March 15 – cockade cookies and other activities

Perhaps this post should be written in Hungarian as March 15 is one of the most prominent national holidays in Hungary. And it means more to the Hungarians than to anybody else.

Last year we celebrated it with lots of fun activities like the ice experiment or the 3 Ps: pompoms, patterning and painting.

And this year…

I had very little time to prepare for our national holiday so I took the easy way and downloaded/printed/laminated an absolutely fantastic collection of activities from gyereketeto.hu

Here are the activities I prepared:

E. started with the pre-writing practice:

 

 

Then she read (!!!) the questions herself concerning the sheet in front of her (like Which is the biggest cockade? or How many flags turn left?)

Clearly you can see she was enjoying it

A little bit of maths – counting and matching numbers and dice:

 

Finished

After the activities we went on to make cockade cookies. Click for original cockade cookie recipe.

What you need (5-7 cookies):

1 tube (150gr) sweetened condensed milk here you can read about the difference between condensed and evaporated milk– something that I myself have just learnt)
80-100 gr grated coconut
food colouring (in our case red and green)
(In the original recipe the proportions are double)

How to prepare it:

We mix the condensed milk and the coconut so we get a playdoh-like texture. (Well, we did not unfortunately. We need to make it again to experiment with the proportions)

We’ve learnt a new expression: evaporated milk

Halve the mixture and add red food colouring to one part.
Take the one third of the remaining white mixture and add the green food colouring.
Make green balls and place them on baking paper (on a tray).

Yes, yes… that is Baby Sister on me in a sling

Around the green ball make a white “sausage” then around it a red one. They should touch each other. Our mixture didn’t turn out so well. I couldn’t make “sausages” so I just placed the stuff in circles. E. was very helpful… with cleaning (i.e. licking).

Pre-heat the oven at 150 Celsius degrees and dry the cookies out within 15-20 minutes. (We had a problem with this because after 10 minutes they got a little brown. So I turned the oven down to 100 degrees and let them stay in for another 5 minutes)

Before baking

 

A little over-baked still tasted nice

They’re tasty and crunchy; for me a little too sweet so I don’t mind we have fewer cookies than in the original recipe.

Of course, we spent our time in Hungarian and E. learnt quite a few new words, some international ones like huszár and csákó 🙂

August 20th – another Hungarian national holiday

As we have just returned from our holiday from the mountains, I haven’t had time to prepare something special for today. 20 August is the 2nd biggest national holiday in Hungary. (I’ve already collected some activities for the first most important one i.e. 15th March).

We also call 20 August Saint Stephen’s Day or the commemoration of the Foundation of Hungary as a state or “the day of the new bread”. If you’re interested in the background of this Hungarian holiday, please check the links.

So quickly I put together some fun crafts connected to our modest celebration after having unpacked our suitcases and started the washing machine.

On the way home sitting in the car, E. could see the Hungarian flag everywhere. She got quite excited  and pointed at all of them shouting: Hungary… so we made this flag out of crepe paper (red, white and green) and a piece of wooden skewer. You need some glue and that’s all.

What you need are in the pic:

  • crepe paper strips (red, white, green or the colours of your country’s flag)
  • skrewers
  • glue

Place one piece of crepe paper under the skewer and add some glue

Then roll the crepe paper on the skewer

Repeat it with the other colours one below the other. Let it dry for a few minutes

Éljen a magyar föld! – shouted E. swaying the flags

The easier the craft is the more fun you’ll have afterwards.

As we celebrate 20 August with massive fireworks over the River Danube at night, I thought we could create our own fireworks at home. We are not going to watch it in person as it is always extremely crowded and the weather has rather been capricious lately.

I’ve taken some ideas from 4th July celebrations. Check out the pinterest board on the topic.
This exact fireworks straw paint is more than fun to make.

On the link above you can find the detailed description, but here it is in short:

  • stretch and bend 7 straws and cello-tape them together (I made 2 sets)
  • prepare red and green paint in  two plates
  • provide a white sheet
The painting can start. Your child needs to dip the straws into the paint and make prints with both colours.
Even Daddy had fun 🙂

Our own fireworks at home
Did you celebrate 20 August somehow? Let me know what you did together with your little one in the comments.

Ice experiment with tricolor beads

During winter time we had some ice fun I didn’t write about as it wasn’t really planned. But now, inspired by Yuliya, the writer of Welcome to Mummyhood, I decided to go for it again.

We’ve altered the task she introduce on her blog to suit our Hungarian National holiday and I used red, white and green IKEA beads instead of sequins.

E. filled up the ice cube tray with the beads.

Then she poured the water (the beads are so light that they were floating on the top.)

After that we put the tray into the freezer. We checked it on the same day whether it was frozen or not, but we had no luck.

We did this preparation in Hungarian and talked about the colours of the Hungarian flag and how water turns into ice under 0 Celsius degree. She listened closely and asked questions about what liquid is and what frozen means. I gave her a basic explanation.

The next day we took it out of the freezer and I set up this tray for E. We were in English this time.

She was amazed as soon as she saw the tray.

First, she was a little hesitant what to do. But then she got the hang of it.

She used all the tool (tongs, fork, spoon and ladle) I prepared for her. Picking, spooning, ladling. First, she was touching the ice cubes with her hands. Abruptly, she said: – It’s cold and wet. I don’t want to be wet. 

And she picked up her favourite tool, the tongs.

And she was bewildered by the chemical reaction.

She was playing with it for 40-45 minutes. Mostly alone or with very little assistance.

Once she tasted the baking soda. Nothing happened, of course, and when I asked her if it tasted nice, her answer was positive. Luckily, she didn’t try it again.

Before her nap time, she was asking about the ice experiment (vinegar and experiment are words that gave her a hard time to pronounce. Once she said ligament instead of vinegar… haha. So cute!)

All in all, it was a wonderful experiment, loads of fun and a lot of new vocabulary learnt in both languages. We’ll definitely do something similar again. I was thinking of volcanoes…

Here are some vocabulary/phrases connected to our experiment:

Ice experiment.pptx

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.