Starting the nursery – Mini Klub

E. started nursery in September (at the age of 27 months), but I haven’t had the time to finish a review on this issue. Here it comes:

Hello, this is my first day in nursery

We decided on a private nursery as opposed to a state one because of our bilingual journey. This option puts a greater financial burden on our family in the long run but hopefully it’ll be worth it.

Mini Klub is a bilingual nursery. There are two nursery teachers who speak Hungarian to the kids and one who speaks English only all day long. Although the English speaking nursery teacher is a native Hungarian, we are lucky enough, as her English is on a high level and her pronunciation is native-like. She is also a dedicated teacher and prepares a lot to entertain and “teach” the kids English.

We first met her (Ms. B.) in August before the official start when every week in the afternoon we visited the nursery’s playground. E. could meet all the children and nursery teachers.

Ms. B. played with E. in the sand pit and I also had a chance to chat with her a little about the routines and English usage in the nursery. I made it clear to her that the reason why we come to this nursery is because of E.’s bilingualism.

After almost three months now, Ms. B. hasn’t been talking to E. in Hungarian at all, although in some emergency situations Ms. B. needs to talk in Hungarian to other kids. Another relevant point is E. likes her a lot. (So much that in October we had several evenings when I had to play Ms. B.’s role during bath time at home.)

On the first official nursery day they hit it off. (sorry about the quality of the photos, most of them were taken secretly)

Exploring the nursery garden with Ms B.

The first few days and weeks went without any problem. I guess I was more worried and nervous about the transition than she was. Evidently, she enjoys playing there, loves the teachers and some of the kids, too.

On the first day with Ms. L. – 

Of course, we couldn’t avoid the initial illnesses, which gave me more possibility to increase the English time (at home).

Look, Daddy this is my box. My sign’s on it.

There are quite a lot of educational activities every single day (crafts, learning shapes, colours, rhymes and songs, circle games, story time etc.) on the basis of the Montessori Method that keep them busy and occupied.

Weekly routine:

Every day:

  • doing exercise
  • developing movements
Monday:
  • shapes, colours
  • feeling by touching
  • concentration
  • improving perceptibility
  • numbers 1-10
Tuesday:
  • communication
  • rhymes and story telling
  • learning verses and poems
Wednesday
  • circle games
  • songs
  • auditory development
  • developing rhythm and a sense of music

Thursday

  • fine motor skills
  • arts and crafts
  • modelling clay, painting, gluing, threading etc.

 Friday

  • love of nature
  • exploring our environment
  • plants and animals
Until the end of October every Tuesday the kids went pony-riding in the other premises of the nursery (Duna Ovi). From the middle of November (next week) they are starting ice-skating. E. just can’t wait. I hope she’ll like it. I’m not sure if she has understood what ice-skating means exactly.
The nursery also has a daily routine:
7.30-8.45 arrivals, free play time
8.45-9.00 doing exercise
9.00-9.05 changing nappies or toilet time
9.05-9.30 breakfast, teeth brushing
9.30-10.15 educational sessions (20 mins in English, 20 mins in Hungarian)
10.15-10.30 snack time (fruit, vegetables)
10.30-11.30 playtime in the playground (depending on weather conditions)
11.30-11.40 toilet time
11.40-12.15 lunch time
12.15-14.30 quiet time, sleepy time
14.30-15.15 waking up period, snack time
15.15-15.45 educational session (15 mins in English, 15 mins in Hungarian)
15.45 – free play time, departure

Food: healthy and varied (Daddy asked me one day looking at E.’s weekly menu  if he himself could sign up for lunch at the nursery 😉 – we receive the menu every week. 
Educational sessions:
  • crafts
Look, that’s my horse
  • preparing for special occasions like grape harvest festival, Halloween, Santa Claus day (Dec 6) or Christmas
  • I have a video about the educational session in English (and in Hungarian), but E. was ill and didn’t take part. What’s more, I should ask the nursery for permission to put the video up on my blog. So it might come later on.
—–o—–o—–o——o——o——-o—— Permission received—-o—–o



Play time – if it doesn’t rain cats and dogs they go out to the playground for at least an hour in the morning and another hour in the afternoon.

All in all, I am more than satisfied with this nursery and the English language input E. has been experiencing there. She plays a lot with Ms. B. and sometimes when I go to pick her up she tells me that we are in English. Every now and then, Ms. B. comes to the same direction as we do on the way home and we chat in English. E. has already made friends with another English speaking kindergarten teacher (Mrs. M.). She asked her the time in English (as I went to pick her up a little later that day).

I hope everything will go on like this in the future. My expectations were high but this nursery managed to meet them. If you have any questions about daily life in Mini Klub, just feel free to contact me.

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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.