Monday, December 11, 2017

Great Gift Ideas for Bilingual Kids


This year, I thought it best to do a roundup of my favorite gifts for bilingual families. Below are some remarkable products that I think will really appeal to children and even their parents. The criteria I used is simple: It must be fun and educational.

Learning a new language or maintaining one's bilingualism shouldn't be a chore. It should be something that we enjoy doing. I think the products listed below help to promote a positive outlook when it comes to being bilingual.

I hope you enjoy!

This post uses affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, I receive a small commission that helps me purchase books and other materials for my own homeschooling family. Thank you!




My Little Donkey/Mi Burrito by Canticos


Ages 5 and under
Most Hispanics have heard the traditional Christmas song, Mi burrito sabanero, and so I think this sweet book by Canticos would be a wonderful gift to give your child on Christmas Eve! Then you can read/sing it together....in English or Spanish or both!




Lingua Garden


Ages 2 - 10 years old
Fun. This online learning program can be summed up in that one word. Lingua Garden is put together by the talented Denise Leitch, a Chilean-American Spanish teacher who worked hard to create an engaging and effective program for teaching little children how to speak Spanish. There are different levels and themes in her classes. I love how organized the program is and how you can track your progress on the same page where you are watching the videos for each lesson or downloading the activity pages. The truth is, Denise really makes this program come alive with her exuberant videos. Learn more by visiting her home page.




Mundo Verde/Green World by Mister G


Ages 2 - 10 years old
This new album by bilingual musician, Mister G, is a must-have! It is a collection of inspiring bilingual songs that encourage people around the world to support of global conservation and action. Each song is unique and many are performed in collaboration with musicians from throughout Latin America and the U.S. From bomba and samba to reggae and bossa nova, there's a little something to thrill every listener. Want to hear a sample? Check out this ADORABLE music video!






Family Poems for Every Day of the Week - Poemas familiares para cada día de la semana by Francisco X. Alarcón


Ages 7 - 12 years old
This new release from Children's Book Press is a must-have for every bilingual family's library! Written by the late Chicano poet, Francisco X. Alarcón, the poems reflect the daily multicultural lives of Latino children. Alarcón's poems are complemented by the vibrant illustrations of Chicana artist Maya Christina Gonzalez. This entire book is a celebration of bilingualism, multiculturalism, and childhood.



Linguacious Card Games


Ages 5 and up
This card game is from a new language-learning startup that focuses on teaching basic vocabulary in foreign languages through the use of fun flashcard games. What sets these cards apart is the fact that they are the only flashcards that feature real pronunciation by native speakers. Each card comes with a QR code, so you will need a QR code reader on your phone to play (but it is easy to download and it's free). And I love that each card focuses on complete literacy: reading, writing, spelling, and pronunciation. Take a look here to read about all the different games you can play with these cards.  The cards are currently available in five languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hebrew.


Disney Pixar Coco (Remember Me) A LOTERIA Game


Ages 4 and up
So much fun! I included this set simply because the graphics on the cards are SO beautiful and, of course, because the movie was so delightful. Reinforce your child's Spanish vocabulary with this game that includes words and images such as el sol, el nopal, la cama, and many others.



Booklandia Box


Ages 2 - 10 years old
This monthly subscription is the perfect gift for bilingual families as it last ALL YEAR LONG! Each month, bilingual or Spanish books are delivered directly to your doorstep to help develop your child's biliteracy and love of reading. Authentic and original titles in Spanish - not bad translations - are the focus of this wonderful company! The book boxes are designed for families with children ages 2 to 12 years old.



Thursday, December 7, 2017

Free Download: Spanish Numbers in the 80s & 90s

I'm sharing our final free number game download for the year from MommyMaestra's sponsor, Spanish for You!  For the last several months, they have been focused on helping students learn those higher numbers between 20 and 100. Today's download is the final file to help your young Spanish learners. If you missed any of them, you can find the free downloads here and here and here and here

This 6-page mini-lesson will help your young Spanish learner memorize their numbers in the 80s and 90s. The file includes a page of directions, a number grid, a match up activity, a number writing grid, and two games: Go Fish and Battleship. As always, it comes with the audio file to help you learn proper pronunciation. 


Remember! Spanish for You!'s program is geared for middle schoolers and is the perfect choice for homeschoolers and afterschoolers alike because their concepts are carefully divided up into manageable bundles that are available for immediate download from their website.

If this is your first time here, you can find other free samples from Spanish for You! here. There are some fantastic downloads of games and activities for you and your family to enjoy. If you enjoy this activity, be sure to visit the Spanish for You! website where you'll find tons of additional resources for you to help your young Spanish learner!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

New National Geographic Kids from Pley!

Monthly subscriptions are always one of my favorite gifts to give during the holidays because they last ALL year. They also tend to be educational in nature while maintaining that element of fun that kids crave.

Since my two oldest children are animal/nature lovers, I was ecstatic to receive a sample of Pley's newest box series in partnership with National Geographic Kids. Pley is a monthly mystery box club that partners with brands such as LEGO, Disney, Minecraft and more.

When we received the new adventure box, my 11-year-old son was beside himself with delighted curiosity. He tore into it before I could blink and began to triumphantly hold up the different items inside amid shouts of joy.

This month's theme was Sea Animals. Last year for math, we focused on ocean life, so my son was pretty geeked to get a packet on animals with which he was familiar.

Here's a look at what the box we received contained:



The first thing he did was put on his new T-shirt (it is his new favorite) and then grab the chapter book on sharks. It is filled with fun facts and fascinating stories. And afterward, he began punching out the trading cards that have fast facts about specific reef animals.

Then he started going through the activity booklet page by page and filling out everything he knew.


But I think his favorite items out of the box were these miniature whale and clownfish figures. There's just something about miniature figures that enthrall my kids.



Are your kids into stickers? Then they will love the sheet of animal stickers that features animals found in coral reefs. And if you have a child who enjoys new jewelry or accessories, the colorful bracelet will be a happy surprise.



And the fun doesn't stop here in the box because the kit also includes a link to an online game. My son had to select an avatar then learn about his mission to help save the Great Barrier Reef. It included challenges such as selecting the proper gear, marking a map, using your camera to take pictures of sealife, and opening the mission's iPad which has more detailed information about the creatures living in the reef. There are also games that teach kids about the habits of specific animals. For example, there's one game where you have to make the White-Bellied Sea Eagle fly through a certain area and collect fish without crashing into things.

Are you looking for activities to keep the kids busy on long car rides? Do you have a family vacation coming up? Or maybe the wait in the doctor's/dentist's office bores your kid to tears. Whatever your story, your child may love that the box even turns into a fun travel case with the enclosed handle. Just insert it into the designated holes and your travel case is ready to go anywhere.

Do you have an adventurer at home who loves monthly discoveries? If so, I would highly recommend this particular subscription from Pley!


Disclosure: I am a National Geographic Kids Insider which allows me access to new materials from NGK to share with MommyMaestra readers. All thoughts and opinions are strictly my own. 

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