Category Archives : Spanish Family Resources

It’s Dr. Seuss Week #Bilingual Celebration

Dr Seuss in Spanish

We are spending the whole week celebrating Dr Seuss’ birthday! While he is not a South American traditional author, his influence in the American Schools made me take the time to plan a class to celebrate his birthday! I used two books, Un Pez, Dos Peces….and Huevos Verdes con jamon both for sale at Amazon:

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I used the first book and planned a fish class, we went fishing with a plastic fish game with water and a bucket, they needed to go fishing and tell me the size, color and name of the sea creature, we used sea horses, alligators and crabs of different colors. We used pictures of large fish, whales and turtles in the “ocean” which was a colorful parachute, they learned nadar, we also used speed (fast and slow) and parar to guide movements.

We also used goldfish for counting and identifying colors! Of course we ate them at the end!

We showed a video of bilingual reading of the books from youtube :


 

And the song I created: Yo soy un pea, yo soy un pez, yo soy un pez y me gusta nadar….repeat 2x and Nado rapido y despacio, nado rapido y despacio (3x), the kids loved going fast and slow.

We also went fishing in a small water bucket where I placed twenty fish and they practiced: Yo tengo un pez  (color) en mi mano. This was done at intermediate level classes.

It was a fun way to celebrate Dr. Seuss week and the children loved it!

Why not give this a try and let me know how your children liked it?

 

5 Reasons Why Computer Games Improved My Son’s Spelling

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I know what you are thinking! Computer and we limit the children’s time on it, trust me, I’ve been there, I still AM! But my son was reading very complicated books and was really great at understanding and reading them, but when it was time to write answers, to spell, oh no! Even words he had just read, simple day to day words would come out like some foreign language and trust me, they were not in any known dictionary!

Well, Minecraft and Clash of Clans came along and he needed to chat, sometimes, unusual words were involved in the game! He started observing other players and started mastering the most common words and also the harder ones. Let me share a secret – 7, 8 even 9 year olds don’t chat with acronyms or abbreviations, they write things down, full words as a way to communicate with each other. It’s their brain trying to make sense of thinking and typing at the same time, fast enough to ask for resources, for donations, for troops and for their buddy who is playing with them to follow them and attack.

So after my frustration with my son’s literature answers, and observing his progress and maturity in the written language and how it had developed in parallel with his game skills, I have reached the conclusion that games can have a positive impact on your child’s education, as long as they are playing games  that reach and use those skills.

As a linguist, these are my findings, comparing my observation and the data on my son’s homework:

  1.  Games can improve spelling if your child uses chat mode, because the speed and level of concentration will require that they master their spelling to write while they play.
  2. At age 6-8, children are trying to make sense of building sentences, without proper punctuation and connectors, so words need to have full meaning, because most times, two words will convey the meaning of a full 10 word sentence. Well, no better place then games, where speed will require precision and concision, above all.
  3. Children don’t want to sound “not cool”, so sometimes my son would shout across the room, mom, how do you spell? Spelling becomes a must have skill, so the cool older kids playing don’t make fun of you!
  4. My son’s communication skills also were enhanced while playing Minecraft, Clash of Clans and Terraria since he had to master Skype, research mods, glitches and tricks on You Tube, which brought extra hours of reading and learning, prior to playing the game.
  5. His typing skills were also developed, because with no formal typing lessons, he suddenly became a very fast keyboarder.  There is a chat section on Minecraft which has motivated him to learn to type faster and more accurately and sometimes communicate with several players at the same time. 

So more specifically about Minecraft, my favorite, way beyond spelling, when you spawn in Minecraft you are in the middle of nowhere with trees, caves and animals around.  If you are playing in survival mode, you will also see creepers, skeletons, zombies, spiders or endermen that will attack you starting at sundown.  You need to try to survive by cutting down trees and building some type of shelter to protect yourself from the monsters that come out at night.  You also have  hunger bars and if you don’t find food, you will die.

Sounds easy, but trust me it’s not.  You must come up with a strategy for surviving that first night and be quick about it lest you die at the hands of the monsters in the dark or a hungry belly.  I have seen the kids come up with elaborate plans for surviving that first night.  They’ve learned to hunt for food, build shelter, mine coal for torches and make tools from natural resources all within the span of a 10 minute Minecraft “day”. Tough, huh?

I’m impressed so much I have even recommended some parents to use games to help my foreign language students enhance their reading and spelling skills. Check it out on my post on favorite apps!

Just remember, the best way to help your child excel at any subject is to make it fun and help him feel successful. Nothing is more fun then playing video games!

El DÍA DE LOS TRES REYES – Best Children’s Books for The Three Kings Celebration

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Santa Claus went back to the North Pole, but it doesn’t mean the gift-giving (and receiving) is over — at least not for the children in Latin America and Spain anxiously awaiting Sunday’s “EL DÍA DE TRES REYES CELEBRATION”.

For many Christians, the holiday season doesn’t officially end until the 12th day of Christmas (remember the carol about “a partridge in a pear tree”?) known as the “Feast of the Epiphany” or “Three Kings’ Day”.

The holiday falls annually on Jan. 6 and we decided to celebrate it offering some amazing book choices for your children, think it’s too late? Think twice, some of the books are downloadable as e-books!

 

We The Three Kings

This beloved Christmas carol, written in 1857, celebrates the wise men’s journey and the first Christmas night. Internationally renowned artist Gennady Spirin pays his own type of homage with paintings so exquisitely detailed and wrought that they, too, are a gift — to that baby in the manger and to you.

 

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Three Kings Celebration at Christmas Time

 

For many Latino Americans one of the best things about Christmas is that it lasts for twelve days. The final day, Three Kings Day, comes on January 6 and honours the arrival of the Magi in Bethlehem. It’s a favourite holiday for children, with presents from the kings as well as parades, performances, parties, lively music, and scrumptious food.

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Dora celebrates Three Kings Day!

 

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Los Tres Reyes

 

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Una historia antigua, relatada en el estilo de la decima puertorriquena. Los Tres Reyes Magos, Gaspar, Melchor y Baltasar, llegan a Puerto Rico en una nube voladora. Se les aparece un caballo que los lleva a repartir sus regalos por toda la isla. A partir de entonces, los Reyes visitan Puerto Rico a caballo, en vez de en camello.

Celebra La Navidad Y El Dia De Los Reyes Magos Con Pablo Y Carlitos / Celebrate Christmas and Three Kings Day With Pablo and Carlitos (Cuentos Para Celebrar) (Spanish Edition)

 

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Carlitos writes a letter to the Three Kings asking for lots of presents. Later, he decides to write a new letter and gives up some of the things in his wish list in exchange for a bigger gift for his older brother, who is teaching him how to ride a bike and lets him use his own big kid’s bike. At the end, everyone wins…

Books are just conversation starters for you to enjoy sharing your culture and amazing new things with your kids! I bought my son a gift, have you??

 

 

Lego Friends An Awesome Experience

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You already know we love Legos right? Well, I gave this new Lego game to my friend Olivia and she absolutely loved, she loved the new features I am sharing below! I wanted to share some specific information on the game, which I know, will make the perfect addition to your holiday gifts!

Offering creative gameplay based on the fun and excitement found in the already-popular LEGO Friends collection of building sets, the LEGO Friends videogame lets young girls express their individuality, discover activities that interest them and, most importantly, share their experiences with their five new friends as they make their way through Heartlake City. Players also have the chance to shop for the latest outfits and accessories, select the perfect hairstyle, decorate their bedrooms and even pick out a pet! The wide variety of activities in the game all allow girls to express their creativity and build fun memories with their new LEGO Friends.

In LEGO Friends, players visit Heartlake City, playing the role as Olivia’s cousin who, with Olivia, joins other LEGO Friends like Mia, Stephanie, Emma and Andrea on fun adventures.  Throughout the game, players will complete a variety of activities, such as rescuing a wounded fawn, practicing their soccer skills, choreographing dance routines and training pets. Each of these activities builds the level of friendship with each LEGO Friend the player encounters.  The ultimate goal of the game is to become a “True Friend” with each of the LEGO Friends, while exploring and uncovering all of the secrets, badges and rewards in the amazing city of Heartlake.

Using an interactive map, players can explore Olivia’s House, Heartlake High, Main Street, Clover Meadows and Heartlake Marina, all of which are based on the LEGO playtheme.  Players can further explore and enjoy total freedom in each core area by visiting the Karate Dojo in Heartlake High, the Rehearsal Studio on Main Street, the Riding Camp in Clover Meadows or the Dolphin Cruiser in the Marina to collect items, play mini-games, complete tasks, solve puzzles, and build objects from piles of LEGO bricks found throughout the game. They will also collect and unlock new pets, each with a unique ability, that helps players solve puzzles and access new areas to explore.  Heatlake City is filled with exciting activities, such as rescuing a dolphin and teaching them tricks and discovering hidden pirate treasures with a secret map.

LEGO Friends also gives players the opportunity to express their individual style and personality through various customization options. Players will be able to pick their character’s outfits, hairstyles, and accessories, select a pet or design and personalize their character’s bedroom.

LEGO Friends is now available for Nintendo 3DS for the suggested retail price of $39.99 and is rated “E” for everyone.  For more information, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/LegoFriendsVideoGame

Pictures are property of Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment and subject to copyright laws and were given us to be used in this review. 

Bilingual Buddies Gift Guide – First Edition

 

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We are so excited to be finally sharing our hot picks! Our first edition has great holiday options for boys and girls, all ages! We will be featuring each toy this week, great details, great information, just for you!  Stay tuned!

Transformers 3 Giant Wall Decal

Build-a-Bear Cream Puffy Kitty

The Eric Carle Floor Puzzle

Color me Hungry Hippo

Safari Dinosaurs

Peek’n Peep Eggs

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Toys can be purchased in most retail stores and online, prices vary from $ 6.00 to $ 100.00. Hope our guide helps you decide on some of the toys which will make your child’s holiday even more magical!

The most exciting news! We will be giving away, the Eric Carle Puzzle, the Color me Hungry Hippo, the Safari Dinos, Build-a-Bear Kitty and Peek’n Peep Eggs!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners in SJ will be provided with an address for product pick up. You must agree on these terms before entering. Must be 18 or older and US resident. 

Holiday of Play

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I was extremely thrilled when Debra Rutt, so kindly agreed to attend the amazing event representing our blog and hers! So we could share the news first hand with you!!

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There’s nothing like seeing the look on your child’s face, when they’re unwrapping that one toy they’ve been wishing for all season long, but getting to that moment can sometimes be stressful. Especially if you are a busy mom like me, trying to figure out the latest cool toys, find time to find great sales and ultimately purchase them!

Scouring the toy aisles in search of the “perfect” gift is a tough task for any parent– so having great recommendations from a trusted toy source is key! That’s why it was great to be able to take part in the biggest day of play at the annual “Holly-Day” #HotToys13 preview event presented by The Toy Insider, The Big Toy Book & Woman’s Day Magazine. The Toy Insider panel of experts have put together a guide to the hottest toys for children of all ages of the 2013 holiday season and this year even added a Top Tech 12 list for the tech-savvy kid on your list.

Here are some of our favorites:

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More than 10 amazing toy brands including Hasbro, Leap Frog, Just Play, Playmates Toys, Green Toys and Tomy were on hand showcasing just some of the creative, innovative and just plain fun toys this holiday season including Doc Mc Stuffins Get Better Check Up Center, Battroborg, Leap Pad Ultra, Angry Birds Star Wars Telepods Star Destroyer and those loveable “Heroes on the Half Shell,” Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Make sure to check out The Toy Insider’s 2013 Holiday Guide by visiting www.thetoyinsider.com, I know they sure helped me narrow down my choices and add some new favorites to my list!

Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver – Racing To One Of Our Hot Game Picks!

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We were invited for the game launch early September in NY when we had a chance to preview and enjoy a quick try!

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Our game arrived soon after, we also received a super cool car and sticker, the game is compatible to our PS3 but it is also offered in Wii U and XBox 360.

My husband and I played the new “Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver” game on our PS3 and had lots of fun competing against each other!

They drove motorcycles and snowmobiles in addition to some hot cars! The game play is for one person at a time so you have full vision of the television screen while its your turn. The graphics are great and the action is non-stop! My son’s favorite game play was the snow mobile trick course/competition. Lots of high flipping, twisting and turning as you go flying off the ramps.

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We have an older Hot Wheels video game which has long been one of our favorites and “World’s Best Driver” has already become a new favorite for us! Hats off to Warner Brothers for their great new “Hot Wheels World’s Best Driver” game.

The game is available in most stores, what are you waiting for?

Let’s Get the Party Started With Skylanders Swap Force

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I have received the Game and additional characters, but all opinions are my own.

Skylanders is “mixing it up” with the newest game in the award-winning, top-selling franchise. Skylanders SWAP Force builds upon the success of the franchise’s signature gameplay and collectible toy experience, adding an all-new dimension to the “toys to life” innovation. The game introduces a compelling play pattern – – swapability — that lets gamers transform 16 SWAP Force inter-action figures into more than 250 unique characters by swapping the top and bottom halves of the toys. Now, Portal Masters can mix and match characters’ powers and moves and experience an unprecedented level of choice never before seen in a Skylanders® game. Fans also can play Skylanders SWAP Force with their entire collection of 100+ characters from Skylanders Spyro’s Adventure® and Skylanders Giants®.
Skylanders SWAP Force features new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – which can be used in previously unexplored areas of Skylands centered on these play mechanics. Additionally, the game features 16 new core characters, eight new LightCore® characters and 16 new versions of fan favorite Skylanders from previous games. Kids will have more than 100 characters from which to choose. The game’s high-resolution graphics brings detailed characters and richer environments to life, immersing players in the game like never before.
The game features:
All-New Characters – More than 50 collectible characters including 32 never-before-seen Skylanders heroes each with unique powers and personalities:
• 16 new SWAP Force characters
• 16 new Core Skylanders characters
• 8 LightCore® Skylanders characters
• 16 new versions of fan-favorite Skylanders from the previous games, each featuring an all new “Wow Pow” upgrade power
o Exciting Adventure – Portal Masters will embark on a brand new adventure, encountering never-before- seen enemies and challenges, as well as meeting memorable non-playable characters who can help the Skylanders defeat Kaos and his minions in the Cloudbreak Islands.
o Unique SWAP Force Zones – Skylanders SWAP Force characters feature new abilities – such as flying, climbing, digging, bouncing, or teleporting – each of which can be explored in new areas of Skylands.
o Assortment of Gameplay Modes, Solo Survival Mode, Team Survival Mode, Rival Mode, Battle Arena Mode, Ring Out Mode

The game is offered for:  (Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4) Beenox (Wii)
n-Space (3DS), Nintendo Wii®, Wii U®, 3DS®

So what better way to share an amazing new game? Invite friends to play with you! We invited some friends and their children to come to a Swap Party! Children tried the game, taking turns!

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Moms could relax downstairs and enjoy a nice chat, guess what was on our mind? Holiday Gifts and the game was our first choice, which we were sure Santa would approve!

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My son was so excited with all the options on the characters we received, it was hard to have him share his game controller!

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No better recipe for a successful party than happy children, enjoying an amazing game! We wanted to thank Skylanders for allowing us to try the game which was launched Oct 13th and is currently available in stores!

 

Wubbzy y El Tren Loco Spanish App

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This is part of a sponsored campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Cupcake Digital. However, all opinions expressed are my own

I’m so happy to have tested Cupcake Digital’s new App, Wuzby y El Tren Loco Spanish App which shows the newest Spanish version of Wubbzy’s adventures! The company is committed to providing opportunities for exposing children to a new language with the option to switch from English to Spanish.

Wubbzy y El Tren Loco features a fun-filled story in which Wubbzy and his friends face silly obstacles, when their train breaks down on the way to the Kooky Karnival.

This wonderful app for big and little kids is available for $2.99 on the Apple App Store, Amazon, Google Play and the Barnes & Noble NOOK Store (TM) for iOS, Android, NOOK and Kindle Fire devices. The great thing is that the English/Spanish version can be downloaded new or the addition of a Spanish language option is a free upgrade for those who already own the English version.

 

Wubbzy y El Tren Loco features:

– Playful mini-games within the story and added learning games for practice of number, letter and sight word recognition.

– Professional narration of the same story in English and Spanish is a good introduction for initiating natural language acquisition.

– Individually highlighted words in the app are designed specifically for teaching the basics of spelling and vocabulary and can be used to practice Spanish.

– Three reading modes: Just a Book for quiet reading time, Read to Me and Read & Play.

– Spanish subtitles have been added to three original sing-along music videos from the popular Emmy (R) award-winning series.

– Coloring pages with scenes straight from the story.

– A Grown-Up’s Corner to guide parents, teachers and caregivers in discussing the story with kids.

My students and I explored the adventures and funny, interactive obstacles which makes this app, not only a great way to help families teach and practice Spanish but also shows a super fun way for children to embrace a foreign language and learn while playing!

As an instructor, I would highly recommend it! I’ve used for two weeks with more than 80 students, ages 4-6 and they totally loved it, so much they are asking their parents to download the app to use it at home!

For more information, visit http://www.cupcakedigital.com/apps-en-espanol/.

Pampers Love, Sleep & Play Celebration

 

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This is part of a compensated campaign with Latina Mom Bloggers and Pampers.  However, all opinions expressed are my own.

Pampers has placed baby pictures all over the US  to unveil their new Love Sleep & Play campaign, which celebrates the millions of ways babies uniquely experience love, sleep and play. Pampers understands that those experiences are unique and timeless, so who better to be in the spotlight and reveal the campaign than little ones themselves?

To honor these priceless love, sleep and play moments, Pampers hosted a special event on August 21st in New York City’s iconic Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal, which I had the privilege to attend. The historic site, which is celebrating “a century of arrivals” this year, was transformed as the littlest of arrivals (babies!) helped to unveil an amazing , user-generated baby photo experience

Throughout the last month, Pampers has rallied parents across the country to submit photos of their babies experiencing love, sleep or play to the Pampers Facebook page for the chance to be featured in their big celebration.  After receiving more than 30,000 photo submissions, Pampers compiled the images into a larger-than-life 3-D projection. Mother-to-be, actress Jennifer Love Hewitt and actress and TV host, Jacqueline Bracamontes, were at the event to walk the “teal carpet” and help Pampers reveal the display while celebrating the millions of unique ways babies experience love, sleep and play.

I was amazed by the Projection and the gorgeous children’s pictures featured as in a larger than life Quilt, seamless sewn together to display the powerful message to us that night!

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I had the joy of meeting and chatting with Jacqueline Bracamontes on the Teal Carpet!

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I also had a chance to get closer to Jennifer love Hewitt and she greeted my son! He still talks about it! She was glowing and was extremely nice and courteous to all who interviewed her! I had a special place during the ceremony, right in front of her couch!

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The party was perfect to the details and sealed the amazing initiative to celebrate children’s special moments! All attendees received a gorgeous diaper bag filled with amazing gifts which I had the honor to give to my Latina friend, Linda Cabrera – such perfect timing since she is due at any moment!

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Amazed by the indescribable feeling of being graced with the opportunity to witness this special event and sharing this joy with one of my friends just crowned this amazing campaign I had the honor to be a part of!

It gets even better, you are invited to:

Pampers Love, Sleep, and Play Giveaway!

I have a great giveaway for you!  Watch the Pampers Love Sleep & Play NYC Video below and  leave a comment with the unique ways that your little ones (or big babies) express love, sleep or play.


 

What are you waiting for? Please enter, share and celebrate with us!