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! 🙂

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 Höfele
  • “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.

German Date #3: Planet Activity

Our space fun continued today on our third German Date 🙂

I hadn’t had time to create anything snazzy before I picked up Froggy from school. So while we dug into our fro-yo, I whipped up a quick worksheet to go with some stickers I’d picked up at the craft store. The planet stickers are by Mrs Grossmann’s. They come with six planets, so I created questions to go with them.

2016-05-16 15.44.50

Don’t look too closely! When I got home, AP2 found a few mistakes! Well, I wrote up the activity in a more formal document – with corrections! – and you can download it here:

Space Sticker Activity (PDF)

We also used the activity as an opportunity to practice German letters. Once Froggy came up with the answer, I spelled the planet in German for him. Those vowels get a bit confusing!

I tried to get him to play Hangman (Galgenmenschen) with me as well, but I couldn’t persuade him. It would be another great way to practice those letters!

Instead, we brought out the Space Cards again. This time, we played Fische! (Go Fish!). We used two sets of the cards. He chose to use the set with pictures and words plus the set with just pictures. I think it might have helped to put out the set with pictures and words, since I’m still learning which planets are which! Then we could have matched picture cards to word cards. But the game still was lots of fun. We played twice! Here you can see my hand, the deck of cards for “fishing,” and Froggy’s matches.

2016-05-16 15.55.20.jpg

Fische!!