Fruit, veggies and colours

L. is always gets interested in whatever her big sister is crazy about. This time fruit and veggies.

Little L.’s attention span is still quite short so the long planting procedure was too much for her. Therefore I decided to make her busy with fruit and veggies in another way.

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I found this lovely free printable on food at Life over C’s which is a huge pack of several activites. I chose the one in which the child needs to decide the colour of the fruit and veggies on the card. The original activity recommends using clothes pegs to mark the right answer but L. has difficulties in using it all by herself so I decided to give her decor stones of the same colours as she needed to identify.

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She did this activity with me and with our native nanny too. She enjoyed it so much for quite a long time (8-10 minutes per occasion).

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After shopping at the market I gave her the real vegetables. She was fascinated to see, touch and even smell them.

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The pack contains a memory game set. I used it a little differently. I cut up only the half of the cards and L. needed to recognise and match the fruit and vegetables on the bigger sheet. This activity was a hit too, although she is not like her sister, who could do educational tasks forever.

If your kid is bigger you can select plenty of fun activities (number recognition, puzzles, memory game) within the topic, food on the link above.

Enjoy you fruit and veggies.

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Over 100 words

E. turned 16 months on Monday and I am not exaggerating if I say she can use much more than 100 words in each language (Hungarian and English).
The calculation was done by D. He added up all the functional language (thanking, asking, giving, objecting, greetings etc.) and words of different topics we’ve been dealing with (see the collection bellow) and the sum must be over 100 words, getting closer to 200.
Now I’m collecting the ones that E. uses confidently in the right context (and not just parroting them or not the ones she understands because in this case there are a thousand words, I guess). Of course, these words and expressions are not 100 % clear. (She tends to pronounce the “k”  sound  “p”, the “g” sound “b” or the vowels sometimes melt into one another). Still, it’s her great achievement.
Now I’m trying to focus on her English only:
 


Peek-a-boo

Functional language:

  • Thank you
  • Please
  • Pick it up
  • Here you are
  • There (if she wants to go somewhere)
  • Let’s go
  • Come on
  • Bye-bye
  • Hi/Hello
  • Don’t like it
  • Like it
  • Cheers (when drinking)
  • Up
  • Out (of the playpen or high chair)
  • not comfy (on the potty)
  • Oops (when something is fallen)
  • Oh, no! (when something goes wrong)
  • Peek-a-boo (when she hides behind the curtain)

Family members:

  • mommy
  • daddy
  • granny
  • papa (for grandpa)
  • baby
  • + names of our family members (7 people), our native nanny (A.) and my best friend (B.) 

Animals: (if she doesn’t know the name of the animal she says the sounds they make)

  • doggie
    Our poor mixed-breed
  • froggie
  • cat/kitty
  • cow
  • sheep
  • kangaroo
  • hippo
  • bear
  • mouse
  • rat
  • panda
  • butterfly
  • ladybird
  • bee
  • pig
  • duck
  • ant
  • turtle
  • whale
  • dino

Fruit:

Window pictures
  • apple
  • pear
  • grapes (a bunch of grapes)
  • banana
  • kiwi
  • orange
  • plum
  • lemon
  • cherries
  • strawberries
  • apricot
  • peach
  • tomato
  • berry

Vegetable:

  • aubergine
  • onion
  • potato
  • broccoli
  • mushroom
  • pumpkin

Other foods:

water
  • cheese
  • bread
  • salami
  • sausage
  • honey
  • water
  • milk
  • mayonnaise
  • ketchup
  • butter
  • yogurt
  • coffee
  • ice creme
  • ricecake

Flowers:

  • peony
  • lilac
  • begonia
  • pansy
  • daisy
Flag of Portugal – E.’s favourite right now

Countries/Flags/:

  • Norway
  • Belgium
  • Portugal
  • Hungary
  • the European Union
  • Turkey
  • Italy

Colours: (the clearest utterances)

  • red
  • orange
  • yellow
  • green
  • blue
  • purple
  • pink
  • black
  • white
  • grey
  • Bubbles
  • brown

Shapes:

  • oval
  • triangle
  • heart
  • star
  • pentagon
  • rectangle

Everyday object/Toys:

  • spoon
  • plate
  • knife
  • fork
  • bottle
  • kitchen
  • teddy
  • book
  • playground
  • sandpit
  • bath
  • colour pencil
    drawing star
  • crayon
  • paper
  • drawing
  • nappy
  • creme
  • toothbrush
  • man (a plastic figurine)
  • clock
  • high chair
  • door
  • playpen
    Sandpit
  • video
  • dummy
  • potty
  • poopy
  • pee pee
  • peg
  • mill
  • car
  • choo-choo train
  • ball
  • puddle
  • big
  • bubbles
  • bin
  • balloon
  • sun
  • cloud
Hat and jeans

Clothes:

  • jacket
  • slippers
  • hat
  • trousers
  • jeans
  • shoes
  • cardigan
  • boots
  • pyjamas
  • socks

Body parts:

  • head
  • pinkie
  • nose
  • ear
  • knee
  • mouth
  • toe
  • eyes

Musical instruments: (she’s not so intereted in this topic although she is quite musical)

  • drum
  • piano

Breeds of dog: (I introduced some dog flashcards 3 days ago)

  • Westie
  • Shar-pei
  • bulldog
  • puli
  • mixed breed

E. is making up more and more combinations, like big puddle, red pinkie (for polished fingernails), purple plum, pencil drawing, banana yogurt, black doggie etc.

If it goes like this, in two more months she’ll say sentences. She’s amazing, a little genius. Am I proud? Hard to say how much 🙂

More and more words

Just a short post on how our language development is going. E. is 15,5 months old and about a few weeks ago I stopped counting how many English and Hungarian words she knows.
Now here are some random interesting features of her language knowledge:

English:

  • she knows all the main colours (in both languages)
  • loves saying 3 (or more) -syllable words (aubergine, apricot, butterfly)
  • started to say combination of words (green peas, red rose, purple plum, yellow balloon)
  • she says what she really wants in both languages (more-még, drink-inni, bread-kenyér etc.)
  • her functional language is outstanding – she says thank you, Mommy – when she gives something back to me or when I give her something, here you are (not clearly though – it sounds like: heeyaa), please – when she asks for something, don’t like it – if she doesn’t want to eat something
  • sometimes she sounds like saying a sentence that she doesn’t do in Hungarian (it’s incomprehensible, though)
  • when she points at a spider she says: incywincy
  • potty time is mostly in English so she rather says poopy and peepee
  • prefers songs in English

    Favourite songs now:

  • loves to watch/sing/chant the English alphabet
  • E. likes certain books in English, though I “read” most books in both languages
  • Still, her favourite is Fran Manushkin: How Mamma Brought the Spring

    But she also takes pleasure in Great Day for Up! by Dr. Seuss and Goodnight, Spot by Eric Hill nowadays.

    Hungarian:

    • she is trying to say long words (more than 4 syllables) – palacsinta
    • prefers the countries in this language (her favoutite one to say is Svájc, and her favourite flag is the Belgian – because of the black in it -, though she cannot pronounce it clearly)
    • when she sees the Turkish flag she starts to chant: pont, pont vesszőcske, készen van a fejecske, kicsi nyaka, nagy a hasa, készen van a TÖRÖK basa – her utterence is 50% right, but the intonation is perfect
    • prefers rhymes in Hungarian (Boci, boci tarka, A török és a tehenek)
    • she says tetszik  if she likes something or someone (doesn’t say it in English)



    Some cute details:

    • her favourite animal is the penguin at the moment
    • out of nowhere she calls out her native nanny’s name
    • her favourite colour is black, though she says pink or purple
    • her favourite body part is her belly button (when she has a look at her own, she makes us show ours)
    • her favourite flower is carnation
    • she claps after pooping
    • she loves drawing (onto the parquet, at the playground, on sheets of paper, on the door – but not on the wall yet)
    • she pronounces Peppa Pig as if she were a little native British girl  🙂

    Helen Doron Baby Days II.

    August has arrived so we have taken part in another few days at our Helen Doron Language School. Here is the summary of our 3 sessions:
    Day1: Fruits
    I was really happy as this is one of E.’s favourite topics. Her eyes sparkled when she saw a picture of an apple and a straberry in the teacher’s hand. She looked at me and glowed with delight. I felt she knew the whole session will be about fruits. So I wasn’t surprised at all when in the middle of the lesson she was brave enough to say apple, pear and nana (for banana). She says strawberry in Hungarian (she always chooses the easier word of the two languages – very smart). The activities we had:

    • matching half fruit
    •  matching fruit with their shapes
    •  sticking fruit on a big tree
    •  taking plastic fruits out of a pelican’s beak then put them back
    •  turning flashcards facing down
    •  fruit song ( I like bananas…)
    And of course the usual revisions, like the Uppety song or the Waving song.
    E. is waving to Rosie, the doll (on the 3rd day)

    The teacher in me would have included the colours a little bit.

    I was taken aback when the picture of an avocado came up. Well, we live in a different eating culture here in Hungary.

    However, the main point is E. enjoyed herself a lot. I haven’t seen her this active yet. And the number of mums and kids was better than at the beginning of July (6 mums with 6 kids – too many).

    Day2: Animals

     E. wasn’t in a good mood today. We had a rough night and she was clinging to me all day. It was the same at the lesson. She was much less active, which was a pitty. As I could see the other kids were a little bit less patient than they usually are. But again E. said quite a few animal names and the sounds they make, too. (hippo, doggy, miaow, hee-haw)

     

    I liked the ‘Abracadabra’ game. It was about showing 3 animal pictures and the same animals in soft toys. Then the teacher covered the toys with a blanket and made one of the animals disappear as she lifted the blanket up. Then she asked which animal was missing and made the kids match the soft toys and the animal pictures. It could draw and keep children’s attention.

    We also listened to some real animal sounds and had to find the picture of the animal we could hear. It was also good fun, though there was some technical glitch, which also happened when we were listening to the animal sound song.

    Another great activity was a bowl of water with plastic animals in it. I was scared to see the bowl full of water but nobody got wet, luckily, and the kids took great pleasure in splashing a bit in water. (Not to mention how refreshing it was in this heat). It is also a nice activity from sensory point of view. One of the reasons why I like the Helen Doron Early English is the wonderful combination of several kind of development involved at the lessons.

    We also revised a little bit of the fruits (matching Velcro-ed fruit with their shape and matching one type of fruit with two of its kind with a marker on a white board – E. was interested in the latter as we started to do a little bit of drawing together).

    Fruit activity – sorry, taken with a mobile

    After that the kids chose a toy animal from a big bag (E. said: ‘choseone’ as if it were one word) they had to lift it up and put it down, then turn it round while we were listening to the Uppety song.

    All in all, it was a good day with plenty of varied activities, nice hand puppets, real-life animal sounds, some sensory game and great deal of moving around. I just wish E.’d had a better mood.
    We finished on time and we could get home to our weekly Mums’ English Club.

    Day 3: Actions

    This day was all about moving around. It was lovely, though towards the end the kids got a little carried away. But let’s start with the beginning.

    The group shrank a little, there were only 4 mums with their kids. We were banging drums, the door, the chair (E. sometimes hit her head a bit) with the drumsticks.

    E. is picking drumsticks for banging

    The children were swinging in a blanket one by one, walking around slowly and quickly, turning around, clapping hands, touching face, stacking building blocks, pouring water, and most important of all, blowing bubbles among others. What else would a little explorer wish to do? All the activities were engaging and great fun for the kids. This time I managed to take some nicer photos. Have a look. The pics speak for themselves.

    Pouring water from a cup to a bowl

     

    “Stacking, stacking, stacking it up”

     

    I’ll try it

    The lesson fell apart a bit by the lesson. One child was eating, the other one was whining (wanted more bubbles), the third one was taking the pictures off the wall, instead of indulging themselves in the Waving song – Whatever! It was a great day. They all got really excited because there were a lot impulses.

    Every time I am amazed how brave E. is to say English words, more and more every day. She likes taking part in these sessions. She said purple, bubble, water, more, try it and shouted in the middle of the lesson: ORANGE ORANGE ORANGE. This must be the sign of her being entertained and feeling relaxed 🙂 Well, I’ve already reached my main aim, then.

    Home-made tools for language practice I.- Flashcards

    As a language teacher I used a lot of card activities with my students to explain, identify, show or play things with them. It worked even with adults, but it’s a hit with kids. They are colourful, fun to look at, nice to chew them or fold them (well, at least from E.’s point of view).

    You can find a lot of ready-made flashcards on the net, for example, here. You just print them and can start using them. You can also find videos showing flashcards. I found them rather disappointing. A lot of them have strange visuals, or they use the American variation of the word I wouldn’t use. But the most horrible experience is when the words are pronounce by a machine. It’s scary. Plus, I don’t want to make E. sit in front of the computer a lot.

    I decided to make my own cards; it’s more personal in this way, and sometimes E. could see when I prepared them, and became even more interested. And we can take with us if we want.

    Of course I’ve read a lot about the method which was developed by Glen Doman and his flashcards, but I found it too much pressure on me. So I took it easy 🙂

    What I do is similar to the Doman technique, but maybe not so thorough. I make flashcards about the topics E. is interested in. And the way I show them to her is not so systematic and not so fast. I’m not changing the cards so often as we play a lot with them and it’s not only about showing her the cards.

    So here is an example. When she was 8 months old, I was just showing her the cards and say what she could see in the picture. Later, on I mooed when the cow turned up and also showed the MAKATON sign for the cow. Then when she was around 10-11 months old I started to add extra information as well (“The cow gives us milk” – and showed the picture, showed the signs for cow and milk). When E. became 1 year old we started to name the colours as well (“Look – the cow is white and brown. It gives us milk” – I showed the signs – What colour is the milk? – and I answered: – “White”. Now, at the age of 14 months, E. answers “white” and she moos as soon as she hears the word “cow”.)

    Sometimes I tell her a story or connect the cards to something that happened to us, or anything connected to real life. She loves those cards the most which she experienced in her own life (E.g.: body parts are great as she can identify them on me or on herself, what’s more, the cards make her interactive; she asks D. to show his belly button. Among the flowers she adores the dandelion clock as we blew a lot of them when they bloomed in the park, but there are the fruits she can touch and taste like a banana or an apple).

    I started with animals. As we don’t have a colour printer I found some colouring pages on the net and selected some basic (later some more) animals, printed them and coloured them myself. (Quite time-consuming). Luckily I got a laminator from D. for Christmas, so I glued the coloured animals on colour paper and laminated each. It was a great idea as at the beginning E. chewed, folded and threw them away, so they really needed to be tough. Different topics have different background colours.

    Animals
    I thought at that time I won’t make other cards but animals since she wanted nothing else but animals. We made noises that the animals made, named their colours, stated what they like eating, where they live, or sang a song about them etc.
    Then she got a basket of soft vegetables (from IKEA) and I was “forced” to make some vegetable cards. (We play matching games with the soft vegetables and the cards). The same thing happened when we bought the wooden fruit box.
    Fruit and vegetables

    While we were walking in the park I realised we needed some flower cards, too. I just haven’t had the energy and willpower to make tree cards, but I will one day. The flower cards are more ‘professional’ as they are photos printed in colour.

    Flowers

    I don’t want E. to learn reading yet, so I didn’t bother making word cards connected to the pictures. Except for the flower cards. And the reason for it is that I have difficulty remembering the names of the flowers so it is also a learning process for me. The names are on the back. Sometimes she wants to look at the words, so I show her. But I’m NOT teaching her to read.

    Then the body parts came influenced by the Helen Doron songs and rhymes. At the moment we are looking at them when E. is sitting on the potty, as we can point at different body parts when she is half-naked (belly button is her favourite). After making the body part cards, the time came when a box was necessary for keeping the cards in one place (that is next to the potty most of the time). So long time ago I saw a pinterest post about how to make a box for kids out of a Vanish plastic bottle. I made it and the cards can fit in it well.

    Body parts

    I also made musical instruments, but she has just started to become interested in them. We are going to begin using them later on.

    Musical instruments

    Below you can see the present collection of our cards. They are far from being ready. I’m continuously making new cards to each group.
    Certainly there are more groups to come (everyday objects, furniture, baby stuff, means of transport, rooms, playground toys, tools, kitchen ware etc).

    The collection
    Let’s sum up what to play with cards?
    1. Show them and say the name of the thing in the card
    2. Matching cards and toys (toy animals, toy fruit or real ones can work well too)
    3. Grouping (body parts on the head or fruit and vegetables in 2 groups, or according to colours in case of flowers)

    4. Story telling (E.g.: chose few animals and vegetables and flowers, and build a story around them – the rabbit eats the carrot and hops into the field to smell flowers where he meets his best friend, the mouse, who is running away from the cat, because the mouse tried to drink the cat’s milk)

    5. Link the cards with sign language
    6. Face down (put out 3-4 cards facing down and the child can turn them one by one, then name/show/point at the thing on the card – sounds boring but E. loves this too)
    7. Sing a song (I put out some cards, e.g.: the lamb, the ladybird and the spider – I sing a song about one of the animals – Incy Wincy Spider and either E. picks up the card I’m singing about or we act out the song; the same with The Ladybird song or Ba-Ba Black Sheep song)
    8. Odd one out (I show 3 or 4 cards of the same kind, but one is different – 3 farm animals and a wild one, or 3 yellow flowers and one red etc. –  then I ask, for instance, “Is the pig a wild animal?” – “No, it’s not a wild animal.” “Is the horse a wild animal?” -“No, it’s not a wild animal.” “Is the cow a wild animal?” – “No, it’s not a wild animal.”-“Is the lion a wild animal?” – “Yes, it is!” So the pig, the horse and the cow are farm animals.)
    There must be much more games to play, just let your (and your child’s) imagination fly.