Blood sensory bin

E.’s new focus is on the human body, more precisely on BLOOD. She loves talking about it, seeing it, reading about it and experiencing it. That’s why the sensory bin idea has come up.

She started to be interested in blood when she first saw some blood vessels in the Usborne book titled: What makes you ill?

This book is about a lot of other things and not only blood: symptoms, germ types, allergies, cuts, lumps and bruises as well as a healthy lifestyle.

She’s been asking so many questions about our blood: Why is blood red? When does it come out of our body? What do white blood cells do? What are germs?

I remembered seeing a great activity on blood and after having searched for it for days I didn’t manage to find so I had to do with what I remembered.

What you need:

  1.  a big bin (IKEA)
  2. water (about 1 litre)
  3. water beads (red and white – you can buy them at the florist’s or order them online)
  4. plastic straws (of 3 different colours. I used purple, black and yellow)
  5. red foam sheet
What to do:

  1. Put the red and white water beads in two bowls and add half a litre of water each. Let them soak for 5-6 hours or overnight

  2. Cut up the straws into different shapes

    Antibodies (yellow straw pieces) help to kill germs (viruses and bacteria). They are the memory of the immune system.

    Viruses and bacteria (purple and black straw pieces) are tiny germs attacking your body and making you ill.

  3. Cut out rectangle shaped platelets (at first I forgot to make these, nevertheless, E. has been playing with this sensory bin for more than a week now so I had time to add them)

  4. Prepare the beads, the straws and foam rectangles, some measuring spoons or ladles, a let your child explore it.
    spooning the red blood cells

    Red blood cells (red water beads) carry food and oxygen to the cells in our body.

    Adding the antibodies
    Spooning the white ones

    White blood cells (white water beads) fight off germs (viruses, bacteria).

    Plasma (water) makes it possible for the blood to move around our body.

    Of course, before she started I explained what is what. While she was pouring in the “ingredients” I was commenting what she was adding what their functions are in the blood.

  5. Optional: Add some more bowls for more spooning

It was never ending fun and still is. The beads lasts for weeks if you don’t forget to add some more water every now and them.

Few days ago I found the site where I first saw this idea:  I can teach my child – What is blood made of? They use ping-pong balls for white blood cells… What a great idea!

Sooooo nice to touch the beads

Look, Mommy! A virus!

Antibodies are stuck on the bacteria and burst them

Throughout the week I added some other tools to fish out the germs: tongs and tweezers:

Platelets (red foam rectangles) help to block a hole in your blood vessels when you have a cut. They do not let your blood out of your body.

E. has been playing so much with the blood sensory bin that we’ve had enough time to cover the blood-related vocabulary both in English and Hungarian. So here is a word list to help you if you decide to prepare this fun activity for your kid. If I’m in a good mood, I might make some flashcards in this field.

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Housework fun

As E. doesn’t really like playing alone and wants to be with Mommy all the time we need to do housework together. Actually, she is a great helper and likes taking part most of the times. I’ve read a lot about Maria Montessori and her method on the net and in this book:

I do not wish to popularise her method, I just found some interesting points I can build in my parenting theories and also in our bilingual journey. One of them is:

“He who is served is limited in his independence”

Doing housework together means a lot of language input, quality time together and E’s preparation for real life assisting her in her developing independence.

IN THE KITCHEN

– Preparing food for cooking

Opening pea pods help to develop E’s fine motor skill.
She could examine how the peas are in the pod.
She also learnt a sequence: taking one pod out of the bag, putting the peas in a bowl, placing the empty pod in the rubbish bag.
She can help wash the peas, but as soon as I turn the hob on she is finished in the kitchen.

Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:

     green peas
     pod

     crack

     separate

     throw it away
     grub
     off
     tiny

     

cutting the butter-bean up

examining the inside
placing the beans into a pot
Using a knife is something E has been longing for. With my very close supervision she had the chance to try it and found it hard: – Mommy, cutting is difficult.
Helping make the bean dish didn’t mean she ate it 😦 although according to some blogger moms, their children became really enthusiastic to eat the food they prepared themselves.
Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:
   chopping board

   knife, knives
   pot (stripy, big, empty, full)

   butter-bean

   bean dish
   What’s yummie for you? (offers the practice or revision of a lot of food)

   wash

   dirty, dirt

– Baking:

whisking

I made this rhubarb cake











Baking a cake has a better chance of success in the eyes of your child. They are more likely to consume what they made. It also involves a lot of kitchen tasks and equipment and the activities have to follow each other quickly, which keeps up the interest of a young kid. Developing gross motor skills is also a key point here, like whisking, mixing, measuring, stirring, pouring etc.

Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:
   flour
   baking powder
   rhubarb

   cake
   scales

   measuring spoon
   wooden/mixing spoon
   bowl
   whisk
   mix
   stir
   grab

   crack an egg
   white/yolk
   lick the spoon 

   apron
   delicious
   tasty
   sweet
   sour
   hot
   dangerous

   baking try
   heat the oven

– Packing in and out of the dishwasher:

emptying the baby bottle into the sink

putting the baby bottle into the dishwasher

placing the cutlery into their draw

 After a while I rearranged a shelf so she can easily reach her spoons, plates and glasses.


This is E’s favourite household chore. No matter when I ask her to help with it, she never refuses. (It’s not the case with hanging the clothes to dry). Also, she practises with this chore how to select and group similar objects, to name the objects and say their colours or material. She also learns where to find things she needs around the house.

Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:
   cupboard

   cutlery
   tablespoon
   fork
   knife
   teaspoon
   ladle
   glass
   mug
   cup
   pot
  bowl
  plate
  draw
  sharp
  dangerous
  carefully
  place
  baby bottle
  plastic
  steal

IN THE BATHROOM

Another pleasant activity for E is to help with the laundry. Packing the clothes in the washing machine is not as much fun as pulling the wet clothes out.

 Usually we put some of her clothes in a separate basket and while I’m putting the adult clothes on the rack, she is putting hers on a smaller rack (which we bought at REGIO toy shop but also available at Fakopáncs online toy shop)

hanging the clothes
opening the dry rack
fixing it with a peg
socks
matching socks with Daddy
on the way to the draw to put the socks away

This is not her favourite activity but she uses her English (and Hungarian) a lot when she is in the mood to help.

Vocabulary newly learnt or practised:
   washing gel
   softener
   dry rack
   hang
   line
   clothes peg
   match
   carry
   fix
   dry
   still wet
   pull out
   pack in
   laundry basket
   dirty
   clean
   take off
   names of clothing (socks, tights, trousers, shorts, T-shirt, blouse, panties, vest etc.)
   Daddy’s, Mommy’s, E’s

MISCELLANEOUS

The best part for me is when we decorate our home together. Of course, when she paints or creates something I put it on the wall or in her room. However, she takes pleasure in decorating for us not only for herself. At the market we bought 2 bunches of flowers and she made them into 4, arranging them in small vases.

adding some green leaves to the dahlias

we need some pink in this composition

She also enjoys watering the plants on the balcony.

Involving her in the household chores was one of the greatest idea and I’m really glad she likes it, too. It gives us the opportunity to be together, to practise her languages, to experience some practicalities of everyday life and to help her become more and more independent.


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.

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 a 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 🙂

Games in the playground

I was in trouble with the names of some playground games, so here is another wordlist and pictures to identify them more easily:



hammock
sandbox

English
Hungarian
swing
hinta
hammock swing
függőágy (hinta)
seesaw
mérleghinta
jungle gym, monkey bars
mászóka
slide
csúszda
rope ladder
kötélháló
sandpit, sandbox
homokozó

swing
see-saw
slide






jungle gym

monkey bars

Our playgrounds are not so varied as for the games. As soon as we come across some other playground equipment I’ll write about them.