Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Authentic Guatemalan Dresses for Girls - Trajes de Chichi

Thrilled with the excitement of my son participating in the children's international costume party, I extended an invitation to his friends from his Spanish playgroup.  I shared with the girls' father a flyer of the costume party, and asked if the girls would represent Guatemala.

I'm pretty sure my excitement was apparent because he was quick to say yes, and he too was excited to have his daughters dress in trajes de Chichi. Guatemalan dresses from Chichicastenango de Santo Tomás in Guatemala.
He expressed that he would call his mom, and ask her to send the dresses.  The girls' Abuela actually makes, and sells these dresses en el mercado (market).   I was able to get a glimpse of  the dresses before the costume party, and I have to admit that I became fascinated with the beautiful colors, and fabric. I started researching on-line on trajes from Guatemala. Apparently, the styles differ from region; and the ones that the girls are actually sold in Chichicastenango, Guatemala.

The girls proudly carried their Guatemalan flag, and paraded in their beautiful trajes de Chichi.  What better way to represent your culture!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Road Trippin' with Kids [Tips from Experienced Mamas]

Long car rides do not make for happy kids! Trust me, I know because I have a 6 yr. old who does not enjoy road trippin'!  With a few road trips planned through out this summer all the way to the end of the year I set out to ask all my mommy friends, and family for their best tip or advice for road tripping with kids! 

Of all of the tips, advice, and words of wisdom these amazing moms shared with me one really struck a chord, and holds much truth to it. Not to say that all of the tips were amazing but her words helps me better understand my child. 

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Kid Made Guatemalan Worry Dolls: Muñeca Quitapenas

As part of our Discovering Guatemala with Kids Series we made the Guatemalan worry dolls also known as muñecas quitapenas in Spanish.  They are traditional Guatemalan toys, and according to legend children tell one worry to each doll when they go to bed at night and place the dolls under their pillow. In the morning the dolls have taken their worries away. 

I followed the instructions on how to make the worry dolls from Creativity in Motion.  She has a step-by-step picture instructions that was very helpful. 

I bought wooden clothespin, colorful yarn, and I already had the pipe cleaners.  The kids were indeed excited to make them, but after wrapping the yarn halfway they got tired. (So I suggest this activity for older kids) They each picked a color and made their worry dolls.  My son made one with pants because it was a boy, and the girls made theirs with skirts. Cute!

You can also try making the worry dolls entirely of pipe cleaners (chenille stems) click here for the instructions. 

We've been having so much fun learning about Guatemala! Our next post in the series is about the authentic Guatemalan dresses! 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #27

The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. 

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place for you to share your creative kids culture posts. It's very easy, and simple to participate! Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. Please let us know you're following us, and we will be sure to follow you back. 
  • Link up any creative kids culture posts, such as language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no giveaways, shops, stores, etc.
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
  • Please grab the button code above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post. Note: By sharing your link up on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures, and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest.
  • Don't be a stranger, and share some comment love! Visit the other links, and comment. Everyone loves comments! 
  • The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop will go live on the 3rd Sunday of the month. It will run for three weeks. The following blog hop we will feature a previous link up post, and if you're featured, don't forget to grab the button below:
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
Here's my favorite from this past month's Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop! Colorful Buildings Paper Collages: Exploring Argentina through Art from Creative Family Fun I absolutely love this post! Thank you for linking-up, and we can't wait to see what you've been up to!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Guatemala ABC's and Mayan Tales Children's Book

With our series Discovering Guatemala with Kids in full gear we visited the library to check some books out.
This post contains affiliate links if you click on the link, and if you make a purchase I will receive a small monetary compensation. Thank you!

Saturday, May 9, 2015

My Little Puerto Rican "Jibaro" and the Children's International Costume Party

This year my sweet little boy was representing the other half of his cultural identity: a Puerto Rican Jíbaro. My heart swelled up with pride as I saw him march in the parade held at the children's international costume party waving his Puerto Rican flag. 

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Discovering Guatemala with Kids Series: Chichcastenango de Santo Tomás

During my time babysitting two sweet little girls who are half Guatemalan, and half Mexican I was inspired to learn more about their culture. So much that I even turned all of our lessons, and activities into a series Discovering Guatemala with Kids! During this month I'll be sharing various posts on children's books, crafts, hands-on activities, and lots of other resources.

Little one and I truly had loads of  fun learning about the girl's Guatemalan culture, especially the girls who were always more than happy to share all the fun stuff we've done with their parents. 

Chichicastenango, Guatemala 

What better way to learn about Guatemala, then to learn about the town where the girl's daddy comes from.   Today's post is on Chichicastenango, Guatemala and the famous Iglesia de Santo Tomás (Church of Saint Thomas).   This town located in the El Quiché department of Guatemala, known for its traditional K'iche' Maya culture.  

We started our lesson looking for Guatemala on the map, and learning about it's flag.  I made a screenshot of Guatemala map from Google.  I printed in color, and had the kids trace, and cut out the map.    We talked about where Guatemala was located on the globe, and named the bordering countries. Guatemala is a country located in Central America. The capital of Guatemala is Guatemala City. Guatemala means "land of many trees" in Spanish.  Once the map was cut-out they glued it on to a folder.

Monday, May 4, 2015

International Festival - A Cultural Learning Experience Featuring The Philippines

It's that time of the year again, where we have the wonderful opportunity to explore the world under one roof at Columbia's International Festival.  This year's theme country was The Philippines    The festival is a celebration of music, culture, and food from around the world; bringing different countries, and people together in one place. 

We were welcomed with a huge sign that has the word Mabuhay! This is used to welcome visitors arriving in the Philippines, and this was welcoming us to the international festival.

Flag picture via Commons Wikimedia

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Latinas for Latino Lit Día Blog Hop with Mariana Llanos

I love this time of the year when Latina bloggers are paired with Latino authors and illustrators to champion Latino children's literacy. From April 27th through April 30th, 12 top Latina bloggers will publish a guest article written by a Latino children's author or illustrator on her blog.  
This event has been arranged by Latinas for Latino Lit (@Latinas4LatLit, #L4LL) and its co-founders Monica Olivera (@LatinMami) & Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D (@VivianaHurtado).

Today, I'm so excited to introduce to you a very special blog post from Latina author Mariana Llanos. After you've read Mariana's heartwarming post, please be sure to scroll all the way to the end so you can read more about Latinas for Latino Lit. 
Diving into Spanish
By Mariana Llanos
“Compra dos donas glaseadas y tres de chocolate. Y no te olvides de pedir el vuelto,” I said to my eight-year-old son during one of our morning stops at the donut shop. He jumped out of the car waving a five dollar bill in his hand.
“¿Entendiste?” I asked. He nodded shyly. I watched him walk into the shop and talk to the attendant. Through the glass windows I could see him stick his nose on the counter where the donuts were graciously displayed. Some were decorated with sprinkles, and others were filled with delicious creamy flavors and powdered with sugar. Donuts were my son’s favorite treat for breakfast. I thought I could smell cinnamon and apples from my car.
Then, my son came out the door empty handed and looked at me, confused. “What did you say I had to buy?”
I chuckled and repeated, “Dos glaseadas y tres de chocolate. Y apúrate que vas a llegar tarde al colegio.”
“Did you understand? Can you repeat it to me?”
“Three chocolate and two glazed… right?”
“¡Muy bien!”
Raising a bilingual family has been a daily challenge since I became a mom eleven years ago. At first it seemed so easy, because it was just me and my oldest son in our little world in Oklahoma.  I talked and sang to him in Spanish, but little by little English crawled its way into our household through Sesame Street, Blue’s Clues, and Dora the Explorer. Then, he went to preschool where he was spoken to in English. His sentences were mixed and most people were not able to decipher his questions: “¿My mama is venir?” “¿Dónde es my toy?”
When he was three, his vocabulary wasn’t as advanced as other kids his age so I took him to a developmental specialist. She was a smart and kind lady, who assured me that he was perfectly fine for his age, but she also said that bilingualism was slowing down his communications skills. “But don’t stop talking to him in Spanish,” she said. “He’ll eventually be able to separate the two languages. This is perfectly normal in kids with more than one language.” That alone was the best piece of advice I’ve ever received.
When I had my second child, however, the battle seemed lost. The two brothers communicated in English to each other, and used Spanglish to talk to mom and dad. My oldest was the one who understood and spoke Spanish the most, but my second son, the donut-loving boy, not so much. He picked up English faster than his brother, and although he spoke in mixed sentences and his language was also delayed, this time I expected it, and knew that he would catch up in no time.
He caught up in English, but Spanish went to sleep. Recently we, as a family, have decided to help our children improve their Spanish speaking skills as a way to give them another tool for life. That’s the reason I’m talking to them in Spanish, even when I have to repeat myself more than once. My oldest son’s grasp of Spanish is advanced, and he’ll ask if he doesn’t understand a word. But my eight-year-old still gives me a baffled look and a forced toothless smile. He claims to have no interest in learning Spanish, but I’m not giving up on him. I know that, deep inside, he’s making a tremendous effort to learn.
I sometimes wonder how it feels living in his world. I imagine him as a diver, immersed in an ocean of Spanish, looking and observing from inside his mask, being able to understand our body language and read our expressions, but not really hearing us. I see him flowing smoothly with the current, enjoying the touch of algae and life under the sea. I know he’ll start morphing and becoming one of us ‘Spanish fish,’ His diving equipment will abandon him little by little, and he’ll develop gills. I’m optimistic that one day he’ll take his mask and snorkel off and will be able to completely understand. With some more practice he’ll be able to speak Spanish fluently, and swim confidently in the vast and beautiful multicolor sea of our language.

Mariana Llanos is a Peruvian writer who has published several children’s books in English and in Spanish. She studied acting and has worked as a preschool music and art teacher for the past years. She advocates for literacy and the inclusion of multicultural characters in children’s literature. Mariana visits schools around the world through virtual technology.

Visit her website Maria Llanos and her Amazon author page for more information. Follow Mariana on Facebook and Twitter!

Latinas for Latino Lit Día Blog Hop 2015 includes well-known and award-winning Latino children’s authors and illustrators such as Pat Mora, Alma Flor Ada, Margarita Engle, F. Isabel Campoy, Meg Medina, René Colato-Laínez, Amy Costales, Monica Brown, James Luna, René Saldaña, Angela Dominguez, Mariana Llanos, and Graciela Tiscareno-Sato.

For more information, please visit Latinas for Latino Lit and our Facebook page for event updates.

Readers may find the complete schedule of blogs and their paired authors/illustrators on the Latinas for Latino Lit website.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Spanish Spring Time Fun with Easter Eggs, and Learning about the Life Cycle of a Chicken

Spring is in the air, Easter is around the corner and of course, we have eggs galore! During little one's Spanish playgroup we dyed some eggs, and we learned about the life cycle of a chicken
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy for the purpose of reviewing it. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. 


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