Monday, December 28, 2020

Thank You from MommyMaestra

© Can Stock Photo / yarruta

Dear Friends and Familia,

2020 is almost over. I am SO glad! While many great things have happened this year, it has still had pretty awful moments and I know a lot of you are looking forward to leaving this year behind.

I don't like to end any day without being thankful for something, much less an entire year. So I want to quickly list a few things that I'm thankful for here on MommyMaestra.

First, so many wonderful guest contributors were featured on the blog and they all shared remarkable reviews, tips, resources and information. I must thank each and every one of the guest contributors to this site, who share such wonderful content.

Second, so many families chose to homeschool for the first time this fall. After the schools shut down last spring, I realized we needed a group where families felt comfortable asking questions on how to get started and to share advice or resources. So the Hispanic & Bilingual Homeschoolers Facebook Group was established. It has more than 2,000 members and everyone is super supportive. Come join us, if you haven't already.

And lastly, I had the pleasure of working with a lot of new clients with remarkable products over the last 6 months or more. Thank you! A few have become MommyMaestra sponsors, and I thank them for finding my site a good fit for their business, as well as their support. Sponsors like Spanish for You! who shares fantastic freebies every month to help MM readers teach their children a new language or new skills and concepts. As well as Risas y Sonrisas who has continued to push forward each year improving and adding to their Spanish curriculum for elementary students. And I welcome Whistlefritz this year for becoming a monthly sponsor and sharing excellent products for teaching children Spanish or French. 

I want to encourage each of you to visit their sites where you'll discover wonderful products to help you raise multilingual kids. And if you are a parent or educator who has downloaded their free content from MommyMaestra, please take a moment to just say thank you to them so they'll be inspired to continue to provide you with such great materials.

Please remember: MommyMaestra is always looking for guest contributors. Maybe this is the year when you will sit down at your computer and type up your first article sharing your experience. We want to hear and share your stories to inspire other Latino families to get involved in their children's education. We want you to be excited about the things your child is learning and to take an active role in their journey of discovery. 

When I first started MommyMaestra 10 years ago, I only knew of a handful of Latino homeschoolers and there were NO blogs dedicated to education for Latino families. Today, it is rare that a week goes by when I don't get an email or message from a mother (sometimes a father!) who is looking for curricula, has questions about how to start homeschooling, or needs resources for helping their child improve in specific subjects at school.

A giant abrazo to you all. May 2021 be a wonderful year for your familia.

Friday, December 18, 2020

The Best of MommyMaestra 2020

The year is coming to a close, and today is my penultimate post on MommyMaestra. I'll be taking the final two weeks of this year off to spend with my family. (Though you may see one or two more scheduled posts.)

I'm closing with a roundup of my favorite or most popular posts from each month this year. If you've missed any, go and check them out!

Wishing you a peaceful end to 2020.



January

Biblioburro: Lesson Plans, Videos, Books & More

"Do you know about Luis Soriano? Are you looking for resources to teach about this remarkable man who travels far and wide the mountains of Colombia on his little burro to deliver books to children in remote villages?

His story came across my desk... and I started thinking that I should share some resources for his inspirational story. So here you go!"

This was January's most popular post!



February

"Arturo Schomburg: 1-Page Reading Passage is a brief history of the life of the remarkable historian and activist, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg. Learn who he was and the amazing contribution he made to our country's national library system AND nation's history."

Celebrate Black History Month with this printable reading passage in English and Spanish featuring Arturo Alfonso Schomburg.



March


15 Children's Biographies Celebrating Women


"I want to focus on books that celebrate women...because it is Women's History Month! Many of these will be about Latinas. Your kids can use these books when researching the remarkable accomplishments and contributions that women have had in world history. Then they can use these free writing pages to write down what they've learned."



April

Skills Learned During the Pandemic

"I think the only time my kids have picked up an iron has been to press their Perler beads. So I decided that's it. It's time for them to start learning self-sufficiency. And I started putting together this list. I asked my friends on Facebook their opinions and they had a ton. So before long, my little list had become four pages long."

This was by far, one of the most popular posts on my site this year.


May

How I Talk to My Teen about What is Happening in our Country

"At first, I hugged her and told her, "It's okay." I was on automatic pilot trying to soothe her. She immediately said, "No! It's NOT okay!" And she was right."




June

Homeschooling vs. Distance Learning: What's the Difference?

"I can't tell you how many times I saw people complaining on Facebook toward the end of the school year about how much they hated homeschooling. But upon further reading, they talked about how stressful the zoom meetings were or how they didn't understand what the teacher was expecting or couldn't figure out the assignments.

This isn't homeschooling. It's distance learning. And the two are VERY different."


July

Free Download: El Parque y Colores


"This month's freebie is all about learning the colors... and trips to the park! The four-page file includes an instruction page and vocabulary list, picture and color cards, a speaking activity page, and a Speak, Listen, Do activity (with a discount code for any Spanish for You! purchases!). There's also an audio file to help with pronunciation."



August


Risas y Sonrisas Homeschool Elementary Program


"We're kicking off the MommyMaestra Back-to-School Fiesta with a great program for homeschool parents wanting to teach their child a second language! I reviewed this program six years ago and it has done nothing but get better, year by year."


September


Barton Reading and Spelling: Expensive, Boring, and Effective


Barton Reading Spelling is an Orton-Gillingham based reading and spelling program created by Susan Barton. According to the Barton website, the Barton system “is a great tutoring system for children, teenagers, and adults who struggle with reading, spelling, and writing due to dyslexia or a learning disability.”




October


Beautiful Mundo: Secular Spanish Curriculum


"What I love the most is that it is entirely literature based. When I was looking through the booklist, I discovered that I recognized most of the titles because they are considered Latino children's lit. (Most of them are by Hispanic authors, anyway, with a few translations scattered in.) In fact, I have most of them on my bookshelves. Some of the authors I spied in the list are Alma Flor Ada, Monica Brown, José-Luis Orozco, Lulu Delacre, and many others."

November

Holiday Gifting Series


My most popular posts in November were my recommendations for holiday gifting, such as this gift set from Whistlefritz!



December


Winter Solstice & Mesoamerica for Kids


And finally, in December I've had quite a few great posts, so I'm going to select this one with information and resources for learning about the Winter Solstice and its importance in Mesoamerican cultures.


Thursday, December 17, 2020

Giveaway: New Nacho Books

New Titles from Nacho Books!

This is a sponsored post.

Friends, Nacho Books reached out wanting to offer books to the MommyMaestra community for the holidays. So I agreed to one last giveaway before I sign off for the year. 

Many of you have talked about how much you love Nacho Books for teaching your children to read. In fact, the books are so popular, that Nacho Books has expanded and is now offering books in other subjects! 

Check out these three new books:

Color Forma y Tamaño

A workbook (78 pages)  for little ones to paste little papers, toothpicks, rice, leaves or anything recycled that they can find to finish the drawing! This is a very interactive way to learn shapes, colors and the form of objects. 

Aula Creativa 6

This is a really cool workbook (155 pages) for older kids.   This is a workbook totally in Spanish to learn how to DRAW! It promotes cultural and artistic development. Students will learn about art terms like: what is perspective? They will learn art history as well as how to create their own drawings using those concepts. This is book #6 of 9! 

Nacho Recortables

This has been the favorite workbook (78 pages)  in school districts for dual immersion. These cutouts or recortables are great to guide students through social interactions, what feelings, safety rules, community guidelines, all in Spanish! This is the first book of 3! 

The Giveaway

Nacho Books is kindly offering these books for a giveaway. Three MommyMaestra readers will each win one of the books above. 

To enter, simply use the Rafflecopter below

¡Buena suerte!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, December 16, 2020

Winter Solstice & Mesoamerica for Kids

© Can Stock Photo / Kandella

What is the Winter Solstice?

Solstices mark the shortest and longest days of the year. There are two solstices annually: the Winter Solstice and the Summer Solstice.

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year and longest night of the year. This event is due to the Earth's tilt on its axis and its orbit around the sun. It's caused when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt away from the Sun. (From this day onward, the days will continue get longer until they reach the longest day of the year on the Summer Solstice.)

It also officially marks the beginning of winter. 

**It's important to note that while here in the United States (in the Northern Hemisphere) our WINTER Solstice falls on or around December 21st, the Southern Hemisphere is celebrating the SUMMER Solstice on exactly the same day. Why? Because at that time, the opposite pole on Earth has reached its maximum tilt toward the Sun.  

The word "solstice" itself is Latin and literally means to sun stilled - sol ("sun") and sistere ("to stand still"). It was created, one would assume, because on this day, the sun reaches its highest point in the sky and appears to stop its celestial journey across the sky.

This year, the Winter Solstice will coincide with another remarkable phenomenon: The Christmas Star. On Dec. 21, the planets Jupiter and Saturn will appear so close together that they will almost look like one point of light to the unaided eye. Here's how you can see it.

This post contains affiliate links.



Aztec Calendar

The Winter Solstice in Mesoamerica

The solstices have a significant history in Mesoamerican cultures. Both the Aztec and Maya considered the day sacred and it influenced their inventions and art. 

The Maya

The day itself is the most important point in the Maya calendar, which was created by the talented astronomers and mathematicians who carefully studied the heavens over centuries. The calendar is one of the most accurate to be invented, and the solstice is the most important point of the calendar.

They also built solar complexes with pyramids created specifically to celebrate significant dates, such as the summer and winter solstices. On these days, the sun illuminates exactly half of the pyramid leaving the other half in darkness. This phenomenon may be seen at Chichen Itza when El Castillo (the pyramid of Kukulkan) becomes divided perfectly in two.

The Aztecs

The Aztecs celebrated Huitzilopochtli's birthday on the Winter Solstice. He was the Aztec's sun god. And they celebrated his rebirth every year on this day in a festive ritual called, Panquetzaliztli. This new sun was symbolic of the light found within each person and represented. 

The Inca

The Inca also celebrated the solstice with Inti Raymi, or the Festival of the Sun. But remember, that the Inca are located in the Southern Hemisphere, so it was celebrated around June 21st. Inti Raymi is still celebrated in certain areas and many of the traditions have been handed down. Here's a beautiful video about the modern Inti Raymi celebration.


Crafts & Activities for Kids



Solstice Books

Read more about the Winter Solstice with these children's books. (affiliate links)


The Shortest Day
by Susan Cooper

on Amazon | on Bookshop



The Return of the Light: Twelve Tales from Around the World for the Winter Solstice
by Carolyn McVickar Edwards 

on Amazon | on Bookshop


The Solstice Badger
by Robin McFadden

on Amazon | on Bookshop


The Winter Solstice
by Ellen Jackson

on Amazon | on Bookshop

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

A Short List of Virtual Las Posadas Celebrations for 2020



Tomorrow night, Las Posadas begins. For many, it's hard to imagine the holiday season without getting together for the 9-day celebration. But I want to encourage you all to forego them in person this year. It breaks my heart to write that. But to help you with the struggle, here is a list of virtual posada programs happening around the country, that you can watch/participate in from the warm comfort of your own home!

OR you can organize one yourself among friends and family using Zoom. (I LOVE this idea!)

Enjoy!

Free Virtual Events (most require registration)

  • The Museums at Union Station (Ogden, UT) will be hosting an online event activity that will happen via Youtube and be posted on Facebook. It includes:
    -@11am make luminarias and piñata ornaments
    - @6 pm Music, Stories and Folk Dances from España, Mexico, Salvador, Guatemala, Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Chile and Argentina!
    REGISTER HERE

  • Girl Scouts Virtual Piñata Making & Posada Celebration:: LET'S MAKE a Piñata!! Your whole family and friends are invited to make a piñata while learning how a Mexican Posada is celebrated!
    REGISTER HERE   and in SPANISH HERE

  • Aurora Museum Foundation (Aurora, CO):: Online Lecture: Las Posadas. The Christmastime tradition of Las Posadas begins on December 16th. Maye Agama has celebrated Las Posadas with Las Fraternas at the Fort for many years. She will share her photos and experiences. The lecture is free, but you must register to receive the link to the online meeting. Space is limited, please only register if you plan to attend. There is no cancellation fee. REGISTER HERE

  • Join Ignatian Solidarity Network December 16-24 in a daily virtual experience of music, art, prayer, reflection, and action as they journey with the Holy Family and migrants at the U.S.-Mexico border in search of shelter and protection. Read more here.
     
  • Mission San Jose (Fremont, CA) is hosting FREE nightly Posada entertainment December 15th through 23rd at 7pm. See the schedule and register here.

  • La Posada Sin Fronteras /// Posada Without Borders  This year's Posada Sin Fronteras event will take place virtually on Saturday, December 19 from 4 PM to 5:30 PM. Follow them on Facebook for more information.

Monday, December 14, 2020

Hannukah: Simple Resources for Learning about this Holiday

Hanukkah: Simple Resources for Learning
image courtesy lucidwaters


Hanukkah began a few days ago. I have always heard about this holiday, but didn't really know anything about it or the significance of the menorah. So I decided to do a little research this year to find resources for my kids. Naturally, I felt it was a good idea to share with you, too, in case your family is studying world cultures and religions. Below are the resources that I discovered and liked best.

What is Hanukkah?

Hanukkah is a Jewish festival commemorating the rededication of the Second Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It is also known as the Festival of Lights. 

For many, this explanation isn't very satisfying. SO, I thought it would be best to share this video by BimBam, a YouTube channel that posts Jewish videos that explain the basics of Judaism for adults and kids. It's really very good.


Online Resources, Printables, Recipes

If you're looking for online resources that teach or explore Hanukkah to supplement your own lessons, here are a few that I have enjoyed. But I know there are many others I've probably missed!

Center for Jewish History, NYC, No restrictions, via Wikimedia Commons


Songs in Spanish


The talented musician Nathalia has also posted this video of the Spanish version of the song, "Oh, Chanukah." I think you'll love it. 


Books about Hanukkah for Kids

Here are a few books about Hanukkah that you can find on Amazon or Bookshop. These are affiliate links.

The Story of Hanukkah
by David A. Adler and Jill Weber

on Amazon  |  on Bookshop



Holidays Around the World: Celebrate Hanukkah: With Light, Latkes, and Dreidels
by Deborah Heiligman 

on Amazon  |  on Bookshop



Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins
by Eric A. Kimmel

on Amazon  |  on Bookshop

Thursday, December 10, 2020

Children's Apron and Book Set & More

 

Friends! I'm making the last run of the year on Monday morning to the post office. If you'd like to order any of the products from my shop, now's the time!

The first is my apron/book set. It comes with a hardback copy of the picture book Growing Up with Tamales by Gwendolyn Zepeda and an embroidered apron of your text/color choice. The aprons are one size and available in the following color/text combos:

Chiquita...pero picosa! 

  • green
  • maroon
  • orange
  • purple 

OR Chiquito...pero picoso! 

  • red
  • maroon

You can also purchase the aprons and books separately.


I also have some Feliz Navidad bodysuits left for babies and toddlers. 


And I also have a few Feliz Navidad sweatshirts available for toddlers up through 5T.

Feliz Navidad a todos!

Wednesday, December 9, 2020

Holiday Gifting: Owl Aboard Family Puzzle


You know what I absolutely love? Games or activities that make it easy for families to do together regardless of age. I know it's easy to play games with your 8-year-olds, maybe even those who are 7 or 6, but it's a little more challenging when they are 3. 

So when I saw this amazing family puzzle that comes with 20 big pieces for little kids and 40 pieces for big kids (and adults!), I knew I was going to recommend it. It's challenging enough for two people of vastly different ages and experiences to enjoy. 

Putting together a puzzle has so many benefits! In case you didn't know, it can...

  • improve short-term memory,
  • lower stress,
  • develop concentration,
  • teach patience and self control,
  • develop fine-motor skills,
  • reinforces connections between brain cells, and
  • so much more!

My mother loved to put together puzzles. When she was alive, she would buy my children puzzles for Christmas most years. We still have some of them. 

My grandmother also enjoys putting together puzzles in her assisted living home. She's been fighting dementia for a several years now, but likes doing puzzles, crosswords, and word searches. They say it is great for her mental health. 

And all my kids love working puzzles. We haven't done many in the last two years since my youngest child, who's now three, became mobile and into everything. We were afraid of losing pieces. He's just recently discovered puzzles, though. The age-appropriate kind, of course. And he loves them, too. 

Which is why I think this puzzle is just brilliant! Big pieces for him to manipulate, and small ones for the rest of us. I'm so looking forward to the moment when my kids open this and realize it's for all of them. 

If this is something that you'd love for your family, you can find it here on Amazon:

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Free Las Posadas Word Search


Las Posadas is fast approaching. It is one of the favorite traditions from my childhood, and I love creating resources for my kids and yours. I have listed them below. But first...

A New Freebie!

I wanted to make sure that those of you who are subscribed to my monthly newsletter keep an eye out for it this week in your inbox. I'll be sharing this latest free download, plus an extra freebie of bilingual gift tags for you to use for the holidays. This will be my last newsletter of the year.

If you aren't subscribed, you can do so here.

Las Posadas Printables



This is actually my favorite activity of all! A full-color, printable calendar celebrating Las Posadas. This calendar follows the nine-day celebration that begins on the 16th of December and ends on Christmas Eve.

Parents and children can print out the calendar and the images that accompany it. Each image includes a bilingual description (English & Spanish) that explains its role in the posada. Children cut out the images and paste them onto the calendar once a day during Las Posadas.




Help the peregrinos arrive at the posada! Players first color in the game board, then cut out the game cards, or make their own. Using a die or the spinner (included) players make their way across the board using beans or buttons to move across the game path. The first one to reach the house wins!




This file contains two printable book of words closely associated with the tradition. One book is in English and the other is in Spanish. The emphasis is on writing practice for students in Pre-K through 2nd grade.




This is my most popular product. It includes THREE printable booklets full of coloring pages of items most closely associated with Las Posadas. The three booklets are:

• a bilingual book (English & Spanish)
• an English only (for ESL)
• a Spanish only (for Spanish learners)




Introduce your students to Las Posadas vocabulary with this fun little coloring book. Features those items most closely associated with the celebration including the peregrinos, the sheet music, luminarias, and various foods typically served at las posadas.




This is a one-page history on Las Posadas, a Mexican Christmas tradition. Your students will learn about this holiday tradition. This informational text is written for students in 4th - 8th grade. Includes an 8-question comprehension quiz plus answer key. Includes both the English and Spanish versions for your convenience.


Or just get the BUNDLE!

Monday, December 7, 2020

Lelu Spanish + STEAM Program

 

The following is a sponsored post with Lelu. All thoughts and opinions are mine.

One of the things that I've seen a lot of discussion about in our Facebook homeschool group is the need for more math and science resources in Spanish. Lots of parents are struggling to find good quality materials because the technical terms are not ones that are commonly used in day-to-day language. 

So when Lelu reached out to me about sharing their Spanish STEAM program, I readily agreed. 

This is a new program that launched this year. It has been created by Latina mom, Ana Leyva, and she founded the program at Stanford University. Ana is a huge fan of multidisciplinary learning, and has had a transformative educational trajectory (she is also the first in her family to go to college - Princeton University - and to get Master's degrees!).

What is Lelu?

Lelu is a subscription box service that focuses completely on teaching STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) concepts in English and Spanish because engaging kids in rich multidisciplinary learning gives language learning new life! They offer several programs for kids ages 3 to 11. That's a big age range, but don't worry, the boxes are tailored to each specific age group. 

Each box that you receive has a theme and contains materials for completing FOUR activities (one a week), plus instructions for completing extra activities related to the monthly theme. It also comes with 1-3 lessons/units per activity and important concepts such as the Scientific Method are taught in each box. 

Students also receive a monthly activities calendar to extend the learning and instructional videos for each of the core activities. Past themes have included the plant life cycle/el ciclo de vida de la planta, the human body/mi cuerpo, and the harvest/la cosecha. 


The three levels are:

SILVER LEVEL
This package includes their Spanish + STEAM Activity Boxes delivered to your door each month, accompanied by online tutorials and clear instructions in both Spanish and English, all revolving around a fun monthly STEAM theme!

GOLD LEVEL
The most popular package includes everything the Silver package includes plus weekly 2 hours of 1-on-1 online tutoring! 

PLATINUM LEVEL
In addition to everything offered in the other packages, this package features live online community classes (or as we like to call them, fiestas)! Each week your child will join a community-wide meeting to sing, play, and share the projects they've been working on and engage with each other! Along with the box and tutoring, this community session is critical for your child to see the big-picture about how languages connect us. Students are asked to share their work during the community meeting so the meeting is a perfect recurring motivation for kiddos to practice their Spanish skills every week!

In think it is important to note that Spanish skill levels vary between children, so Lelu tailors each box to your child's language ability. The goal is to not only teach, but also to promote fluency.

Because the boxes are bilingual, they are a great option for families in which parents who don't speak Spanish can still support their child's bilingualism. And the online tutoring is also beneficial. 

Growth Mindset

And growth mindset fundamentals are weaved into every part of the program. According to American Psychologist, Carol Dweck, “In a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for great accomplishment.”



Other Products

In addition to the subscription boxes, you can find other products on their website, such as Spanish labels for kitchens and bathrooms, a Spanish alphabet wall poster, and their Lotería Cuerpo Humano game. 


Pin it!

Friday, December 4, 2020

Free Download: Holiday Spelling Dice Game in Spanish

 

It's so hard to believe this year is almost over and that the holidays are upon us. I am forever thankful for all the wonderful sponsors of MommyMaestra, but especially for Spanish for You! who provides such wonderful free downloads every month for Spanish learners. If you haven't purchased any of their products yet, NOW is the time to do so. They are awesome and you won't regret it.

This month's freebie is similar to last month's. The Holiday Spelling Dice Game helps your young student learn the vocabulary associated with the holidays. This four-page download comes with instructions, game sheets, a guide, and box sheet. What a great game to play this holiday season! This month's download does not come with an audio file.

Click here to download this file

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!

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Holiday Gifting: HandyPod Mobile Mini Tripod

 

One more MommyMaestra gift idea for tweens and teens. I know that a lot of kids are doing virtual school this year. And homeschoolers often have their kids do one or more classes online. Many of these kids are zooming on their phones or on mom's phone. So my recommendation is a phone tripod. 

This post uses affiliate links. 

Phone Tripod

We have zoom installed on our Chromebook, but for some reason, it keeps dropping the connection. So my kids often have to use a phone to do the zoom, and they keep their computers open to do the work. To help, I went out and bought a HandyPod Mobile Mini Tripod (aff).  

It can pretty much hold any type of phone. And the rotating ball head lets you position the phone at different angles including 90 degree tilt for portrait shooting. The short tripod lets you easily set up your phone on any flat surface, and even gives you a nice handhold in case you have to move around. 

Other great uses... 

You can take family photos using your phone's camera timer. Or, if you have a stop-motion lover, like I do, you can easily position the camera once, and then make all the adjustments to your subject (in our case, LEGO) as you need to without having to get back in position to snap photos using your phone.

I really love the freedom that having a phone tripod gives our family. And if you think this is something that will help your family, too, consider it! I bought mine at my local Best Buy, but you can also find it online here...

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Stocking Stuffers: Spanish & Bilingual CDs


Today's stocking stuffer ideas center around giving the gift of language. I had someone request that I share some recommendations for great Spanish CDs for kids. Well, here are my top 5 picks! Some are Spanish-only, and a few are bilingual. 

This post may contain affiliate links. 


¡Buenos Días!
from Whistlefritz

¡BUENOS DÍAS! is a tour de force celebration of the vibrant music, language, and culture of the Spanish-speaking world. The music transports kids on a magical ride from Spain in Sonidos del flamenco (Sounds of Flamenco) to Mexico's Cascarones (the lively eggshell tradition) to the Andes (Manzanita de Perú and Arbolito de Perú), finally culminating in a trip across the entire Spanish-speaking world in Se Habla Español (We Speak Spanish). Irresistible salsa, merengue, flamenco, reggae, and Andean rhythms encourage kids to sing along as they learn traditional Latin American foods in El Tamal No Está Mal (The Tamale Isn't Bad), animals in ¿Cómo Se Llama La Llama? (What's the Llama's Name?), and musical instruments in Hagamos Música (Let's Make Music). And, in this challenging time for kids and parents, the sensational soprano voice of award-winning Cuban-American singer, Ileana Pérez, soothes the spirit with her exquisite renditions of the beloved Spanish lullaby Duérmete Mi Niño and Niña (Sleep My Little One), and the hauntingly beautiful original lullaby Cuando Llegue La Noche (When the Night Comes). Lyrics, translations, and a vocabulary guide are available for free download as an easy reference guide for parents and teachers. Get ready to say Buenos días to a world of Spanish-learning fun!


from Mister G and José V

A few years ago, I recommended Mister G's album Mundo Verde as a great gift idea for bilingual kids. While researching for this post, I discovered that he has a NEW bilingual (but mostly Spanish) album out. Created with fellow artist, José V, Ritmo and Rima had a rocky start since the pandemic hit before they could begin. But the pandemic actually caused the album to grow instead! Before long, they had reached out to musician friends from all over the Americas who were also isolated at home. The album became an international project with players from Colombia, Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela, Chile, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Peru, and the Dominican Republic adding their distinct styles.

The album, Ritmo y Rima (Rhythm & Rhyme), celebrates the vibrant sounds and textures of the Latin world. The samba inspired title track conjures the joyful atmosphere of carnival, “Señorita Mariposa” celebrates the extraordinary migration of the monarch butterfly, while the closing song “Tú y Tú y Yo” is a heartfelt anthem calling for unity across borders and solidarity with those who traverse them.

In a sense, the album has two voices: children will be drawn to the captivating songs that explore topics like colors, animals, and a connection to the natural world. Adults will appreciate the wide range of musical styles, the educational component of the songs, and the themes of unity and hope that are woven throughout the album.



from Nathalia

Centered around the theme of connection, En la Radio consists of 10 original songs written in English and Spanish while inviting ‘radio listeners’ to explore a variety of music styles from the U.S. and Latin America. This CD switches back and forth from Spanish to English in the songs and is the perfect gift for children fluent in both languages. 

from 123 Andrés

Hola, Amigo started out as a song in 123 Andrés’ debut album, and became a fan favorite. Today, the message of Hola, Amigo is more important than ever. This summer, 123 Andrés is releasing a surprise digital album – Hola, Amigo: Songs of Friendship, with remastered versions of Hola, Amigo in Spanish and English, and eight more songs that explore the theme of friendship, in two languages.


from José-Luis Orozco

José-Luis created this album with your child's fitness in mind. With each and every song, children are encouraged to get up and move. They clap, stomp, dance their way through each melody. There are nine songs sung twice; once in English and once in Spanish. You'll recognize a couple of traditional ones such as Los Pollitos.

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