Baking Shapes

Our next language unit is going to be all about shapes! Froggy chose the topic. I don’t know how many times we’ve done shape themes in the past 4 years, but it’s still a favorite!

I started doing language themes when Froggy was 3 and Hippo was just a baby. Every morning, while Hippo napped, Froggy and I would do a project. Having this structure in his day really helped. And we both had so much fun! We did art projects, science projects, themed baths, books, songs – you name it, if it went with our theme, we tried it! That’s when I started collecting ideas on Pinterest boards, too! (Click on my Pinterest button on the right to check out all my daily activity boards!)

Now we are using these themes to help our German. I was off to a good start with Froggy’s weather lessons. And now I really want to get Hippo more involved. So I’ve asked AP3 to help out and try to come up with activities to do with him, while I focus more on Froggy’s lessons.

Since we are still in Valentine mode, our first activity was a baking one. We simply made a cake heart! I saw the idea on Pinterest, of course. It was super simple! Froggy helped me make the batter. Then after the cakes cooled, we put them together to make our heart and covered it with pink frosting. I wanted a little chocolate, and I knew Froggy would choose yellow cake with white (or pink) icing, so I added some chocolate chips to one of the cakes.

You bake one 8-inch square cake and one 8-inch round cake (or use 9-inch pans for both). After they cool, place the square cake at an angle, like a diamond. Then cut your round cake in half, and place each semi-circle at the top of the diamond shape. Voila! You now have a heart-shaped cake! I had to cut off the tops of the cakes to get them to be the same height. And I needed a pretty big plate to put it on. Since I didn’t have a plate big enough, I used a cutting board. The boys loved it!

Valentine Countdown

Recently, two different friends sent me a picture of the same idea: decorating the kids’ doors with Valentine hearts. You hang one up every day for 14 days starting on the first of February. But to make them even more special, you write something you love about your child on each heart. Love that!

Of course, I have to turn this into an opportunity to put a little German in front of the boys! So every night I’ve been putting up a heart with a German sentence about the boys. I write in all caps for Hippo, since he’s still learning letters and not reading yet. Froggy gets regular letters, which show off the capitalized German nouns better! So far, I’ve written the same messages on both doors. They can be a bit competitive! At some point, I might write more specific messages.

 

Here are some of the messages:

  • Wir haben dich lieb!
  • Ich mag es, wenn du lachst!
  • Du kannst gut tanzen!
  • Du bist ein guter Bruder!
  • Es hat Spaß gemacht, das Spiel mit dir anzuschauen!
  • Du bist sehr lustig!

Update: I just added a picture of the finished door. It’s so colorful! I think we’ll leave the hearts up for a while!

It’s not too late to start! Even if you just do a few, it’s a great idea!

I think I tracked down the blog where my friends found the original picture: it’s called Skip to My Lou.

Have fun with your hearts! Let me know what messages you leave!

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Valentine Stories

Yesterday in story hour, we celebrated Valentine’s Day! I always like to focus on friendship when choosing books and songs for the little ones. Here’s what we did:

BOOKS:

  • Alles Freunde by Nele Moost & Annet Rudolph (Esslinger, 2015)
  • “Der Liebesbrief” from Frosch und Kröte by Arnold Lobel (dtv junior, 2008)
  • Frosch ist verliebt by Max Velthuijs (Beltz & Gelberg, 2015)

SONGS:

For lyrics, you can download this PDF document: Lieder zu Valentinstag

  • Ich bin ein dicker Tanzbär (Die 30 besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder)
  • Der Kuckuck und der Esel (traditional)
  • Wenn du fröhlich bist (version from Die 30 besten Kindergartenlieder)

CRAFT:

This year, we made foam hearts with the word “LIEBE” on them. We used some large foam hearts and put smaller foam heart and letter stickers on them. Then punched a hole and put some yarn through them. Easy, but it gets a little letter practice in, too!

Valentine Mazes

A while back, Froggy was really into mazes. I mean, REALLY! We all got good at drawing them. And I used to make them on the computer, too. So I thought I would post a week’s worth of Valentine mazes! If your child is starting to read, this is a fun way to get them to read a sentence, too!

You can download all 7 PDF files here in a zip folder:

Valentinstaglabyrinthe-GitA

Here’s an idea of what they look like: