Tuesday, 29 September 2015

An apple a day...

... keeps the doctor away.

Although we had a week having fun with all kinds of apple games and activities (including the study of an apple) we couldn't avoid being ill again. Anyway, here is a collection of apple fun we've done lately.

I've found a great number of apple activities online but I fell in love with the free printables by 3dinosaurs' Apple Pack. This set contains 60 (!) pages of apple activities up to the age of 8-9. Wow! What a great collection! I've just selected a few games that would suit my 3-year old. Thank you, 3dinosaurs for this excellent Apple Pack.

Here is an insight what you could find in the pack:

  • What comes next? Patterning activity. I brushed it a up a little with Velcro

"The spotty apple is coming now"

  •  Which one is different? Your child needs to find and circle (or put a manipulative on) the odd one out in the row

  • Pre-writing practice. We tried the easier sheet (laminated so we can reuse them). 
Easy-peasy lemon squeezy
But the harder one seemed a little bit too challenging

  • Picture puzzles with numbers from 1-10 (We were talking about what she could see in the picture: -How many apples can you see? etc.) well, she's always been into numbers, even when she was little (click on the links for earlier posts)

And skip counting by 10s

  • Shape tracing and matching - a little bit of revision as we've already dealt with shapes a lot

After she's placed all the shapes we practised the "there is..." structure. It didn't appear to be a problem:
Mommy: - There is a red apple in the circle. And in the next?
E.: - In the square there's a green apple. In the triangle there is a yellow one. In the rectangle there's a checked apple and in the oval a spotty apple... or... what's the other name, Mommy?
Mommy: - Do you remember?
E.: - No. You say it.
Mommy: - Polka dotted.
E.: - Haha, it's funny. M., did you know polka dotted? (she turned to her favourite toy, the doggy you can see next to her on the table in the picture above)

Shape revision - tick.
  • Grouping. Apples and non-apples

She's clearly enjoying it)

  • Roll and count apples. I guess she enjoyed this one the most. I couldn't find red manipulatives, so we had "green apples" instead of red ones. The Apple Pack has a die cut-out, but I used only the apples and after having laminated them I stuck them on the six sides of a big die I'd found ages before in a OneEuro shop. First, she guessed which apple will win (which apple will reach the top of the chart). Her guess was the spotty. Mine was the yellow and M., E.'s doggy's guess was the stripy apple. Then we rolled the die. Everybody had a turn. Even the doggy :) 

M., it's your turn to throw the die.
Of course, M. won.

  • Apple memory game

This game involved a lot of fun and useful tasks: matching, memorizing, counting. And at the end E. tested her toy dog whether he can name what's on the cards :)
E.: - What is it, M.?
Mommy (in M.'s voice): - Er... I think it's a tree.
E.: - Good job, M.
-And this? Do you know?
Mommy (in M.'s voice): - I know, I know. It's an apple pie. (and so on)

This was real cute.

We've played these games several times as she's asked for them both in English and in Hungarian. 

We also studied a real apple to see what parts it has. For this I printed the apple parts booklet by A Little Pinch of Perfect and I highlighted the parts on each card. I didn't put them together like a book, we just had a look at the cards and also the real apple.

She examined all the parts and match them with the cards.

We practised earlier vocabulary like cut it in half, slice it, peel it, sharp knife etc.

She was fascinated by the word "flesh" so she was more than happy to consume it :)
I hope the weather and our health will let us go for an apple-picking adventure.
There are tons of apple games that you can check out on my Autumn ideas for kids pinterest board.

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Our first dental project III. - 4 more activities

As a part of our dental project we did some more tooth crafts, experiments and had a fascinating insight into the structure of a tooth combined with some letter recognition. Here they come:

Stick the teeth

I enlarged and printed this mouth without teeth from the net, the cut out small pieces of rectangles for teeth. I also provided E. with some pink, red and claret coloured pencils and crayons to colour the inside of the mouth. Of course, there was glue for her to start the sticking of the teeth




A little bit of fooling around: - Look, Mommy, I'm a rabbit.

Eating oreo and apple

To show E. what happens to her teeth when she eats sweets I "made" her eat an Oreo biscuit. First, she thought I was kidding when I offered her a chocolate biscuit before dinner. She asked with hesitation: - Can I eat it?

After she'd eaten it I took a photo of her teeth and she could have a look in the mirror how they looked.

I guess she won't forget the meaning of disgusting.


Then I served her with a few slices of apple and told her to "clean" her teeth. She didn't understand what I meant. Still, she enjoyed the experiment so much she ate up the apple slices without any questions. 

munch, munch

She was more than happy after looking into the mirror again.

They are white again.

We talked about healthy and unhealthy food (I have another activity in mind connected to this topic), how food is stuck on our teeth and the importance of eating food good for our teeth and, of course, why it is necessary to brush our teeth.

The inside of a tooth

I brought this huge tooth with flaps to open from Ireland. I thought I could use it teaching kids. Although I've been teaching quite a lot of children, none of them was at such a level that I could use this fantastic material with them. But the time came when I could have a great use of it.

On the back

The other side with the flaps

Opening the flaps you can examine the inside of the tooth

You can make your own lift-the-flap tooth

We were talking about it both in English and at another time in Hungarian. E. also examined her own tooth crowns and how they sit in her gum. A funny conversation:

M.: - You see how pink your gum is?
E.:- Yes, but why not... purple?
M.: - Because it would mean your gum is ill.
E.: - But mine is beautiful and healthy.
M.: - Sure it is. You take good care of your gum and teeth.

At another time when she wanted to look at the "big tooth" again, I flipped the side flaps back so she couldn't see them names and I "tested" her a little. I asked her to show me the gum, the dentine, the enamel and the pulp with the blood vessels. She remembered them all. In the book (I've already written about in an earlier post), Izgő-mozgó fogaim, she saw funny-looking bacteria chewing themselves through the enamel to the dentine. She remembered this picture and said:

- Mommy, in the book the bad bacteria goed (sic!) into the dentine to eat it.

I think now she's aware of the fact how important it is to clean our teeth. To be honest, she rarely refused to brush her teeth. Sometimes, when she is tired in the evening or in a bad mood, she asks me to do do it.

- Mommy, you do it, but gently, please.

Letter recognition

As she was really interested and amazed by the task above I thought a bit of letter recognition wouldn't hurt. I made 4 cards and added some Scrabble letter cubes to them.

Busy buddy at work - concentration on maximum

I also drew a tooth on which she could identify the different parts after finishing a word.


She needed to recognise the letters and put them in order. I expected her to ask for help or first I thought we should do this activity together but she did it all on her own... 3-4 times, actually. Then I decided to do the same in Hungarian as well.

Much to my surprise, she noticed that dentine (in English) and dentin (in Hungarian) are the same except for the last letter E. She told me this comparison once at dinnertime. Then we had to list a few words that are similar or the same in English and Hungarian. Mind you, we never compare the two languages, it happened in her head totally by herself.

Our dental project hasn't finished yet, though we'll take a break (to spend more time with E.'s new craze/hobby/interest i.e. chess).

But I'll come back with a compelling science experiment, which still belongs to our dental unit.

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

Our first dental project II. - 4 activities and free flashcards

E. turned 3 in May so we needed to show her teeth to a dentist. Just a general check-up. How lucky we have a dentistry next door! Visiting the dentist gave me the idea to take a closer look at teeth as a whole project.

1. Flashcards - matching real objects and cards

One afternoon on the way home from the nursery E. asked: - Mommy, did you make a task for me?
I did. This is what was waiting for her:

I prepared some flashcards with everyday objects related to dental health.

Electric toothbrush

She needed to match the objects with the pictures. While she was doing the matching and she didn't know a tool I named it for her. (Much to my surprise, she remembered dental floss. Once she was watching me flossing)

Then she experienced how to use some of them. (Of course, she knows how to open a toothpaste tube or how to brush with a toothbrush)


A new word learnt: vibrating

*scream* Mommy! It's funny... and ticklish
 Smelling the mouthwash

We don't drink it, just spit it out
I asked her to help me pack back all the tools on the bathroom shelf. She refused....

You can find a free printable of the dental health flashcards at the end of this blog post. The printable also includes some dental tools which can be found in a dentistry, such as a mouth mirror, a saliva ejector, explorer etc.

2. Brush, brush, brush

I searched for an image of a mouth (lips and teeth) online, next I printed and  laminated it (well, actually 4). With dry erase markers of different colours I created some plaque and germs on the teeth. Earlier I'd save E.'s old toothbrush and she used it to remove the plaque from the teeth. She enjoyed this activity so much for the first time that she's already done it 4 times since then.

The reason why she is smiling in the next photo is 1. she loves brushing 2. she named the mouth after one of her kindergarten mates and she made up a story around it:

This is L. and she ate M&Ms and now her teeth are dirty. I'll brush her teeth clean.

Later on, I had to name which little girl or boy's teeth she needed to brush and what they'd eaten.
Source of this activity: It's spooky. I've found it on pinterest, but now as I've just wanted to link the site and it's gone :(

3. Egg carton teeth

I took the idea from Sense of Wonder Mom's Let's play dentist blog post.

She didn't describe it in details how to prepare the egg carton teeth so I can share how I made it.

What you need:

  • a sheet of red construction paper or cardboard
  • an egg box (made of paper and not plastic)
  • scissors
  • glue and or cello-tape
  • coloured crepe paper pieces and/or yarn
  • a white yarn piece
  • toothbrush

How to make it:

  • cut A/4 sized red construction paper and curve two corners - this will be the gum and the tongue
  • cut out the dimples (where you otherwise place the eggs) of the egg box (I cut 10 dimples out of 2 different egg boxes as I was creating only the lower jaw but if you've got a lot more time than me you can make the upper jaw too then you'll need 20 i.e 2 egg boxes)
  • stick the dimples onto the red sheet in a semi-circle (first I tried cello-tape, then fast-drying liquid glue. The latter worked better. I glued the sides of the egg box dimples and placed them on the paper. To make sure they are firmly stuck on the sheet I put two thicker books on the top. It took 10-12 minutes to dry perfectly.
  • wedge the crepe paper pieces and yarn pieces in between the "teeth"

First, E. brushed the sides and the top and I raised her attention to the leftover food pieces between the teeth.

Then she started flossing:

Look, I can take it out
We also talked about what happens when you do not brush properly. A cavity appears on the tooth and you need the dentist to fill it it.

So we played dentist:
  • I gave her a mask to put on to protect her against the germs
    - Mommy, why do you need a mask?
    - To keep the germs away from your mouth and from the doctor's mouth
  • I took Daddy's electric screwdriver that magically turned into a dental drill (unfortunately the battery of it was flat. It would have been fun to drill the tooth)
  • I gave her bits of tissue paper to fill in the cavity.
Little Dentist is ready to work

Drilling the cavity

filling the hole
She drilled and filled in two teeth then she got annoyed with the mask...

4. Brushing movement on a big molar

I made a big molar out of a plastic bottle. I cut off the bottom of it and painted it white. I provided E. with her old toothbrush and she started to brush it. (The idea comes from the same link above)
I told (and showed) her how to brush  
  • the sides back and forth
  • the top with a circular movement (round and round)
  • the inside with a sweeping movement (sweep sweep)

Round and round, back and forth, sweep-sweep
She enjoyed these tasks a lot. So much she wanted to do them several times. 
- Mommy, can I brush the teeth again?
- Draw some germs on the teeth.
- I want to floss.

We were dealing with these activities for a week. She was so fascinated by them I made some more. Come back later to check them out.

Does your little one like brushing their teeth?

Here you can download the flashcards (just click on the picture below):

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