Happy new year!

Happy new year to all of you! Best wishes to everyone, but especially to all parents who try to raise the children bilingually.

Although we surely enjoyed our Christmas break, it was nice to get back into our routine after all these festive days. As several members were still on their holidays, we were a small group for our first session in 2015, but had a full program nevertheless!

After our usual songs at the beginning of the session, we split in only two groups, toddlers and kindergarten/pre-school children. The toddlers went upstairs in the play area, but as it was very cold in there, they came down earlier than usual and had some fun with play-dough.

With the older children, we played "1, 2, 3, Julia come to me", the English version of "Mein rechter, rechter Platz ist frei", but we have to work on that a bit more...

As our theme for the next couple of weeks is "winter", we read "Winnie in Winter". The children loved the story and shouted "Abracadabra" enthusiastically whenever appropriate.

After listening to a new snowman poem, we started with our theme of the day: Snowmen! The children had so much to do: colouring in one snowman, connecting the dots to create another new snowman, practicing to write the letter s, before cutting and glueing a S-shaped snowman like this:

The children even got "homework" this week, as we did not manage to cover it all. We hope they all have fun at home with "things to spot in a snowy town"...
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Santa Claus was coming to town!

At our last session this year, we had our annual Christmas party with lots of songs and performances!

The pre-school children starred in their first performance ever and played Santa Claus, Mrs. Claus, rendeers and cute elves in "Our first Christmas play". They were all doing very well, especially as they did not have much time to practice! Everyone who has been on stage himself knows, that it can be a bit frightening to talk in front of so many people. Thank you and well done pre-school group!

Our Christmas story was the classic "The night before Christmas" before the parents gave a very short fun performance of the song "5 snowmen".

Finally, the much anticipated special guest arrived: Santa Claus was coming to Mainz-Gonsenheim and all parents had fun to watch the children receiving their presents.

Thanks Santa and we look forward to see you again next year!

We will all enjoy our Christmas break now and wish you all a merry Christmas and a happy new year 2015!

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Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

Today we were busy preparing for our party next week. We all practised our christmas songs to start with.  Then the babies and toddlers went to play with some toys, whilst the rest of us got busy! 

The kindergarden aged children made an impressive christmas tree representing all the children in English Explorers.  From babies, to school age children, each member was represented by a christmas bauble.   They all made some paper chains, which we will hang-up next week to welcome Santa.

The pre-school children were learning their lines for their play.  We all can't wait to see it!  

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Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer

This week at English Explorers we started practicing our Christmas songs. We only have two weeks to prepare for the annual Christmas party! The children enjoyed being snowmen melted by the sun.

Afterwards, we all snacked on reindeer biscuits and gingerbread men, whilst listening to the story “The Gingerbread Man”. The school children started learning their parts for a very special Christmas play. Meanwhile the babies, toddlers and kindergarden children made some reindeers. The kindergarden children also practiced the letter “R” for Rudolf

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All about families

Another session full of fun and action for all children in our three groups...

The toddlers and babies read the story "Spot at his Grandparents" and did a family-themed finger rhyme before heading upstairs to play with the toys.

The kindergarten kids read "Meerkat mail" instead, and talked about different family members, before creating their personal family trees including grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.

The older kids completed a handout all about 'Me and my Family'. There was a big discussion about swimming and the question was, can pigs actually swim? The book that was read together 'Peppa goes Swimming' confirms that they do.

As all kids were full of energy, we played some action games like "What's the time Mr. Wolf?" in the end.

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Me and my family

Continuing with the theme 'Me and My Family' our school children talked about the people within their families, where people might live and what kinds of things families like to do together. The children then drew a picture of their families, attached a roof and made a house.

The kindergarten group also talked about their familes after listening to a story of the Large family "5 minutes of peace". Their pictures about their families look like this:

Our little ones had fun with salt dough in the meantime.

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All about ME

Today we started an exciting new topic called Me and my family for all three groups and were focusing on "me" in our first week.

We started our session with some energetic renditions of the songs "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" and "One-Finger, One-Thumb Keep Moving"

The school and pre-school children started by reading the book "I know how my cells make me grow". The children talked about themselves as a baby, how much they've grown and how much stronger they are too! Each child drew a picture of themselves and recorded their height, weight and the size of their hand.

The kindergarten kids and toddler listened both to "The most important thing", a story where animal talk about the different important features they have. After that the older children drew a "big me", using the outline of each body and put in a face and drew the clothes before talking about the drawings together.

Our little ones did beautiful handprints before heading up to our play area until it was time for some more songs at the end.

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And then comes Halloween...

We know, we know, Halloween was last Friday, on the 31st of October as every year.

However, due to the autumn school break we only had our Halloween party today and we were a very big group, nearly everybody showed up!

We celebrated Halloween in our usual English Explorers style with Halloween songs, a yummy buffet, story time, arts and crafts - the children decorated their Halloween bags - and of course our indoor "trick or treat"! This is especially suitable for the younger ones, but there were still some scary creatures behind some doors...

Next week we will start with our new theme "Me and my family" which will accompany us for the next couple of weeks.

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Newspaper article

A reporter of the Mainzer Allgemeine Zeitung came to one of our sessions in October and this is what she wrote...

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Halloween is just around the corner...

This Wednesday we continued the autumn theme and combined it with Halloween as it was the last session before the autumn school break.

The school and pre-school children read "Winnie’s Amazing Pumpkin", talked about different food made with pumpkins and then did some magic of their own in the kitchen by making perfect popcorn! In addition they potato printed pumpkins to make a card.

The kindergarten children listened to Axel Scheffer's "Pip and Posy - The scary monster" instead and made some scary Halloween decoration - vampire bats - before learning about the size and weight of the smallest bat in the world.

Of course we started this first Halloween session with some popular Halloween songs, like "Pumpkin, pumpkin" and "Booh booh went the little white ghost", but we all should practise them a bit at home, before meeting up for our Halloween party on the 5th of November...

Have a nice autumn school break everyone!

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Hedgehogs

We carried on with our autumn/fall theme this week. First the children acted out our "autumn leaves" song we have been learning, by sweeping-up leaves with brushes and then blowing them around again. The babies and toddler were entertained with an autumn story and a basket of conkers. The other children learnt about how and why hedgehogs hibernate. Afterwards, we made our own little hedgehogs with some autumn leaves. Aren't they cute?

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English Explorers' first nature day

In spite of some rain drops in the early afternoon, we were a nice group, meeting up at 4 pm ready to explore the woods around Gonsenheim.

We had quite a few activities on our agenda, but in the end the children had such a nice time doing the nature hunt, that we focussed on that. It is really cute, how all children just love it to collect stickers.

After all that hard work, we needed a break and had a lovely picnic, which also included talking about the colours we found in nature and learning about some common trees, like Maple or Birch.

After listening to the story of the "Three little pigs", we planned to build some mini-dens like this one,

but it was getting late so we concluded our first nature day at the lovely playground beside the "Nothelferkapelle". 

As we all enjoyed it, we will be surely back in the woods one day, maybe towards the end of the school year, after all, we still haven't met that bear...
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First nature day coming up!

Coming Wednesday we are going to meet in the deep (but not so dark) woods around Gonsenheim, for our first English Explorers' nature day!

Let's see if we can find a Gruffalo... maybe at least a bear...

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All about apples

While the older kids had fun creating yummy smoothies, the kindergarten group got enchanted by the story of the apple star. After that they all enjoyed creating their own apple trees.

Continuing within the theme, we met Annie Apple and the letter A/a during our letterland time, before we all listened to the delightful, but a bit sad story of "The giving tree".

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Smoothie Making & Tasting

Our school children were very excited to become smoothie makers. Together they mixed a yellow, a red "berry", and a cocoa smoothie. This activity was part of our ongoing theme "Active kids".

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Beginning of autumn

Slowly summer is coming to an end and we have started with our autumn theme, which will accompany us for the next couple of weeks.

Our little ones could discover a variety of things in our "autumn treasure chest", the kindergarten group was centred on apples and the pre-school/school aged children created yummy smoothies.

We will continue the autumn theme next week with our first nature hunt and hope for a nice Indian summer day!

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Sports day 2014

We probably enjoyed one of the last beautiful summer days this year when we met at a park in Gonsenheim yesterday for our annual sports day. After having a nice picknic the kids enjoyed running around at the playground, while the parents found some time for a chat.

However, soon enough the races were about to begin: like Timmy the sheep and his friends in our story, the kids were lining up exitedly for the first race - the egg and spoon race. Followed by the bean bag race, running backwards race, duck-run race, a sack race and finally the three-legged race.

We had a lot of fun and at our races it was not important to win. Every child who participated was cheered at and got the cherrished sticker for his or her certificate. Some of them loved their certificates so much, they hung it up at their bedroom doors...

We are already looking forward to our next sports day next year, but now we are ready to go back to our normal session routine next Wednesday when we will start with our autumn/halloween theme for the next couple of weeks.

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Start into the new school year

It was lovely to see some new faces as well as catching up with old friends in our first session of the new school year. After having a short cofffee break with fruits and cookies for the children, we listened to the letterland story of Oscar Orange and the Octopus, before splitting up into our two groups kindergarten age and pre-school/school aged children.

Under the theme 'Active Kids', the older children starting looking at ways to enjoy a healthy lifestyle. The picture illustrates the number and variety of fruit and veg they should eat each day.

We shall follow a programme over the academic year aimed at forming good habits with regards to food and exercise through cooking, crafting, games and stories.

The kindergarten kids continued first in the theme of the Letterland story and had time to colour in oranges and octopusses as well as training their "o" writing skills. Before we did an activity connecting both the new letter and the sports day coming up next week as you can see in the picture below.

We are all looking forward to the sports day event coming Wednesday! We will continue with our normal session on Wednesday 24th of September with an autumn theme we will work on for the next weeks up to Halloween.

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Open Welcome Session coming up!

We will have an open Welcome back session on the 10th of September. Anybody interesed in joining us is very welcome to come and see what we are doing.

We have 3 groups - babies and toddlers, pre-school and school children and we have free places available, especially in the school children group.

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Supporting the German soccer team!

The hottest topic in the last couple of weeks was without any doubt the soccer World cup in Brasil. We joined in the celebration with our latest activity of our kindergarten group.

After listening to another wonderful Julia Donaldson book "The snail and the whale", we talked about the wide world, the flags of several English speaking countries and finally created our own German flags, which the children proudly displayed.

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