Baby books 0-12 months

When E. was a baby I wanted to write a post about what books we are using every 6-12 months. I didn’t. I feel it as a pity so I got a second chance with Baby Sis. Here it comes. The books we’ve been using in L.’s first year.

What you’ll be reading about:

  • cloth books
  • educational board books
  • touchy-feely books
  • noisy books
  • lift the flap books
  • +1 extra surprise

 

0-6 months

We mainly “read” cloth books. Or while Baby Sis was lying awake she was looking at the black and white images, like in this one. I also pointed at the pictures and said what was seen (daddy, baby, heart etc.)

It’s also important to mention that the Velcro on the book is TASTY. 馃槀
IKEA cloth books are great. Apart from looking at them I could make up a very simple story on the basis of the pics. They’re also interactive (you can pull out a rabbit from a black top hat)

 

 

Drugstore (DM) cloth books that crackle and rustle:

 

Maisy’s bedtime – We usually have a look at this booklet before bath time.
Ladybird series: Baby touch
The 2 on the top were E.’s favourite as a baby
E. as a baby, “reading”
L.’s favourite: Wiggle Jiggle Ladybird

It’s not an advertisement but I love Usborne books. Baby books by Usborne are simple, have great contrast and the images are cute. The touchy-feely books are not only pleasure to look at but also exciting for little fingers to touch the varied surfaces. Even my 4,5-year old loves to paw them. Here are what we have:

This is not the touchy and feely kind

 

 

 

 

Baby Sis is examining the fluffy bunny


6-12 months:

We on reading the books above and introduced some new ones:

Noisy books are number one (not so amusing for parents though after 15-20 minutes of quacking)

Old MacDonald will be a Christmas present

 

Lift the flap books are also fun to read with your little ones. My only problem is that they can get damaged easily as my kids try to peep under the flaps. Our favourites are the following:

 

Here is a Dear zoo song:
On this link you can PEEP inside

 

 

One of our favourites is this Animal hide-and-seek. You can see how fun it is in the video below.

 

And the extra surprise book with a hand puppet:

Five Silly Monkeys聽bySteve Haskamp
The traditional song with a little twist. Here is a review from goodreads that I could have written:
“This time five monkeys are silly and not just mischievous. They jump on the bed of course, then they eat on the bed, swing on the bed, slide on the bed, and then spin on the bed.

Great fun for little ones and they love holding the cover with the monkeys heads made out of plastic for them to feel!”

L. loves to put her little finger through the holes. Sometimes a sing the original version. Sometimes with the funny activities like jumping,, swinging, sliding etc.

I hope you could find some ideas about what to read with your little one. Feel free to share what books you’re reading with this age group.

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E. is 4 – oh my, when did she grow so much?

Writing about Baby Sis’s growing and development made me realised that I haven’t had time to write about my big, big girl. So here is and update on her too.

E. is 104 cms and 15,5 kgs.
Her favourite colours are pink and purple.
Her favourite piece of clothing is the purple blouse with the big butterfly on.

Easter mess in the favourite top

Her favourite foods are tomato soup, pasta, millet, chicken soup and chicken’s feet, meat in bread crumbs, salmon, and cheese.
Her favourite drinks are apple juice and “sour cherry liqueur” (cherry juice), oat milk with magic milk straw -strawberry, vanilla and chocolate flavoured (in this order).

Her favourite book is “Minden napra egy k茅rd茅s” (Hungarian) and “The KnowHow Book of Fishing” in English (But this is changing every other week.)

Her favourite cartoon is Paw Patrol.

Her favourite youtube video is the singing fruits.

Her best friend is D., from the nursery.

Picnic with BF

Her favourite season is the summer.

She sleeps with her 5 toy dogs, 3 owls and 2 rabbits but skips the afternoon nap.

Her new hobby is taking photos. (Once she dropped the camera but luckily Daddy managed to have it fixed)

As for her English, she’s fluent but uses rather basic vocabulary and structures. She often searches for some words to express herself. Luckily, most of the time they come to her mind. Her Hungarian is much more varied and she can express herself more easily. (Since she started the kindergarten her Hungarian has been rocketing and her English has been falling behind or staying on the same level to say the best. Unfortunately, kindergarten – Mini Klub聽– English is very basic and doesn’t help her improve at all. We said good-bye to the English speaking nursery teacher, Ms. R. who really did everything to make E. talk in English but the new one. Ms K. doesn’t make the least effort, not to mention the fact that I haven’t even heard her talk English at all since May. The fact that she’s always on holiday is also worrying. UPDATE: Ms K. left the nursery in August and the new English speaking nursery teacher is Ms. I.)

She doesn’t play in English as her choice, but has no problem whatsoever to communicate with a native speaker. Since the beginning of the year we’ve 聽had native nannies (the American, L. and now the Canadian, V.) They have been coming twice a week for 90 minutes per session. Most of the time they play with building blocks, balls and the caterpillar tunnel, modelling clay, kitchen and cooking or they read books.

She changes between the two language without any problem, form one minute to the other.

We don’t use flashcards any more (though we should) only every now and then E. finds them and looks through a few topics. As I’m introducing flashcards for Baby Sis we’ll probably have a little revision with E. too.

Little Ms. Teacher showing flashcards to Baby Sis

She can read and write. She’s been reading since she was a bit over 3. At that time just a few words, later more difficult words and simple sentences. But now she reads fluently. Her reading in Hungarian is outstanding (like grade 3 or 4) but she can read basic stories in English as well.

reading Dr. Dog

She mostly write in Hungarian (as the spelling follows pronunciation) and occasionally in English of course with tons of spelling mistakes, which I don’t correct at all. I don’t even understand how she learnt to read in both languages… all by herself.

In this video she’s reading a part from I’m not reading聽 {HAHA} by Jonathan Allen (one of her favourite books and author I guess)

Every now and them E. refuses to talk in English (the reason I guess is that she can’t express herself so smoothly as in Hungarian, and the other reason is that everything happens to her in Hungarian.)

Tricks I use to redirect her to using the English language:

  • books in English (she’s a bookworm, thank Goodness)
  • songs (this doesn’t work well any more, she refuses to sing or sings VERY rarely – don’t know why, though)
  • fun activities like cooking together (I tell her the recipe’s in English so we need to change)
  • helpers (our new nanny, and my friend who speaks English only to the kids)
  • videos (she loves watching cartoons, music videos so she can watch her favourite ones in English.)
  • she can get an extra smiley on her behaviour chart if we spend a whole morning and/or afternoon in English

For a few weeks I tried to speak only English when we were at home as I was really desperate about our irregular and little English usage. We don’t have a fixed timetable as we used to have and sadly it’s also true for Baby Sis. For this reason I thought I could increase our English time in this way but it didn’t work. All of us mixed languages, there was not consistent usage (even I forgot sometimes that I needed to speak English at all times). I found that it could cause problems, for Baby Sis. So I returned to the English activities and fun tasks, English books for E., and a lot of singing and nursery rhymes for Baby Sis.

And that’s all my stock-in-trade. If you have an idea what else to do to motivate a child for the second language usage, please, share it with me in the comment section.

So here is my smart 4-year old daughter with all her beauty and shyness. I love you, Sweetie Pie!

Conker games

Whenever we go somewhere we MUST collect something. My pockets are full of stones, acorns, berries and conkers, just to mention a few. One day we visited Margaret-island (a small island on the River Danube, Budapest) and managed to collect tons of different fruit of various trees and bushes.

Rose hips, conkers, sycamore “rotors”, pine cones, acorns, London plane seed balls, wild pear, seed pods of China tree

 

So during E.’s nap time I put together this tray of all kinds of fruits and a magnifying glass. As soon as she discovered the tray she eagerly examined their texture, the surface and the inside of the fruit.

We collected a full bag of conkers and pine cones, half of which we took to E.’s kindergarten. The other half of cones we’ll use for decoration and Christmas ornaments (see a later post) and the conkers we’ve used to play games with.

Counting conkers

I put the conkers in a woven basket and placed the number cards on the table. E. needed to put the right number of conkers below the cards.

When we played this game we’d just returned home from the nursery and changed languages. You can hear in this video how she is mixing English and Hungarian, and also, me asking back “Sorry?” all the time in a silly way 馃槈

I’ve found a super-cute squirrel grid game on prekinders.com and although we didn’t have enough acorns or walnuts that squirrels love eating, we used our conkers as manipulatives for this game.

How does the game go?

E., Daddy and myself played so I printed 3 copies of the squirrel grid (of 20 squirrel) and put LOADS of conkers in a bowl. You’ll need a game die. Of course, the youngest starts the game, throws the game die and identifies the number on it. The player then needs to place the same number of conkers on the grid. We take turns and the winner is who finishes the grid first. (You can play it as an addition game with 2 dice if your child is older. If he/she is younger, you can use a special die with only 1-2-3 on it)

I’ll be the winner, not you Daddy.
Mind you! Conkers are slightly toxic, so it’s better to know that just a very few animals can eat it (like deer), but people and squirrels never.

聽Name written in conkers

I prepared my daughter’s name, each letter on a different piece of paper. First, she put the letters in the right order, then following the lines of the letters, she placed the conkers along the lines.

Krokotak conker mushrooms

What you need:

  • conkers
  • acorns
  • play dough

Not as good-looking as the original idea, but they represent our family: E. mushroom, Daddy mushroom and Mommy mushroom. (from right to left)

Last year we did some conker threading聽after making a whole on the conkers with the help of a screwdriver. If you haven’t had enough of conkers, check it out.

What do you play with at autumn time? Share with me in the comments.

Our first dental project I. – videos, books, apps

As we have visited the dentist with E. I looked up some videos, book and apps on dental health beforehand. This post is an appetiser before I share with you some real fun dental health activities.

English videos

Brush, brush, brush by KidsTV123

Brush your Teeth by Busy Beaver
The VERY favourite one!!!! Brush your teeth by Topsi Smile TV


Brush your teeth by StoryBots (we just couldn’t leave this out 馃檪 )
A Peppa pig episode: Peppa and the Dentist
Two videos in Hungarian:
Fogmos贸 dal by Kerekmese
Bori a fogorvosn谩l (11 minute short story about what happens at the dentist’s)

Now the books we’ve been reading about teeth and going to the dentist:
Here is a video in which a lady reads out Show me your smile. The quality is not the best but it gives you an idea.
Another book we are looking at is Izg艖-mozg贸 fogaim published by Man贸 k枚nyvek.
It’s a great book with flaps to open, teeth to move and learn a lot about teeth, like parts of a tooth, baby teeth vs permanent teeth, how teeth grow, when and why they fall out, what happens at the dentist etc. It also has some interactive pages where you can pull a tooth out or glue a picture of yourself with no, one or 20 teeth. The book goes with a little tooth box for the first fallen-out teeth.

I read this book to E. both in English and Hungarian.

This is the book she took with her when we visited the dentist:

Apps for android

It’s not just about teeth but all kinds of health problems (broken bones, rash, fever, weak eyes etc). The player needs to heal the kids by taking them to the right department.

E.’s favourite is the dental department where one has to remove plaque, clean the teeth with a brush, drill them and kill germs, plus, at the end the player can choose coloured braces as well. E.’s favourite 聽part is killing the germs in the mouth. The other departments also means a lot a fun. You can take X-ray photos of broken bones, or you can injections or examine blood in a laboratory.

Just like the previous one you need to heal children with all kinds of health problems. Still, this also has a dental department. This game is a little bit more disgusting for me – not for E. (the germs has to be pulled out of the ear or off the teeth and they are not as funny looking as in the other game). What E. likes the most in this game is when you heal a child, funny animal balloons are floating down from the top that you can pop.
We’ve tried some other games too, but either E. didn’t like it or they were a little scary/disgusting for a 3-year-old.

I hope you could find some ideas to watch, read or play with your kid. Let me know if you could add any more to this list. Thanks for popping in.

What do we have to do with AUSTRALIA??? Part 1

In short: Nothing. In more details: last month (April) we met a lovely elderly couple from Australia who we’d encountered on our honeymoon in Istanbul in 2011. Quite unusual.

I’ve taken 聽the opportunity of their visit to Hungary to introduce Australia to E. She loves planet Earth anyway. She already knows about continents (her favourite is Antarctica) so Australia will be fascinating for her. I hoped…

Map of Australia

As E. enjoys looking at maps and our big picture atlas I made a map colouring activity for her. I just printed a blank Australia map with the states drawn on it and after naming each states we coloured them one by one.

E. is practising her A
I also wrote AUSTRALIA below the map and E. traced my letters.

This聽Australian map puzzle聽was quite time-consuming to make but the result was beautiful and E. loved it. The link gives you a detailed description how to prepare it. In my version I laminated the pieces. As Queensland and Western Australia consist of 2 parts I sellotaped them together. Then I added sticky back velcro (bought them on sale in Auchan).

The background is a big blue cardboard

 

sticking

 

FINISHED!

I couldn’t buy a big enough cardboard to fit Tasmania in the right place. What a pity!

We can also use this puzzle map in the long run (I also plan to introduce her some cities as well as animals and famous sights. We’ll use this map to pin cities, animals and sights up on it and put it on the wall to display)

She has done the Australian puzzle map several occasions. Sometimes she even said the names of its states.

Painting the flag

As the puzzle map gave me a hard time we did not twist the flag project. I printed a blank Australian flag and painted it while we were talking about what is what on the flag
  1. The British Union Jack flag is in the upper left corner – noting Australia’s ties to Great Britain
  2. The聽Southern Cross聽constellation (5 stars) is on the right side of the flag. The constellation can be seen from everywhere in Australia
  3. The large, white, seven-pointed Commonwealth Star

Of course, we displayed our pieces 聽on our living-room door. You need to imaging the composition as I’ve forgotten to take a photo of it.

Work in progress
Let’s start!

Animals of Australia

First, I created flashcards of the most commonly known Australian animals. (See a printable at the end of the post)

Kangaroo 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 Duck-billed Platypus
Koala 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Cassowary
Emu 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Brown snake
Wombat 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 Salt Water Crocodile
Dingo 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽Echidna
Tasmanian Devil 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 聽 Frilled Necked Lizard

E. has already heard about and seen a kangaroo in the zoo, and also seen pictures of koalas. She knows the (white) wombat from the video titled Red Rabbit, Green Gorilla. She is also familiar with the look of a crocodile or a snake as well as an ostrich, which can remind you of an emu. So first, I showed her 7 flashcards out of the 12.

As most of the animals had a familiar look I decided to add some information to the flashcards on their backs.

We had a look at Australia in our Picture Atlas Of The World.

As on this map flora and fauna is depicted, I showed E. an animal, I said its name and 聽she needed to find it on the map. When she found it we placed the flashcard on the map and I told her some interesting information (1 or 2 pieces) about the animal (eating habit, place of living, offspring etc.)
She was laughing at the platypus and found the Tasmanian Devil cute.

When we finished with this she wanted to see them in real life so we sat down in front of youtube and watched a few interesting videos. (I had prepared for this request so we didn’t need to waste time with searching for them)

The Cow Goes Moo – Kangaroo for Kids

Koala-la-la-la

Bindi and Robert Irwin feature huge salt-water crocodile

Platypus: Animals for Children

E. was fascinated by the platypus, mainly its webbed feet. So we needed to draw a Mommy and Baby platypus webbed “feet”

We’ll have a look at the other animals later.

In the next part:

E.’s 2nd test of her English; the lovely time in Szentendre we spent together with our Australian friends (M. and B.). – You can read about E.’s 1st real life test here
E. got some sweet presents (soft toys and books) from M. and B.