Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Teach Your Children Spanish Through Reading Together

Literacy is an important aspect of your child’s development! By adding bilingual
titles to your home library is an excellent way to enrich your child’s development
with Spanish. Teaching your children Spanish through reading is a fun, easy way
to keep the language learning alive. Here are a few tips and resources for
teaching Spanish through reading together:

1.If your own Spanish is limited, choose titles that have small amounts of
text, so that you are able to read and reinforce the story without trying to
read too much. Board books by Rebecca Emberly are a great choice.
2. Whether you are a native speaker or learning alongside your child, audio
books offer a great option for reading together. Check out Lorito Books
and their great list of bilingual audio books. You and your children will love
listening to the stories aloud!
3. Barron Books have a great collection of bilingual titles, including cute
pictures, and easy to follow along story lines. Kids are able to easily make
connections with the text and illustrations.
4. If you haven’t bookmarked Latin Baby Book Club, now is your chance! They
have a wonderful list of Spanish and bilingual titles that they review and
recommend. I have found so many fabulous books to add to my collection
from this helpful site.
5. If you like to do computer activities with your children, visit Cody’s Cuentos
and enjoy the online audio stories together. You and your children will be
able to follow along with text and practice comprehension and fluency.
6. Take a trip to your local library together and visit the juvenile international section. You will probably be surprised to find lots of bilingual titles. Our library also has a great collection of audio books, big colorful picture dictionaries, and picture books in various languages. Check out some of that interest your child and enjoy reading together!

Buena Suerte!

Monday, December 14, 2009

And The Winner Is....

Beth Ineson!


Thanks so much for your comments and input. I hope that you will visit Lorito Books and consider them for your bilingual library, they are fantastic!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Teach Kids Spanish with Audio Books! Giveaway!

I am huge fan of any kind of literacy learning that will enrich my children's bilingual development. Lorito Books is one of our absolute favorites! Their audio books are beautifully written, illustrated, and narrated. The audio portion really keeps children engaged and interested. It is a fantastic tool for comprehension and fluency reinforcement. Audio books are a powerful tool for teaching Spanish to children!

Lorito Books offer high quality, word-for-word audiobook readalongs for young readers and second language learners. They are dedicated to building literacy and second language skills with the use of audiobooks as learning tools. The culturally relevant titles and bright, appealing illustrations engage children and bring the stories to life!

Check out their new releases here!

Giveaway! You have the chance to win this fabulous audio book El Desierto es Mi Madre. Simply visit Lorito Books , return here and make a comment indicating which title interests you most, or what you have learned about their company. One lucky winner will be chosen Dec. 13. This is a perfect holiday gift.

Comment now for your chance to win this gorgeous book by Pat Mora.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Teach Children Spanish with Holiday Words

As parents and educators trying to incorporate bilingual learning in our children's lives, it is always fun to find fresh ideas for keeping the learning alive. It is fun to take time from the busy holidays to teach kids Spanish using thematic words and phrases. My kids and I made a list of a few Spanish holiday vocabulary words and how we could actively use them. Feel free to share any ideas you may have that might fit with this vocabulary list. Gracias!

diciembre- each day talk about la fecha. Count days on the calendar and say the date ( hoy es el 3 de diciembre).

la tarjeta de Navidad- make a creative Christmas card and send it to a loved one or teacher.

el abrazo- hug your familia each day!

la lista- make a list of things that need to get done, or all the ways you were good this year. Keep lista on the fridge to stay focused.

las luces de Navidad- talk a walk through your neighborhood and look at Christmas lights. Name the colors in Spanish.

los villancicos- Sing or listen to your favorite Christmas carols.

los adornos- help decorate the tree and house with Christmas decorations. Make creative ornaments for the tree.

las galletas- make some Christmas cookies for a neighbor and say "Feliz Navidad".

el regalo- decorate butcher paper and wrap gifts together.

La flor de nochebuena- play I Spy everytime you go to the mall or public places and see how many poinsettas you can count each time.

For more info about Mexican Christmas traditions and lesson ideas, click here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Learn Spanish Live!

Typically I am focusing on early language development, but I wanted to share a great resource for adults. This is a super option for parents trying to teach children Spanish at home. If you are proficient and just need a conversational buddy, or if you are learning alongside your child, SpeakShop is a fun, educational option! Speakshop is an online tutoring service that connects you to live Spanish speaking tutors in Guatemala and Nicaragua. Simply hook up via webcam and you will have access to live, conversational, native speaking Spanish professionals. This is a fantastic resource that allows you to learn Spanish live through audio and video. If you are looking for reinforcement for your own Spanish profeciency so that you can effectively continue to enhance your child's bilingual development, check out You can try it out with a FREE TRIAL now.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Teach your Children Spanish with El Baile del Sombrero!

Looking for another great tool to teach your child Spanish? Check out
El Baile del Sombrero! Created by dynamnic husband/wife duo Charles and Fati Mister, they have created a fun, upbeat CD for children. As parents themselves raising their own children in a bilingual household, they know well the advantages of using interactive music as a beneficial teaching tool. El Baile del Sombrero is filled with fun lyrics, easy to sing along songs, great rhythms, and useful vocabulary. We popped it in our car and my two kids immediately starting bopping around in their seats. We listen to only Spanish language music while in the car and this CD has been a fantastic addition to our collection. You can learn more about Charles and Fati here , and maybe even catch one of their popular live concerts!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Teach Kids Spanish this Halloween!

Halloween is just around the corner and you have probably done many crafts, maybe some costume parties, and snuck into the chocolates, but have you had some bilingual Halloween fun?

I like to teach thematic vocabulary using actions and sounds ( in a somewhat TPR manner). By making the learning interactive, the language comes alive for kids.

This Halloween, teach your children Spanish by reinforcing vocabulary with visuals that you see everyday ( decorations at home, in stores, on tv, in books, etc). Here are some fun, easy suggestions for teaching kids Spanish.

Halloween vocabulary:

el fantasma/ ghost- make a spooky ghost noise

la bruja/ witch- cackle like a witch

la calabaza/pumpkin- hold your arms in a circle as if you are holding a big pumpkin.

el dulce/candy- rub your tummy and say 'yum'

el gato negro/ black cat- say meow!

el murcielago/bat- flap your arms like you are flying

La araña/ spider- do the 'itsy bitsy spider' movement w/ your fingers.

Teach these actions to your kids. Reinforce daily and when you see the items. First start by saying the word in Spanish and kids do the actions. After a few days of reinforcement, switch roles. You do action and kids say the word. Remember production is a developmental stage that comes later and you need to be patient with your children's absorbtion of the vocabulary. These are fun activities because you can be creative, silly, and interactive!

Encourage your kids to teach others their new Halloween words!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Hispanic Heritage Month Trivia

You may already be teaching your children Spanish and raising bilingual learners. Now, test your knowledge on Hispanic Heritage Trivia!

Take a quiz on Latin Entertainers

How is your knowledge of geography of Hispanic America?

Play concentration for fun vocabulary practice.

More fun trivia facts:

What event do Mexicans and Mexican-Americans celebrate on Sept. 16?
September 16 is Mexican Independence Day.

What are sikus, quenas, wankaras and charangos?
Andean musical instruments.

What three U.S. states are home to most Hispanic-owned businesses? California, Texas and Florida.

Who is the city of Galveston, Texas named after?
Marshall Bernardo de Galvez

What historic event is celebrated on May 5th (or Cinco de mayo)?
On May 5, 1862, Mexican forces defeated the invading soldiers of France at the Battle Of Puebla.

What is one of the accepted roots of the word Mariachi?
It is a variation of the French word mariage, meaning wedding or marriage; or that it comes from the name of the wood used to make the platform on which the performers danced to the music of the village musicians.

Would you like to make a pinata at home? Try this!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

GoGo Lingo

Have you heard of GoGo Lingo? It is a fun, innovative new site that offers kids' games that teach over 200 words and phrases in Spanish. I especially like the customized progress reports for your individual children. I am very particular about what my children play online and I was very impressed with the safe, ad free environment. The activities were fun, interactive, and age appropriate for both my 4 year old and 7 year old. The audio component is excellent in that it enables children to hear and encourages repetition of the language. I am always an advocate for activities that stimulate the natural learning of a child, and Gogo Lingo is a superb resource! Not only are the games educational and worthwhile, the resources, parent forum, and printable flashcards are a great asset to families and educators focused on bilingual development. Another great resource for teaching children Spanish! Check it out as they have limited time offer now that you can sign up for free.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Bilingual Fun Spanish Camp

What a great summer we have had at The Bilingual Fun Company. In addition to our regular summer class sessions, we hosted 2 weeks of Spanish Camp! Exhausting, but awesome! Parents dropped their children off daily for 3 hours of immersion activies, songs, games, daily thematic lessons, performances, crafts, and more. One of the highlights was making a piñata from scratch, using un globo. This was an excellent hands on and cultural activity for the children to participate in. On Camp Out Day, we went on a bug hunt " la busqueda de los insectos'. Kids searched outside for strategically hidden plastic bugs. We sorted by mariposas, abejas, gusanos, etc. On our Sports and Dance Day, kids played béisbol, fútbol , bastquetbol, danced to Pájaritos a Volar, the Number Conga, and learned merengue dance steps. It all ended with a culuminating Fiesta with parents joining to see what the kids had learned, breaking the piñata. The kids enjoyed face painting from Lily Picadilly the bilingual payasa! Kids spoke only to her in Spanish, practicing " yo quiero un tigre por favor.... or whatever they wanted. Our Spanish Camp offered us the opportunity to see how quickly and easily young children pick up the language and how rapidly it was absorbed in a play based, natural environment. Just another reinforcement that we love what we are doing and we will continue the path we on our with early language instuction.

Do you know of any good language programs or camps in your area? I would love to hear about your experience.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bilingual Readers

I love finding out about new resources and sites to enhance my family's and students' bilingual literacy. I learned about this site from Latin Baby Book Club ( another fantastic bilingual literary resource) and it looks great!

Bilingual Readers is a brand new publishing company providing bilingual resources for families and communities. The resources, links, and articles are full of great information that will help to teach your children Spanish. Check out the Kids links for some great ideas and sites that support early language education.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Visit Spanglishbaby this week for some great product giveaways that will add some spice to your bilingual life!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Global Wonder's New CD

My famiy and I had the pleasure of listening to the new Global Wonders Around the World Music CD. We loved it! It is full of vibrant songs that take you on a cross cultural listening journey. The Irish and Cuban tunes were some of our favorites. It has consistently been the most requested CD when we hop in our car everyday! Global Wonders has created another top notch product, along with their dynamic DVD series, for exposing children to different cultures. Created by a mom of 2 young children, Global Wonders is a fabulous teaching tool! For more information, check out Global Wonders.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009



You may have seen the marketing hype about CINCO DE MAYO, but do you really know what it is celebrating? Many Americans think it is Mexican's Independance Day, but that is actually September 16. CINCO DE MAYO is the commemoration of the 1862 defeat of the French troops at the Battle of Puebla. Take this fun quiz and test your trivia knowledge of Mexican songs.

Vocabulary reinforcement for CINCO DE MAYO:

Colors of the Mexican flag- rojo, blanco,verde
Flag- la bandera
Battle- la batalla
Music- la música
Party- fiesta
Celebration- la celebración
Hat- el sombrero
Food- la comida

CINCO DE MAYO Activities for Kids

Coloring Pages

Mexican Culture Word Search

Mexican Craft & Activities

Friday, May 1, 2009

Bilingual Books/ Libros bilingues

Reading is so important in the development of young children. Those of us raising bilingual children should always be expanding our library of Spanish language and bilingual books. Reading is an excellent way to teach Spanish to your children. Books offer a fun, easy way to learn Spanish together. I love getting the fantastic recommendations from Monica at
Latin Baby Book Club. If you haven't signed up, do it today! You and your children will love the books that she highlights.

One of my favorite authors, Pat Mora has a new blog as well, Bookjoy!. She an award winning poet and author of books for children, young adults and adults. Check out her new title Book Fiesta.

Allowing children to hear the language in rich text and illustrations is such a gift and benefit for their bilingual development. Celebrate today with your children and grab a libro! A Leer!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Learning Spanish Here and There, Learning Spanish Everywhere!

We had a great trip and luckily returned without the swine flu drama that is sweeping the world. I pride myself on being the 'hand sanitizer queen', so my family was fairly safe while we had our Latin American getaway. My husband and I enjoyed a restful vacation, and my children spent precious time with Abuelita and practiced their Spanish. It was a pleasure to see our kids having practical experience using their skills and being immersed in the Spanish speaking culture.

One of our favorite experiences was a day trip we took in which we were the only American family on board El Barco Pirata! My daughter quickly made friends with the Mexican children and spent the day playing and interacting with her new Spanish speaking friends. This was a fabulous experience for her in that the learning was in a natural environment and she saw how her bilingual skills came in handy. Our shy son met a shy little mexicana, and they played silently together in the sand. Although there was little communication, our son too enjoyed his new playmate.

We are fortunate to have had the opportunity to travel, however my husband and I continually seek cultural events and opportunities to expose our children to Spanish here at home. We just spent the day at a beautiful celebration of El Día de Los Niños at the local library, listening to Cuban jazz and watching Ballet Folklórico. We love finding great opportunities to continue to teach our children Spanish and expose them to their Hispanic culture. Whether it be abroad with Mexican children, or in our own kitchen chatting about what we are preparing for dinner, my husband and I are intentional about giving our kids the chance to enhance their language development and learn more Spanish.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Travel & Spanish Fun for Kids!

In preparation for our annual family trip to Mexico, my children and I have been talking about what we will do, who we will see, and where Mexico is located. In trying to raise children that have a global awareness, my husband and I always have a globe or map handy to point out different countries, the languages they speak, and any fact we happen to know about that country. Our daughter is mesmorized by maps and loves to see the route that our plane will travel when we go on vacation with Abuelita. We have been pulling out old pictures from albums to help my younger son familiarize himself with the place we are going and the things we will do. Although our trip to Mexico is most definitely a vacation and a rest for us, we love to intergrate ourselves with the culture, hang out with local families, play with local children, frequent neighborhood restaurants, and connect with the community. With all of the Spanish practice we do at home and all of the 'horas de espanol', traveling to Mexico helps my children make a connection to their heritage and communicate with children their own age, and have fun learning more Spanish! I am also looking forward to a few evenings of babysitting from Abuelita! :)

I have found this site, Travel for Kids: Mexico to be a great asset for tips and recommendation for traveling with children.

A great book that we like that highlights many of the traditional Mexican customes and tourist spots is Off We Go to Mexico! By Laurie Krebs, Christopher Corr

Sunday, March 29, 2009

A Week's Worth of Great Blogs!

Starting on Monday 3/30, Spanglish Baby will be hosting a week of Mom blogs focusing on learning Spanish and embracing the culture. Bookmark the site for some great reading!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Bilingual Fun is now at Borders!

The Bilingual Fun Spanish for Children DVD series is now available at Borders Bookstores in various regions across the country. Bilingual Fun hosts free community events for children at various stores, and we are honored that our own product proudly has a spot on the shelves at Borders. The Spanish for Children DVD series introduces the language to young children through music, movement, visual and oral repetition, and fun activities. Many different phrases and vocabulary are introduced, helping children learn Spanish through fun, easy songs and activities.

It was a family project, as my husband Mark and I worked with a production company, our own children, as well as nieces, and cousins were featured in the films. We are proud to have created a worthwhile teaching tool that teaches kids Spanish and promotes bilingual development. Stay tuned for Volume 3! Check out your local Borders in the children's foreign language section..... maybe you will see our familiar guitarra smiling back at you! You can also purchase the DVD series here.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Games to Teach Spanish

Guess Who! Quien es?

This traditional game that has been around for years, is a fantastic game for language reinforcment and easy Spanish practice. The objective is to guess who the ' mystery person' is by asking the opponent questions. You must use adjective and descriptive words to deduct and guess who your opponent has. My kids love this game and we always play several rounds in Spanish. It is a great activity to teach Spanish. My daughter who is a bit more fluent than my son, asks questions such as " tiene pelo rubio, o lleva lentes". My son who has excellent comprehension can easily answer si o no to her descriptive questions. I give my son hints and he is able to ask his own questions, such as ' gorra' o 'es hombre'. Any game that we can adapt for Spanish learning is a worthwhile activity for our family. Our kids love to play games, and Guess Who is a super game for communication reinforcement. Try it out with your kids!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Teach Me Spanish Please!

My own children often take for granted that they have bilingual parents that are alway insisting they continue to learn and practice their Spanish. Although we get some resistance at times, my husband and I remain consistent. Our next trip to Mexico with Abuelita is only a few months away and our children know the rules. No English while in Mexico! So, I am trying to find ways for my kids to enhance their language proficiency. They have the opportunity to speak with us, family, and friends, but sometimes they want something more exciting.

I went to the elementary school today to have lunch with my first grader. A month ago, I taught a Spanish lesson to the first grade and we had a blast. Walking through the lunch room today, you would have thought I was a local celebrity ( kind of fun!). I got a barrage of Holas and rojo and abre and arriba and just about every other word they could remember from my 20 minute stint with them last month. It was so cute. I had two little girls come up to me and ask very sweetly to teach them Spanish. They asked if maybe I could come everyday at lunch and teach them new words. Their was so much interest from these kids and it was so rewarding to see how much they retained.

What a bummer it is that our local public school have gotton rid of language education in the elementary schools. It makes me sad, but I am glad that our Bilingual Fun program services this population.

Of course when my daughter's little friends showed such an interest in learning Spanish, she immediately piped up and gave her two cents. Sometimes it sparks the interest a bit when your lunch mates are begging your mom to 'teach me Spanish please'. My daughter told the kids that her mom can't come to lunch everyday, so she will teach them Spanish. Yippeee! A teacher in the making! This will be another great reinforcement for my daughter's own language development.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

El Dia de los Enamorados

Te quiero mucho

In honor of el Dia de San Valentín, I would like to share words, phrases, and activities you can learn with your children and express your love! A great way to reinforce Spanish with your children is to keep the learning natural and relevant. If you plan on making Valentines or decorations this year, incorporate some bilingual fun!

Expressions of love:

te quiero mucho- I love you very much
te amo- I love you
mi amor- my love
el corazón- heart
eres mio- you are mine
eres especial- you are special
el beso- kiss
bésame- kiss me

Bilingual Valentine Activities:

*Cut out little corazones in different color construction paper. Reinforce color vocabulary in Spanish.

*Make a list of family members of whom you want to send Valentines. Make homemade cards and reinforce family vocabulary in Spanish. Write 'querida prima' or 'querido abuelo'.

*Count candy hearts. Sort by color and count in Spanish. Older kids can do adding/subtracting problems using the dulces. Reinforce number vocabulary by asking ' ¿cuántos hay?'.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

From the mouths of babes

I love to hear the funny musings and mispronuciations from my sweet 4 year old. As a bilingual child, he had a longer silent period and but when he did speak, he was proficient in both languages. I am happy to say that all is developing as it should be and we were never concerned about delays or confusion in regards to his language skills. He is still our "tremendo", wearing SuperHero costumes daily and harassing our sweet puppy. But my husband and I are constantly amused by some of the funny things that come out of his mouth! Here are some of our bilingual favorites:

* When talking about his excitment, he told me " i have have cerditos in my tummy". He knew that his sister has butterflies in her tummy and he has cerditos. Sounds logical. :)

*We conduct our family meals in Spanish, so he frequently tell us ' listo para helado'. One of the incentives we give for conversing in Spanish is dessert, so he starts the conversation by telling us he is ready for ice cream.

*The letter 'F'still alludes my son both in English and Spanish. When using his best manners, he tell us ' por savor' in place of 'por favor'. It is hard to understand, but we know he is trying to be polite.

* After a recent visit with Abuelita, he picked up on her favorite expression of " Ay Chihuahua". My son adds his own twist to the expression by frequently saying " Ay Chihuahua Captain Underpants'. Apparently this is to show extreme surprise. :)

*A big fan of Tom and Jerry, my son was thrilled to hear the phrase " toro, toro, ven aqui'. He uses this phrase for just about anyone. Recently when my brother in law was over, my son wanted to show him a new toy, so he summoned his tio by calling ' toro, toro, ven aqui".

Teaching Spanish to our children is a joy and at times a challenge. We are dedicated to keeping the language alive for them and offering them opportunities to foster their bilingual skills. Although my 4 year old son is ' contra la corriente", he keeps us smiling and laughing, as we know he is absorbing and retaining his bilingual skills.

Feel free to share some funny quotes! i love hearing what our sweet kids have to say!