Monday, 30 November 2015

Thanksgiving with turkeys

At this time of the year we have real difficulties preparing for all the festivals and celebrations we have:

  • Thanksgiving (26th Nov)
  • Daddy's birthday (28th Nov)
  • the beginning of Advent (29th Nov)
  • St. Nicolas Day (or Santa Day - 5th Dec)
Not to mention that illnesses were on and off all month, three in a row. There haven't been 3 consecutive days when everybody in the family was perfectly healthy.

Still, we managed to do a little bit of fun for Thanksgiving.
Of course, it was mainly about turkeys :)

I made this home-made salt dough: 

1 cup salt
1 cup hot water
2 cups flour
1 or 2 tbs cocoa powder (to make it brown)

Mix them all. I kneaded the dough with my hand but you can use a mixer. If you choose to knead it wait a little until the hot water cools down. Then I put it in a plastic container and next to the fridge for a short while (1-2 hours)

When ready, I prepared this for E.:

On the tray I prepared coloured feathers, orange foam triangles for the beak, googly eyes, red (water drop shaped) foam for the wattle (the red skin hanging down from the beak of the turkey along its neck - "bőrlebernyeg" in Hungarian). In the middle there was the brown salt dough.

We made balls out of the dough to make the body and the head. First, we kneaded the dough and then with rolling movement we formed them into balls. These movements are really useful to strengthen the muscles in a child's hand.

Googly eyes: a girl and a boy

Placing the wattle
Then E. made two turkeys and me too. We fixed the beak and eyes as well as the wattle, after all this she stuck the tail feathers in.

We practised saying the colours, the different parts of the turkey, like feather, beak, head and body or this new word (even for me): wattle. We used expressions like roll the dough, knead the dough, stick it in etc. We also talked a little bit about why we celebrate Thanksgiving, why we have a feast at this time of the year.

I found another great turkey activity online. Turkey feather counting mats. You can use these either as play dough mats (so you can use coloured play dough to make the feathers) or with real feathers. E. was so into these colourful feathers we used them again. 

Finally, we had a Thanksgiving feast (quite a moderate one). My Mum stayed for dinner too (also help with preparing some turkey breast roast and pumpkins) and we all said what we are thankful for in our lives.

And what is E. thankful for?

- I'm thankful for my parents, my Godparents and my toys and others... the good meats and my friends in the nursery.

I'm thankful for my wonderful daughter and my family.


If you wish to listen to some Thanksgiving videos on youtube, or prepare a tree of gratitude, just click on the pic below:

If you haven't had enough of thanksgiving, here are some more crafts:

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Halloween parties 2.015

Just like last year we threw a Halloween party in our home. We invited the mums and their kids from the local Mums' English Club. Also, we got a really kind invitation to a Helen Doron Halloween Party.

Here comes the summary of the party series:

E. had been preparing for Halloween for weeks. She decided it early what to dress up as: a Jack-o-lantern. My mum found this Jack-o-lantern costume in a second hand clothes shop and I made a little skirt to go with it. E. had an exact idea how to do her hair (a stem on the top out of her fringe and leaf hair clips).

Unfortunately, she couldn't take part in the Halloween costume party at the kindergarten as E. had been ill for almost a week but I hope we could manage to compensate her.

My husband was on holiday to help me with the pumpkin carving and decor. I needed to work in the morning, so E. and Daddy went to the market to buy a big pumpkin and by the time I got home our Jack-o-lantern had been carved. E. scooped out the inside and Daddy did the carving. (This activity was done in Hungarian)

We wanted to put on the scary Halloween decoration in our living-room while E. was sleeping but she was over-excited because of the party and she couldn't sleep a wink. Eventually, she ended up helping, which made the whole process really long. Mostly she took off what we'd put on.

Finally I prepared Daddy's eye patch for his pirate costume (which was very basic: checked shirt, jeans, eye-patch and a head scarf). I dressed up as a mummy (which was E.'s idea. She loved to say: "Mommy, you'll be a mummy at Halloween. A Mommy mummy") with the help of some gauze that I wrapped around myself over a long sleeved white top.

Guests began arriving, bringing a lot of treats. (I'd also prepared some sausage mummies, healthy fruit and cheese snacks and some biscuits too.) And from that moment everything went in English.

There were four moms and their kids (twins and siblings too) and also 2 dads turned up. Even more moms wished to come but they got sick. What a pitty! Maybe next year.

The party was mainly about eating, though we also found some time to sing some Halloween songs and other traditional English nursery rhymes for the little ones. Throwing the Halloween balloons was one of the favourite hits with the kids.

The Halloween costume contest ended with 3 winners who received English children books for their outfits:

Ladybirds (the twins)

The witch

As I'd just broken our camera before the party, all of the photos were taken by our phones, hence the poor quality. Anyway, we could enjoy the moment instead of watching the happenings from behind a camera.

On the 31st we were invited to a Helen Doron Halloween party in the city centre. (E.'s ex-HD teacher invited us. How nice of her!). There were some colouring activities, we made a scary ghost lantern out of a jar, some gauze, googly eyes and a tea light inside.

There were a lot of fantastic costume ideas and a dark, scary room the children loved. E. went back twice. They needed to climb through spider webs and match X-ray photos with animals and body parts. And of course, at the end everybody could choose some candy from the trick-or-treat bag.
Thanks you, Zs, for inviting us. It was so much fun!

Spooky lights in the dark room

Zs. is showing an X-ray photo and the matching animal

They all managed to climb through the web

Funny costumes

Scare you next year, too!

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