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Childhood songs

After weeks of listening and dancing to the DVDs of CantaJuego, full of new and old nursery rhymes, playground songs and cartoon tunes, I can safely say that nothing touches my sensitive fibre like the songs of my childhood.

Mothering a bilingual child in a country different to the one where I grew up has been a learning curve, until recently my only knowledge of something resembling an English nursery rhyme was One Little Indian or One potato and that was from my first years of learning English at school in Spain (i.e. in the early eighties). I have had to learn songs like The wheels on the bus, you know those that go round and round, together with Row your boat and, a firm favourite in this household, We’re going on a bear hunt. I had to learn them through necessity, as I was otherwise the only one at toddler group who wasn’t singing.

I can sing English tunes just fine (or rather, once I learn the lyrics, I can work my way through them as badly as I have ever sung). My heart did melt a little bit when my daughter started doing all the signs of the wheels on that darn bus with the people who go up and down and the wipers that go swish swish swish and the fact that every time you hear the song on a CD or on TV and every time you sing it at toddler group you realise that there are a million and one versions of that tune and no one can agree on one.

However, when I sing a Spanish song from my childhood, like El patio de mi casa, Abuelito dime tú and a myriad of other tunes that saw me jump, skip, run, hold hands and go round and round in circles during my childhood waiting to see what happened to Heidi or to Marco, the boy with a monkey called Amedio, or to Maya the bee (yes, our cartoons were a bit different to yours), strange tears fill my eyes, a weird feeling invades my soul and grips my heart.

I have had to learn a few new Spanish tunes too: Soy una taza (I am a mug, well yes I look like one dancing to that one) and El zapatero (the shoemaker).

I leave you with the one that leaves me looking like a mug, literally and, so that you know why all the mad positions, it goes through kitchen utensils: I am a mug (soy una taza), a teapot (una tetera), a spoon (una cuchara), a ladle (un cucharón), a bowl (un plato hondo), a dinner plate (un plato llano), a knife (un cuchillito), a fork (un tenedor), a salt shaker (un salero), a sugar bowl (un azucarero), a blender (una batidora) and a pressure cooker (una olla exprés). Enjoy!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTzTFQbdYEQ]

Play it to your kids, say cuchara, tenedor or cuchillo the next time you or they have a spoon, fork or knife in their hand and they’ll be speaking Spanish in no time, so will you.

PS-Yes, the video is bad, yes the guys look dodgy but seriously my daughter loves them and it amazes me how much she learns from them and how much they are helping he recognise and say words.

From Journaler to Scrapbook fan

From age eight to college I was an avid journaler. For most of that time I journaled weekly.

I could spend an hour or more pouring my life and views into my journal and I think it may be one of the reasons I remember so much of my childhood.

As an adult, that dedicated activity was slowly losing its space in my life and it was until I got pregnant that I realised how important was to keep track again of all the precious moments and the new daily adventures that I was experiencing as a brand new mom.

Since then, two years ago, all the memories and memorabilia of my son Santiago: handprints, first greetings cards, first foods, first flight tickets, etc have been  kept on a lovely handcraft  box waiting to be organized on a special journal.

The idea has been going around on my head for several months and occupied an important place on my TO DO list for 2012, but it wasn’t until a couple of weeks ago that I met Camilla, the creative brain behind the scenes of Memory Albums of London that I have decided to finally go back to my old days as a young journaler.

She showed me how she does the albums, where all the creativity comes from, what endless possibilities we have when filling them and most important how much fun we could have doing it!!

Her passion was all I needed to start my project again,and I would love to share the Album she gave us with all of you:  AMIGOS de Olé Kids.

 

How can you get one of these gorgeous albums?

Simply by entering to our competition and BE THE WINNER!!

{THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED}

DRUM ROLL, PLEASE  FOR THE LUCKY WINNER :  YROSALBA LAZCANO!!!!


Loving your memories … Connect & win !

Oh, what a great month!  Our dream of a blog to bring together parents raising bilingual kids finally came true and we couldn’t be happier with the welcome we’ve had !!!

We certainly are not alone on this mission of raising bilingual children. It truly makes our day to read your comments through Facebook, Twitter and now our brand new blog !!!

We’re inspired by the stories so many of you have opened up to share with us, We sure are feeling the love on this month of Love and Friendship !

To thank you all for your support, we are giving away this lovely present for you:

CONNECT AND BE A WINNER !!!

All you have to do to be eligible to win this prize is LIKE our page as well as Memory Albums of London page on Facebook by clicking on the buttons below (you will have to sign in to Facebook):

That’s all you have to do to enter this giveaway. If you want to up you chances at winning, then this is how you can get additional entries (only after you have completed the the step above):

Subscribe to receive blog updates by filling in the following form: Click here

and to duplicate your chances,  Follow us on Twitter ( @ole_london )


//  

This giveaway ends SUNDAY February 26th, 2012

 

IMPORTANT NOTE (the small print):

This contest is open only to everyone over 18 years of age and UK residents only.

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Free printable Spanish coloring sheets:Parts of the House

These printable coloring sheets with words in Spanish reinforce vocabulary for parts of the house and common household objects.

You can follow up the activity by finding the objects in magazine pictures, drawing and labeling your own picture, labeling the items in the house or on a doll house, and pointing to the objects in picture books.

These pictures have extra details to talk about, so you can practice other words your child is learning too.

There is no English on these coloring pages, but here is the list of the part of the house:

Escribe las partes de la casa. / Write the parts of the house.
la ventana – window
la puerta – door
el tejado – roof
la maceta – plant
el buzón – mailbox
el garage – garage
la chimenea – chimney

Please click on the following link to download these printable coloring sheets: CHILDTOPIA.COM

Material and free printables were created by chiltopia.com

Flores de Carnaval

Around February every year Lugo (Galicia, The green bit of Spain) dresses up to celebrate carnival.

Days of parties, competitions and becoming whoever you want to be or love to hate being.

My grandmothers 92 and 81 years old and their friends do not give up this party for anything in the world.

They cook traditional dishes, have parties and afternoon teas and are out and about in wacky costumes of the themes they choose each year.

Last year they were fisherwomen with flat baskets full of plastic or handmade fish on their heads, not many years ago my younger grandmother, when she was still in her 70s, spent a whole day being pushed around in an old pram dressed as a baby! She needed time to be able to walk again at the end of the day but anything for a good costume!

One of the traditional recipes in Galicia for carnival are these flowers. My grandmother made a power point last year so that her 27 grandchildren and 20 great grandcildren could carry on making the carnival flowers in years to come.

Espero os guste, y que os animáis ha hacerlas, es muy fácil y son riquisimas.(Hope you like the video…would you dare to make them?…Do let us know how did it go)

 

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vEZsxGNQYR4]

My aunt’s churros recipe.

You will not believe how easy it is to make churros!

My aunt Tete taught me a few christmases ago and I can tell you she makes the best churros I have ever tasted!

As always the simplest recipes are the hardest to get right but ever since we learnt we keep trying and almost get there!

So, although she says the recipe must be very exact in terms of measuring, as every Spanish cook I know the very strict instructions quickly go from ‘250 gr of flour’ to ‘well and a little bit more if it doesn’t look right’.

So it is important to watch the video to get an idea of the right consistency of the dough!

But here is the recipe:

250 gr of flour
A pinch of salt
A teaspoon of baking powder
A tablespoon of sugar

Mix it all in and then add

Between 250 to 300 cc of boiling water (I could never get a straight answer but I do know that too little  water will be too heavy and too much water means it will soak up more oil, so we have to experiment)

Put the mix into a churrera (mine is from www.bernar.es and can also be used to make fresh pasta.It looks like they are developing their site to buy online)

Make one long ribbon pushing it out like those play dough syringes, maybe those might work until you get the real churrera!

Start heating some oil to deep fry the churros. Dip a knife into the hot oil to cut the ribbon into churros the size you want. (dipping the knife in the oil is a trick to stop the dough sticking )

Deep fry them until golden.

Rest them on some kitchen paper to soak up the extra oil and sprinkle some sugar over them.

Make sure you have some yummy thick hot chocolate to dip them into! Que Aproveche!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dhGfZ3TL0as]

Choosing Apps for your kids

A  recently research conducted by PBS Parents ORG found that many children had received electronic gifts for christmas.

“A good app should be the perfect combination between education and entertainment”, says Dr. Carolyn Jaynes, a learning designer for Leapfrog Enterprises.

When kids are engaged, they learn.  Educational apps balance engagement with learning. Whether an app is focused on teaching math skills or science, it is really important that a child has opportunities to play and do something new.

Features to Look For

Easy to use: Look for apps that are easy for your child to navigate through. Something with simple commands are best for younger children, such as dragging a finger across the screen to complete an action. Be sure to keep your child’s age in mind when choosing apps. You want something that challenges your child without being too easy or too difficult for your child’s ability.

Content Matters: Be sure the app fits your child’s age in animation and content. Also, you’ll want to be sure the app does not contain pop-ups that link to the Internet or the App Store or anywhere else you do not want your child to access.

Trusted, & reliable sources: Look for established, trusted educational brands that are known for producing educational content.

There would be always a question of when is best introducing technology and we always could think about its pros and cons. Just because toddlers like to push buttons and watch videos does not mean they are ready for a computer.

Personally I think  is about setting the right “media diet”. A balanced media diet is like a balanced food diet; variety is healthier.

Do you have any thoughts to share with us at getting educational apps for your children? … If so, which ones are you letting them use and are there any of them helping with Spanish learning?

Effective ways to read to our children

We’ve all heard it a million times: Read to your children, it helps develop pre-reading skills.It’s your duty and obligation as a parent.

Okay, so maybe that last one is a bit strong but don’t we have a responsibility as parents to help our children? The point is that those who tell us to read to our children usually have very good reasons for telling us to do so.

Researches confirm that the benefits of reading aloud continue into elementary school: “Listening to stories read aloud by the teacher is one effective way for students to enrich vocabulary.”

According to the Reading is Fundamental campaign(1), every time we read aloud to our children, we are stimulating their imagination.

The Multilingual Children’s Association(2)confirms that “frequent book reading leads to more advanced language skills.” It is not just the type of books, the level, or even the language in which they are written that matters. Literacy is a result of frequency; the old “practice makes perfect” .

If your child is consistently intrigued by the traditions associated with the Spanish language, he or she will be more apt to read about them. Encourage an interest in your native culture buying books in Spanish or borrow them from a local library.

Here are some ideas that the experts recommed to make the most of this reading time and also help to build our child’s literacy skills while keeping it fun: (3)

Make reading a part of every day: Try to read to your child for at least 15 minutes each day. Bedtime is an especially good time to read together.

Hold your child while you read: Sit with your child on your lap as you read. Let him or her hold the book and help turn the pages.

Read with fun in your voice:Use your face, body, and voice to make reading fun. Use different voices for different characters.

Know when to stop: If your child loses interest or has trouble paying attention, just put the book away for a while. A few minutes of reading is ok. Don’t continue reading if your child is not enjoying it. With practice, your child will be able to sit and listen for a longer time.

Talk about the pictures: Point to the pages and talk about the pictures in the book. Ask your child to look at the pictures for clues to what the story is about.

Show your child the words: As you read the book, run your finger along the bottom of the words. Soon your child will realize it is the words that are read and not the pictures. If you’re reading a book in Spanish, feel free to let your child know the English version of a word. Say something like “Perro is called dog in English.”

We are sure there are plenty more ideas on how to read to our children and we would love to hear about them so do please please feel free to leave us a comment!!

(1) http://www.rif.org/ (2)http://www.multilingualchildren.org/(3)Source: colorin colorado

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Post creado para que no aparezca el mensaje “no categories” en la barra de navegacion de la pagina principal.

Este post NO tiene que ser borrado !!!

 

Gracias … Pabl0

The wonders of being multilingual

Current research leads to the belief that speaking two or more languages can add to the cognitive flexibility of the child.

The different connotations and ideas around a word in the different languages allows the child to build a more complex understanding of the world at a younger age.

Although it is never  too late to learn a language, learning  at the early ages is ideal because so much development takes place during these years.

Olé Kids classes encourage all aspects of child development through stories, matching games, movement, arts and crafts, singing and signing and exploring materials and topics.

The choice of mixing children from the ages of 6 months to 4 years old is not an accidental choice but rather an intentional one,  as we believe that in a group lesson the younger ones are encouraged to learn by observing the ability of older children and makes them more confident to speak in public.

If you’re a Spanish speaker you and your child will meet other Spanish speakers and if you’re interested in learning another language with your little one, Spanish is a great choice.

  • Spanish is the official language in 23 countries worldwide
  • Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world in terms of native speakers
  • Learning a second language at an early age may benefit problem-solving skills and general mental development