Earth Day Patterning – free printable

Celebrating our Planet on Earth Day (22 April) is a good occasion to have another patterning activity with the well-known symbols like the recycling sign, bins, bottles, newspaper, plants and the globe itself. In the past we did quite a lot of patterning activities on Valentine’s Day or on St. Patrick’s Day and it has always been a hit with E.

(The link to download the free printable is at the end of this post)

As soon as she saw the prepared material she sat down to work on it. First, we named what she can see in the picture. She could name them all. She didn’t understand why there was a tree among the picture cards:

E.: – Why is the tree here?
M.: – Because they make the oxygen for us.
E.: – Yes, and we need air.

She didn’t ask about the flower, though.
When she found the water drop picture, she simply stated: – We need water too.

She moved from the easier ABAB pattern…

 

…to a little bit more difficult AABAAB and ABBABB patterns

 

We left the most difficult to the end: ABCABC But she enjoyed it very much, although it was hard for her to concentrate this long.

The four sheets were long enough for her. She didn’t want to make her own patterns on the empty grid. Maybe at another time. But you can do it 🙂

Download the Earth Day pattern activity for free on this link. And have fun!

Advent Calendar Activities Days 14-20

I know we are past Christmas time but I was busy with giving birth 😉 So here come some more Advent activities we did with E. waiting for Christmas (2015) to come:

  1. Snowflake out of popsicle sticks (Day 14)

    I decided to give some Christmas presents to the nursery teachers (2), the dinner lady (1) and the afternoon nurse (1). In the gift there was a bath bomb, a box of chocolates and something that E. made for them. You can see in the earlier advent post the Christmas baubles she made with pompoms and jingle bells.

    For the other two presents we prepared 2 snowflake ornaments that could be a great decoration for the Christmas tree.

    What you need (for 1 snowflake):
    – 3 popsicle sticks or spatulas (you can buy them in a box of 100 at the chemist’s or in crafts shops but the latter is more expensive)
    – blue and white paint
    – paint brush
    – shiny sprinkle (I had tiny, blue and silver stars)
    – sliver snowflakes (optional)
    – gray ribbon

    How to do it:

    Before she started I glued 3 popsicle sticks together in the shape of a snowflake.

    E. painted the popsicle sticks white and blue. She also experimented to mix the 2 colours to get a light blue hue. She painted both sides of the 2 snowflakes.

    While the paint was wet she scattered some sprinkle on them. This was the time she had enough. She did a great and thorough job with the painting and the sprinkling.

    We needed to wait for the paint to dry, so I put the snowflakes aside to return to them later when they’re dry. She didn’t want to do anything else with them later on, so I needed to finish them. I added the sparkly, silver snowflakes at the end of the stick and also attached a silver ribbon on top so that they can be hung on the Christmas tree.

    Unfortunately, the photo I took of the final result is blurry.

    She helped me put the presents together. She also made a Christmas card to each little packet with stickers and she traced my letters inside but signed them all by herself. This is what they looked:

  2. Roll and Count Christmas (Day 15)

    After the crafty day we played a counting game. I found this activity in the Christmas Tot pack by 3dinosaur. I printed pages 37/38.  I laminated the counting sheet and added green marbles for the counting.

    Opening the activity pack

    I didn’t make the die but cut out the pictures and stuck them on a big Styrofoam die we have at home.

    The whole family played. At the very beginning we all guessed which picture will have 5 counters for the first time. Then we rolled the die and placed the marbles on the mat.

  3. Window stickers (Day 16)

    I didn’t need to prepare much for this activity and still, it was fun. What’s more, this one also involved the whole family.

    I bought (at KIK) winter and Christmas themed window stickers. I just presented to E. and she did the job. Actually she did a great job decorating her windows.

  4. Christmas tree decoration with play dough (Day 17)

    I printed a Christmas tree and coloured it, then laminated it. I put out some play dough, and Christmas related moulds like a candle, a bell, a circle shape for the baubles, a star etc.


    The fun began. E. decorated the Christmas tree and was really proud of the final product.

  5. Christmas patterning  (Day 18)

    I made the Christmas pattern activity back in 2014. We hadn’t got to play with it then but a year later. The set needs retouching and after that I’ll add it as a free printable.

  6. Decorate the Christmas trees with pompoms – counting activity (Day 19)

    I found this counting activity on one of my fav blogs: Welcome to Mommyhood.

    I printed and laminated the tree cards and provided E. with small, colourful pompoms.

    She ordered the number cards then placed the pompoms on them accordingly.

    She wasn’t too fascinated by this activity. It wasn’t too challenging for her, though she liked the pompoms, which she grouped according to colours at the end of the activity.

  7. Roll and build a snowman (Day 20)

    Here is the link to the printable: roll and build a snowman. (ateachingmommy has a Snow and ice pack, which is more than worth downloading including a lot of winter activities for preschoolers)

    You just need to print the snowman parts. It is optional to laminate them but I did as I want to play with it more and probably next year two kids will test its durability.

    E. selected the different shapes and grouped them before the game.

     The hat suited the dog too 🙂

    I presented them with a big die then we could start playing. E. called her Daddy to play:
    – Daddy, come. A lot of people have to play this game.

    So the three of us played.

    We rolled the die and got a body part, a hat or a scarf depending on the number we threw. The first person to finish the snowman was the winner.

    If your little one doesn’t like it if he or she is not the winner, you can build the snowman as a group.

    I’ll be back with 4 more Advent activities you might like and wish to try next Christmas time.

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.

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.