Blippi, the new star

We always try to find motivating videos for the girls to watch on the bais of their always-changing interest in order to provide a native input in their language development.

Daddy found a new favourite youtube super star ie. Blippi. I have to admit the videos are quite informative, we learn a lot of specialised English from them. My only problem with it is these videos strengthen the flow of American English in our home.

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Daddy found Blippi’s videos as Little L. is extremely interested in big machines and vehicles, like tractors, fire engines, trains and garbage trucks.

The kids fell in love with Bippi’s goofy character at once. In fact he IS funny with his idiotic dance moves and overexaggerated squeaky voice. His videos are mainly educational, but what I don’t like about Blippi is the hidden ads and the “I’ll show you this cool toy, go and ask your parents for it” attitude.

In the last couple of months we’ve been watching Blippi videos on a daily basis, the girls got crazy about them. Blippi has got songs and also some eduacational videos as you’ll see below on the links.

L’s favourite ones:

Garbage truck song

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Tractor song

Wheels on the bus

Train song

Indoor play place (about movemnets)

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E.’s favourite ones (apart from the ones above):

Investigation

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How apples get to the grocery store

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Daddy’s favourite 😉 :

Zoo song

Give it a go and tell me what you and your kid(s) think in the comment section.

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August 2017 read-alouds

As I’m writing this post with E. I’ll start with the book I’ve read with her this month (She is 5 years and 3 months old).
(E.’s favourite, L.’s favourite, both loved it)

  1. Shark-mad Stanley by Griff
    It’s a book about a little boy, who loves animals (like E.) and he’s got a gold-fish. But he wants to have a shark too. He compares her goldfish and a shark. What’s his conclusion? Well, read this funny story.51TfUT7j0yL.jpg
  2. The Glow in the Dark Book of Space by Nicholas Harris
    It’s a general book about space BUT there are pages that you can read in the dark because they glow. The new things she enjoyed the most: moon phases, constellation and how the black hole sucks in a star.9780760783139_p0_v2_s550x406.jpg
  3. The Magic Finger by Roald Dahl
    I don’t think I need to say much about the story as it is a classic. Actually, RD is MY favourite author and I was really anxious to find out if E. would like it or not. And she did like it.  I read it to her one morning when she didn’t want to get out of bed. As the story got more exciting she got more and more out of bed.covers_59482
  4. Monkey Puzzle by Julia Donaldson
    A traditional story of a lost child (monkey) looking for her mum. The rhymes are great and the illustrations make the story come true. According to E. the best part is when the butterfly shows the monkey her children and they look very different from their Mommy. (This is the reason why the butterfly shows wrong Mommies to the monkey.)letöltés.jpg
  5. Miss! Miss! by Julia Donaldson
    A short story of a poor teacher solving problems with a child in school and when she returns home everything starts all over again with her own children.
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L. is 20 months old and surprisingly she enjoys books for older children too. Here are the books for her:

  1. We’re going on a bear hunt by Michael Rosen
    This was a hit with both kids. They love it and ask for it every day. I’ve trying to read it out in the same way as Michael Rosen reads it out in this youtube video.maxresdefault.jpg
  2. Maisy plays football by Lucy Cousins
    Another hit. You’ll know your kids enjoy a book to a great extent if they scream GOAAAAAAL! whenever you just touch the book. (E. can read the book to L. and L. can say the names of the characters: Maisy, Cyril, Eddie, Dotty, Tallulah, Charley.)
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  3. Surprise Surprise! Animals by Jeanette Rowe
    There’s a short rhyme on every page, which describes an animal hiding behind a flap. There are 6 animals altogether. Cute! L. can neigh like a horse and say seal and bat and croaks like a frog.6.jpeg
  4. I love my  Mum by Anna Walker
    A short story about what fun mommy and baby do together. The pictures are lovely the words on each page are scarce. My daughters favourite page in the book is full of butterflies.10959141._UY200_.jpg
  5. Feeling great! Just like me! by Jess Stockham
    This is also a fold-out flap book like Surprise! Suprise! Animals! but about feelings. The emotions covered are shy, frightened, excited, grumpy, sleepy.P09-FeelingGreat.jpg

This month we could cover only 5 books for each child as they got really crazy about Maisy and the bear hunt books. And here is a surprise for you. E. is reading Maisy for L. (with a hiccup):

Part 1
Part 2

If you want to check out our earlier monthly book lists, click on the links below:
June2017
July2017

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 kérdés” (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 – 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  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  {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!

Baby sister’s 3 months old – beware: a long post

Time flies with 2 kids. L. is already 3 months old and loads have been going on. In this post I’ll try to focus on her development and what I do with her in English though it’ll be hard.

First of all, some parametres:

She is 57 cms “tall”, 5.23 kgs. Her eyes are still blue. Her hair is light brown (showing tinges of ginger) and getting longer in the back and started to grow in the front. She only sleeps on Mommy or Daddy, or in the sling. She can’t push herself up while on her tummy but can lift and turn her head nicely. She’s got her first 2 shots at the age of 2 months. She gurgles and babbles a lot. She’s smiley if her tummy is full, on the changing table or when she can look around. Though she’s got a stomach ache quite often mostly in the evenings then she cries desperately. She’s breastfed and I can see white lines on her lower gum so the crying might be caused by the staring of her teething.

English time:

The routine is the same as it was with E. I just started it earlier (at her birth) with L. Whenever we are just the two of us I speak English to her. I’ve already introduced the little song we always sing with E. before changing languages (showing the Makaton signs to L. as well):

Hello, hello how are you?
Hello, hello, it’s good to see you.
I say hello, I’m happy that you came

I say hello, please tell me, please tell me, please tell me your name
Mommy (pointing at me)
L. (pointing at her)

(This song is -or rather used to be- the theme song of a BBC series Something Special. On the link you can listen to the new version of it. But you can use any song of your choice if you want to signal the beginning or the end of the language usage)

So what we do in English:


1. Lullabies

It seems I sing continuously. Whenever I try to rock L. to sleep I sing the following lullabies:

Rock-a-by baby

Hush little baby

Go to sleep lullabies (Go to sleep, Moonlight so sweet and pale, Golden slumbers)


(This last one I used to sing to E. ALL THE TIME. You can check out a less detailed post about E.’s first 6 months)
2. Changing table fun:

When I need to change L.’s nappy or clothes (and we are in English) I start with this rhyme:

…. (child’ name) ‘s got a dirty nappy.
What shall we do? What shall we do?

Clean is up, clean it up
For Mommy, and for you.

When her legs are free from clothes I make her little feet march:

Oh, the grand old Duke of York

(I march with her feet) Oh, the grand old Duke of York,
He had ten thousand men,
He marched them up to the top of (Lift her feet up) the hill
and he marched them down again. (Put her feet down)
And when they were up they were up. (Lift her feet up)
And when they were down they were down. (Put her feet down)
And when they were only half way up, (Wiggle her legs)
They were neither up nor down.
(When I sing UP I lift her feet up, and when I sing down I put her feet down)
I go through her body parts with this song from the BBC series Something Special- Baby episode (The song starts at 4.03 mins in the video but it’s worth watching the whole episode)

Two little eyes that open and close
Right in the middle a little nose
Two little ears on either side
one little mouth that opens wide

That’s baby (2x)

Two little legs that kick and wiggle
Two little feet that like a tickle
Two little arms that stretch up high
Two little hand that wave goodbye

That’s baby (2x)

The other thing she likes is tickling under her chin (or rather double chin *grin*). I chant these two rhymes:

Round and round the garden (stroking her tummy in a circle)
Like a Teddy Bear (showing the teddy bear sign)
One step, two steps (walking my fingers on her tummy)
Tickle you under there (tickle her under the chin)

Another variation can be you do the circling in the palm, the walking movement up the arm and tickle the armpit in the end


Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake baker’s man (patting the tummy)
Bake me a cake as fast as you can (patting faster)
Pat it and prick it and mark it with B (patting/rolling movements on tummy, forming a B with fingers)
Put it in the oven for baby and me. (2 palms up as if putting a tray in the oven, when saying BABY I tickle her tummy)
If you want to sing a tune here it is.

And finally 2 finger plays:

1. This little piggy went to market
This little piggy went to market
This little piggy stayed at home
This little piggy had roast beef
This little piggy had none
And this llittle piggy cried wee wee wee wee wee all the way home

Have a look at a video of This little piggy by Patty Shukla:


2. Two little dickie birds sitting on the wall
Two little dickie birds sitting on a wall
One named Peter the other named Paul
Fly away Peter, fly away Paul
Come back Peter, come back Paul.

Here is a video about what to do with your fingers:

3. Bath-time
As for bath-time I have a great helper apart from Daddy and that is L.’s big sister, E. She helps taking off L.’s clothes, 

prepares what we can put on her afterwards, checks and throws the nappy into the bin, helps with the splashing too 🙂
Great practice for E. and L. hears not only me but her big sister talk in English. Sometimes we play the changing table games together again before bath-time.
One day E. sang a song for her little sister while I was busy with something and Daddy was preparing E.’s bath (that’s the noise in the background)
—–Oh, no! I can’t find the video anywhere 😦 As soon as I find it I’ll put it on——–
They’re just too cute.
—– 23/07/2016 I found the video 😀 ——-
4. Books
Baby books, of course. Black and white board books, cloth books or touch and feely books. 
Sometimes she just looks at the books while in the playpen/on the play mat and at other times I describe what she sees or tells her a story around the characters on the pages.  I’m working on a short list of useful and fun baby books you can read about in the next post.

5. Baby’s Best Start
When L. has some tummy time or just looking around in her playpen I put on Baby’s Best Start Helen Doron CD about once a day. I’m not showing to her anything (no pictures, no soft toys, nothing) she just getting familiar with the music. I’m planning to start the course with L. soon, maybe September. (And I think we should restart with E. as well.)

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 🙂 )
A Peppa pig episode: Peppa and the Dentist
Two videos in Hungarian:
Fogmosó dal by Kerekmese
Bori a fogorvosnál (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 Izgő-mozgó fogaim published by Manó könyvek.
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  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.