Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Days of December

Here are our memories of December 2016. Every day I'll add some picture or a story of the day. A nice memory to look back on. Some activities are in English some are in Hungarian.

1st Dec

Our advent calendar is on

 2nd Dec

Activity from the advent calendar: a nutcracker puzzle. Of course we read the story too.

3rd Dec
Gingerbread party with our Hungarian friends

 4th Dec

Auchan shopping before Christmas. We got Auchan stickers and we made a good use of them.

Auchan Christmas tree
New play mats for Baby L. (E. put them together for her little sister)

5th Dec

Merry-go-round at the advent market with E.'s best friend. It was really chilly.

And waiting for St. Nicholas (Santa) to come. E. cleaned Baby Sis's little shoes.

6th Dec

Opening loads of presents in the morning.

7th Dec

St. Nicholas (Santa) came to I.-Grandma too.

8th Dec

E. made a Christmas tree out of old number stickers. (I wrote numbers on a sheet and she had to put the right stickers on them. She gave it up half way, but I encouraged her to finish it.)

We walked the dog with E. and met a blind lady with her guide dog, Cloud. The 2 dogs were playing and E. was over the moon, running around, calling the dogs and giving them treats.

9th Dec

E. got a new winter jacket and we went to the playground. L. fell asleep in the pushchair and there was some fun Mommy-and-big-daughter time.

E. opened the advent calendar with Daddy. They made a door wreath activity together.

10th Dec

We went ice-skating in the morning but after 5 minutes E. changed her mind and didn't want to ice-skate any longer.

The afternoon was about playing together and it was lots of fun. E. is getting better and better at Dobble:

The girls had a bath together for the first time :) (no pictures of it... 😛 )

11th Dec

Our pastor's wife organised gingerbread decoration for the kids in the morning. We took some of our leftover decor pens and beads.

We had a board game afternoon. First, we played a little Dobble again, then E. found out a Fruit board game. You can read about how to play it in the instructions. Everything was her idea. I just drew the fruit. Baby Sis joined in... all she wanted to do was to eat the die.

It's hard to read the instructions, so here they are: flower - throw again, x - miss a turn, a man - jump over, a fruit - name the fruit.

12th Dec

With my cleaning lady we tidied the kitchen cupboards and I gave away a lot of tea canisters and some mugs.

13th Dec

Helen Doron English session with L.

14th Dec

Not a very Christmassy art project, but these swans were E.'s own idea and she made the one on the left all by herself. Then I needed to follow her instruction and make a Daddy swan (on the right).

15th Dec

E. was at the grandparents and I managed to prepare for Christmas. Shopping and gift-wrapping is almost done.

16th Dec

Christmassy domino game

We made a home-made Christmas present: nuts and dried fruit in a jar with honey. (In this blog post you can read about it in more detail - coming soon)

Our nanny, V.  was here today and E. enjoyed her time with V. that she wanted her to stay for bath-time  😜

The girls have been enjoying their bath together so much.

17th Dec

Grandpa came and put on these 2 display bookshelves. E. wasn't much interested as her favourite books are in her room next to her bed, but L. really enjoyed packing the books down and having a look at them.

18th Dec

We did some Christmassy craft. Santa's hat out of popsicle sticks and cotton balls.
At the beginning E. was enthusiastic, then we could hardly finish it. This was the day when the Angels stopped bringing her activities and fun tasks in the advent calendar. We hadn't opened any of them since 12 Dec. E. didn't want to... it took me a week to let go. 😩

19th Dec

We made Christmas tree ornaments as presents for 3 of our friends.

Then in the afternoon my best friend, B. (who talks to the kids in English only) came and we had a pre-Christmas celebration. E. got bath crayons as a present.

20th Dec

I bought a lovely teapot set for L. She loves when we sing I'm a little teapot at the breakfast table every day.

21st Dec

E. and I selected some toys that she doesn't like to play with any more and we offered it to a family where there won't be presents under the tree for the kids.

22nd Dec

No matter how hard I look for this day in my notes I find   nothing 😕
23rd Dec

I selected the toys and put away 2 small and 1 big IKEA box of them before the Christmas presents (and Baby Sis's birthday presents) arrive.

24th Dec

Christmas Eve 
According to our traditions the Angels bring the decorated Christmas tree, then Baby jesus puts the presents under the tree. With bells they signal when everything is ready. We opened the presents and played a lot.

25th Dec

We celebrated Christmas at my Mom's

26th Dec

We celebrated Christmas at my mother-in-law's.

27th Dec

Chilling out and playing... not with the new toys though...

E.'s all time favourite: Water Friends

28th Dec

E. and L.'s godparents and their kid came over to celebrate Christmas together.

29th Dec

We celebrated L.'s first birthday

30th Dec

I wrote an article about the present galore at this time of the year. The article is in Hungarian and published on the first week of 2017.

31st Dec
We were invited to a house party to celebrate the new year. We made some chocolate balls with coconut flakes for the "party".

That was all our December. Next year we might be doing it paper-based with the girls.

Baby books 0-12 months

When E. was a baby I wanted to write a post about what books we are using every 6-12 months. I didn't. I feel it as a pity so I got a second chance with Baby Sis. Here it comes. The books we've been using in L.'s first year.

What you'll be reading about:

  • cloth books
  • educational board books
  • touchy-feely books
  • noisy books
  • lift the flap books
  • +1 extra surprise

0-6 months

We mainly "read" cloth books. Or while Baby Sis was lying awake she was looking at the black and white images, like in this one. I also pointed at the pictures and said what was seen (daddy, baby, heart etc.)

It's also important to mention that the Velcro on the book is TASTY. 😂

IKEA cloth books are great. Apart from looking at them I could make up a very simple story on the basis of the pics. They're also interactive (you can pull out a rabbit from a black top hat)

Drugstore (DM) cloth books that crackle and rustle:

Maisy's bedtime - We usually have a look at this booklet before bath time.

Ladybird series: Baby touch
The 2 on the top were E.'s favourite as a baby

E. as a baby, "reading"

L.'s favourite: Wiggle Jiggle Ladybird

It's not an advertisement but I love Usborne books. Baby books by Usborne are simple, have great contrast and the images are cute. The touchy-feely books are not only pleasure to look at but also exciting for little fingers to touch the varied surfaces. Even my 4,5-year old loves to paw them. Here are what we have:

This is not the touchy and feely kind

Baby Sis is examining the fluffy bunny

6-12 months:

We on reading the books above and introduced some new ones:

Noisy books are number one (not so amusing for parents though after 15-20 minutes of quacking)

Old MacDonald will be a Christmas present

Lift the flap books are also fun to read with your little ones. My only problem is that they can get damaged easily as my kids try to peep under the flaps. Our favourites are the following:

Here is a Dear zoo song:

On this link you can PEEP inside

One of our favourites is this Animal hide-and-seek. You can see how fun it is in the video below.

And the extra surprise book with a hand puppet:
Five Silly Monkeys by 
The traditional song with a little twist. Here is a review from goodreads that I could have written:
"This time five monkeys are silly and not just mischievous. They jump on the bed of course, then they eat on the bed, swing on the bed, slide on the bed, and then spin on the bed.

Great fun for little ones and they love holding the cover with the monkeys heads made out of plastic for them to feel!"

L. loves to put her little finger through the holes. Sometimes a sing the original version. Sometimes with the funny activities like jumping,, swinging, sliding etc.

I hope you could find some ideas about what to read with your little one. Feel free to share what books you're reading with this age group.
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