Friday, March 29, 2013

Kid Friendly Macaroni Tuna Salad {Cooking With My Little Chef}

My 4 yr. old was inspired to make this recipe: macaroni tuna salad.  He had this for lunch at pre-school one day, and he told me exactly what he needed to make it. :) 

Every afternoon, when I pick him up from pre-school I ask him the usual questions, and we talk all the way home. 

I asked what was his favorite part of the day.  His little face lit up, and he told me, "Mommy I made pizza!" Very confident in himself he tells me how to make it. He also told me the ingredients needed were dough, pizza sauce, cheese and two small pepperonis. I said, "Wow, you seem to have become an excellent cook!" (We've cooked together chicken pot pies, mini meat loaves, and cookies, and he loves it!) 

Then he immediately says, "I want to make macaroni tuna salad." I asked him, "So you know how to make it?" He says, "Yes, all I need is white macaroni, tuna, mayonnaise, and pickles (referring to sweet relish) then you mix it up!" I asked him where did he learn this, and he responds that his teacher tells him what they are having for lunch. (I'm assuming she explains what is in it.) 

Luckily I had some frozen cooked pasta that I thawed for 30 seconds in the freezer. I put all of the ingredients on the counter, and let him pour and mix! He was so happy, and told me he that he wanted his macaroni tuna salad for dinner. :) 

Recipe: 

2 cups cooked pasta 
1/2 cup light mayonnaise 
1/4 cup sweet relish 
1 can tuna in water (drained)

Mix and that's it! So easy that my 4 yr. did this all by himself! 

Do your children have any fun recipe? I would love to hear about it.  Please comment, like, pin or share. 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Spanish Home Lesson: Eating and Drinking

I have been pondering on how to best utilize The Little Pim videos in Spanish that I purchased a few months ago.  One of the challenges that I have found with the videos is that little one looses interest after the first 15 minutes. So I had to bring it up a notch so he can actually watch the video, and have fun! 


What we used for his at-home Spanish lesson: 
  • Portable DVD player 
  • Little Pim DVD "Eating and Drinking" 
  • A set of plate, cup, bowl, utensils and napkin 
  • Place mat (he made this one at his Spanish immersion class) 
  • Spanish flash cards (of foods that were in the video)
  • Pretend play food  

As I set up DVD player, little one matched the pretend play food with the flashcards, and to the right of his place mat he set up the plate, bowl, and cup.  


We used Little Pim video to reinforce & learn new Spanish words. This video is about eating and drinking. It also teaches common phrases, such as: "tengo hambre", "el tiene hambre", & "ella tiene hambre."  

He would repeat these phrases as I had him point to himself as he said "tengo hambre." I'd tell him you're saying "I'm hungry." Then I would point to Daddy when it was "el tiene hambre" (he is hungry), then with "ella tiene hambre" (she is hungry) I had him point to me. That way he would start picking up on the "el" and "ella." 

As Little Pim popped up with words such as: "tenedor, cuchara, postre", (fork, spoon, dessert) etc. little one would repeat the word in Spanish, and show it to me.  If it were a food item, he would grab the play food from the table, and actually place it on his plate as he repeated the words. 


We spent a good 45 minutes learning Spanish with the Little Pim video. He enjoyed grabbing the pretend food items, and placing them on his plate. He was excited that he already knew some of the words in Spanish; and we pretended we were in a restaurant.  (Yes, I had to get another set of utensils, and plates with cup for me to use.) 

Updates:  (more like anecdotes)   :) 
  • Last night right before bed time, I tell my child to go to Papi (Dad), and in Spanish I say: "Dale un abrazo a tu Papi y dile buenas noches que vamos a dormir" (Give your Daddy a hug & tell him good night, we're going to bed) I'm looking at the TV while I'm telling him this then I turn around, and repeat myself. His response blew me away: "Mommy, I already did! You weren't watching!" He actually understood what I was telling him!
  • Every morning I let him watch one of his cartoons (while I fix breakfast). Me: "Papi what do you want to watch?"  Him: "Mommy, Backyardigans in Spanish, because I want to learn more Spanish!" I gave him a high five, and praised him. 
  • The other day he was eating an apple, and says in Spanish: "Mmmmmmmm, ¡Mami manzana deliciosa!"  He had the biggest smile on his face! I about ate him up with hugs & kisses! :) 
I'm amazed of his progress, and the one thought that comes through my mind is that I can actually pull this off! I can actually help my son learn Spanish!  

Are you teaching your child another language? Do you have any fun anecdotes that you'd like to share? Please comment, like, pin or share!  

¡Gracias y hasta la próxima! 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Book Review: Sofia en una Aventura por la Selva

Sofia en una Aventura Image 1

As a Spanish speaking mother I am constantly looking for books in Spanish to read to my son. I was thrilled when I was granted the opportunity to review the book Sofia en una Aventura por la Selva (Spanish Edition) by Giselle Shardlow

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it.  I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.

The story is about a girl named Sofia who wins a trip to Costa Rica. She explores the beauty of the jungle, the animals and their habitat all the while conveying a message of conserving the environment; and practicing yoga moves.   The author does an excellent job of telling Sofia's story as she weaves into it yoga poses through out the story. 

As you're reading through the storybook, you will see yoga poses with an illustration that shows you how to do the yoga pose. The yoga poses are simple and easy to do, so simple that children and even adults that have never done a yoga pose can actually do them. What I really liked about this story book is the guide  at the end for parents & teachers with suggestion on how to best utilize the story book. 

The story is short, and with colorful illustrations perfect for children ages 3 to 8 yrs. old. My son loved the story, and had fun practicing some of the yoga moves. I also loved the fact that this storybook was in Spanish. (It is also available in English.) 

The author creates a sense of awareness of our environment, and she does it very well in the story of Sofia visiting the jungle of Costa Rica.

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book for the purpose of reviewing it.  I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are my own. 

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #2

Hi!  Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #2
This week Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop features: 

Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo ¿Qué ves ahi?
      In our home we're big fans of Eric Carle, and we're especially excited that his books are available in Spanish! Check out Spanglish House's post on her Spanish homeschooling lesson with Oso Pardo, Oso Pardo ¿Qué ves ahí? 





Miss Panda's Reading Playground 
Who doesn't love the classic "Goodnight Moon?", and how about if you come across the Mandarin/Chinese version of it? Miss Panda has this wonderful post of Goodnight Moon in Mandarin/Chinese you can view the full post here. 







Growing Up Biracial
I really enjoyed this blog post about growing up biracial, and I love her advice on raising mixed children. You can read her full post here.







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

It's very easy, and simple to participate! Just follow these simple guidelines:
  • Be a sweetheart, and kindly follow your hostess and co-hostesses: 
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  • 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.  When you link up your blog will also be shared simultaneously on our co-hostesses websites. :) 
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  • The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop will go live on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. It will run for a week. 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:  
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    Thank you for linking up,and happy culture blog hopping! If you'd like to co-host, please send me an email to anelenterprises(at)gmail(dot)com.

    Saturday, March 23, 2013

    Spanish Home Lesson: Alphabet (Abecedario)

    Spanish alphabet.
    For little one's at-home Spanish lessons this week, we started practicing the alphabet in Spanish. We used animal flashcards that I found here, and I printed a set.  (Note: The set doesn't have all of the animals so I had to create additional cards for the missing animals in the alphabet). To make it easy and fun for him, I traced a table (4 columns x 4 rows) with the alphabet in Spanish on two large sheets of construction paper. He helped by cutting out some of the sheets.
    Matching the animal flashcards to the alphabet. 
    I read the words in Spanish, and he repeated the words. He also traced a circle around the first letter of the animal flashcards. He matched them with the letters on the construction paper. We had fun, and he was excited that he was able to identify some of the animals in Spanish!

    After our lesson, he insisted on making a train out of the alphabet. We made it out of empty toilet paper rolls (boy did I have plenty stashed away!)

    His super long, long Spanish alphabet train! 
    We reused the Spanish alphabet sheets to make the train. 
    This was a fun learning activity to reinforce little one's Spanish.  This can also be used for learning numbers, or even the alphabet in English. 

    Thoughts, and anecdotes: 

    I am truly amazed of how much he's advanced with his Spanish. He's putting sentences together, and pointing at everything and saying it in Spanish.  We were at a Mexican restaurant having dinner, and he started saying, "Plato rojo, plato azul, plato amarillo, tenedor, cuchara y cuchillo." He was so proud! 

    At one point, I asked the waiter for a spoon in Spanish. Little one's reaction was, "Mommy, they know Spanish, too!" I said, "Yes, they do!" He questions, "Mommy, but don't they speak Mexican?" LOL Too sweet! 

    His confusion was because we had been to a Chinese restaurant for lunch, and he heard the waiters talking to each other. He asks, "Mommy, what are they speaking? It's not Spanish!" I told him, "No, it's Chinese."  Can you see the correlation Chinese restaurant employees speak Chinese, Mexican restaurant employees should speak Mexican! Hahaha! I told him, that Mexicans, and Puerto  Ricans as well as other Latin American countries speak Spanish, too. 

    We continue going to his weekly Spanish immersion classes, and I've purchased quite a few books in both English/Spanish; and musical CD's (can't wait to share them with you in a future post!)

    What methods do you use at home to teach your children Spanish?  Please do comment, like, pin or share!

    ¡Hasta luego!

    This post was shared at: 1,2,3 Homeschool 4 Me TGIF Linky Party, Crafty Moms Sharing Saturday, Vanessa's Tot School Tuesday, In Lieu of Preschool Tuesday Tots, and Say it Two Ways ThursdaysWorld Wide Culture Swapper.

    Tuesday, March 19, 2013

    Easter & Spring Playdate

    I get just as excited as my 4 yr. old when it comes to playdates, and this one is no exception! We had an Easter and Spring playdate at our local playground. It was a beautiful & windy day, but the kids braved out the wind, and had tons of fun! 

    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing
    I always like to read a story to kick-off a playdate! It gives the playdate a theme, and the children love storytime! One of the moms volunteered to read the book:  Follow the Bunny.


    After storytime we had the children play a game of tag with the "cascarones!"  I explained to them what to do, and even volunteered to be the first to have an egg cracked over my head!
    I gave an egg  to each one, and told them: "Let the game of tag with "cascarones" begin!  At the count of three run!" Whoever was tagged had the egg crushed over their heads, and there was  a shower of colorful rice coming down their heads!
    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing
    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing
    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing
    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing
    The kids had a ball cracking the "cascarones" over each other! It was so much fun, even one of the moms got an egg cracked over her head!


    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing

    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing

    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing


    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing
    After running around, and playing we had a wind down time. I had small little baskets filled with chocolate, and gummies for each one, and a juice drink.  Little one felt special handing them out, since he was helping Mommy.  :)

    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing
    Photo credit:  Wilder Photography & Publishing
    One of the moms surprised the kiddos with the cutest bunny cake pop!  Her daughter also helped pass them out to the rest of the children.

    Now isn't this cute!!! 
    These kids are like the Energizer bunny, they go on, and on, and on! (Have you seen the commercial   LOL)  After the snack break, they took off to play some more in the play area. 

    It was indeed a fun playdate, and the adults enjoyed themselves as well.  A special thanks to all of the parents for making this happen, and especially to Wilder Photography & Publishing for the awesome pictures! 

    What fun things have you been up to during this Easter and Spring season? Please share, comment, like or pin! 

    Monday, March 18, 2013

    Book Review: The Gingerbread Cowboy


    Yee-haw!! I am excited to review the book: The Gingerbread Cowboy, by Janet Squires as part of the "The Gingerbread Man" Around the World Series for Kid World Citizen, during the World Folktales and Fables Week which is this week! I'll also be joining other mom bloggers with tales of different runaway stories from around the world.

    Disclaimer: An Amazon affiliate link is used in this post. If you purchase through this link I will receive a small monetary compensation. 

    The gingerbread man in this story is actually a western cowboy; and it is set in the wild, wild, west. The story starts off with a very frisky gingerbread cowboy who escapes from the rancher's oven. As he tries to escape, he outwits most of the animals, the rancher & his wife, and the cowboys in the desert; and  in the true spirit of a cowboy he is chanting, ♫♫ "Giddyup, giddyup as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man"♫♫ as he's running away! 

    However, in the end he can't run as fast as he can, and well you can guess what happened to the gingerbread cowboy. I have to say  my 4 yr. old wasn't happy! He enjoyed the book until the end, so to cheer him up we made gingerbread cowboys!  Yee-haw! 

    Unfortunately, I'm not a baker so I used a Betty Crocker ready to use gingerbread mix.  Little one and I used the gingerbread man cookie cutter to make the gingerbread cowboy, except that I added a hat to it. Not bad, huh? :) 
    He also wanted to make the animals from the book, but I didn't have any coyote, or lizard cookie cutters. Do they exist? :)  So we settled for elephant, crocodile, dolphin, and rhinoceros. I decorated 2 of gingerbread cowboy,  and little one did the rest. Can you tell? :)


    As I previously mentioned little one wasn't very thrilled with the ending, but funny enough when we were making the animal gingerbread cookie he say's "We can have the rhinoceros eat the gingerbread cowboy!" Really? 

    What I enjoy about this story is that it doesn't stray away from the original concept. The book also has beautiful illustrations of the animals, and the desert all in warm earth tone colors. My favorite part of the story is the very catchy chant: ♫♫ "Giddyup, giddyup as fast as you can. You can't catch me, I'm the gingerbread man"♫♫ that my son was chanting as we made the gingerbread cowboys. 

    What's your favorite runaway version? Don't know of any, except for the gingerbread man? In the meantime, check these out  from Mud Hut Mama's: The Runaway Dinner, Little Artists':  Russian Runaway Gingerbread: Kolobok, All Done Monkey's:  The Runaway Radish , and The Piri-piri Lexicon's: Roule Galette: a French version of the Gingerbread Man story

    Please like, share, pin or comment! Would love to hear from you!

    Disclaimer: An Amazon affiliate link is used in this post.

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Easter "Cascarones" With a Twist

    Cascarones (confetti-filled egg shells) are just that! Egg shells filled with confetti or other treats. This is a very popular tradition in Mexico. It is said that once an eggshell is broken on your head releasing the confetti it is considered to be good luck. The tradition also says that you gift the egg to someone and,  then you crush it over their heads.

    Since we're hosting an Easter & Spring playdate at our local playground I thought it would be a great idea to give them "cascarones!"  Instead of making the traditional "cascarones" I decided to make Easter "cascarones" with a twist!

    I decided to go with rice instead of confetti because of our playground playdate. We don't want to trash the park with tiny pieces of papers, and the birds can eat the rice. Totally safe since it was made with food coloring.**(Note: Please don't be alarmed that I may be killing the birds with rice! Yes, I heard about this myth, too; and that's not going to happen.  I did an on-line search, and most seem to agree that the above statement is a myth, and not true: myth debunked #1, and myth debunked #2 ). As for the crushed eggs, they will provide nutrients to the soil in the ground. 

    To make the "cascarones" I used saved egg shells. To dye the egg shells I used: 1/2 cup of tap water, 1 tbs. of vinegar and 6-8 drops of food coloring. For the rice I used 1/2 cup of rice for each food color, and put them in a Ziploc bag. I added a few squirts of hand sanitizer, and then a few drops of food coloring. Placed on cookie sheet to dry. The idea to use hand sanitizer came from here.  

    Little one had fun mixing, and filling up the egg shells. 

    After the egg shells were filled with dyed rice I used small pieces of tissue paper to cover the holes. I wet the tissue paper in a mixture of water, and glue. 

    We can't wait to use these "cascarones" in little one's play date! I will actually have my son crush the first egg over my head so the kids will know how to do it. :) 

    What fun Easter crafts have you made? I would love to hear from you! Please comment, like, pin or share!

    ¡Felices Pascuas! Happy Easter!

    This post has been shared at The Good Long Road's Kid's Co-Op, Learn with Play at Home's Tuesday Tots, TGIF Linky Party #67, and Iowa Farmer's Sunday Showcase.

    Thursday, March 14, 2013

    March Multicultural Kids Carnival: Teaching Heritage To Your Children

    Source: Microsoft Office On-line Clip Art

    Teaching Heritage To Our Children
    This carnival is part of a very diverse group of globally minded multicultural moms around the world. Every month we have a theme, and this month's Multicultural Carnival's theme is "Teaching Heritage To Our Children."  

    I was thrilled with the theme for the multicultural kids blogging carnival, because one of the reasons why I started blogging is to use it as a resource to educate on race, culture, and diversity to my child. I have a post on teaching my son heritage here.

    However, I want to share an excerpt of my post: 
    "His heritage is his identity, and I pray that teaching our little one of where he comes from will help him embrace his individuality. Creating a sense of pride, of belonging, and knowing where he comes from will promote his character growth, and enable him to defend himself against prejudice and racism. Where he lives will not solely determine his identity, but so will his parent's contribution on passing on his heritage."  
    The group's main focus is on raising global citizens. So how do they teach heritage to their children?

    Teaching heritage to your family
    Celebrating a 15 year anniversary proves that living in a bicultural family works especially when both spouses are committed to keeping their culture and heritage alive. Annika from Journal of a Bilingual family shares how she celebrates their 15 yr. bicultural anniversary, and her accomplishments on teaching heritage to their daughters in their French and Finnish family.

    What I especially love about her post is how this family keeps in touch with their Grandmother who in turns shares with them stories of their Dad's family traditions via Skype! As a family they always root for both countries, celebrate bicultural holidays, and make sure to watch French movies.  Annika's wish is that their daughters feel both French and Finnish, not half this and half that.  I think she's doing a pretty good job at that! To read more about this wonderful family, and how they teach heritage to their children go here.

    Teaching heritage through story time and play 
    There is no better way for small children to learn about another culture than through learn and play. This is exactly what Leanna from All Done Monkey has done by hosting a playgroup to celebrate Costa Rica's Independence Day. The book she used for story time was The Parrot Tico Tango set in Costa Rica's jungle. The best part of the story time was that she had an activity to go along with it. It was very interactive, and hands on! Not only was she teaching heritage to her son, but she was also teaching her son's friends about his heritage through story time, and a fun game! Check out all of  the fun details, and the activity linked to the story book here.

    Teaching heritage by honoring ancestors 
    A beautiful way to teach heritage to your children is by remembering & celebrating your ancestors. Kristen from Toddling in the Fast Lane is passing on to her daughter the memories of her grandparents by creating a Day of the Dead Mini-Altar in honor of her grandparents. (El Día de los Muertos is a Mexican tradition and celebrated in many countries in Latin American.) 

    What really touched me about her post is how she created this mini altar with such love, and care. She took into consideration every single detail for the altar; from the picture, to the flowers, and  to having her daughter decorate the sugar skulls. It was a labor of love beautifully created by both mother and daughter to remember their ancestors. To read more about how Kristen teaches heritage to her daughter  by celebrating  "El Día de los Muertos" click here


    Teaching heritage as adoptive families

    Becky from Kid World Citizen has a wonderful post with 14 ways to incorporate birth culture to adoptive parents. What I like about this list is that any parent who wants to teach heritage to their children can use it as well. I absolutely love her list, and I want to share two that really "popped" out to me as I read her list: 1) Become part of the community and 2) Host culture at home. For both of these you need to reach out to others in order to teach heritage to your children, and sometimes step out of your comfort zone. These plus more awesome ideas and suggestions to incorporate culture heritage to your children can be found here.

    Teaching heritage as educators
    Annie Besant wrote an interesting article on behalf of Global Kids Oz with tips on being a great multicultural teacher. I love how she simplifies it by following four simple steps: 1) Do your research, 2) Understand the family, 3) Learn about their taboos, and 4) Symbols.
    Source: Microsoft Office On-line Clip Art
    Today we have so many multicultural families that everyone with or with out kids should follow these four simple steps. We all need to educate ourselves on other's heritage and culture. This will help to avoid discrimination, racism, and bigotry.  To read the full article click here. 

    Teaching heritage through food 
    Varya from Little Artists has shared that her family has their own culture by adapting the best of the heritage from both sides of the family. However, there is one thing she really enjoys about her Russian heritage that she wants to pass on to her children, and that is cooking and eating!
    Cooking for family and friends during special occasions is a big deal. This process takes a few day of prepping, cooking, and freezing to cook later. I love how Varya is teaching heritage to her children through food, and gatherings of family and friends. These are memories that will last a lifetime! Varya is right on track to teaching her children about this wonderful heritage! To read more about how Varya teaches heritage to her children click here.

    How do you teach heritage to your children? Please share, like, pin and/or comment! We would love to know! 

    To learn more about our group, you can follow us on:
    Facebook:  Multicultural Kids Group
    Pinterest: Multicultural Kids Blogs-Raising Global Citizens

    This post was shared in Worldwide March Culture Swappers.

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