Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Cookie and Ornament Exchange Party


Cookies, ornaments, good friends, and creating memories is what this post is about. I'm pretty sure I have said this tons of times. I am blessed to have a great group of mommy friends, and their children are friends with our son.  We've gotten together again this time to celebrate our first cookie and ornament exchange party. We also had a white elephant gift exchange for the mommies. For the party each mom brought 2 dozen cookies, and one ornament per child. 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Piñata Ornaments: 20 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas

I am super excited to participate in the 20 Days of a Kid-Made Christmas Ornament hosted by Mama Miss. I will be joining a group of awesome mommy bloggers to bring you over 50 ornaments made by kids during 20 days.

Our ornaments are piñatas in honor of my book review: A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas.  For the ornaments we used rolls of paper towel, gift wrapping rolls, and of course toilet paper rolls. Colorful pieces of tissue paper, glue, ribbon, and candy! 



Sunday, December 15, 2013

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #11


Hi!  Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #11
This week Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop features: 

'Tis the season for Christmas ornaments, and trees! That is why I love our featured bloggers for this month!

White clay ornaments {Christmas craft} from Piri Piri Lexicon 
Paper Christmas Tree – Simple Christmas Crafts

Paper Christmas Tree - Simple Christmas Crafts

Now that you've checked out our featured posts, link up to our blog hop! 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Puerto Rican Christmas Desserts {Tembleque and Flan}


I relish at the opportunity to make these sweet treats during the holidays and/or special occasions. If I were to make them all the time, guess who will end up eating most of them? Me! 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Candy Cane Ornament

This is a short and sweet post!  My 5 yr. old's school is having a Christmas tree ornament contest with the theme: "A Sweet Christmas"

The requirement is to make the ornament entirely of candy, and nothing else!   So after brainstorming little one's ideas with candy canes, I thought of using only the candy canes; and this is what we came up with!
Just hot glue six candy canes together. Then add a colorful ribbon! Simple as that!   Of course, the twinkle effect was created on Google+!

Please comment, like, pin or share! 

Our Bilingual Year in Review


Our Journey into Spanish Immersion began on February of this year. We're almost at the end of the year, and I can't even begin to tell you how thrilled, and excited I am about little one's bilingual progress!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Good Night Captain Mama {Buenas Noches Capitán Mamá}


I am so thrilled to be reviewing the first bilingual children's story book from a Latina Military Aviator Mom. This book is a first in it's kind. I was lucky enough to win a teacher pack on Mommy Maestra's back to school giveaway.  

Monday, December 9, 2013

Christmas at Pirates Voyage Dinner Attraction, Myrtle Beach, SC


The Pirates Voyage Dinner Attraction has a a commercial that comes on T.V. almost every night. Our 5 yr. old tells me he saw a commercial at Grandma's house about a pirate show with Santa, toys, baby Jesus, and animals at Myrtle Beach; and he wanted us to take him there.  But I had yet to see the commercial. I was clueless as to what he was talking about but he kept asking to go. Until one day while at home the commercial comes on. He literally jumps from the sofa, and starts yelling, "Momma, Momma there it is!" At last! I was finally able to see the very colorful, and lively show promoting the true spirit of Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Giving Tuesday and Christmas Kindness

As a family it is important for us to spread some Christmas kindness. With the hustle and bustle of Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday we have Giving Tuesday an annual event that we look forward to participating in.  GivingTuesday is a campaign to create a national day of giving at the start of the annual holiday season.

Little one and I have started spreading Christmas kindness this year by participating and filling shoe boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We both went to the store to shop for necessities, and toys for other children.

A Piñata in a Pine Tree: A Latino Twelve Days of Christmas


I can't begin to say how thrilled I was when I found this book! I bought it for my little boy when he was 4 yrs. old. It has become a Christmas favorite! This book gives a Latin twist to the traditional "12 Days of Christmas."   Can you imagine a "piñata" in a pine tree? It's a cross of two cultures beautifully intertwined with each other! 

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Book Review and Reading Fair Project: The Tooth Fairy Meets El Ratón Pérez


When little one's school announced that they were having a school-wide reading fair project I was excited! When I explained to little one what it was about we had a hard time picking a book. He loves all of his books, and all the books are his "favorites."  


Monday, November 25, 2013

"It’s Never Too Late to Raise Bilingual Children" {Spanglish Baby}



Since the moment I married the love of my life,  and started a biracial familia I knew I wanted to raise our child to be bilingual in both English and Spanish. However, it was a late start, and a roller coaster ride!

Read our story: "Here’s Proof That It’s Never Too Late to Raise Bilingual Children." I am truly excited to have had the opportunity to guest post on Spanglish Baby; and I hope that our story will inspire you.  

Monday, November 18, 2013

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Thankful for My Son's Enthusiasm on Learning Spanish

This past weekend as I sat at the table surrounded by books in Spanish, printables, and materials to teach our son Spanish - I felt overwhelmed. For a few minutes as I watched my son gather his toys from the floor to begin our lesson I thought, “Can I really teach my child to be fully bilingual, and biliterate?” I silently prayed to God to use me as an instrument to teach my child the gift of another language. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Spanish Syllables: Learning to Read {Guest Post on Spanish Playground}

I am so excited to have been given the opportunity to guest post on one of my favorite language learning "go to" resources on the web: Spanish Playground!  I have been working with little one on his language learning skills to read in Spanish, and we've started with the Spanish syllables. Click here to read more. 

I have also been using the printable from this post on how to Play Syllable Games to Develop Prereading Skills in Spanish {Printable Game}.  However, I used paint chip cards for little man to glue the pictures on them.  We clapped out the syllables from the pictures, and he would glue them on the paint chip card with "una sílaba", "dos sílabas", etc.   He had so much fun, and wanted me to go print out more pictures for him to practice.  

How do you teach your child to read in Spanish? Please share, comment, like or pin! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Operation Christmas Child 2013

This year we're gearing up again for our annual family tradition - Operation Christmas Child! This year has also been a first for us to receive a letter from a shoebox recipient from Malawi! It is also the first year where little one made friendship bracelets, and met with his friends  to make homemade crafts for their shoeboxes. 

Teaching empathy, compassion, selflessness, and love through the simple act of making crafts for other children is priceless! Having also received a letter from a very grateful little boy goes beyond our dreams, and it is a testament on how we change the life of a child by sharing the love of God through a simple gift of a shoebox. 

Throughout the year, I’ve also been saving and preparing for this year’s shoe boxes. I was excited to participate in a $10 challenge to fill a shoebox with school supplies.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Our Little Soccer Player, Pelé and the 2014 World Cup in Brazil


Little one played soccer for the first time when he was 3 yrs. old,  although he didn't like it we still took him to every game. His motor skills weren't fully developed, and of course, there were other kids faster than him. However, it was important for us that he follow through with finishing the season.  We talked to him about the importance of team work, and how he played an important role in the team.  

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Our 3rd Jumping into Fall Kiddie Costume Party!


Fall is here, and it's time for our Annual Jumping Into Fall Costume Party! This year will be our 3rd year celebrating, and I have to say that it wouldn't be possible without the amazing group of mommy friends that I have! This year I reserved a shelter with picnic tables in our local playground for free!  This party took months of planning, and organizing. (With our busy schedules we needed to agree on a date that would work).  The day of the party the weather was simply beautiful.  It was filled with crafts, games, goodies, and food! 

Wordless Wednesday: Little Man's "Homeschool" Nook

"Homeschool" is in quotations because I don't actually homeschool; but I do reinforce what he is being taught in school; and of course, my passion: teaching him Spanish.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

How to Nurture a Child's Language Learning


blogcarnival gif
I'm excited to host this month's edition of Raising Multilingual Children Blogging Carnival. 

I'm really lucky to be a member of a community of like minded parents who are just as passionate about teaching their children another language as I am. So for this carnival, I posed a question to them: How do you nurture your child's target language? Has it been through play, games, immersion, travel, culture, or books? 

The responses were fascinating, and wonderful to read! So many great ideas, and resources right here for you! 

All of them have one goal, and that is to help their children become bilingual, or multilingual. Each one quite unique in their own way, but very much the same. In this post I will be sharing with you how these parents are nurturing their children's target language, and how you too can do the same. 

After you've read this you're going to want to pin it, or bookmark it for future reference. I'm serious! 

Immersion

IMG_0051
Image by Wandermama

Fun, games, music, and play time! 

The importance of play to teach a child a second language: SpanglishBaby.com
Image by Spanglish Baby
  • Rita from Multilingual Parenting has a wonderful post on how fun and games with words can encourage your child to be bilingual! This post is right up my alley! She suggests telling stories, using puppets, and play word games for a fun language learning experience. 
  • Meanwhile Becky from Kid World Citizen guest posted on Spanglish Baby on how with a little bit of creativity she uses board games to teach her children Spanish.  Her family enjoys playing board games, and this is a great opportunity to incorporate language learning with some fun games. 
  • Ana from Spanglish Baby promotes the importance of play in raising bilingual kids. As she states, "They learn most of their skills through play, and language is no exception." She also shares some great tips on nurturing language skills through apps, games, and my favorite of all:  playgroups!
  • Giselle from Kids Yoga Stories has come up with a unique way to to nurture language learning and yoga with her child. She uses the opportunity to teach her child Spanish while working on yoga moves. Being able to pursue her passion, and share it with her child is definitely a win-win situation for both parties. 
  • Over at Spanish Playground, Leanna from All Done Monkey guest posted on creating a wonderful game out of a popular children's song in Spanish!  The song has been stuck in my head, and I've been singing it over and over ♫♫ un elefante se balanceaba sobre la tela de una araña...♫♫  This is a hit with her children, and the playgroups she's used it in. 
  • Talking about popular children's song. How about translating popular nursery rhymes? Varya from Creative World of Varya guest posted on Multicultural Kid Blogs on how easy it is to translate popular nursery rhymes into your target language. This is a great way to incorporate your target language into popular children's nursery rhymes sung to familiar musical tunes.
  • Along with translating the nursery rhymes why not make nursery rhyme wall charts! Abbi from Taco de Lenguas came up with this awesome hands-free and visual nursery rhyme wall chart. Her little one often points at it, and they stop and sing! 

Family Affair


  • Do not underestimate the simple power of spoken words. By just talking in the target language you are encouraging your child to talk as well. Annabelle from The Piri Piri Lexicon shares how interacting with a native speaker supersedes apps, books, or even music. She shares her own experience on how having her Portuguese speaking mother-in-law visit, and stay with them has boosted her daughter's language learning. 
  • Heidi Gill, Author of 2 Kurious Kids shares how family time is important to nurture her children’s language learning with the help of family: “One of the most effective ways my two children have been able to learn their father’s language (Punjabi) is by spending time with our extended family. When we are all together they listen to all of the conversations in Punjabi and they find it entertaining to try and understand what everyone is saying. My niece will often play games with my kids while teaching them Punjabi. They of course think that is much more fun than me translating words for them or even reading from a book. My niece uses lots of repetition and that seems to really help my children absorb and learn the language."
  • You've read how native speaking family members help with language learning. But have you ever wondered how a monolingual family member can take an active role in the child's bilingualism?  Olena from Bilingual Kids Rock provides a list with wonderful suggestions that will help both your monolingual family member and child. 

Culture 


Read Early, and Start Soon!

  • Ute from Expat Since Birth shares a similar experience, and emphasizes that reading is by far the best way to build up linguistic, and develop vocabulary.  Creating a daily routine from the moment they are born helps boost their brain development, and speech skills.  
  • Most parents agree on one thing when raising bilingual or multilingual children and it's igniting a love for language through literature.  And this is exactly what Sarah from Baby Bilingual has done with her children teaching them another language through the magic and wonder of books.

Home 

reading
Image by Glittering Muffins
  • Adriana from Home School Ways a polyglot herself, and home schooler blogs about her top ten strategies for raising polyglots. Her children are well on their way to becoming polyglots with French, Romanian, English, and pretty soon Spanish under their belts.  
  • Kristen from Toddling in the Fast Lane has devised various strategies to incorporate language learning at home, and shares what has worked for her. Not only does she nurture her child's language learning skills she's scouting for minority language opportunities to supplement at home her daughter's  language learning skills
  • Carol from a French American Life focuses on teaching French one child at a time. She uses books, music, flash cards,  and on-line resources to teach her children French. However, not having a French speaking community such as, friends or family for support (except her husband); and teaching her children French falls on her. Nonetheless, to continue nurturing a love for the French language in her home she will be enrolling in French classes. 
  • In my case, I am the sole Spanish speaker in our home. I can't rely on family members, or friends. Especially when my child attends a monolingual school all day. So at home I supplement what he's learning in English and I also add Spanish home lessons where he has plenty of play, fun, crafts, and games to learn Spanish. 

Need More Ideas?  

I couldn't help but to categorize this last post submission on its own. Now keep in mind, just because it's the last it certainly isn't the least of them all.  

If all of the ideas above are not enough for you to nurture your child's target language, then I bring to you Adam from Bilingual Monkeys' 96, yes 96 things you can do to boost your child's language ability! I love his list! 

Thoughts 

I hope you've enjoyed this compilation, and are pinning, and sharing this post with others. If you have read this far you're leaving with a wealth of information from parents all over the globe with one common goal to teach, nurture, and foster another language in their children. Take advantage of it!

Before you head out I want to leave you with this definition of multilingualism that I found in Wikipedia:

"Multilingualism is becoming a social phenomenon governed by the needs of globalization and cultural openness." 

Give yourself a round of applause because you are an essential instrument in making this happen! If you're interested in hosting or checking out past month's multilingual carnival please take a look here

Friday, October 25, 2013

Show Me Your Neighborhood {Florida, Puerto Rico}





When Annabelle from The Piri-Piri Lexicon shared her project with a multicultural group that I belong to I was excited! We were going to Puerto Rico for vacation, and this was the perfect opportunity to showcase the little town I grew up in Puerto Rico called Florida. Yes, Florida, like the state in the U.S.A. 

This has been such a great opportunity to actually "look" at my town through the lens of my camera. I lived there most of my life, and visit quite often; but never really seen it with other "eyes." Thanks to Annabelle, I can show my neighborhood to our son, and to the world!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Simple Activity with Paint Chips to Learn Sight Words


Every week in kindergarten little one is learning a new set of sight words.  To make learning fun and reinforce at home I came up with a simple idea: cut lettered paint chips and glue to match the words on the paper. 

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Our Letter of the Day: I {31 Days of ABC's}



31 Days of ABCs - October 2013


This post is part of the ABC's learning series hosted by the wonderful Leanna from All Done Monkey,  and co-hosted by a group of amazing bloggers. Please be sure to scroll to the end to check out the other wonderful post in this series.  

Our letter for the 31 Days of ABC's is "I"! 

This past summer we spent the summer in the beautiful island of Puerto Rico. So it felt just right to pick the letter "I", and the activities would be in both English and Spanish.   

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Crafts Made by Children for Children {Operation Christmas Child}

I am very passionate about Operation Christmas Child, and every year we participate as a family. However, this year I planned something fun and different. 

I'm blessed to have friends with children who share my same passion for Operation Christmas Child, and support the cause of making the difference in another child's life. So I organized a children's craft workshop for Operation Christmas Child with with my son, and his friends. 

Before the start of our workshop I had a conversation with the children about our craft workshop, and they were all mindful that they were making crafts to include in their shoe boxes. 

As a reminder I had them watch a short Operation Christmas Child promo video on a tablet. We talked about the other children's need, and how blessed they were. 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Story Time with Kiki Kokí: Discovering Our Taíno Ancestry




This is our last and fourth installment of our series Discovering Our Taíno Ancestry.   In our recent trip to Puerto Rico we bought a great selection of books in Spanish. Our favorite is Kiki Kokí La Leyenda Encantada del Coquí (Kiki Kokí The Enchanted Legend of the Coquí).  It's fully in Spanish which is a perfect complement to our son's language learning.  This book is also available in English.  

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Do It Yourself Petroglyph: Discovering Our Taino Ancestry



During our past summer vacation I really, really wanted to take little man, and my husband to the La Cueva del Indio to see first hand the Taíno petroglyphs. Unfortunately, due to time constraints we weren't able to go. 

This is a picture of a petroglyph in La Cueva del Indio. Photo credit:  Neyda S. 
However, on our return back home we had a lesson on Taíno petroglyphs. Little man even made his own Taíno petroglyphs. 

Petroglyphs (or 'stone symbols') were carved on rocks all over Puerto Rico by the Taíno indians to record their lives, and daily life.  For our lesson,  I printed a sheet with Taíno symbols from here so little man can draw the symbols for  the petroglyph.


He practiced before drawing the petroglyphs on the rocks. 
Taino Symbols
Taíno petroglyphs found in different places in
Puerto Rico. 
We had lots of fun making the petroglyphs, and we learned the meaning of some of the symbols, too.  We're looking forward to our next installment about our beloved coquí.  

In the meantime take a look at our previous post on Discovering our Taíno ancestry here, and here. How are you celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month?  Please like, comment, pin or share! 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Our Top Five Puerto Rico Children's Books To Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month



I have seen so many wonderful lists of children's book to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month that I was inspired to create a list of our top five Puerto Rico children's book to celebrate through out this month.  We have these books at home, and they are my child's favorite. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

El Cemí y Dujo: Discovering Our Taíno Ancestry

This is the second installment of Discovering Our Taíno Ancestry series.   In our first installment little one learned about his Taíno culture with a sensory "yucayeque" village that we made. Today's post is all about learning more in detail about the cemíes and dujos that were in his yucayeque.  Luckily I was able to purchase small replicas during our visit to Puerto Rico this past summer, and he used those to make his own. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Spanish Home Lessons: Fall Spanish Sight Words (Otoño: En, Aquí)

Love this time of year when the leaves are changing, and the weather is getting cooler. It's the perfect time to teach little man Fall Spanish sight words:  en, aquí

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Discovering Our Taíno Ancestry

I'm very honored to be a member of the Multicultural Kid Blogs. Together with 15 of our member blogs we are hosting the Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 through October 15.  See details below for the chance to win prizes, and participate in our celebration. 

Also, through out this month I will have a special series called:  "Discovering Our Taíno Ancestry."   This is the first installment of our series. We will be celebrating our Hispanic heritage, and teaching little one about his Taíno ancestry. 

This past summer we visited Puerto Rico. However, this visit was unlike any other it was our son's first "real" Spanish immersion trip, and  I was also on a quest to teach our son about his Taíno heritage.

We had the opportunity to see "La Cara del Indio" it's a rock sculpture of a Taíno indian located in the entrance of the town of Isabela and El Tunel de Guajataca. This impressive sculpture pays homage to the Cacique Mabodamaca who was a heroic chieftain  from the 16th century who protected his people, and way of life from the European invaders. This sculpture is visible from the main road, and a vivid reminder of every Puerto Rican's  Taíno heritage. 
Taíno rock sculpture of Cacique Mabodamaca. Picture taken during our visit during the summer. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #8

Hi!  Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #8
This week Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop features: 


A French story time with Atelier Story Time:

unlionaparis-cover

Beautiful  Rakhi/ Friendship Band Activity from Laugh and Learn 


Thursday, September 5, 2013

A Letter to Our Son {Your First Day of Kindergarten}

Dear son:

My precious little angel you're embarking on a new adventure, and chartering on to unknown territory. You're scared, and nervous. Truth be told you're not looking forward to kindergarten. When you graduated from preschool we made a big deal about going to new school after summer.

For your birthday you received an Angry Bird sneaker, pencils, pencil pouch, wallet, shirt, and a cap as gifts. Most of these things you'll be using at your new school, and we even bought you a cool Angry Bird backpack to get you excited about school. You love Angry Birds! We've also been reading the bilingual mini-books about school to get you excited.



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