2017 Holiday Gift Guide for Bilingual Babies, Preschoolers & Kids

I know what you’re thinking: It’s September. Fall is just beginning. Why are you doing this to me???

The short answer is: I actually do my holiday shopping around this time of year, partially because we typically spend Christmas with my family in Puerto Rico and I need to make sure everything arrives in time, and partially because I just really enjoy the process of researching and thinking about what items the people in my life will most enjoy for the next year. I can’t be the only one out there! (But if I am, then just bookmark this until you’ve had a large glass of wine and you’re ready to think about the holidays.)

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Learning to Count in Spanish

Learning to count is one of the first skills toddlers work on, from counting as you go up and down (and up and down) the stairs, to spotting and categorizing and counting animals on the street, leaves in the yard, scooters at the park, etc. it can be easy to incorporate math into your everyday life.  So I thought I would put together some fun and perhaps new-to-you math and counting activities that can help cement and encourage an early interest in math (and maintain/continue your Spanish!).

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Back (or New) to School Books in Spanish for Preschoolers

When N started preschool a couple of years ago, I was more nervous than he was. He didn’t speak more than a handful of words in English, we had just brought his baby sister home a few weeks before, and he was still very much a baby in my eyes. To prepare, we spoke and read a lot of books about school, how fun it is, and what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to see how much his daily routine mimicked the daily routine described in the books we were reading and really think that helped him feel confident in school from day 1.

We also have a tradition of buying a new book for the start of the school year (and for each holiday and special occasion…clearly I don’t have a problem buying books…), so maybe you’ll find a new book for your young Spanish speaker to start off the school year!

Como van a la escuela los dinosaurios? 

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La Primera Aventura del Ratoncito Perez

We received La Primera Aventura del Ratoncito Perez by José Carlos Andrés and Betania Zacarias in our latest Sol Book Box and I cannot tell you how much I LOVED this book. Some of you may be familiar with the story of el Ratoncito Perez–I grew up with the tooth fairy, but I know many of you out there looked forward to losing a tooth so el Ratoncito Perez would leave a small gift in exchange. Whatever your household tradition, I think you’ll enjoy this book!

Here’s a great video of the ‘prequel’ to the Ratoncito Perez myth. My favorite part about the story is how cleverly the characters’ dialogue is written, which makes it easy to come up with new, silly voices. And the kids and I really enjoyed the illustrations, which you’ll also be able to preview here:

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10 Great Chapter Books in Spanish for Beginners (And Slightly Beyond)

N is just starting to get into the idea of chapter books, though most nights he won’t let us leave without finishing the whole book (sort of defeating the purpose…). In any case, I like the new, more challenging vocabulary and the opportunity for more complicated plots afforded by beginner chapter books. These could also be a fun idea for older people who are learning Spanish, but aren’t quite ready for adult vocabulary.

Before we get into the list, I recognize that these are all translations of popular Spanish series, so if you have any suggestions for original Spanish chapter books, please do share–we would love to read them!

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