Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Spanish Board Games to Enjoy this Summer

Here comes summer and while children everywhere are rejoicing, many parents who have to keep said children busy are frantically searching for fun activities. 

If you are one of these parents, then check out my Amazon Shop where I've assembled a collection of a variety of products I recommend to entertain and educate your kids! Every week, I'll be adding fun resources that your children will love. From books to board games to puzzles and more, you'll find resources for a variety of ages in English, Spanish, and both. I'll sneak in math, science, reading and other subjects. And some products are just for fun. 

This week's feature? Board games! Here are a few examples of what I've included:

This post contains affiliate links.

Board Games in Spanish:

Kloo's Race to Madrid

Play and Speak Spanish - Quickly and Easily!
From your very first go, you'll learn Spanish words and make Spanish sentences to score points. KLOO's game is a deceptively easy and fun way to learn Spanish. Just be ready for how fast you pick up the language.

KLOO's Learn to Speak Spanish Language Card Games Pack 1

¡Oraciones Divertidas!

This unique sentence-building game will help the Spanish-speaking child learn about Spanish sentence construction and basic grammar--while having fun! Great for practicing basic grammar, including sentence building, parts of speech and more. Can also be used with Spanish Words & Letters Reading Rods® (LER 7017) for additional hands-on learning fun. Guide included. Board measures 16-1/2 square. For 2 to 4 players.

Juego de Palabras Spanish Reading Rods Word Game

Students will challenge their phonics skills as they race to build words against the clock. This fast paced game can be played at multiple levels and customized to practice specific reading and word-building skills. Includes 112 color-coded Rods, 1 two-minute timer, 4 pencils, 1 score pad, and instructions. For 2-4 players.

Board Games in English:


TILE PLACEMENT GAME: Azul is a tile placement game in which players become artisans tasked with creating the most beautiful tiled mosaics. Compete for the highest score by claiming tiles and arranging them on your board to score points

Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego Card Game

Calling all ACME agents to figure out Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?!?! 

In this card game, you will be on a top-secret mission to recover the greatest treasures known to mankind - The Grand Canyon, the Statue of Liberty’s Torch, and more - from Carmen's gang. Get ready to jet set across the globe. Your assignment is to apprehend Carmen Sandiego, track the location of her hideout, and determine which loot she has stolen. Once you zero in on Carmen’s location, you must declare “I have a warrant for Carmen’s arrest!” The first Gumshoe to make a Loot-Location match and successfully reveal Carmen wins the game. But beware, if you make an incorrect accusation, Carmen can escape! Can you catch Carmen? For 2-4 players, ages 8 and up.

The Oregon Trail Card Game

How Will You Die on the Oregon Trail?

All sorts of gruesome deaths await you and the rest of your wagon party in this official multi-player card game version of the classic computer game. To win you’ll need to keep one player alive all the way from Independence, MO to the Willamette Valley. But between rattlesnakes, starvation, dead oxen, broken bones, dysentery, and a host of other calamities the odds are long . . . almost as long as the Oregon Trail itself.

Players work together to move along the trail, fording rivers and playing Supply Cards to overcome calamities. But be warned–there will be times when it makes sense to let one of your wagon mates succumb to a calamity rather than expend precious supplies. And every time players go the way of all flesh, you’ll flip over the roster card and write their names on tombstones (don’t forget to include a quick epitaph). It’s a great way to relive your fond memories of one of the world’s most beloved computer games, and to kill off your family and friends at the same time.

Explore the World

Explore interesting and exciting places around the world. Learn facts about both the natural world and the manmade world. For example, "what world record does the Mariana trench hold?" answer: deepest place on earth. This is a natural world question. If you look at the image provided for a question card sample, you'll see what a manmade world question looks like. There are also flag cards, which ask questions about the country whose flag is pictured on the card. And there are travel cards, which help players travel forward or backwards on their journey! our Planet is a cool and amazing place. Why not go exploring! explore the world is a fun and educational game for the whole family.

High Seas Addventure

Invite your kids to dive in and race their favorite ocean creatures to an island paradise by adding numbers to making 10. Kids will practice their number facts without even knowing it! Octopus and shark cards add an element of surprise. This game features 2 levels of play to challenge your children as their skills grow. For 2-4 players.

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Monday, May 28, 2018

New Spanish-Language Magazine: Mira el Mundo Junior

I occasionally get messages asking me for Spanish-language magazines for kids. Sadly, most have been discontinued over the years. But I was delighted to see one of my favorite TpT authors - Mundo de Pepita - launch two digital non-fiction magazines for elementary through middle school students.

Mira el Mundo and Mira el Mundo Junior are super fun magazines giving tidbits of information about animals and ecosystems in Latin America. The first is geared for upper elementary and middle school students, while the second is for younger learners in Pre-K - 1st grade.

You can find past issues of Mira el Mundo in their TpT shop, but Mira el Mundo Junior is new. While the monthly themes are the same for both, the magazines include activities and materials geared for students of different ages.

For instance, each issue of Mira el Mundo Junior contains:

  • Information pages about the issue's topic, highlighting location, diet, and description
  • Mini Poster of the animal featured
  • 10 Word Wall Cards (can also be used as flashcards)
  • Activity Pages to practice facts & vocabulary
  • Whole Group Activity and/or Game
  • Lesson ideas and list of links for additional resources online  

Mira el Mundo contains:
  • Information pages about the issue's topic (two for all students and one geared for heritage speakers with additional vocabulary)
  • Fact pages for students to fill out (practices reading and writing skills)
  • Orthography page (especially geared for heritage speakers, but can also be used for all kiddos)
  • Mini Poster illustrating science vocabulary related to each issue's topic
  • Activity Page (for fun!)
  • Activity suggestions and list of links for additional resources online
I absolutely love the layout! The combination of photographs and Julie's original illustration are so engaging for both young learners and adults alike. 

Julie and Matt, the co-creators of Mundo de Pepita, say this about their newest digital release:
Mira el Mundo Junior provides a non-fiction magazine for young learners of Spanish, featuring a variety of animals and habitats in the Spanish-speaking world. Utilizing high frequency vocabulary in the context of motivating topics, our magazine allows teachers and parents to integrate language and content together in a comprehensible approach, a winning combination for language acquisition! In addition, each issue includes cultural activities, word wall cards, whole class games, Youtube links, and more. 
I think what is unique (and most desired!) is that these magazines are not simply an English version translating to Spanish, frequently without any connection to the Spanish-speaking world. Instead, Julie says that she "strives really hard to make both of these magazines from the perspective of Spanish and the Spanish-speaking world, which feels more authentic to me for learners and teachers alike."

A 10-month subscription is now available for both magazines via TpT. It begins in August for the school year. Upcoming issues highlight the Andean flamingo (shown above), jaguars, monarch butterflies, and the Pantanal in Paraguay.

As a former zookeeper, you know I love this magazine! And after seeing the first issue, I would highly recommend it for classrooms, including homeschoolers.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Learn Spanish with Super Stolie

This is a sponsored post.

I'm always happy to discover new artists who are sharing their love of Spanish with children in fun and educational ways. Music is such a great way to help children learn and retain information and new languages. So today, I'm pleased to introduce you to Super Stolie!

Rebecca Stoelinga, performing under the name Super Stolie, is a musician and performer. For the last 11 years, she's been writing and performing for children. The great thing is that she recently began to offer bilingual shows - ¡Super Stolie Guacamole! - to encourage children to learn more about the Hispanic culture. Her bilingual shows intertwine nursery rhymes to entertain her younger audience with movement activities for the energetic ones. Older kids get to participate through volunteer opportunities.

Her website says that Stolie took "Honors Spanish in high school and revived her Spanish learning in 2015 with an immersion program in Guadalajara, México. She then visited Pacific coastal town, Puerto Vallarta, where she now spends all of the winter months — practicing Spanish, playing music for tourists, booking her summer shows, and avoiding the cold."

Honestly? I'm always a skeptic when I read things like this until I actually hear a person speak Spanish to see if there's any kind of accent.

But after I saw this video, I was sold. How fun is it? You can find it on her Super Stolie 10 album, which also has the "Boca, Boca, Boca" song. You can listen to it using the link above.

Since starting out, Super Stolie has released four albums of original music. This year, Super Stolie will release a bilingual album with more songs like those I mention above, so be on the lookout!

She'll also be offering her original songs as sheet music for young piano and guitar learners, as well as translate her songs into readable book form — in both English and Spanish! 

I love her rhythm and energy. And I like how much time and effort she's put into her music. She performs more than 100 shows each summer across the country, but mostly in Chicago. To find out if she'll be somewhere near you or to print out her show schedule, click here to view her 2018 Tour dates.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Super Stolie. All opinions are my own.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Canticos Videos

EDITED: The Canticos videos are no longer on Nick Jr. as far as I can tell, but you can still see all of them on the official Canticos website. 

Canticos Videos

I always love it when I find out about bilingual products being featured in mainstream media. Especially if it is for children because I think about all those Latino kids out there who see their culture being reflected back at them and take pride in their heritage.

So I wanted to tell those of you who watch (or whose children watch) Nick Jr.,  to be on the lookout for Canticos videos! 

Bilingual Videos for Preschoolers

Oh. My. Goodness. It is ADORABLE!!! Eeek. I just love these short little music videos that feature animated sing-along nursery rhymes. Los pollitos, Un elefante, Itsy Bitsy Spider, and others. And they are in BOTH English and Spanish.

My favorite is Sol, Solecito. I can't hardly stand it. The cast of characters are so sweet. If you are a fan of Canticos' books, then you will love these videos that teach your kids to count, the days of the week, opposites, and more.

If you have babies or toddlers at home, go watch now!

You'll be happy you did.

You're welcome!

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Thursday, May 10, 2018

Puerto Rico: La Isla del Encanto - The Island of Enchantment

A few weeks ago, I received an email asking if I'd consider sharing a new book on Puerto Rico. I frequently get emails asking for me to share new books with MM readers. There's a pretty long waiting list. But here's what caught my eye: ALL of the profits are being sent back to the island to help with its recovery. So I agreed.

Puerto Rico: La Isla del Encanto - The Island of Enchantment is a bilingual coloring workbook with 210 black-and-white pages about Puerto Rican history, culture, and traditions. Although the author wrote the book primarily for children of Puerto Rican descent living outside of PR, it can be enjoyed by any child who is a lover of the world and its beauty!

Melissa López Charepoo, the author and illustrator, says...

"As a Puerto Rican, the suffering after the island was struck by two hurricanes touched me deeply. Today, after six months, thousands are still struggling to obtain basic necessities. In the spirit of service, 100% of the profits for the next year will go to small organizations that have empowered themselves to help others in time of need, and it’s the hope that the funds collected will assist in this later stage of recovery."

The workbook covers a LOT of topics, though none of them in depth. She basically provides the introduction and the reader must find out more using their local library or online resources. It's important to note that this book does require a lot of parental (or teacher!) involvement...especially when it comes to monitoring online resources. So this wouldn't be an informational read so much as a starting point for further exploration. Here are some examples:

But I do love that as I flipped through this book, I found names of people and places that I had never heard of before. I don't know their significance yet, as I haven't had time to research them. But I do think that this book would be a great resource for doing an in-depth study of the island of Puerto Rico.

And the other cool thing is that this comes with full text in Spanish and English...and the Spanish comes first!

So if you'd like to contribute to the island's recovery efforts through the purchase of an educational resource, consider this lovely book. You can find it here on Amazon (aff).

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Little Passports is Perfect for Summer Learning

Are you looking ahead to summer and planning activities that will keep your child busy learning while having fun at the same time? Maybe you've been hearing about the dreaded Summer Slide in which students forget key concepts over the course of the summer and you want to prevent it in your own child.

This post contains affiliate links. 

Why not take the time to help your child explore world cultures? Most schools don't even teach this as a subject, but in today's global society, it's critical that our kids learn about other countries, the people that inhabit them, and their respective cultures.

That's why I love Little Passport (aff). We've used three of their four programs and have loved every one. When my children were younger, they would get so excited every time a new package from Little Passports arrived. It was hard to decide, but my son says his favorite program was their World Edition, which comes with all the goodies you see in the image above. The first month's delivery is perfect for building excitement about the program because it comes with the little suitcase in which your child can store all the other goodies and future memorabilia from the various countries they visit. There are maps and stickers, a camera and a passport. and much, much more.

I have written about this program a lot over the years because I think it is absolutely fantastic. It was an important part of my journey to raise global citizens. You can scroll through my posts about Little Passports to read my reviews and the experiences we've had with its programs and decide which one might be a good fit for your little one!

And to sweeten the pot, they have a current deal giving new subscribers a 15% discount. To redeem it, just enter the code BLOOM at checkout. This offer is good through next Monday, May 14th.

Find out more when you visit their website!

Disclosure: I signed up as an affiliate for this program because I believe in it so much. So the links in this article are affiliate links. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The 2018 L4LL Latino Children's Summer Reading Program

Did you know that May is Bilingual Literacy Month?

So it is with extreme pleasure that I can share that the 2018 L4LL Latino Children's Summer Reading Program is now live!

Five years ago, my business partner Viviana Hurtado, Ph.D. and I launched the first national online summer reading program for Latino families. Our goal was to support literacy among Latino children, who consistently come in last when it comes to literacy.

Our mission has been to raise literacy rates through pedagogically sound, culturally relevant content, and technology is rooted in our belief that all educational and professional achievement, as well as economic empowerment, rests on the mastery of basic reading skills.

The program has changed a lot over the course of these five years as we strived to find the right way to make it accessible to families and educators. And, in fact, Viviana and I stepped back from it for the last year or so as she started a new job and I managed my pregnancy, move to Texas, caring for my mother, and the birth of my baby. But we knew that we had a really great program, and we are happy to say that we think we have found the best way to bring it to bilingual families and educators. All of our reading programs are now available as direct downloads from both our newly updated website and our new TpT store

We have three programs available.

Our free BASIC Summer Reading Program 

This consists of printable resources to help your kids have fun reading in English or Spanish during the summer. It contains:

Our 2018 Summer Reading Lists
• Reading passport
• Reading logs
• Bookmarks
• Postcards
• Pledges
• Certificate of completion

You pick the materials that best suit your family’s/student’s needs.

Each year, we update our Summer Reading Lists to include new titles. You’ll only find Latino children’s literature on our lists as we strive to highlight this small – but important! – genre by Hispanic authors and illustrators. Choose books from our suggested 2018 reading lists of Latino children’s literature, or pick your own. Our program is easy, flexible, and fun!

ALL of the activity pages are available in English and Spanish.

Our Summer Reading CAMP 

This is a 10-week DIY Summer Reading Camp with culturally-based activities to develop reading and writing skills. It is for children ages 6 to 12 years old and includes more than 100 activity sheets designed to boost literacy skills over the summer break, as well as additional tools for educators and students. The program also includes original reading passages and illustrations by Latino children’s authors Alma Flor Ada, F. Isabel Campoy, René Colato Laínez, and Lulu Delacre.

Each week covers a different theme:

  1. Art/Arte
  2. Family/Familia
  3. Folklore/Folclore
  4. Food/Comida
  5. Immigration & Heritage/Inmigración y herencia
  6. Music/Música
  7. Nature/Naturaleza
  8. Poetry/Poesía
  9. Sports/Deportes
  10. Summer/Verano

You can now buy the individual themes or save 10% when you buy the complete CAMP!

Again, all the activities are available in English and Spanish.

The L4LL Latino Children’s Year-Round Program 

For those of you who really enjoy our Summer Reading CAMP and want to use it during the school year, this extension is for you!

We’ve created three additional themes for educators who would like to use our CAMP during the school year. These three themes are:

  1. Holidays & Traditions/Fiestas y tradiciones
  2. Famous Latinos/Latinos famosos
  3. Seasons/Estaciones

The third theme, Seasons/Estaciones, is meant to replace the Summer/Verano theme in our Summer Reading CAMP.  This then gives you an additional 75 pages and a total of 12 full weeks of materials to complete over the course of the semester or year. You decide your time frame, we supply the base materials.

Like our CAMP, these themes contain culturally-relevant literacy activities to boost your students’ reading and writing skills. You’ll also receive reading suggestions relevant to each theme.

If you want to learn more about what activities are found in each theme, visit our website's shop or our new TpT store!

Oh, and YES! We're participating in TpT's sitewide sale in honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, so if you take a look there, you'll find all of our products on sale up to 25%!

Monday, May 7, 2018

Free Download: The Letter "O"

Before I share this month's freebie, I just want to give them a huge shoutout to Spanish for You! They have been a MommyMaestra sponsor for several years now and each month they provide free downloads for MM readers who are Spanish learners or teachers. Their free downloads remain extremely popular and if you are one of the people who downloads their materials and like them, then I want to encourage you to consider visiting their website and purchasing their actual program.

You don't have to spend hundreds of dollars on a huge program that you aren't sure you'll use. Instead, they offer packets with different themes that are manageable for educators and parents to use with their middle schoolers. It's fabulous and well worth the time and money you spend to help your young Spanish learners.

If you've been following along with our monthly free downloads, then you know that Spanish for You! has been focusing on the Spanish vowels, and today's easy mini-lesson focuses on the letter "O."

It is a 3-page mini-lesson to help Spanish learners use and pronounce the letter "O." The file comes with an introductory page that is to be used with the audio file to learn how to pronounce the letter O as it is used in words and sentences. There is also a worksheet and a board game. As I mentioned, there is also an audio file to help you learn proper pronunciation.

And if you are looking for books about the Spanish vowels, check out last month's post!

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!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Teacher Appreciation TpT Sitewide Sale May 8 - 9

You've worked hard this year. And you deserve something special for your dedication and commitment to teaching.

All of us over at TpT recognize that fact and want to celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week! It doesn't matter what kind of teacher you are: public school, private school, homeschool, librarian, Spanish, ESL, whatever... We appreciate you all!!

I'm joining TpT in observing Teacher Appreciation Week so my ENTIRE TpT store will be on sale Tuesday and Wednesday, including these new items I recently posted:

Yes, I FINALLY bundled my popular 1-page reading passages. This particular bundle is made up of Hispanic holidays. Each one comes with a one-page reading passage on the history of the holiday, followed by a quiz with 7 - 8 questions, and the answer key. And yes, they are ALL available in English and Spanish.

Find it here in my TpT store.

I. Love. This. Packet!

I really do. It's made up of 7 fun activities for kids, all of them with a Mother's Day theme. Most (all?) of them would make great gifts for mom. Just make them in class and send them home.

You can find it here.

And don't forget that there are lots of fun printables for use during the summer, too!

Shark Week starts on July 22nd this year. I actually just finished adding three more activities to this kit and it is super fun. 


And are you road trippin' this summer? Say "NO" to boring car rides and "WEPA!" to fun bilingual travel games!

Find them here on TpT.

Are you introducing your children to the Magic Tree House series this summer? Or maybe you're reading it in Spanish? Check out my activity pages to accompany the first three books in English or Spanish!

You can either get it with both languages or save money by choosing just one language.

Find them all here.

I've already combed through my wishlist on TpT and have moved some of my favorite materials over to my cart in preparation. ;)

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

English & Spanish Crossword Puzzles for Kids

Are you stocking up yet on books, crafts, and activities for summer? I'm always looking for materials and ideas to use to keep my kids busy learning and having fun during downtime, but especially during the hot summer months. If you're the same way, then I want to share with you a new book that I received recently! Bilingual activity and puzzle books are just one way to keep kids learning a second language during the summer.

Bilingual Crossword Puzzle Book for Kids

English & Spanish Crossword Puzzles for Kids (aff link) contains 80 puzzles that will boost your child's vocabulary in English or Spanish (or both!). It's perfect for ELL and Spanish learners alike.

The crossword puzzles cover 40 different topics, such as Family/Familia, Hobbies/Aficiones, Emotions/Emociones, Professions/Profesiones, Time/Tiempo, and many more.

I love the fact that when you open the book, the puzzles with the same topic are on opposite pages, so you can do the English on the left and then complete the Spanish on the right. This makes the book a perfect fit for parents raising bilingual children!

Of course, all of the answers may be found in the back of the book.

While I think this would be a fun way to pass the time during the summer at home, on vacation, or on long car rides (road trips?), it's also a great resource for homeschoolers and bilingual educators. All of the pages are reproducible for teachers, parents, and librarians.

The book is published by Woo! Jr. Kids Activities. If you haven't visited their website, you should! It's got tons of great crafts and printables. :)

To purchase this book, click here to find it on Amazon.

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Disclosure: I received a copy of this book for review purposes. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 


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