Summer Poster

I have less and less time to write new posts on the blog, but one morning I had a sudden idea of recollecting our summer memories in some ways and I really need to share it. E. is going to a new school in a week. I’m 100% sure the first question will be: What did you do in the summer?

I can see my shy, 7-year old black out as if nothing had happened all summer.

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I came up with this poster idea, where Little L. can use a gluestick she loves so much. I had printed some holiday photos, cut them up (you can do it with your kids, but as Little L’s concentration span is still very short, I rather cut them up myself).

I also cut a piece of paper off our huge IKEA paper roll and provided the girls with markers and the gluesticks.

As it’s still warm and sunny we did the sicking project outside.

They were not very into it at the beginning but finally they got the hang of it.

First, they were looking at the photos and grouped them on the basis of different locations and programmes. They chatted about where we were, what we were doing there both in English and Hungarian (most of the holidays had taken place in Hungary.)

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Then the sticking started.

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I wrote Our summer 2019 on the top. E. traced some letter as my marker was getting to dry out.

They decorated the headline with a sun, clouds and I added a smiley. Little L. drew waves under it, plus added ice-cream at the bottom. E. drew some trees and wrote some headings.

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Little L. had difficulty gluing the smaller pictures so I helped her a bit. And after a while she lost interest.

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The final product turned out really well. Although they were not as interested in the summer poster project as I wished for, this was the first thing they showed Daddy when he got home.

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Jump&Fun Camp with Little L

Little L.’s first English summer camp has just started. In this blogpost I’m going to collect the happenings and activities.

First of all, I’m also at the camp as an English-speaking helper next to my university mate A, who organises the Jump&Fun camp for non-native English speaker kids. Apart from us, our British nanny C. is there too, together with a Hungarian, kindergarten nanny to help around the kids.

The age group in the camp was really varied ranging from 2,5 up to 13,5. We needed to concentrate on working with the kids in smaller groups according to their age. It was quite a challenge to integrate them, but we sorted it out smoothly. It was exciting to see how well kids interacted with their peers and with older/younger kids.

The location of the camp was pretty central in Budapest. A playhouse provided two rooms for us.
(All images in this post © 2019 GA, LE – please do not download or share)

Day 1

The first day turned out great. We arrived at the playhouse location around 8.30. There was a getting-to-know each other game with parents and kids. L. was silent all through the ice-breaking game and didn’t want to speak to anyone, so I was her English voice.

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We got a very practical red hat and Jump&Fun rubber bracelets as presents. L. chose the blue bracelet (her favourite colour), of course. After that A. started a Jump&Fun session with the whole group: 22 kids out of which 2 are her own. There were a lot of singing (Hello Everyone) and playing involved with balls (Roll the balls) and moving around (Green light Go!) that the kids loved. The session took about 35 minutes.

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Around 10 we left for the playground with the kids and had real fun there too. The weather is very hot this summer but this playground was mostly in the shadow. The kids played in smaller groups at different parts of the playground (jungle gym, sand pit, swings, football pitch, see-saw etc). The teachers who were supervising them joined in the kids’ game and talked to them in English only. It was fantastic to see how these little children understood almost everything and quite a lot of them were able to interact in English as well thanks to taking part in A’s weekly Jump&Fun sessions and the English time they spend with their parents at home.

First, I was with a group of kids at the jungle gym and the slide where I helped them climb up and slide down etc. commenting on every detail of what they were doing. I also moved with some of them to the swings where I was singing them swing songs and other songs that came to my mind.

Last but not least they cooked me sand cakes and lunches and it was so sweet to see how much they were enjoying their playtime. Sometimes Little L was disappointed that I didn’t focus on her alone, but she also had lots of fun.

We had a short snack/singing break then the kids went back to playing.

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Lunchtime was at about 12.30 where everything went in English too: bathroom time, serving the food, wishing them bon appetite, helping with the spills,  etc. Lunch was ordered and delivered hot for the kids. The amount was too big for children and there was plenty of leftovers unfortunately. I brought our own food from home due to our special diet.

The little children went to take a nap in another room where A. read them a short story and sang them lullabies while the older kids who do not sleep anymore together with C., the native nanny, had some activities and play time in English.

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After this we left the first camp day and went to Grandma to take a nap as E. has her first German school camp at her new school she’s starting in September and we needed to pick her up in time early afternoon. Little L wanted to stay at the camp for the nap time too, which is a clear sign she was enjoying herself.

But at the camp they were very active in the afternoon too.

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Day 2

After arrival the kids had breakfast and a Jump&Fun session with lots of English songs, games and moving around.

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Everything went in English: everyday activities like offering food, washing hands, reading books, singing songs while getting ready for going out etc.

All the children understand nearly every instruction, but most of them answered in Hungarian. Gently I could direct some of them to say some sentences (requests, thank yous and other simple interactions) but they knew a lot of songs and whole books by heart in English. It was amazing to see other kids feeling comfortable in English not just mine.

Later we headed to the park to play and splash in the water. (It wasn’t my favourite part as it was a kind of public fountain and I’m a germaphobe) The kids looooooved it. Again, we were spending time with the kids talking to them in English, singing to/with them songs about splashing, the sun and the summer. (Oh Mr Sun for example)
Older kids played with C, the British nanny, games like What’s the time Mr Wolf, Duck, duck, goose, Colour shark and other playground games (Check out this book about playground games.)

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The ones who got tired could rest on the blankets and play Dobble or other quiet games.

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Lunch was at the same time as the previous day. Little L wanted to stay for the nap time, but I had to stay with her for a long time and finally she managed to fall asleep. During naptime I played with the older kids. The topic was All about me, so we played with body parts, clothes, feelings, the game called Simon Says. The kids drew around themselves and we made a Summer Suzy and Winter Willy picture, which they enjoyed a lot and added several details to the drawing, like jewellery, bags, a crown and other accessories.

Going home was a rush. After nap time it took quite a while to leave the camp with Little L and we were late for picking up E. Unfortunately we couldn’t stay for the afternoons at the camp.

Day 3

Around breakfast some kids were working on the books that everyone got titled All about me. We were talking about the same topic as yesterday but from different perspective, plus the book offered fun sticker time for the younger kids.

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Some other kids who didn’t feel like working in the activity book, painted a magic picture using only water. Still, the painting turned wonderfully colourful.

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In the morning while A. was having her Jump&Fun session with the younger kids I was making faces with the older ones. Little L stayed with me of course 🙂 and made her own face as well. This activity comes from the Flying Tiger shop; a book of face templates of different kinds with tons of body parts and accessory stickers. We made some really funny faces. The kids were commenting what they added, finally they talked about the faces they’d made and had a good laugh.

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We left after lunch to pick E. up from her school camp in time.

The afternoon was spent with a lot of arts and crafts, more Jump and Fun sessions and a lot of playtime in English until the parents came to pick up their children.

Trace-your-hand animals

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I can draw myself 🙂

 

Day 4-Day 5

To be honest, I was low on energy at this point by the end of the day so I stopped writing daily notes. Still here are some fun moments from the last two days of the camp (which had more or less the same schedule as the other days).

Playground time

Relay races in the park

Pizza for lunch

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Fireworks painting

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Making prop for the show

End of camp show
(a Jump&Fun session with all the children, and an act with the bigger kids performing Sugarlump and the Unicorn by Julia Donaldson). Both the kids and the parents enjoyed it very much.

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At the very end of the camp kids got 2 books best suited for their age out of these beautiful Usborne books:

Apart from the baseball cap, a rubber bracelet, they also received a balloon, and an eggshaker, a certificate and a group photo of the camp:

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All in all, the camp was absolutely fantastic, active and full of English time for the kids. It’s very difficult to work together with so many children (I’m only used to my 2 girls and they ARE often rather tiring) but it was very rewarding and energising. It’s absolutely wonderful to see these little children being able to interact in English and having loads of fun on their way of acquiring the English language with ease. Thank you for the great experience and all the fun!

 

 

Ocean animals foam stickers

E. got a pack of ocean themed foam stickers. She got so excited that I had to find out a something so she could stick them somewhere immediately.

I wasn’t in a very creative mode, I just gave her a sheet of blue construction paper and I joined her drawing some underwater scene.

We were just drawing and sticking… simple and great fun. Just what she wanted to do

The bottom of the ocean is ready: plants, floating algae, rocks and a sparkly starfish

Some animals at the bottom, some are floating, and a dolphin is jumping out:

 

Art in action on a messy table:

Finished:

E. took a photo of my ocean scene:

 

She took out another sheet and made another ocean scene:


Vocabulary used:
crab
octopus
seahorse
dolphin
starfish
shell
seaweed
coral
(a school of) fish
rock
algae
sand
swimming
floating
jumping

I guess I need to buy another set of foam stickers 🙂

 

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.

"Amimals" – in zoos

Going to the zoo was always my favourite activity as a child (still love it today) so I could hardly wait for E. to get at least a little bit interested. And the time has come.

Our first time to the Budapest zoo was when she was 6 months old. It was more fun for me than for her. She had a look at the camels (and smiled when saw them pee) and the farmyard and then fell asleep. She only woke up for nursing (which I managed in the disabled loo) then went back to sleep again.

But now as she is over 1 (15 months old more precisely) she takes pleasure in walking around and looking at animals.

Visiting relatives in Debrecen gave us the sudden idea to visit the zoo there. It was actually a great idea. We all loved it. We were already in the zoo for half an hour (saw some parrots, giraffes and monkeys) when I realised what a good occasion would this be to use English (our Hungarian relatives didn’t accompany us). So we just sang our song to signal the change in using languages and continued our animal adventure in English.

As we were walking around, we described everything to her in English (and as usual she was repeating everything like a parrot):

  • what animals we saw (turtles, a hippo, penguins  – her favourites, more monkeys, laughing doves, roosters and hens, camels, goats, ostriches and lions)
  • what they looked like (“Look, the camel has two big humps”; “Wow, this rooster has a huge red comb on his head”)
  • what sounds they gave (roar, squeak, cock-a-doodle-do, coo-coo etc.)
  • what the animals were served for dinner (fruits, vegetables, mouse, rabbit etc.)

At the end of our visit we found a wooden playground where there were a lot of animals. E.’s favourite was the caterpillar. She climbed on it and rode it for about 15 minutes. We also counted and named the caterpillar’s legs, eyes, mouth and antennae.

Our second English tour in the zoo was in Budapest with our native nanny, A.
I learnt some new animal names (e.g.:cassowary) and we had a wonderful day with a lot of English (I tried to stay in the background and let A. and E. interact with each other a lot). The photos speak for themselves.

E.’s favourite place was the Butterfly House, where we could see how butterflies come out of their pupa, and of course, there were plenty of different types of butterflies flying around, eating oranges or just resting on the plants. We had to go back once again before leaving the zoo. E. was running around and one could see on her little face how amazed she was. Her favourite animals are butterflies at the moment.

Morpho peleides butterfly – blue on the inside
E.’s pointing at the butterfly she liked the most, saying: “orange”

After the zoo experience I found a nice page where the metamorphosis of a butterfly can be seen quite nicely. So I printed it and E.”coloured” it 🙂 with my help.

We also watched the seal show at 11 o’clock. A big crowd gathered to see the seals but everything was explained in Hungarian only. (Sorry A., I didn’t interpret it at all 😦  )

E. was fascinated by the ball (and not the seal…)

 

Baby Giraffe

E. was sleeping when we went to see the Neanderthals. It’s a relatively new exhibition of a (wax) Neanderthal family. This little boy with the cave drawing was my favourite.

After E. woke up we had some lunch (vegetable dish for E. and sandwiches for A. and myself – I wish E. hadn’t said “people” for the first time while I put a spoonful of her dish into her mouth)

 

Flamingoes

We also went to see the baby elephant, but E. was more interested in a turtle shell:

Another favourite place was the traditional Hungarian farmyard. Rabbits were E.’s favourite. We had to return for a second visit. E. was repeating the words like “rabbit”, “hop”, “carrot” and “apple” all the way through. E. had an incident with the foal, which wanted to eat her shoes.

All in all, we enjoyed ourselves to a great extent and will return to practise our English as well as having fun around “amimals” – as E. says.