Peony petals suncatcher

I’ve seen tons of suncatcher ideas on pinterest and I’ve always wanted to try it with E. As the bunch of peonies I’d got from my mum for Mother’s Day started to lose their petals, the right time came to make our first sun catcher.

As it was a sudden idea when E. started to play (collect and cut) the fallen petals I didn’t have time for too much preparation.

I took out our sticky paper (originally it’s self-adhesive school book cover) and drew a flower on it (the transparent backside) with a permanent marker. (You can cut a flower shape outline out of paper and stick on the sticky side but I needed to be on the double). I pulled off the white part and fixed it on the table (with cello tape). I also presented some leftover yarn and green leaves on a tray apart from the petals.

E. did the sticking.

 

I wanted to talk about the different parts of the flowers but she wasn’t interested. Maybe at another time. She was too busy with the sticking.

Then when she told me she’d finished I put another sticky sheet over it (sticky side facing down) and cut along the flower outline.

The last thing E. needed to do was to stick the suncatcher on the window (with some Cello-tape, but you can also hang it)

I’m sure we’ll do some more suncatcher crafts.

Colour changing flower experiment

As a part of our flower project in spring we also dealt with a little science. More precisely, how flowers absorb water through their stems reaching the petals. This colour changing carnation experiment gave me the idea, but there were some glitch in the matrix and we needed to do it twice. Let’s see how.

The flower experiment idea is great, however, we did something wrong or were just unlucky this time.

First of all, what you need to the project:

  • 4-5 white flowers of any kind (chrysanthemum didn’t work very well, carnations were better)
  • food colouring (4-5 colours, or you can mix them)
  • transparent glasses or viols
  • water
  • measuring cup
  • spoon
  • towel for spills
  • scissors
How to do it:
  • prepare everything on a tray for you child and she/he can do all the activities
  • add water to the glasses/viols
  • add the food colouring and mix them with a spoon
  • cut the stem of the flowers (10-15 cms long)
  • make the flowers stand in the glasses/vases

  • wait… minimum 1 or 2 days
In case of the carnations the colouring of the petals could have be seen the next day,
but in the first trial the chrysanthemum took 3 and a half days to show any signs of pigmentation.

While E was preparing (pouring water, cutting stems, mixing colours) the experiment I asked her what she thinks will happen. She didn’t have a clue.

– I don’t know Mommy, You say.

Then I explained what the coloured water will do:
– The stem will suck up the water, like you suck it up through a straw. (Then she imitated sucking 🙂 )
– The coloured water will be absorbed. (she was digesting the new word)
– The water will reach the petals and they will turn red (I pointed at the flower standing in red water), green (I pointed at the flower standing in green water), blue (I pointed at the flower standing in blue water) and yellow (I pointed at the flower standing in yellow water).

In the first round after a week the chrysanthemums started to wilt so we could not observe any more colours on the petals.

In the second round of the experiment, while I was cleaning, I put the carnations on the floor light-mindedly. Then E. accidentally kicked them over. So after 5 days our second flower experiment was over.  Anyways, we could see the pigmentation of the petals somehow.

She enjoyed preparing the experiment more than the result. Who could blame her after all…?

Let me know if you try this experiment and have better results, let’s say, after 10-12 days.

Easter egg crafts

There’s no Easter without eggs. Egg painting, egg making, blowing out eggs, eating eggs, sticking egg, decorating with eggs and so on.

Here are a few things we’ve been doing with eggs lately.

Decor tape eggs

Just draw an egg and supply your little one with some decor tape or washi tape. Be prepared: tape will be everywhere. In hair, on clothes and some on your drawn egg, too. If you want to save a pretty decor tape, do NOT give it into the hands of a 3 year old (or below).

A lot of cutting is involved, which is great practice for little hands.
If you put it around the house all your guests can admire the final product.

 

Dot marker eggs

The original plan was to follow some patterns (ABAB or ABBABB), but it didn’t work that way. I plan something and E. thinks differently. So we went with the flow. Some hand painting, making fingerprints, drawing lines, colouring freely etc.

You can print or draw and egg shape and provide your child with dot-markers

Pom-pom painting 

This is a variation of the dot marker painting. If you don’t have dot markers use pom-pom and clothes pegs.

First, E. started to use the colours one by one (although she was drawing with the pom-poms like with a paintbrush; she refused to make dots like with the dot marker)

Then colour mixing kicked it

I was crazy enough to let her sprinkle a little glitter over the wet, painted eggs (well, never again, it’s more than MESSY). I must admit she helped me happily with the cleaning up.

 

After they have dried I cut them out, added a ribbon and stuck the on the door frame in our living-room.

Of course, we had some traditional egg painting (with blown out eggs and acrylic paint, which E. calls “the big girl paint”). On Sunday during church time, children could paint eggs. There and then we tried wax crayon drawing and painting on eggs for the first time which is beautiful. I have a plan for next year’s egg painting.

According to the Hungarian tradition, we also decorated a bunch of pussy willow (which we simply call catkins) with eggs and other ornaments.

I hope you’ve had an EGG-cellent Easter!

 

Spring nature hunt with a muffin tray

Spring has arrived, together with some rain but luckily today it’s been sunny so we went out for a spring nature hunt.

I got the idea on mamapapabubba.com. This blog is written by a Canadian mum, Jen and she’s got great ideas I love stealing. The spring nature hunt is one of them.

So I was in a rush to prepare everything, because in the park where I was planning to do the nature hunt the grass is growing very high and it is likely to be mowed in the near future. Then we would lose all the wild flowers, high grass and our fun activity.

I’ve got and old muffin tray. It was in a very poor condition, so I sprayed it gold. This served as the receptacle (= a new word for me meaning: a container for storing or putting objects in) Then I asked Daddy to print the pictures of some nature items that I’d put together the previous night.

Our native nanny, A. arrived at 10.30 today and we were ready to set off.

E. is identifying what to look for

At firs E. was carrying the tray around, then we put it in the push chair.

E. is not a great fan of walking (she prefers to be carried), but this time she was running around looking for the items on the list, filling up the tray.

I thought it wouldn’t be easy to find seeds, so I took some wheat seeds with me from home, but A. was very attentive and found some. I didn’t need to fake anything 🙂

wheat heads

I knew exactly where we could find some moss. (E.’s favourite word from the list)

We also bumped into some bees and beetles we needed to observe closely.

 

One of E.’s favourite flowers is the dandelion and its clock. Now she didn’t blow the seeds away, but collected them in the tray.

 

E. succeeded in tucking a big horse chestnut tree leaf in the hole. Well done, girl!

We found a shamrock with four leaves. We’ll be lucky 🙂

Finding soil fascinated E. the most.

It was hard to find buds, but we managed in the end.

At home A. and E. went on to read E.’s nature book she got for Easter.

 

I’d like to thank Jen for the great idea. We spent a lovely hour with searching, enjoying the sunshine and learning a lot about nature.

Walking in the park in Enlgish – birds, trees and flowers

Every morning we go out for a walk. E. is the most attentive at this time of the day. At the beginning I was rather tense talking in English while we were walking and meeting other people, but by now I’ve got used to it.

On our way I name whatever we see. I try to pay attention to which direction she looks and what she sees. As I’m behind her, it’s not easy. So what I say is:

“Look, there’s a pigeon. She’s eating.” or “The pigeons have flown away.”
“The pigeons have flown away.”

“Can you see that big tree? The leaves are all green.”

Pansies in the flowerbed
“Let’s smell the flowers. Atishoo. Atishooooo.” (Here she smiles or even laughs at this.)
“Look, this flower is purple, and this one is white. And your favourite colour is here. It’s yellow.”
“What is buzzing? It’s a bee, flying from one flower to the other.”
We were blowing dandelions: “Look, mommy’s blowing the dandelion.” (minimum 10 times 🙂 )
“I’ll taste this blowball.”

If we see a dog: “Look, what’s coming? A doggy. (She screams or says da-da)

If we go on a bumpy road I make it even bumpier and shake the pushchair a little: “Bumpy, bumpy, bumpy” (She enjoys it as well and grabs the sides of the pushchair hard)

 

Two pigeons

Today we have counted three pigeons and two doves: “One pigeon, two pigeons, three pigeons.””Are those pigeons? Nooooo. They’re doves. One dove, two doves”

These are some of the example, but as usual I’m talking to her continuously about what we see around us. She likes touching (and picking) leaves from the bushes. She is pointing at things so I name them (flowers, animals, people etc.)

Of course, I don’t know a lot of flowers and tree types, but I’m working on collecting some of the most common ones, which can be found in our area. I don’t like the long lists of vocabulary which include ALL the plant names. We need a small part of them only. The other thing is that I, myself, really need to learn them.

I don’t believe saying only “flower” or “tree” when we name plants is natural. In Hungarian I name them exactly (the ones I know, as I have deficiency in this field even in my mother tongue).

So here is a small collection of useful vocabulary concerning nature or rather wildlife in Budapest parks:

Birds:

crow
dove

 

blackbird
house sparrow
great tit 😉
swallow
woodpecker
magpie

 

English
Magyar
magpie
szarka
sparrow
veréb
crow
varjú
swallow
fecske
pigeon
galamb
dove
gerle
blackbird
feketerigó
great tit
széncinege
woodpecker
fakopáncs
warbler
énekesmadár

Trees:

acacia
willow
horse-chestnut
poplar
beech tree
oak
sycamore
English
Magyar
chestnut tree
vadgesztenyefa
acacia
akácfa
  beech tree
bükkfa
oak tree
tölgyfa
willow
szomorúfűz
sycamore
platán
pine
fenyő
birch tree
nyírfa
poplar
nyárfa

Flowers:

forget-me-not
daisies
daffodils

 

dandelion or the so-called “blowball” or “clock”
dandelion in full bloom
geranium
flowering almond
golden chain
hyacinth
lavender
grape hyacinth
violet pansy
peony
of course, tulips
lilac
English
Magyar
lilac
orgona
golden chain
aranyeső
dandelion
gyermekláncfű, pitypang
daisy
margaréta
forget-me-not
nefelejcs
pansy
árvácska
begonia
begónia
tulip
tulipán
flowering almond
babarózsa
daffodil
nárcisz
hyacinth
jácint
geranium
muskátli
peony
pünkösdi rózsa
lavender
levendula
grape hyacinth
fürtös gyöngyike