An apple a day…

… keeps the doctor away.

Although we had a week having fun with all kinds of apple games and activities (including the study of an apple) we couldn’t avoid being ill again. Anyway, here is a collection of apple fun we’ve done lately.

I’ve found a great number of apple activities online but I fell in love with the free printables by 3dinosaurs’ Apple Pack. This set contains 60 (!) pages of apple activities up to the age of 8-9. Wow! What a great collection! I’ve just selected a few games that would suit my 3-year old. Thank you, 3dinosaurs for this excellent Apple Pack.

Here is an insight what you could find in the pack:

  • What comes next? Patterning activity. I brushed it up a little with Velcro

 

“The spotty apple is coming now”
  •  Which one is different? Your child needs to find and circle (or put a manipulative on) the odd one out in the row

 

  • Pre-writing practice. We tried the easier sheet (laminated so we can reuse them).
Easy-peasy lemon squeezy

But the harder one seemed a little bit too challenging

  • Picture puzzles with numbers from 1-10 (We were talking about what she could see in the picture:  – How many apples can you see? etc.) well, she’s always been into numbers, even when she was little (click on the links for earlier posts)
And skip counting by 10s

 

  • Shape tracing and matching – a little bit of revision as we’ve already dealt with shapes a lot

 

After she’s placed all the shapes we practised the “there is…” structure. It didn’t appear to be a problem:
Mommy: – There is a red apple in the circle. And in the next?
E.: – In the square there’s a green apple. In the triangle there is a yellow one. In the rectangle there’s a checked apple and in the oval a spotty apple… or… what’s the other name, Mommy?
Mommy: – Do you remember?
E.: – No. You say it.
Mommy: – Polka dotted.
E.: – Haha, it’s funny. M., did you know polka dotted? (she turned to her favourite toy, the doggy you can see next to her on the table in the picture above)

Shape revision – tick.

  • Grouping. Apples and non-apples

 

She’s clearly enjoying it)
  • Roll and count apples. I guess she enjoyed this one the most. I couldn’t find red manipulatives, so we had “green apples” instead of red ones.
  • The Apple Pack has a die cut-out, but I used only the apples and after having laminated them I stuck them on the six sides of a big die I’d found ages before in a OneEuro shop. First, she guessed which apple will win (which apple will reach the top of the chart). Her guess was the spotty. Mine was the yellow and M., E.’s doggy’s guess was the stripy apple. Then we rolled the die. Everybody had a turn. Even the doggy 🙂
M., it’s your turn to throw the dice.

Of course, M. won.

  • Apple memory game

This game involved a lot of fun and useful tasks: matching, memorising, counting. And at the end E. tested her toy dog whether he can name what’s on the cards 🙂

E.: – What is it, M.?
Mommy (in M.’s voice): – Er… I think it’s a tree.
E.: – Good job, M.

– And this? Do you know?
Mommy (in M.’s voice): – I know, I know. It’s an apple pie. (and so on)

This was real cute.

We’ve played these games several times as she’s asked for them both in English and in Hungarian.

We also studied a real apple to see what parts it has. For this I printed the apple parts booklet by A Little Pinch of Perfect and I highlighted the parts on each card. I didn’t put them together like a book, we just had a look at the cards and also the real apple.

She examined all the parts and match them with the cards.

We practised earlier vocabulary like cut it in half, slice it, peel it, sharp knife etc.

 

She was fascinated by the word “flesh” so she was more than happy to consume it 🙂
I hope the weather and our health will let us go for an apple-picking adventure.

There are tons of apple games that you can check out on my Autumn ideas for kids pinterest board.

Number games

I’d like to show you some (4) number games E. likes playing any time, any place. These activities cover number recognition, counting, colour matching and fine motor skills as well up to number 10. A little bit of skip counting is also involved.

1. Counting Caterpillar

As we are great fan of Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar, when I found this Counting Caterpillar Busy Bag I was more than delighted. The printable is free.

I’ve changed the pom-poms into small coloured stones. The reason for this change was I found the pom-poms too slippery on the laminated sheets.

So what I did:

  • I printed the caterpillars from the site above

First, she put the cards in order from 1 to 10

  • I laminated the cards
  • I prepared the colourful stones in a little bowl

Then she started to put the little stones on the body of the caterpillars. She paid close attention to the right colours. Pinching up the little stones really helps the hand muscles to strengthen.

She was saying the numbers out loud while placing the counters

Sometimes she asked me to do it in turns.

I’ll put on the last one.

2. Apple counting

This activity is a part of the fruit unit among the various great free printables from Welcome to Mommyhood. (You can find the printables at the bottom of the blog post and the apple tree activity is on page 12. This printable is also free of charge)

3. Ice-cream counting fun

With the summertime here we just couldn’t avoid some ice-cream activities this summer either.

The FREE printable of this Ice-cream counting activity can be found on one of my favourite educational resource pages: The Measured Mom.

Just go to the page above and print the ice-cream and number cards (laminate them for durability – optional) and the counting can begin.

Counting the candies on the ice-cream

placing the right number on the cone

You can finish this activity with licking some ice-cream.

4. Count the coloured sticks

Colours have always been E.’s favourite. So we started matching colours quite early, when she was 13-14 months old. This activity involves colour sorting and counting as well. A year ago I made these coloured paper rolls for sorting colourful objects.

First, I put number 1, 2, 3 and 4 in front of each paper rolls and E. needed to put the exact number of coloured sticks in the right place. Then came the idea of skip counting:

If you liked these games, check out my earlier posts about numbers:

If you still want some more, have a look at my 123-number games collection on pinterest.

Rainbow, Pom-poms and shamrocks for St Patrick

More and more St. Patrick’s Day stuff. If you haven’t done anything that is colourful, shamrock-shaped or fluffy, then have a look at our collection.


Rainbow Name Puzzle (via Still Playing School)

What you need:

  • 7 coloured craft foam sheets (red, orange, yellow, pink, green, blue, purple)
  • printed rainbow template
  • 2 clips
  • 1 pin
  • scissors
  • marker

Still Playing School didn’t go into details how to cut the foam so they fit together nicely so I came up with my own idea.

I placed the printed rainbow template on the foam sheet and fixed it with 2 clips

Then I used the pin to pierce through the paper (and the foam sheet) along the line

You can see here that it is much easier to cut out the strips along the holes

 

It takes time but it’s worth it

Our foam rainbow with Patrick and rainbow on one side and my daughter’s full name on the other side.

When I first show her the strips she was puzzled and a little frightened as they were wriggling in my hand. But as soon as I put the colourful strips down on the table she loved them.

She needed to concentrate hard on putting them in the right order according to their size

 

In the end she spelled the letters then I read them out.

We’ll play more with it. Rainbow in the bathtub is on our list.

Pom-Pom Colour Selection with tongs

To extend our colour activity I gave E. some pom-poms of 3 colours (of the Irish flag): green, white and orange. With the tongs she separated them in 3 groups.
Easy to prepare and a popular activity with my daughter.

Number practice

I also wanted to do some tasks with numbers involved as my little one loves numbers. I was hesitating between these great number cards by Welcome to Mummyhood

and a number activity from Pinay Homeschooler’s St. Patrick’s Day Unit.

StPatrickDayTinyTots

As I couldn’t find nice and St. Patrick related (shamrock shaped or horseshoe) counters and I didn’t want to cut out numbers, I picked the latter.

From the unit above I printed the number cards and laminated them. From Christmas time I had some green counters.

E. did this activity with Daddy as we’d been having a bad cold. Although she’s better now I haven’t had time to relax a little and get my strength back. So I decided to take a little rest in the afternoon. I prepared everything for them in advance.

 

They named the object/things on the card. E. counted them and placed the counters on the right number. It took her 3 minutes to finish. She knows  her numbers. They left the cards on the table for me to have a look at the great work they’d done. How cute!

Heart-shaped Shamrock Leaves

I cut out a lot of heart shapes and some triangles. I used green construction paper and presented them like this with an example she can follow.

Daddy supervised this activity, too, and they had lots of fun. And did a little drawing as well.

 

As they put the shamrocks under one another I placed them in our St Patrick’s Day corner as a banner.

We’ve been doing loads of activities lately. Not only these ones but other fun tasks concerning our National Holiday coming on 15 March. I’ll come back with some Hungarian Revolution related activities for the Hungarian Moms. Stay tuned!

We do NOT celebrate Valentine’s Day anyway

February has arrived and Valentine’s Day is only 2 days away. In Hungary people didn’t celebrate it for a long time but nowadays it has become very popular. The only reason we deal with it at all is that E. can see a lot of shop windows where Valentine’s Day decorations are displayed and she is asking questions.

I’ve found some fun and useful activities online which have the symbols of this special occasion (hearts, roses, candies etc.) but the main focus is on something more educational.

In the last couple of days we’ve been working on these:

Valentine Patterns (from mrspspecialities.blogspot.com)

I downloaded the Valentine Patterns (freebie) and we cut them out together. This was the first time E. had been cutting properly, holding the scissors in the right way and actually cutting. What a breakthrough! I drew a smiley on her right hand thumb and she kept telling herself: 

– Smiley up and I can cut.

Then we sat down to finish the patterns.

Cracked heart and broken heart

She had no problems with the ABABAB patterns

Sweets or poops?

ABBABBABB was a little more difficult

Little and big hearts

ABCABC patters were challenging

But she got the hang of it by the end

Zig-zag, stripy and spotty hearts

Number heart match (numbers)

I’m getting more and more fascinated by a blog I’ve found recently. At Welcome to Mommyhood you can read about healthy foods, recipes for kids and toddler activities like the Valentine’s Day number matching. This activity is more about numbers than about Valentine’s Day.

I downloaded the printable, laminated and cut the hearts out. E. liked it a lot, though she missed the zero.

I gave her all the numbers from 1 to 20 as she is an “expert” at numbers, but if you are just getting to know the numbers, first give your child the numbers from 1-9 and later the bigger numbers. 19 and 20 were on a separate sheet, but we solved this problem easily. We just put them next to 18 🙂

Look at her face 🙂

 

 

Heart colour gradients (from Welcome to Mommyhood)

E. knows her colours well but I haven’t done an activity like this before. I found the heart colour gradient printable (free!) at Welcome to Mommyhood and I thought we’ll give it a try. As this was the first time we’d done it I gave her only 3 shades then 4, but not all the six.

We also played a memory game. We turned up 2 cards at a time and we needed to name which one is dark or light (I used the darkest and the lightest colours.)

 

 

We really need to practise it more. It was a hard task, though she enjoyed it. (No photos of the memory game… sorry)

My Funny Valentine (art)

Super Simple Learning offers you a free printable Valentine’s Day craft. You can make your own funny Valentine out of eyes, noses and mouths. A great number of other Valentine’s Day activities are available there, like colouring, action songs, connect the dots activities etc.

I picked My Funny Valentine as we could talk about body parts and colours, and we could use the glue for sticking. E. loves them all.

Here is the activity step by step:

 

1. Paint/colour the hearts (so they’ll dry until you get to the sticking part)

2. Colour the body parts

3. Mommy (or bigger kids themselves) can cut out the body parts

 

4. Use glue to stick the body parts on you heart(s)
5. Display it somewhere you and your child can rejoice at the final result

Extras: You can draw ears or hats/tiaras/crowns or add some presents in the other hand. You can also add a speech bubble and write in what your message is for your loved one. We didn’t do any of them as the activity was long enough for E. and she wanted to stick them on the door as soon as she finished with her hearts.

Button heart (art)

We are in the gluing phase. No matter what we glue it’s fun. So I drew 3 hearts on a sheet of paper and put some colourful buttons (that I found in my treasure box) in a bowl, plus the glue and a fun could start.

As we were doing some patterns I started the big heart with blue and white buttons and E. finished it.

 

Unfortunately we didn’t have enough buttons of the same colours so we needed to change the patter in the case of the smaller hearts.

E. had no patience to make more hearts so we stopped the activity. But the next day she asked me to do something with the other 3 hearts. I just threw some confetti, beads and leftover craft stuff in a bowl and give it to her to stick. I had 10-12 minutes of freedom.

 

 

Although we signed Valentine’s Day in our calendar we won’t celebrate it (no presents, no flowers, no chocolate etc.). It’s not our holiday…

Anyways, happy Valentine’s Day!

We love numbers – Numbers II.

Every time before E. goes to sleep we have this conversation (either in English or in Hungarian):

E.: – Mommy, numbers.
M.: – Which numbers?
E.: – The little numbers.
M.: – 1, 2, 3, …
E.: – No, Mommy. Zero….
M.: – Oh, yes, sorry. 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
E.: – Now the big numbers.
M.: – 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90
E.: – Hundreeeed (giggles)

She is so fascinated by numbers that at the age of 18 months she could read the numbers on her baby bottle from 10 to 280.

Let’s see some number games we play.

First of all, our favourite number songs:

Zero, zero, super hero

Ten in the bed

The new favourite: Ten Little Dinosaurs

The bottle top calculator is just as much fun as pushing the buttons on a real calculator.

 

 

What’s missing?

I found a quite difficult number task on www.firstgradebrain.com. (I just checked the link recently and it’s not there anymore. Sorry. I’ve put it on my to-do-list to make an activity like this) What comes between? This task is more for 4-5 year old kids, but we gave it a try. I printed the sheets laminated them and at first I just put one task in front of her with 3 possible options that can come between the two numbers.

Easy-peasy lemon squeezy

Much to my surprise it wasn’t very difficult for her. We did two more of this task then she started to order the numbers. All by herself.

 

 

 

There is nothing more to add 🙂

Ordering the numbers – Making big numbers

I printed the numbers from 1 to 10 in two copies. I coloured and laminated them and the fun could begin.

First, I put them in order, then she matched the other set.

We played a memory game with them. (There are ladybird stickers on one side of the cards so that you can’t see what is on the back)

Let’s start
I’ve found a match

With these numbers, A., our British nanny, played another game. She and E. made big numbers putting the numbers next to each other.

110

And some basic additions.

 

Watermelon seeds counting game

I used the watermelon seeds counting idea on Toddler Approved! which I really like following as they have great and easy-to-make ideas.

So I just made the watermelon slices out of a green foam sheet, a white and a red sheet. I glued the different coloured paper on top of each other.

Turning the slices right side up

On the back of the slices there are the numbers written. (the slices deliberately grow in size from 1 to 10 so there is more room for the seeds and in this way we can put the slices in growing order.)

counting

I picked raisins instead of the chocolate chips recommended in the Toddler Approved blog post. Healthier and they do not leave a mark. I put them in a box and the counting started.

One raisin rolled down

We can do many other things with the watermelon slices:

  • put them in order according to the numbers (or backwards)
This is four, Mommy
  • order them according to their sizes
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 …
  • throw a lot of raisins on a slice and eat up all the “seeds” that are not necessary in order to have the number of seeds on the slice as written on the back
    yummie
  • explain how to eat up all the raisins to someone who does not know this game
    there is one – look
    And this is how you scoff the raisins

Number stickers – Helping Little Mole build a house

I drew a brick wall and Little Mole’s head on a sheet of paper. Some bricks had the numbers on them from 0-10. On rectangle shaped empty stickers I wrote the numbers from 0-10. E. had to build the wall putting the stickers in the right places, on the matching number. She filled the empty bricks with empty stickers. (Sorry about these photos, they were taken by my mobile.)

(You can buy these stickers at a “one euro shop” – well, in Hungary at the Chinese markets or shops)

This idea has endless varieties: with the ABC, with big numbers, matching animals, clothes, everyday objects, playing with the colours, copying patterns etc. If you have any idea how to expand this game share it with me in the comments.

Books – some fun books to finish with

Dora the Explorer – A Birthday for Boots (By Scholastic)

In this Dora book, she and her friends buy some goody bags for Boots’ birthday party, but Swiper always takes away one every page.

I bought this book when E was just 1 year old and she loved looking at the pictures. You can talk about a lot of things in the pictures. There can be a lot of counting (goody bags, candle sticks, balloons etc.) but also naming objects connected to a birthday party.

My very first book of numbers by Eric Carl

This book is divided in two parts horizontally and your child needs to find and match the fruits in the bottom part with the numbers (written in numerals and also represented with black squares). As E. has passed two years old, she doesn’t need help, but around last Christmas when she got this book she needed help with the page turning and matching.

Flip me! Counting 1-10 (By Buster Books) You can read the full review of it here. I’m quoting just the essential part of it:

“Counting 1-10 has pages divided into two panels, which kids can rearrange to match. One side has photographs of objects to count <dolls, dinosaurs, sand toys, cars etc.>, along with words identifying the number and name of the object; the other side shows the numerals from 1-10.”

Once we took this flip book on a longer car journey. While she was looking at it, E. threw up. Use it some other places. It’s quite nice.

As numbers and counting are in E’s focus, I’ll come back with some more number games in the near future.