Children learn through play, so if you want your kids to speak Spanish I highly recommend you join a Spanish-speaking playgroup in your area. I know for a fact that that they are a must when raising bilingual children because we've belong to one ever since my eldest daughter was 2. Not only is it great for the children to interact with others who are growing up with two languages, but it's also great for the moms (and dads) who have decided to embark in this journey and need all the help and support they can get.Continue Reading >
Music is an excellent way to teach your kids Spanish or to get them to practice the vocabulary they already know. This is particularly true the younger your kids are, that's why so many Spanish classes for tots rely on music to teach them in a fun environment. While I've already shared some of my favorite Spanish music CDs for kids, the truth is that to get your kids signing in Spanish all you need is YouTube!Continue Reading >
Four years ago, when my best friend and I launched SpanglishBaby, a blog for parents raising bilingual children, we had a hard time finding any kind of products that would help us raise them proud of their heritage too. Since then, it seems like the market for this type of products has exploded. From apparel to toys and even decor for their rooms, there is now a plethora of choices to choose from.
Today, I wanted to share my favorite online boutiques that cater to parents like you and I who are raising proud bicultural children.Continue Reading >
The best way to ensure your kids don't end up hating Spanish is to keep it fun. If your children feel like speaking their second language is some sort of chore or obligation, I can guarantee they will rebel against it and you'll be sad and disappointed.
There are many ways in which you can make Spanish fun for them, including through music, movies, and books. But today I'm going to talk about one that is often forgotten thanks to the ever-growing popularity of smart phones, tablets, and the apps that come with them.Continue Reading >
I'll never get tired of saying it: raising bilingual kids is difficult, but it's totally worth it. In the years since I started writing about my own experiences raising my children to speak both English and Spanish, I've met a ton of parents on the same journey.
After countless conversations, I've come to the conclusion that we all face similar obstacles as we attempt to teach our children our native language or, in some amazing cases, a language that is not really our own, but one that we've learned to love.
Here are the three most common obstacles and ideas on how to overcome them.Continue Reading >
Even before I had children and decided to raise them bilingual, I was already a language lover. Growing up in Peru, I used to love listening to my parents speak in English when they didn't want us to understand what they were saying. Eventually, I went to a bilingual school and learned English so they could no longer do that. In fifth grade, I started taking my first French lessons and I was hooked. Later on, in college, I took a few Portuguese classes and I've also dabbled in Italian.
I would give ANYTHING to dedicate the rest of my life to learning languages. That's why I was so in awe of Timothy Doner, who's only 17 years old and already speaks 23 languages!!Continue Reading >
I have yet to meet a little kid who doesn't like music. Mine are no exception. They both love to dance, but I think they like singing even more. My husband plays the guitar and is a huge music fan, so music always fills our home. But it was only recently that I realize I hadn't taught my 3-year-old son the songs from my own childhood that his sister already knew by the time she was his age.
So I decided to go back to some of the children's music CDs we own, and all of a sudden I remembered how many good ones we have. Some are strictly in Spanish and are full of traditional songs, but others are bilingual and include original songs, which I promise your kids will love.Continue Reading >
Trying to raise a bilingual child when the rest of your family is not on board is not easy, but it's definitely not impossible. Maybe it's your in-laws who think your child will get confused if he's exposed to two languages at the same time. Maybe it's your own mother who doesn't see the need to introduce your child to a second language so early on. Or maybe it's your own husband who's not completely convinced it's such a great idea.
Whatever the case may be, I'm going to share some tips with you that will hopefully help with your situation.Continue Reading >
Last week I wrote about the importance of reading when raising bilingual children. Books are the best way to expose children to new vocabulary and to expand their knowledge in both their languages. I also mentioned that a great option for families in which one parent is bilingual, but the other one is not--which seems to be the case for many families in this country--are bilingual children's books. These are books that are written in both English and Spanish and are perfect for dad to read in one language and for mom (or grandma) to read in another language.
Although it's not like there are hundreds of these types of books, there are some really great ones out there and today we'd like to share our 10 favorite ones:Continue Reading >
If you have children, you've heard time and time again how important it is to read to them on a daily basis. Well, this is even more so when you're raising bilingual children. While listening to you speak Spanish is by far the best way to ensure they're getting direct exposure to the language, listening to you read in Spanish is wonderful too! Books can make a huge difference when it comes to enriching your child's vocabulary. The more varied the topics of the books, the more diverse your kid's vocabulary will be.
This is particularly true if you don't feel like your own Spanish vocabulary is extensive because you'll most likely be learning a lot of new words along the way too.Continue Reading >