Friday, January 31, 2014

Celebra El Día Internacional de la Donación de Libros {International Book Giving Day}

Note: This post is in Spanish for an English version you can check it out here.  Or use Google translate on the right side. :) 

Dentro de dos semanas estaremos celebrando El Día Internacional de la Donación de Libros el 14 de febrero del 2014. Ese día también es el Día de San Valentín. Durante ese día muchas personas se dedicarán a prestar, regalar o donar libros a cuánto niño sea posible. Esta grandiosa idea viene del hijo de la bloguera mamá de Delightful Children's Book; y es promovida y organizada por blogueras voluntarias con el único propósito de hacerle llegar libros a las manos de los niños. 

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Valentine's Day Fluttering Heart Butterfly Pencil

I was looking on Pinterest for a non-candy alternative for Valentine's Day this year.  I came across this cute Valentine's Day straw topper, and it inspired me to make these cute Valentine's Day Fluttering Butterfly Pencils.  

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Book Review: Rosa and A Kid's Guide to African American History {Black History Month Blog Hop}


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Black History Month is an annual observance here in the United States, Canada; and celebrated also in the United Kingdom during the month of October.  

Join me and six other bloggers from the Multicultural Kids Blog together as we celebrate Black History Month. During this month long celebration we will be remembering the contributions of African Americans who played an important role during the Civil Rights movement.  Please be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom, and visit the other participating bloggers. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Discovering Brazil {Global Culture Education}

I am excited to share with you the first post of the series Discovering the World. I'll be sharing with you how little one is learning about other countries through activities, crafts, a lapboard that we will make for each country, music, YouTube, and Little Passports. The countries that we'll be sharing with you are Brazil, France, Egypt, Australia, Mexico, Japan, and many more to come!

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Today we are visiting Brazil! Our lesson included Little Passport's Brazil kit, coloring pages of the flag, country, and the carnival mask.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Valentine's Day Rockin' Love Birds Kids Craft


Little man had his Spanish speaking friends over for another play date! Of course, this mama always likes to craft with the kiddos. So with Valentine's Day around the corner we made these adorable rockin' love birds. I got the idea from little one's Highlight for Kids magazine that we receive monthly. 

Monday, January 20, 2014

Celebrating MLK Day {Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service}

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I am a member of the Multicultural Kid Blogs, and I couldn't be any happier to join them in celebrating a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service by challenging their readers (and ourselves!) to take the time to do service with our children.To celebrate this day a group of wonderful bloggers are sharing ideas about the kinds of volunteer work they have done with their kids. You can check all of the bloggers below! Just make sure to scroll all the way to the bottom.

From a very young age we have been instilling in our child the values that we believe in - teaching him to be kind, and to serve others.

Martin Luther King is the perfect day to highlight acts of service, and teach him to "live the dream." Martin Luther King's dream: "One day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.”  I read to him two books about Martin Luther King, Jr. although intended for older children we were able to discuss King's legacy, and acts of service.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #12


Hi!  Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #12
This week Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop features: 

Little Bilingues French & English 7 families card game  I just love these cute bilingual cards, and you can actually download them for free! flashcards

Trilingual Mama's Pen Pal Kit  How about creating a pen pal kit for your children! Great way to get them started, and practice on writing in any language.

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Friday, January 17, 2014

Mama Panya's Pancake {Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children's Literature}



We're a multicultural familia and I'm always on the look out for books that celebrate diversity.  So I was super excited for the opportunity to become a book reviewer for the Multicultural Children’s Book Day: Celebrating Diversity in Children's Literature.  

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. 
Mission: Despite census data that shows 37% of the US population consists of people of color, only 10% of children’s books published have diversity content. Using the Multicultural Children’s Book Day, Mia and Valarie are on a mission to change all of that. Their mission is to not only raise awareness for the kid’s books that celebrate diversity, but to get more of these types of books into classrooms and libraries. Another goal of this exciting event is create a compilation of books and favorite reads that will provide not only a new reading list for the winter, but also a way to expose brilliant books to families, teachers, and libraries.

Setting Goals for my Bilingual Child

This past December I reflected on our past year, and thought of the major milestones that my “now” bilingual child has accomplished. I can highlight all of the positive language learning experiences from his first Spanish language immersion lessons to our family immersion trip to Puerto Rico

To keep the momentum going, upon our return from our summer trip from Puerto Rico I enrolled him for a second Spanish language immersion session during the fall.  I realized on the 1st day that my son wasn't going to learn anything during this session. He was too advanced in his Spanish for the basic curriculum that was being taught. This was yet another affirmation that our hard work was paying off. 

For a minute, I thought of dropping him from the class, but I didn't. I figured I’d asked him before I made that decision. I asked him what he thought of the Spanish class, and his response was “it was fun!” The language instructor approached me after the first session. She shared her concern about his language level, but assured me that she would be building his vocabulary as he progressed. 

Truth be told, 12 weeks later I haven’t seen any real advancements in his language learning from his Spanish immersion class. Nevertheless, he enjoyed his Spanish classes, and was actually the instructor’s helper. 

Looking into this New Year I have to focus on how I will continue to further my son’s interest in learning Spanish. So looking into the future I need to strategize a new language learning plan to keep him on his toes, and interested. 

Our goals for 2014

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Multicultural Kid Blogs Book Club Reads Family on the Loose

Having traveled with our five year old numerous times I was excited to participate in the Multicultural Kid Blogs Book Club reading  Family on the Loose: The Art of  Traveling with Kids.   The book club kicked off with Jonathan from Dad's the way I like it's candid experience and his discussion on Chapter 1 and 2

I love reading, and I love traveling! So I am excited to share with you my discussion on Chapter 3 Packing It In. 

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Book Review: Baba Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly

I am so pleased to review  Baba Didi and the Godwits Fly.  This is a story of a grandmother Baba Didi and her granddaughter Isabella as they observe, and talk about the godwits. The godwits are the most resilient birds of all. Migrating, and flying through harsh weather conditions, and through the night across New Zealand, China, the U.S., Korea, Japan, and Russia until they reach their destination. 

Baba Didi shares how she too had to leave Croatia to emigrate to New Zealand, and how success in only achieved by hard work, stamina and resilience. How she, her husband and the people who emigrated had to adapt to the new living conditions of her new home, and made the best of an otherwise bad living condition. As she says in the book, "Sometimes, if you stay in the same place doing the same thing, it will be the end of you", thus the reason for emigrating to New Zealand in search for gold. 


This beautiful multicultural book offers important and valuable life lessons about courage, and resilience. It is also perfect to peak your children's curiosity about science, and geography with it's beautiful illustrations.

This book is a favorite in our home, and my son truly enjoyed this beautifully written children's book. 

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.

Saturday, January 11, 2014

E-Book Review: Where are the Dinos?


My child loves, loves dinosaurs; and I was very excited for the opportunity to read this e-book to him. 

Where Are the Dinos? by Julia Dweck is a story of an inquisitive little dog’s visit to the zoo. He questions the tour guide about the dinos! Wondering where are they? He asks so many questions to the tour guide that it drives him crazy! In the end the tour guide tells him that they are extinct! However, there is a surprise at the end, but you need to read the e-book to find out! 

My five year old chuckled, and laughed as we read the story together.  He enjoyed the story so much that I had to read it to him twice in a row. As a parent I enjoyed the dinosaur fun facts and activities found at the end of the story that will sure to please any child.   

My son loves to draw, and he was pretty excited to find out that he can learn how to draw a dinosaur with the simple instructions provided by the illustrator Bob Ostrom. 

This is such a delightful children’s book with rhyming words, and colorful illustrations that will captivate any child. 

Disclaimer:

Amazon affiliate links are used in this post. If you click on it, and purchase I will receive a small monetary compensation.  I received a complimentary copy of this e-book for the purpose of reviewing it. I did not receive monetary compensation for this review. All opinions are my own.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Our Operation Christmas Child Crafts Featured on Clip with Purpose



I am so excited that our Operation Christmas Child post of  my son and his friends making crafts is being featured on Clip with Purpose.  Clip with Purpose is a blog dedicated to helping people find deals, and save money on items for the Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes.  

Shopping and preparing to fill shoe boxes is a year round event in our home, and Clip with Purpose helps you with tips, tricks, deals, and craft ideas, too! 

Their mission is to help as many people as possible pack as many shoe boxes as possible for Operation Christmas Child!  

Need more ideas, or inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board:

Follow Frances's board Operation Christmas Child & Shoe Box Ideas on Pinterest.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Successful Spanish Immersion Playdate

If you've been following our bilingual journey you will understand the magnitude, and importance of our first ever Spanish playdate! 

Immersion Playgroups 

You see, we live in an area where Spanish is the minority language, and pretty much non-existent. I know how important it is for a bilingual child to be immersed in the minority language, and what better way than with immersion through play. However, in our case living in a small Southern town I have a hard time finding Spanish playgroups, and let alone Spanish speaking folks! But I still held on to hope that I would find Spanish speaking friends for little one.

Seeking Opportunities 

Hubby and I go to a Mexican restaurant quite frequently for lunch. I've tried a couple of times to initiate small talk with the waitresses there (everyone is Latin), but haven't had much of a positive outcome! So one day while dropping my son off at school I saw a lady who works at the restaurant dropping her kids off, too! Ah! This was the perfect conversation starter!

I approached her one day during lunch time at the restaurant. She actually has a 5 yr. old son, and babysits two girls ages 4, and 3. We talked about the importance of speaking to the children in our minority language, and I told her quite frankly that I was looking for Spanish speaking friends for my 5 yr. old. After a few conversations we finally agreed on a date for our Spanish playdate!

Monday, January 6, 2014

Feliz Día de Reyes {Happy Three Kings Day}

Que la ilusión y alegría de la llegada de los Reyes Magos reine en su hogar. 

Today is one of those days that I wish my little one was celebrating el Día de Reyes in Puerto Rico. On the eve of the Epiphany of the Three Kings children are filling their shoe boxes with grass or hay, and tucking them under their beds and ready to go to bed early.  On the morning of January 6th children are jumping out their beds to look inside the shoe boxes! No hay or grass! In exchange for their kindness on leaving hay or grass for the camels the Three Kings leave treats (toys and/or candy) behind. Since it's a holiday in Puerto Rico children and adults alike will enjoy a day off. 

Little one was only 6 months old when he visited Puerto Rico for the first time, and it was also during Three Kings day. However, he was too young to remember.  Since we live in the U.S. I make an effort to pass on the cultural traditions that I grew up with, and that are very much part of our Latin culture. We had so much sharing this tradition with his friends last year during a playdate that we hosted another one this year as well. 

Yesterday afternoon little one and I went to our backyard to find grass. Since it was so cold we managed to get a little bit, but my child wasn't happy stating that we had to feed three camels! So we got some more grass. :)  As we walked in the house, he was holding the shoe box filled with grass tightly so it wouldn't fall, and placed it by his bed. 

It's such a joy to see our son's excitement!  Do you celebrate El Día de los Reyes Magos (Three Kings/Magi Day?)  Please comment, like, share or pin. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Celebrating Día de Reyes: Decorate a Shoe Box Craft

As in years past we are getting ready to celebrate Three Kings Day or El Día de Reyes.  Last year we hosted our very first cultural playdate. This year I didn't plan to have another Three Kings playdate, but I couldn't help but use this theme for little one's very first Spanish playdate! (More about that in another post).  

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Kwanzaa Winter Holiday Celebration

I love teaching our child about the different Winter holidays, and last year I hosted in our home a Cultural Playdate: "Celebrating 中國新年 (Chinese New Year)." This year I hosted a one-day Kwanzaa Winter Holiday camp for ten of my son's friends 5 years and under. The fun part about this camp that it was bilingual! I invited little one's new Spanish speaking friends so I was translating English to Spanish; and then Spanish to English for the other children.

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