Spanish Home Lessons: Five Little Monkeys (Cinco Monitos)

Cover - Divirtámonos Aprendiendo Con Hap Palmer

I have noticed how quickly my child learns the lyrics of the songs, especially the ones in Spanish. He's learned his numbers, colors, and animals listening to Boca Beth's CD. Now he's added to his vocabulary a lot of other words from the CD Divirtámonos Aprendiendo Con Hap Palmer I play this CD in my car, at home, and even from my cell phone for him to listen.  It has a great compilation of Spanish songs with suggestions for different activities and play.  For a listing of the songs, and other CD's you can check Hap Palmer's official page.  

One of our favorite song is "Cinco Monitos" that I have paired up with his board book Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed, and  Five Little Monkeys Jumping On The Bed Game that he received as a Christmas gift. 

We had our Spanish lesson right before bedtime, and I translated the book into Spanish as I read it. We went over key words in Spanish such as, "cinco, monitos, cama, mamá, dóctor, & saltando". After storytime, I played the song "Cinco monitos" as he placed them on the bed, and as the song was playing I had two monkeys in my hand (they were the mama, and the doctor). We had fun recreating the little monkeys jumping on the bed, and having the mama call the doctor. We both sang the song together: "♫♫Cinco monitos saltando en la cama, y todos se cayeron y se golpearon la cabeza. Mamá llamó al doctor. El doctor dijo: "No más monitos saltando en la cama.♫♫" As we sang, and the monkeys fell off the bed he was all giggles!  (For the complete lyrics click here.

The fun part of our Spanish lesson is that the song has some variants to it, like for example the monkeys were jumping on one leg, then twirling around, but in the end they all still fell off the bed! Of course, little one insisted on having more than five monkeys on the bed (as you can see in the picture above), but that's fine! He practiced his numbers, colors, and new words from the song and all in Spanish.  

I was intrigued on how my child has quickly learned Spanish words through music. He asks for the meaning of the word if he doesn't understand it, and has learned most of the songs by heart.  I was researching the how music is used to learn languages, and came across this very  interesting interview:  "BBC Interview About Using Music To Learn Languages."  Enjoy! 

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Do you have any resources that you use to teach your child another language? I would love to hear from you! Please comment, like, share or pin!

Spanish Home Lessons: Sight Words (Yo, Veo)

Teaching little one to read in Spanish is definitely one of my priorities. I was thrilled to find My First Bilingual Little Readers: Level A: 25 Reproducible Mini-Books in English and Spanish That Give Kids a Great Start in Reading (Teaching Resources). I love that this book has pull-out pages that you can actually make copies of, and make them into mini-books you can color. The words used in the mini-books are simple, and high frequency words in both English and Spanish. A big plus for me, since little man prefers I read to him first in English then in Spanish. The wording in the mini-books also has rhyming, repetition, and helpful illustrations on themes such as, friendship, seasons, birthday, school, and pets. 

Since we have already started working on our vowels. We are now working on "sight words." Although, I have to say that in Spanish, I guess we really don't have "sight words" like in the English language. But I did find common or frequent used words that I can incorporate into little one's daily Spanish learning routine. I found this great website with printables they have the "teacher's" version, and a "student's" version where you can print two (booklets) on a sheet, and make two "sight word" booklets. 

For little one's Spanish lesson we read together the sentences in both Spanish and English from the mini-book. Making sure we emphasized the words "yo & veo." As we were reading he wanted to color, and circle what he was actually "viendo" (veo). 

As we were reading, I asked him in Spanish, "Cuántos lápices ves?" in Spanish, and I was sweetly surprised (again) on his response in Spanish "Cinco lápices." Of course, I gave him a high-five! This was a short and simple Spanish lesson that we will practice again. 

Do you have any resources that you use to teach your child another language? I would love to hear from you! Please comment, like, share or pin!

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Spanish Home Lessons: Ocean Animals (Animales del Océano)

I'm feeling very confident in my quest to teach little man Spanish. Especially since I have a few Spanish lesson plans that I've put together for him. The best part is that our lesson plans are not "scheduled" they come up as part of a play session, story time, or simply talking to little man.

For instance, last week before bedtime we used the book Ocean World (Discovery Kids).  I love that this book has a giant pull-out shark poster, stickers, and although geared toward older children (8-9 yrs.old) my 4 yr. old loves this book.  The pictures are breathtaking, and the information very educational. 

For our Spanish lesson I excitedly tell him to get all of his ocean animals out, and he placed them on the shark poster.  Then I asked in Spanish, "¿Quieres colorear?" to what he responds, "¡Siiiii!" I found this great printable here that I printed out for him with the names of the ocean animals in Spanish! Cool! Right? 

He would color the ocean animal, say the name in English, and then in Spanish. He knew most of them, and he was happy to match the ocean animal with the ones on the coloring page. Before we finished he wanted to cut out the ocean animals, and glue them on a construction paper. He spent a good while cutting, gluing, naming the ocean animals in Spanish, and then he matched some of the stickers from the book.  

It went from this to... (see below)

...his work of art! 

Like I've said before, I'm not a teacher, I'm just a mommy looking to teach my son Spanish. I have to admit that our "Animales del Océano" Spanish lesson was a success! After his crafty session we sat on the recliner (you could see our reading corner here), and I translated the Ocean World book to him in Spanish.


I am literally jumping for joy on one leg with his progress, nah not really ;) but I am super happy!  The other day after I picked him up from preschool he says, "¡Mama, comida!" I about passed out! Was he  actually conjugating a sentence out of the blue, without me guiding or initiating it? Wow! So, very calmly  I asked him in Spanish, "¿Tienes hambre?" As I rubbed my own tummy. He responds, "Mama, I want brócoli, zanahoria and helado." I tell him to repeat with me, "Mama, tengo hambre. Quiero brócoli, zanahoria y helado." He repeated the sentence, and added, "...I want agua, too."  Needless to say, he is coming up with his own Spanglish sentences; and that's all right! His little mind is starting to think in Spanish, and that's an enormous progress! 

¡Hasta la próxima!  

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Spanish Home Lessons: Vowels (Aprendiendo Las Vocales)

Little one has started to identify, and read some words in English; so I have jumped on the opportunity to start teaching him on how to read in Spanish! :) 

To start learning his vowels I am using a Cartilla Fonética (This is a phonics booklet used in the Puerto Rican school system. Unfortunately, they don't sell these on Amazon or on-line. Trust me I've looked.  I was blessed to have my mother send us one from Puerto Rico).  I started using this booklet because it's simple, and very easy to practice and to read the vowels in Spanish.

What I like about "la cartilla fonética" is that the phonetics of the vowels are being repeated through out the words, and sentences. Creating rhyming sounds, and repetition. Great for learning! 

Phonetic booklet

We practiced our "a,e,i,o,u" with  "ma,me,mi,mo,mu", as I pointed out to the letters in the page; and he repeated.  To supplement the use of the "la cartilla fonética" I gave little one his own vowel mini book: "Las Vocales Este Mini libro Pertenece a..." that I found here (this blog has lots of great printables in Spanish). He practiced saying out loud his vowels in Spanish as he colored,and called out the names of the pictures in Spanish, too:
  • A:  avión, abeto 
  • E: estrella, elefante
  • I:  isla, iglú
  • O: oso, oveja 
  • U: uva, unicornio  
What I really liked about this mini-book is that he can also trace the letters of the vowels. 

Once we finished our lesson we watched and sang the words to this very catchy video of the vowels in Spanish: 

This was a fun session, but I know if I don't "spice" it up; my child will lose interest.  I've been pondering ideas on how to incorporate learning the vowels in a fun and easy way! I'll be back with a new version on "Aprendiendo las vocales" :) in the meantime, what fun ways do you teach your child another language?

Please like, comment, share or pin!

¡Hasta la próxima!

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #3

Hi!  Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #3
This week Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop features: 

  1. Traveling with a Baby to Guatemala  by Nothing if Not Intentional 
  2. Making a Chinese Seal Chop  by Marie's Pastiche  
  3. Salta Ranita Salta! (Jump Frog Jump!) by Toddling in the Fast Lane 

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

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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 Very Busy Spider (Week of the Young Child)

    I'm so excited to have volunteered this year again for my son's preschool celebration of the Week of the Young Child. Last year I participated by reading a very special book about our beloved coquí. However, this year I let my son pick which book he wanted Mommy to read. He picked The Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle; and he wanted to show off his animals and craft we made about this book to his schoolmates.

    Wordless Wednesday

    For the love of books :) 

    My son's reading award from pre-school.

    Milestones and Regrets On Teaching My Son a Second Language

    At 4 yrs. old my son has reached numerous milestones in learning to be bilingual. He's constantly asking how do you say this or that in Spanish, he's conjugating sentences, he asks to watch his favorite cartoons in Spanish, he sings songs in Spanish, he has also asked for me to translate into Spanish his favorite bedtime stories that are in English, and he can pick up on the language when he hears it in places other than home. Way before these milestones, he had professed that he knew Spanish! Ah, but in my hearts of hearts, I knew we had a long way to go! 

    Although, there is still more work to be done on making him completely bilingual I am truly happy and proud of his accomplishments to this date. Especially when he's so receptive to learning Spanish. I see his interest, and desire to learn! 

    However, not everything has been "peaches and creme"; and I've faced many challenges. Reminiscing on my pregnancy...on my hopes, wishes, desires, plans and dreams for our unborn child,  was one deeply rooted in my heart, but I failed to put into action early on. My one regret, not talking to my child only, and exclusively in Spanish since the day he was born.  

    Living away from my homeland Puerto Rico, away from family and away from anyone who spoke Spanish has been no easy feat! My husband, and in-laws only speak English, my child's daycare providers only speak English, and here I was talking to our child only in English! There were times that I would say a word or two in Spanish, and quickly found myself talking to him in English once again. 

    How dare I not talk to my son in Spanish?!  I heard those words from my side of the family many times! I felt ashamed, defeated and a total failure. I read articles on how the "time frame for children to learn a second language was from birth to 5 yrs. old."   I felt time was slipping through my fingers, and my child was not learning a second language. I went into panic mode, and came up with an action plan!  

    Teaching Him A Second Language
    I went full force into making sure my son would start learning Spanish, and it all started with our journey into a Spanish immersion language class. This has made all of the difference in the world because my child is learning another language with children his same age. He proudly boasts to his friends, "I'm in a Spanish immersion class, and I know Spanish!"   I have reinforced his Spanish immersion classes with Spanish home lessons, using books, crafts, and videos. To make it even more fun I had a bilingual playdate for him and his friends. The best part of it all, is that I myself am speaking to him more, and more in Spanish! 

    He is on way to becoming bilingual, slowly but surely I am confidant he will get there. I will definitely enjoy, savor and take in every single word in Spanish that comes out of his little mouth! 

    My favorite ones thus far, and they are music to my ears: 

    "Mommy, I love you with all my heart!" and "Mommy, give me a big hug!"
    My advice to parents who are struggling to teach your children a second or even a third language, don't give up! You're the only one that can help your child be bilingual or multilingual.  Having the ability to speak more than one language is in itself a huge blessing!

    ¡Hasta la próxima!

    I would love to hear your thoughts! Please comment, like, share or pin! 

    Earth Day Craft: Make Your Own Note Pad

    My Mom is a seamstress. What did she not sew!  From our dresses, to curtains, to wash cloths, and home-made note pads! She is and has always been such a creative, and talented woman.  I remember, that she would  just fold papers, and sew them for us to use as note pads.  Of course, for Earth Day I wanted to do something similar. 
    For this craft, I used empty box of cereal.  Cut the tops off, and cut it open on the side. I folded it in half, and used like 5 sheets of papers to sew. 

    Very carefully (so you won't break the needle) sew on the papers to the cereal box. 

    Voila! You have made an awesome recycled note pad! 

    This is great to give to the kids to play, draw or do whatever their little hearts desire! I made two, the first one pictured at the top was little one's bilingual "Earth Book", and the second one....well, we'll figure out what do with it. :)

    Did you see my post on how to make your own cool art paper for Earth Day? Check it out here.  Let me know what you've been up to.  Please share, like, comment or pin! Would love to hear from you.

    This post has been shared at Crafty Moms Share: Sharing Saturday, and Monday Kids Corner Blog Hop.

    Cultural Playdate: Celebrating Cinco de Mayo

    I love hosting cultural playdates for my son, and his friends.  Cultural playdates give the children an opportunity to explore and learn through other people's tradition and customs. This time we celebrated Cinco de Mayo!

    During this playdate we read two books for story time. I read the history of Cinco de Mayo to the children, and we went over key words in Spanish that I found here.

    The book that I used was: Celebrate Cinco de Mayo with the Mexican Hat Dance by Alma F. Ada & F. Isabel Campoy.   The storybook is about children in school that are learning to do the Mexican hat dance for their Cinco de Mayo celebration, and it's followed by the history of Cinco de Mayo.  

    Earth Day Craft: Make Your Own Cool Art Paper

    A fun, and easy craft to celebrate Earth Day with your children is to make your own cool art paper! Yes, you can make art paper by recycling! It's super easy to make!

     You will need newspaper, thin screen mesh, a pan with 1" of water, a blender with 3 cups of warm water, a reused brown paper bag (for this craft I used brown packaging paper), and a rolling pin (not pictured). 

    1. Cut the brown paper into small pieces and put into the blender. 
    2. Turn on the blender on to medium speed until the paper looks like in picture #2 (slushy). 
    3. Pour a cup of the wet brown paper mixture onto the mesh, and place in the pan. With your fingers spread out the mixture on the mesh. 
    4. Very carefully place the mesh on the newspaper. Fold one side of the newspaper over the mesh and gently use a rolling pin to squeeze out all of the water. Have a towel handy! Once you've rolled over the newspaper turn it over, and gently pull the mesh out. The wet mixture will be on the newspaper. Let it dry overnight. 

    1. This is how your wet mixture is going to look like. It will be stuck to the newspaper so gently remove the newspaper. 
    2. This is how the back of the paper is going to look. 
    3. Once you pull it out it will look like corrugated paper. 
    4. Decorate your cool art paper! My child made some designs on the smooth part of the paper. We used markers, but you can also use paint! 

    Little one and I are looking to make some cool art paper. We may make some more to make cute birthday cards, or thank you cards made from our own recycled paper! How cool is that! 

    Do you make crafts out of recycled materials at home?  Would love it hear about it! Please comment, like, share or pin!