Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!

Our preparation for Halloween started more than a month ago with the skeleton craze (see a post about it). E. has really been excited about this holiday. She didn't get the spooky part. She thought ghosts, skeletons and witches are funny and fell in love with the jack-o-lantern.

We, parents, did a lot of preparation for the big day, which was the 30th instead of the 31st October.

It all began in the nursery. A little costume party was organised in the afternoon and parents were invited. The kids had a short performance of singing and dancing in Hungarian and mostly in English. Songs like these:

E. knows them well enough as we've been watching nothing else but Halloween songs since she saw the Dem bones song:

E. knew exactly what she wanted to dress up as from the very beginning. What else than a skeleton. (I got her skeleton costume -pyjamas- from H&M).

As a part of the party the kids could have a look at how a pumpkin is carved into a jack-o-lantern.

Little helpers

Partying hard  
The fun continued at home with our welcoming jack-o-door ...

 ... and the MEC (Mums' English Club) Halloween party.

Guests are arriving in costumes

We added face paint to maximise the scariness 
MEC group 

Mummies, oat-pumpkin biscuits and other snacks

Batman is playing with the balloon, Pumpkin and Spider are looking for some toys, Fairy wants her Mommy in the backround and Skeleton is just gazing into air. 
What a company!

The parties, the excitement, the food, the costumes, the decorations and the atmosphere were all great and memorable for both parents and their little ones. See you next year!


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Not so scary crafts for Halloween

Halloween is here in less than two weeks and E. is so excited about it. She has already chosen what to dress up as (a skeleton - what else a 2 and half year old girl wants to be?)

I'm trying to do some Halloween projects with her.

The first one was a skeleton out of cotton buds. I found this easy cutton bud skeleton craft idea on a fellow blogger mommy's site. (Q-tip is the equivalent of cotton buds in the US)

What you need:

  • cotton buds
  • black coloured or construction paper
  • glue
  • printed or drawn skull

 She loved the skulls at first sight

Gluing in progress
(I was making it with her to show her how to and where to put the bones. Although she's got and almost perfect knowledge of bones of the skeleton. I'll write about our little skeleton craze in a later post)

Final touch

Witch-craft (source: Toddler Approved!)

This craft idea combines Halloween, shapes  and colours. While E. was in the nursery I cut up the shapes  and when we arrived home the sticking could start. (I should have chosen some more colours - she wanted to add red eyes)
  • orange rectangles for the hair
  • black rectangles and big triangles for the hat
  • small black triangles for the nose
  • green circle for the head - could be any other colour
  • pink small and bigger rectangles, semi-circles for eyes eyebrows, lips etc.

At first we identified the colours and the shapes

Then we put together the witch

Funny witch... not scary at all - stated E. happily.

I found it really cool with those eyes :)

Friday, 3 October 2014

Some more autumn crafts

As I said before I love autumn. Not only is it beautiful but also gives us a lot to talk about and plenty of opportunities to be creative.

Here come our new projects concerning autumn:

  • Very Hungry Caterpillar out of conkers and dried orange slices (googly eyes, pipe cleaners and glue sticks). 

I made holes in the conkers with a screwdriver
threading the conker

then the orange slice
gluing the eyes on

caterpillar heads

caterpillar bodies

Let's make them friends
  •  Autumn Nature Hunt - one day when we came home from the nursery I'd packed a bucket for E. to be able to collect whatever she found on the way home. (More simple picking and collecting whatever we find; not as directed and focused as the Tray Nature Hunt we did in the spring)

The next day we were sorting, grouping and naming them:

end result

playing with autumn shadows
We covered a great number of autumn vocabulary (leaves, trees, berries, colours - just to list few topics), and also the process of sticking, gluing, sprinkling, threading. I've just realised that E. is more and more interested in short craft projects and it means a lot of language input. We won't stop. I'll come back with more.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

Fun with Flupe - the new Helen Doron package

It's been a while since we started the new Helen Doron Early English package: Fun with Flupe. Now I have the time to review it a little.

The whole story is based on 3 main characters:

Granny Fix


  1. Granny Fix - who solves all the problems and speaks in rhymes

  2. Paul Ward - I guess he is Granny Fix's grandson. He helps Granny sort out the problems
  3. Flupe or Flupie - a purple alien, who does not speak much apart from some words (it is very funny to see Flupe sad - turns blue- or frightened - turns yellow)


This is what our package looks like:

  • A bag - it's similar to the previous, but the colour of the straps are yellow while in case of the first package they were green
  • 4 activity books - not just picture books and rhymes, but proper workbooks. One can colour, stick stickers. Now we are working with the second one. During the lesson we work in the booklets, but no longer than 4-5 minutes

Rub-a-dub-dub - we coloured the tub and the animals, then had to put 5 carrot stickers on the holes
Skill development: Find and circle the same animal as you can see in the front

  • Booklet with the words for parents - quite useful for those parents who do not speak and/or understand much English (in the picture it is behind the 4 activity booklets)
  • 1 DVD - with short stories
  • 4 CDs - with all the conversations from the stories. My problem with the CDs is that the songs themselves cannot be listened to separately, only as a part of the whole story
I know it is officially not allowed but I asked our teacher to give us the teacher's CD and I uploaded the songs on our PC, so we can listen to the songs only.

I feel very strongly about this package. Very good material from many aspects. The workbooks are strong and good quality. The tasks are suitable for kids between 2-5 years of age.

Not only does this course develop a child's language skills but also their movements (dancing, jumping, crawling, running and hopping), fine motor skills (sticking, colouring, matching, craft activities). The five senses are in focus again.

There are 25 songs to listen to. They are mainly traditional nursery rhymes/songs with some change in the tune or in the lyrics. The songs appear in 12 animated stories in which Granny Fix talks in rhymes. (Certain lines of her return from episode to episode.) These episodes can be seen on the DVD.

Have a look at one episode (Rub a dub dub):

Our teacher, Zs., always involves some eating and drinking during the sessions if it is somehow connected to the topic. (E.g.: biscuits were hanging by the window on a rope. - I can't reach it. - she said and all the kids tried to reach the biscuits. Then they needed to ask for it: - Can I get a biscuit?. But a similar situation is created when asking for water to drink etc.) And this is just one example how well the kids are involved and encouraged to use the language in real life situations.

There is a Helen Doron Song Club on youtube where you can find videos connected to this material and to other courses too.

Five Little Monkeys has always been a favourite:

You can find Fun with Flupe as an application in the Google Play Store. Have a look at what it looks like. When I installed it, it was free of charge.

All in all, this set is just as professional, well-designed and full of fun as the previous, Baby's Best Start.

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