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

The Three Kings

 

 

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??

 

 

Holiday Gift Guide Bathing Suit Edition! Why not??

TT1f

 

 

 

We received the bathing suits from Tom & Teddy but all opinions are our own.

You know we have been sharing our favorites on our holiday gift guide! Well, this time, I will share a secret: best time to buy bathing suits is in the winter! When they just arrived on their online catalogues or when they just arrive at the stores!

I am sharing this week, these super cute bathing suits from Tom & Teddy which comes in many sizes and types!

After purchasing a pair in the winter and giving to your favorite little or big guy, you will never wait until all the sizes and best options are out to get what is left! Besides Tom & Teddy offers quality and amazing options!

I know my guys were happy to see their early gifts and model for us! They can’t wait to take them to the beach!

Tom and Teddy f

To purchase and look at other options, please check out their site : http://tomandteddy.com

How I Embrace My Natural – Belleza Latina

 

This post is part of a sponsored campaign on behalf of Latina Bloggers Connect and the makers of ZYRTEC®

This summer has been atypical – rain, humidity and traveling to different places for events make a bad combination to trigger my allergies, which have usually calmed down in the summer time! Guess what? I have faced red watery eyes, so I have looked for my own ways to keep my belleza latina by:

  1. Drinking plenty of water.  Also eating some of my favorite foods which will not compromise my look or worsen my allergies, such as  almonds, walnuts, cashews, broccoli,  tomatoes and spinach!
  2. For the redness, I use cold bags or make up (concealers)  until my skin appearance improves.
  3. I’ve also learned that sleeping well, after taking my allergy medicine, always helped improve my skin condition.

All that has been working until I have found out that, the makers of ZYRTEC® have partnered with beauty and fashion expert, Carmen Ordoñez from VivaFashionBlog.com, to help women combat ALLERGY FACE™ – beauty challenges like a puffy face, watery eyes and a red nose that are associated with typical allergy symptoms. In “Embracing Your Natural Belleza Latina,” Carmen shares simple beauty tips to help women look naturally bella when tackling ALLERGY FACE™, including:

  • How to Combat a Puffy Face: Drink plenty of water each day to help keep your skin hydrated.
  • How to Combat a Puffy Face: Also, to reduce the appearance of a puffy face, rub an ice cube over your face beore applying your makeup.
  • How to Reduce the Appearance of Watery Eyes: Apply navy blue or cobalt mascara to help the whites of your eyes appear brighter.
  • Less is more! Don’t overdo it with too much makeup.

I wanted to share the video with you:

Some other useful tips from Carmen include:

  • Eyes: Use an eyelash curler before applying mascara to help “wake up” your ALLERGY FACE™. Using a curler will make your eyes look wide open, so you look fresh and awake.
  • Nose: If your nose is irritated and dry, avoid putting on foundation, which can look caked on. Instead apply a rich moisturizer and let it dry.
  • Face: To help reduce the appearance of ALLERGY FACE™, place a cold damp cloth on your face for 10 minutes.

 

Visit YouTube.com/Zyrtec to view the three-part ALLERGY FACE™ video series.

Be sure to follow Carmen on Twitter at @VivaFashion and check out her blog www.VivaFashionBlog.com for her latest ALLERGY FACE™ tips and tricks.

For product savings and rewards to help you feel better, visit Zyrtec.com and Facebook.com/ZYRTEC. 

Now tell me, how do you embrace YOUR natural beauty?? Can’t wait to hear about it!

Looking forward to hearing more about your tips and wanted to share my summer Allergy Free look:

me on the beach f

 

Best Bilingual Apps

 

In this first post, I will be sharing our favorite posts for learning Spanish:

Some of the parents of my students have asked me for apps recently. I have then looked for apps, not only for the languages that I teach, but others as well.

Based on online reviews and my own experience, these are my favorites!

Spanish Apps

 

Handy Manny’s Flashcard Fiesta


 
Latin American Spanish with Doki for iPad
 
doki

You’ll traverse the language-rich land of Doki, checking in to different attractions and learning words in logical groupings. Time to visit the restaurant or la agencia de viajes! The Doki app even breaks up the learning into two age-appropriate categories, one for those ages 7 to 14, and another for those of us ages 15 and up.

http://www.theiphoneappreview.com/2012/12/learn-basic-latin-american-spanish-with-doki-for-ipad/

Peekaboo Barn 

barn

Animals appear behind barn doors, children will be amazed by tapping into each door!

http://nightanddaystudios.com/app/peekaboo-barn/

Kidztory 

chicken-little_1

You can listen to classics in Spanish, English and Cantonese!

http://www.kidztory.com/the-little-red-hen/

 

Noah Compreende

noah1

Great app with games, videos and so much more! Noah is also a cartoon, where everybody speaks Spanish and Noah tries to figure out the word in Spanish. One of my favorites!

 

http://pbskids.org/noah/

 

Please share if you liked them and your experienced with using them!

 

¡Ya Vienen Los Reyes Magos! The Three Wise Men Are Coming!

 

 Dia de Reyes

After New Year’s Day, many Hispanic families still have a very special date to commemorate and enjoy.  On January 6, most of the Hispanic world celebrates El Dia De Reyes, the Epiphany, remembering the day when the Three Wise Men following the star to Bethlehem, arrived bearing their treasured gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh for the Baby Jesus.

The Reyes Magos In La Alameda

A couple of days earlier, the children write their letters to the Wise Men, or to their favorite Rey Mago: Melchor, Gaspar, or Baltasar, asking for the presents they would like to receive.

During the evenings before the great celebration on January 6, families go to the Alameda, in Mexico City, a beautiful park that dates back to the Colonial era. There, every year, hundreds of stands are placed with food, toys and best of all, there are sets, where the children can have their picture taken with the Three Kings of the Orient.

Hundreds of colored balloons, filled with helium, are sold during the season, so the little ones can attach their letters to them, and have them fly, up to the sky, carrying all their wishes with them.

If they forgot their letters at home,  there are also stores that offer writing paper and envelopes specially designed for the occasion and addressed to the Reyes Magos. This lovely tradition of going to the Alameda park is passed on from one generation to another.

January 6, Dia de Reyes


On the night, of January 5, the figurines of the Three Wise Men are added to the nativity scene. Before going to bed the children place their old shoes under their bed or in the living room, where the Wise Men will leave them their presents.  Some also place outside the house, some hay and a bucket with water for the animals, and even some cookies and milk for Melchor, Gaspar and Baltasar.

This is the picture of our nativity scene! We will add the Reyes tomorrow!

nativity scene

I wanted to share some books I used in my classes this week:

Los Reyes a Caballo

Los Reyes Magos

 

We watched some videos:

This one was shown to older children:

This one to younger ones:

I also wanted to share some crafts we used in classes and at our home:

My students and I made some simple crowns and used verbs learned to act out bringing presents to Baby Jesus!

We used this template from First Pallete, cut from construction paper and used more paper to decorate it!

crown

 

http://www.firstpalette.com/tool_box/printables/crown1.pdf

 

We used Crayola’s Craft:

 

http://www.crayola.com/crafts/el-dia-de-los-reyes-craft/

 

 

crayola

Family Fun has a more complicated, but very pretty craft!

http://spoonful.com/crafts/wee-three-kings                                                                          three kings

This is the letter template we used! Which is a free template found on :

http://www.elbalcondemateo.es/2012/12/escribimos-la-carta-a-los-reyes-magos/

carta

We had not really celebrated Dia de Reyes before since it is not celebrated in Brazil, but it was great because my son had a chance to write a second letter to the reyes, that was great, he really enjoyed it and also enjoyed learning about the story behind it! He attends a Christian School, he said he will take the letter and show to his teacher and share the story in class!

                                                                                  Claudia-sigmy pic 2012

Holiday Activities with a Bilingual Twist

 

The Holidays are coming and you are wondering how to celebrate the holidays and keep the bilingual traditions alive? Your children take a foreign language but you don’t know how to keep the flame burning during the holiday break??? They watch Dora and love Spanish but you want more? I have the answers for you!

Traditions are easy to create, to keep! I wanted to share some of my traditions and some traditions from Latin Countries!

Gifts in shoes – I keep the American tradition of putting gifts in our stocks but also put gifts in brand new shoes outside my son’s door, and he finds them early on Christmas morning! Fun way to bring new sleepers or new shoes without having the children complain, shoes again??   🙂

Caroling – I have plenty of cds and music around the house to teach my son holiday songs in Portuguese and Spanish! Our Favorites are Jingle Bells, Oh Christmas Tree, Frosty and some originals like Botei meu sapatinho in Portuguese! If you would like to listen or show your children some of our videos, please search on youtube for EZLearn Languages.

I posted my favorite one!

We are lucky enough my husband plays the guitar so on Christmas eve, we sit and sing for hours!

Gift Giving – The tradition in the US is to open gifts Christmas day, but in South America, we open them on Christmas Eve and actually there is not much celebration on the 25th, than a day off! So I let my son open one gift and remind him why, there is only one box under the tree for him, waiting from the Portuguese Santa! Papai Noel!

Food – Why not add some spice to your holiday meal or brunch?

I always cook Brazilian Food the night before or add a table of appetizers Christmas day to spice up our holiday traditions! We also have a side dish and a dessert! Among my favorites are the chicken salad with avocado or the rice with raisins and the farofa (cassava flour), great additions to your table! My favorite appetizers are: salgadinho de queijo, empanadas, olive and cheese bites, sanduiche em camadas  (layered sandwich) and sweets like pannetonni, brigadeiros, casadinhos. I also love to add the fatia de parida (a Brazilian version of french toast), a large fruit plate, lunch meats and fresh Portuguese bread, are great additions to muffins, eggs and breakfast casseroles!

I included some recipes for Brigadeiro:

http://www.cktranslations.com/blog/portuguese-language-discussion/brazilian-culture-fall-in-brazil

Farofa

http://honestcooking.com/2012/01/20/farofa-with-bacon-recipe-brazil/

Fatia de Parida

http://www.gastronomias.com/portugal/min022.html

Great Reading – I have been bad in bringing foreign language books and help my son be more proficient but I try to include Brazilian stories during our holiday break, I also have Brazilian comic books which we read together! Many book stores have bilingual books, Foreign Language books in different languages!

I wanted to share some:

Crafts: 

We make snowflakes by making random cuts in a folded square

Build paper figurines and make origamis (my son favorite thing to do!)

We make a new year list of places and things we want to do and I keep it all year and check when we actually do it! 

I hope my suggestions will help you bring latin flavor to your holidays! You can adapt our suggestions to traditions in your own country or language! No matter what, it needs to bring fun and joy to the children! 

Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Feliz Natal, Fröhliche Weihnachten, Merry Christmas is Sheng Dan Kuai Le(Traditional: 聖誕快樂; Simplified: 圣诞快乐) in Chinese.

 

Claudia Krusch

Bilingual – Buddies

Elf on a Self, on a table, on the taco, the guacamole, by the maracas! Ole!

I bought the book The elf on a shelf in Spanish to use in upcoming classes and story time sessions I had scheduled for December!

Forgot to hide it and my son found the box and said wow! We have a Spanish Elf! So much fun! Is he going to speak Spanish too?? Can you read the book? Is he coming tomorrow too? He had been visited by the American elf for a few days! I was in trouble! I decided to think about ways to make my elf authentic 🙂

Went to my laptop and decided to list places where he would appear and things he would do to show his Hispanic character! Tomorrow, his first day at our home, he will be sitting on a tortilla with some sour cream!! 🙂

I have decided to have fun and welcome our new elf with a real Hispanic hospitality and will be sharing the pictures on our facebook page!

If you wish to join my journey, the book is only sold at Target online, not in stores and the main website has a Spanish version!

http://www.elfontheshelf.com/es-es/aboutus/latradicion.aspx

The book can be found on this page:

http://www.target.com/p/the-elf-on-the-shelf-una-tradicion-navidena-nina-elf/-/A-14247066

Look forward to seeing you there!

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bilingual-Buddies/183113808473788

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy Cinco de Mayo

Well, after 5 parents asked me if there was an easier, EASIER being the key word to celebrate Cinco de Mayo! Common reasons are, I don’t cook, can you imagine Spanish food?? I am not crafty…..I am not good at singing, I don’t speak Spanish, the list goes on and on….so I decided to address each of the reasons given to me for not celebrating Cinco de Mayo and put together an easier guide to celebrate cinco de mayo!

I don’t cook! Well, a couple options:

 

Everybody that knows me, know that I am a strong advocate against fast food but we will make an exception by visiting local fast food restaurants for breakfast! My favorites: MacDonald’s Burrito

Taco Bell’s Burritos

A Fruit Salad for a nice light lunch and dinner, well, dinner, there are so many options, basically any American restaurant in the US has steak/chicken fajitas or quesadillas and flan for dessert or maybe you should try that small authentic restaurant you have been looking for! Maybe mommy and daddy can also top with a margarita! Arriba!

Not crafty??? Google local libraries and children’s museums, they are all offering special activities this Saturday.

Singing for you means bathroom time?? Well, Youtube has some great options, I blast it out with my wireless speakers on my iPad:

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lwTvRUQhp0Q

This one has a funny dance with it!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3EmfX6WEpQ&feature=related

Cartoon time is in Spanish on Saturday! Yes, they love to watch tv, so let them!!!

Cute videos for younger ones:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1y5N2hXOKL4

 

 

Don’t speak Spanish?? No need, use some words during your family day like:

Gracias – thank you      De nada – you are welcome     let’s eat – vamos a comer  let’s sing – vamos a cantar  hi – hola bye – hasta luego

Surprise them with a new Spanish Mom!

I hope my post inspired you to try one or all suggestions, if you do, PLEASE, PLEASE, come and share??

Bilingual Buddies Team