Bilingual bebés on board: 10 simple things your kids can do to practice their Spanish
When people ask me for advice in exposing their children to Spanish, I always start with the most obvious thing: You need to speak to them in Spanish as much as possible.
Here are 10 fun and simple things you can do to expose your kids to Spanish at home:
Read more ¿Qué más?: Bilingual bebés on board: It's never too late to teach your kids Spanish
1. Start a journal. If your child doesn't know how to write yet, let her dictate to you what she'd like to say. If she's already writing, a sentece or two will suffice. Don't make it a chore.
2. Cook together. Ideally, you can choose a typical dish from your country of origin. Talk about the recipe itself, the ingredients, the measurements, but also talk about what the recipe means to you.
3. Make a shopping list. Ask your child to help you with the shopping list, you can take the opportunity to teach him new words. Then, go shopping and continue the lesson at the store.
4. Read together. You can do the reading out loud or you can ask them to read to you. The best thing to do is to let them choose the book, so you know they'll be interested.
5. Listen to music. What kid doesn't like music? It can be any genre or you can choose something more geared toward kids. No matter what you choose, the idea is to have fun.
6. Teach them trabalenguas (tongue twisters). This is so much fun and I assure you your kids will laugh as they try to repeat these trabalenguas as fast as possible without making a mistake, which is almost impossible.
7. Prepare a puppet show. Children love puppets. So help yours put together a show and then let them perform it for someone else in the family who speaks Spanish, like abuelita, for example.
8. Allow them to do Facetime or Skype. If you have relatives who speak Spanish, but don't live close by, get your children in the habit of talking to them regularly via Facetime or Skype.
9. Find them a penpal. I used to love doing this as a child and even though it seems like nobody sends letter these days, maybe you have a friend with a child whose also being raised bilingual and they can become penpals--maybe even e-mail penpals!
10. Play board games. Again, the idea is to keep it fun. Board games are a great way to expose children to Spanish because they'll think they're just playing and won't realize they're learning too.
Want to discuss bilingual parenting and more with other Latina moms? Join our Celebrate Our Cultura community!