she asks for it: Can I get it, Labello? or L. find it

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…

20170226_162612_20170226_162646_

 

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.

20170226_17005720170226_165253

20170226_163831

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.

Shapes, shapes, shapes – there are all sorts of shapes

E. is into shapes to a great extent. About 2 months ago (when she was 16-17 months old) she already knew all the basic (and some not so basic) shape names. So it made me think what we can do to practise and play with the shapes in more varied ways.

When E. was quite small, around 6-8 months old, we watched and we’ve still been watching the following videos concerning shapes.

The Shape Song

Shape Song 2

We have some new favourites. While we are watching some of them she bursts out with laughter, like in case of the following:

Miser Maker: I am a shape

The next video might seem very monotonous and boring but my daughter loves it and sometimes wants to watch it 4 or 5 times.

What shape is it?

There are a lot more videos on shapes but I do not want to bore you. You can search for them on youtube.

E. got a shape cube for her first birthday, but she was totally untouched by it after taking a first look.

Birthday present with potentials

Mostly, I was playing with it and she was watching, or was just playing away next to me. When she was about 14-15 months old, she started to name the shapes out of the blue, much to my surprise.We also use the shapes of the cube to match shapes in a little bit more different way. I took out a piece of paper and 9 shapes from the cube (I don’t know why 9… it could have been 5, 7 or 10. It was a sudden idea.). With the help of a brown crayon I drew them around (E. was watching closely and tried to help a bit too 🙂 )

Then I gave her the shapes and I didn’t even have to tell her what to do. She started to put the shapes on the paper.

 

To initiate more talking I always asked what she was doing, what shape it was she was holding etc. Plus, she sometimes said the colour of the shape, too, all by herself.Sometimes E. needs motivation to eat. At dinnertime I prepare some ‘soldiers’ and different shapes carved out of bread, ham, salmon or veggies. It is much more fun for her to eat a pentagon or a triangle than a slice of simple cucumber.

 

When she turned 16 months we found some books in the library on shapes. This picture dictionary contains two pages of colourful shapes (solids too).

 

Before taking the book back to the library I had these (and some more pages) photocopied and used the shapes to make flashcards as well.

And a famous favourite (alas, we’ve got it in Hungarian in the library but this unfortunate fact does not keep me back to use it for other language purposes):

 

Another Hungarian one: Kun Fruzsina: Formák

Stars

 Last but not least a Baby Einstein book on shapes:

There are tons of books on amazon.com all about shapes. No matter which book you use, but it is another fun way to talk about shapes and see them in different contexts.

Baby’s Best Start (Helen Doron beginner baby course 3rd CD)  has a song about shapes. We listen to it twice a day and E. knows it by heart. Also, the book contains pages of shapes and objects of a similar kind (circle-sun, triangle-sail, square-book).

Often E. identifies shapes by herself. On the table-cloth of our dining table there are some diamond shapes and whenever she walks past she points at them and says: – Little diamond. Here. Big diamond. There.

On the basis of this experience, sometimes we just walk around the house and identify shapes. (The mirror is a rectangle, the washing machine is a cube, the socket is a square and the hair bobble forms a circle etc.) It is also a good idea to collect smaller objects of different shapes in a light box that your child can walk around with. When you have like 10-15 things you can throw them all onto the floor and group them according to their shapes.

For E.’s first birthday I also bought a second-hand  Froggy with shapes on his tummy. When you turn it on one of the shapes starts flashing. You need to push the flashing button and the Froggy starts singing a famous nursery rhyme/song (Star – Twinkle, Twinkle, Triangle – Mary had a little lamb, Circle – Pat a cake and so on). Unfortunately, the square does not work any more, so whenever E. tries to make the square work I sing the Helen Doron Shapes song.

As Christmas was here I was planning to do a little christmasy shape fun, but I did not have time to make it. You can find a lovely Christmas tree decoration game with shapes here (ketnyelvugyerek.hu). The description is in Hungarian, but the picture speaks for itself.

Or a similar activity from Super Simple Learning with a template.

Another simple 3D Christmas tree decoration fun:

http://buggyandbuddy.com/christmas-activities-kids-decorate-felt-christmas-tree/
We are going to do all these next year I am sure, as a little revision. 😉

Finally, let me show you a picture of shape chaos after an hour of playing:

 

Home-made tools for language practice – matching colours

E. LOVES colours and all the games in connection with colours. One of her first words was a colour (red in English, kék -blue- in Hungarian). So I though I should make some fun activities with the colours. Here is one of them:

I drew circles and coloured them on two white sheets. Just to be on the safe side, I laminated them to make them more durable. On one sheet there are the basic colours: red, blue, green black and white. On the other one: brown, pink, orange, yellow and purple.

From the kitchen I picked some bottle caps, lids of different colours, but I didn’t have black and orange so I took off an orange and a black magnet from the fridge.

I put all the caps, magnet and lids into a box and put it in the living room. E. went there and took it off immediately. Without me showing her what to do, she started to match the colours. She can concentrate on it for few minutes only, but she always says out loud the name of the colours. Most of the time she uses one language, either English or Hungarian. Only very rarely does she mix them.
Sometimes I pick the caps from the box and she shows me where to put them.

We never get to the end of the matching, though. Either she gets tired of it, or runs away with the two favourites: yellow and purple. 🙂