Flags of the world

E. was on pins and needles to get the Flags of the World Book and Jigsaw set as she’d been quite crazy about flags. And it finally arrived thanks to BookFairy.

This was the second time she’d got interested in the flags of the world, and again this interest started with a song or two from youtube:

Countries of the world – Europe (there are the other continents available)

Tour of the world (There aren’t too many flags drawn in this long video but there are a lot of fascinating information about countries of the world)

Back to our puzzle present:

The box contains 300 pieces of puzzles and a colouring book in which you can colour the flags, plus there are interesting facts and other information about the countries, like the meaning of coats of arms and other motifs on flags, the story of the flag, the meaning of colours etc. The puzzle pieces are sturdy and the colours are vivid.

 

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To be perfectly honest I was a little taken aback when I saw the 300 hundred pieces lying on the floor with all the bright colours of the flags (My knowledge of flags are scarce, what’s more, I’m not very good at puzzles either), but I showed no signs of worries to E.

It was Little L.’s nap time so we had about 2 hours to put the puzzles together.

E. got really excited from the beginning. She had a quick look at the book and we jumped into the middle of it.

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She didn’t know how to start so I advised her to find the corner and edge puzzles that would give us the frame. And so we did.

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E. was amazing throughout the whole process. She recognised almost all of the flags and countries. It was very helpful for me to have the country names below the flags. (For her it didn’t really matter, she knew them anyway –  click to listen what she tells you about the flag of Lybia).

Finding a piece gave her great pleasure and excitement. (If you click on the link you can see her find a big section of the puzzle)

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There were times when her attention slackened off but I can’t blame her as it was a task that required great and long-term focus and attention. She still did a great job concerning that.

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Not to mention we were rather under pressure as for time. We couldn’t finish the puzzle within 2 hours. Little L. woke up and joined us (which was a drawback rather but she was so cute and enthusiastic to help). She could actually put in some pieces herself.

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The whole project took about 3-3.5 hours for the 2 (3) of us. When it was done E. was really proud and told me we needed to show it to Daddy when he got home. We slid it under the carpet to protect it from damage and Little L.

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The colouring book got into our hands the next day. E. doesn’t like colouring that much but when I advised her to colour the flags of English-speaking countries she liked the idea a lot. Her favourite flags are the ones with special shapes, or with speacial motifs. So she went on colouring some more flags like Nepal and Santa Lucia.

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We also coloured together, she chose Kiribati for me while she was colouring Solomon Islands.

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She didn’t colour much of the flags in the book, though she was reading it a lot. (Click on the link to listen to E.’s reading out about the Union Jack)

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Update 02/2019

We moved house and we come across the puzzle and book box while unloading one of our boxes. She was supposed to help me put books on the shelf, but instead she sat down to read the flag book… again.

And here she’s reading about the German flag.

 

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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.

More fun with the ABC

E. has an unquenchable thirst for the letters and the alphabet. Here are 2 more activities we’ve done recently.  

1. Giant alphabet puzzle
2. Salt dough letters

– ABC giant puzzle

I was lucky enough to get hold of this giant alphabet puzzle in a secondhand toy shop. No piece is missing. There are one or two pieces that are a little stained but otherwise it is in great condition.

When E. is putting the puzzle pieces together she is singing the ABC song or we need to listen to it. (A money-saving trick: you do not need to buy a lot of English music CDs. Just turn the youtube videos into mp3 music files with a converter)

While we are putting the puzzle together we name the pictures like A is for apple (like in the picture) and add some more words starting with that letter: ant or angel or antler. (I usually come up with words that she knows but if not we always have paper and pencils around to draw the unknown thing, or if we have it at home we go and have a look at it)

We have some foam letters which are the same size as the capital letters written on our giant puzzle. In the picture below E. is placing the foam letters on the puzzle. It was her own idea.

I use this alphabet puzzle even with adult students; it helps a lot with spelling and pronunciation.

– Salt dough letters

When E. turned 2 and a half last November we made her the very first home-made salt dough (1 cup of salt, 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of boiling hot water). And it was a hit.

I found this  cheap set of ABC cookie cutters in a One-Dollar shop. It has just one problem: letter S is the other way round.

spooning the ingredients

Not only was she learning/pracising words like kneading, rolling pin, mix and stir, add, measure but also strengthened her arms and hand muscles.

my little helper
First, the letters need to be in the right order of the alphabet

Cutting
E. helped to put the letters on a baking paper that I’d place on a tray and we put them all in the oven to dry (at 50 °C).

Next day the painting started:

We used one colour at a time, but when we did this project this year colour mixing kicked in to make new colours like purple, brown or orange.
Ever since we have been playing with the letter as they are lying on E.’s shelf in the living room.