Montags mit Mama: Presents!

Hippo is really getting into the Christmas spirit! We put up our trees (yes, we have two! One with just ball ornaments in silver and red, one with all our special ornaments we’ve collected over the years), and now he wants to start putting presents under them! So he and AP3 have been “wrapping” presents!

He found a small empty box, filled it with some shape beanbags. Why? I don’t know! That’s just what he thought should go in the box! And then he and AP3 wrapped the box in some old Christmas paper.

2016-11-28-12-54-44

Is it perfect? Of course not! But he had so much fun! He was so happy to bring it to me as I’m working in my office (try not to look at the mess behind him!). And after I unwrapped his Geschenk, he wanted to do it all over again! I think they rewrapped the “gift” 3 times!

You don’t need anything special. Just grab an empty box, some old wrapping paper, tape, and whatever your little one wants to put in the box. Turn on the holiday music, and have some fun!

What a simple activity to do during the holidays!

Montags mit Mama: Pumpkins!

It’s that time of year! The leaves are turning fiery colors. The air is getting crisp. And it’s time to visit the pumpkin patch! We started the tradition 3 years ago. Our local patch is only about 10 minutes from our house. We can go on a hay ride or pull a Radio Flyer wagon out to the pumpkins. The boys always enjoy being pulled out to the pumpkin patch in the wagon.

We got some small pumpkins this year in addition to the bigger ones we would carve. So Hippo and I got out the paints and started decorating. We used circle-shaped sponge brushes in different sizes to start applying paint. Perfect opportunity to talk about shapes! Hippo started out by making a pattern. I was so impressed! But then he just couldn’t stop himself. So it turned into a lovely blue-green pumpkin. That’s okay, though. It’s they boys’ favorite color!

So our little activity allowed us to talk about fall, pumpkins, shapes, and colors.

Montags mit Mama: Color Mixing

Hippo has been so interested in colors lately, so I thought we would do some coloring mixing this morning.

Last night, I prepared the “experiment”. I filled an ice cube tray with water and then added food coloring in red, yellow, and blue. A few drops in each cube was enough to make our three colors.

This morning, we set up our table with the tablecloth, a plate, a fork*, and the colored cubes. I also drew up a quick sheet to see what Hippo thought would happen when we mixed the colors. He was pretty off! But that’s part of the fun ­čÖé

2016-10-04-13-42-53

First he guessed what each mixture of colors would make. Then we put one cube of each color on the plate and let him play with them. As they melted, the two primary colors combined to make the new secondary color. Magic! Then we filled in the Ergebnis circle with the correct answer. In the end, he mixed ALL of the colors together. You can imagine what happened then … a nice, muddy mess of colors ­čÖé

*He started out using his fingers to move the colored ice cubes around. Of course, his fingers turned red and yellow and blue, too! So we got out a fork for mixing the color cubes instead.

Here’s a blank form you can download in PDF: farben-mischen-gita. It looks like this:

farben-mischen-gita-page-001

Save

Montags mit Mama: Name Train

Our little Hippo started school last week! He is 3-and-a-half years old and will be going 3 half days (Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday). I’m so happy – and relieved! – to say that his first week was a huge success! Froggy started 1st grade, and it was an easy transition. This morning, he informed Hippo that he wouldn’t go to school today, and Hippo completely slumped in his chair. Half of me wanted to hug him, since he was so sad, and the other half wanted to jump for joy that he likes school so much! ­čÖé

My goal is to do a project with Hippo on Monday mornings, since he isn’t in school. It’s a great way to spend some “quality”time together. When Froggy was 3, we used to do projects almost every day – crafts, art, science experiments, all kinds of fun things! And of course, I want to use it as an opportunity for a German lesson!

Today we borrowed an idea from Tippytoe Crafts: Name Trains! Here’s what we needed:

2016-09-12-10-56-05

  • print-out of a locomotive and some tracks
  • colorful squares of paper
  • letter stencils
  • scissors
  • glue stick
  • crayons
  • black paper
  • small circle punch
  • large piece of paper (or a couple of sheets taped together)

I could have had Hippo just draw train tracks, but he hasn’t been into drawing or coloring lately. In fact, his locomotive remains black and white!

First, we glued the tracks down. Then the locomotive. Next, we started sounding out his name. I think he knows his letters well enough. But I was surprised that he could figure out which ones we needed next. Each letter “car”was glued on to the train. Then he glued on the wheels. He could have colored the letters and decorated the paper, but like I said, he’s just not into it right now.

2016-09-12-11-15-27

After we finished the train, we practiced some color recognition. We even included braun and grau from the tracks!

While we worked, I played some German train songs, too.

  • “Die Eisenbahn, Die Eisenbahn” by Stephen Janetzko
  • “Mit der Eisenbahn” by Ottmar Liedl
  • “Der Schaffner hebt den Stab” by Lamp Leute (Die 30 besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder, Vol. 2)
  • “Das Tschuu-Tschuu-Eisenbahn-Lied” by Hartmut H├Âfele
  • “Der Zug ist Weg” by Stephen Janetzko

The clipart for the locomotive was created by Charlotte’s Clips, and the tracks were created by Hidesy’s Clipart.