Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Tête, Nez, Bouche (Head, Nose, Mouth)

Oh how the language of a child can make you smile :D

Poppette has recently come out with another self made classic. ''Tête, Nez, Bouche'' (Head, Nose, Mouth). She says this whenever there's a chance she might fall and hurt herself.

It's brilliant. It encapsulates all the advice I have given her about being careful and all the slips, trips and falls she has had of late into one neat little phrase.

This cute little phrase came about through Poppette's love to climb. She's a fearless little girl. I find myself always saying ''Fais attention à ta tête'' (watch out for your head) because she is always banging it on something. So she had begun to say, in advance of attempting any one of her heroic climbs, ''Tête'' to let me know that she knew that she needed to be careful.

Then last week, she fell off the bed and banged her nose.

''Tête'' became ''Tête, Nez'' (Head, Nose). That was cute enough.

But then she fell again and... you guessed it, she banged her mouth.

So... ''Tête, Nez, Bouche'' it is.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Sensory Play

This week I have been exploring colour and texture with Poppette. There are so many ways to stimulate the mind and imagination of a curious toddler whilst at the same time providing a great opportunity for language enrichment. I find many of my ideas on Pinterest (you can take a peek at my boards here) and on some great activity blogs which I follow. I have provided links to my sources below so do have a look if you're interested.

By far our favourite activity so far (and, when I say this, I mean the one that Poppette responded to the best in terms of enjoyment and time spent exlporing/ playing) was the mess free finger painting (idea from Hippie Housewife). It's soooo simple. I used the idea to introduce Poppette to the colour red. I simply gave her the paint board, showed her how to make a mark with her hand and a couple of other objects and then sat back and watched.... at first she squished the paint with her hands and we discussed how it felt (or rather, should I say, I spoke to her about how it might possibly feel to her), then I gave her a selection of red toys/ objects and she experimented with the effect that they had when she used them on the paint board e.g. she drove her red car over it and we looked at the tracks it made, she scraped a red fork over it, she stamped red shapes on it... she even walked and danced on it!!! So there was plenty to discuss whilst she amused herself.

We have also had fun with discovery bottles (idea from Pink Pistachio). I filled a bottle with water, pom poms and buttons in primary colours (and a couple of googly eyes just for extra fun). This gave us fabulous scope for discussing colours, things that float and sink, about bubbles which appear when you shake the bottle, about the sounds that you hear when you roll, shake or tip the bottle upside down and that's just for starters. As with anything, the trick is to be lucky enough to  pick contents that will hold your child's attention. Poppette is quick to leave to one side items that she deems to be of little interest (despite the time and effort her poor maman has put into their creation :D )

Finally, I made up a treasure basket (idea from Counting Coconuts). This is the first one I have ever attempted and I have to say I don't think it was a grand success. I looked around the apartment for things that Poppette hadn't come accross before that I thought she might like to touch, smell or look at. Inevitably, a few of these things were subjected to the taste test so I made sure I stayed by her side to supervise accordingly :D They key here is, again,to pick objects that will intrigue your child. I failed miserably. Poppette enjoyed scrunching the bubble wrap and playing with the bottle and jar lids and measuring cups but the rest of the contents just sat there looking...well, on reflection, I guess they looked BORING!!!

I have also come across some great ideas for texture cards (here at Engaging Toddler Activities and here at My Delicious Ambiguity) which I plan to adapt so that we can continue to play, learn and explore.

If you have any ideas for fun learning activities that you would like to share, I would love to hear them.

Friday, 8 June 2012

And the winner is......


Yes, you heard correctly and, believe me, I am as suprised as you are. Little old me that never wins a thing (well, apart from the toothbrush and toothpaste kit I vaguely remember winning courtesy of Colgate when I was a child).

I am a fan of Barefoot Books In France on Facebook and entered a competiton one day without even a slight flicker of a thought that I might win. So when Nicole (the host) contacted me to say I was the lucky winner of 25 Euros worth of Barefoot's books (of my choice), I was gobsmacked.

For those of you that do not yet know about Barefoot Books, it was the brain child of "two mothers who wanted their children to have books that would feed the imagination, while instilling a respect for diversity and a love of the planet." Today, they "are a world-wide community of writers, artists, storytellers, musicians, and others who are committed to providing timeless stories and captivating art that can help children become happy, engaged members of a global society." They have a wonderful selection of beautifully told stories with fabulous illustrations.

The icing on the cake, for me, was the fact that Barefoot carry a small number of French (and Spanish) bilingual books and I was able to pick four fabulous English/ French books that Poppette and Little Man will love.

I chose :-

Bear in Sunshine/ L'ours au soleil
Bear in a Square/ L'ours dans un carré
Bear at home/ L'ours à la maison
Bear in town/ L'ours dans la ville

These books are really simple. They have one short sentence per page which will help with vocab building around the theme of the book. The gorgeous illustrations then provide a great base for open ended discussion ... so far Poppette and I have been reading 'Bear in Sunshine' as I am, little by little, teaching her about the weather.

Whilst on the topic of weather.... Poppette astounded me when she woke up this morning .. as Papa carried her into the lounge, she pointed to the window and said (for the first time ever) 'pleut' i.e. il pleut (it's raining) and boy was it... the UK is practically submerged under water right now :D