Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop #23

Blog Hop #23 image

Welcome to the Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop!

The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place where bloggers can share multicultural activities, crafts, recipes, and musings for our creative kids. We can’t wait to see what you share this time!
Created by Frances of Discovering the World through My Son’s Eyes, the blog hop has now found a new home at Multicultural Kid Blogs.
This month our co-hosts are:

Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop is a place for you to share your creative kids culture posts. It’s very easy, and simple to participate!
Just follow these simple guidelines:

  • Follow us via email, Pinterest, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. Please let us know you’re following us, and we will be sure to follow you back.
  • Link up any creative kids culture posts, such as language, culture, books, travel, food, crafts, playdates, activities, heritage, and holidays, etc. Please, link directly to your specific post, and no giveaways, shops, stores, etc.
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
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  • Please grab the button code above and put it on your blog or the post you’re linking up. You can also add a text link back to this hop on your blog post. Note: By sharing your link up on this blog hop you are giving us permission to feature your blog post with pictures, and to pin your link up in our Creative Kids Culture Feature board on Pinterest.
  • Don’t be a stranger, and share some comment love! Visit the other links, and comment. Everyone loves comments!
  • The Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop will go live on the 3rd Sunday of the month. It will run for three weeks. The following blog hop we will feature a previous link up post, and if you’re featured, don’t forget to grab the button below:
Creative Kids Culture Blog Hop
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Here’s my favorite from last time:

I am part of the Multicultural Kids Blog Creative Blog Hop for January and I wanted to share with you a post from the blog Discovering the World Through My Sons Eyes that resonated with me. She talks about taking a moment, like meeting a homeless man at a park and turning it into a teachable moment for her son about empathy, respect and kindness. It is a lovely look into the eyes of a child who does not judge others and genuinely wants to help. Good job, mama. This is a great lesson for us all. Please link below to read the post and also check out all of the other great posts on Multicultural Kids Blog.

How a Trip to the Playground Turned into a Lesson on Empathy Kindness and Gratitude

Have a wonderful day!

Thank you for linking-up, and we can’t wait to see what you’ve been up to!

 

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Celebrate the World!

 

Celebrate the World

The other day we took a ride around the neighborhood to look at the beautiful Christmas lights.  As we drove around there were, of course, the houses with amazing lights and decorations.  There were also many houses that had none. M said, “They need to put their lights up.” I told him that not everyone decorates and that’s ok. I said maybe they don’t celebrate Christmas.  I wanted to explain how there are so many religions out there that have their own customs and celebrations, but the moment passed as they began to cheer excitedly at the next brightly lit house.  We have brushed on the subject a couple of times before, but we have never really had a good discussion about it since they are so young. This made me think of how I can teach them better about the world.  I want them to learn and appreciate all of the beautiful celebrations the world has to offer even if they are too far away for us to experience personally.

My house...just kidding. Beautiful, though.

My house…just kidding. Beautiful, though.

Starting this blog has opened up the world for me.  I have readers from all around the world and that is amazing! (Thank you, dear readers) I hope to learn about their (your) celebrations through here as well. With this opportunity I have also met some very creative and intelligent bloggers from amazing lands if only through social media. I follow and have joined a number of communities dealing with bilingualism, biculturalism, the Latin world and multiculturalism. I was even lucky enough to be asked to join Multicultural Kids Blog (MKB).    Through them I am educating myself about the great traditions of the world so then maybe I can share what I learn with my kids.

One of the things the MKB does is a festive card swap.  I am so excited about this one. I wrote a previous post about it here. It’s such a great idea. I had a pen pal when I was younger and loved writing to and receiving letters from her. We have received two of our three cards so far and they are so beautiful.  I love the stories they share and feeling like my kids and I have made new friends. (Sorry we didn’t include a letter, too. I wasn’t sure if we should. We owe you, sweet families).

Through this great community, I also have the opportunity to receive music and books for review.  This is my favorite part.  I received Little Mandarin‘s music on ITUNES  to share the beautiful music with my little ones and I received DARIA Celebrate the Season CD with great holiday music. We love the new music we have to dance to and cuddle to. I mention these to show that without joining the blogging community I would never have found such great things to show my kids. Thank you, again!

Here is my new plan.

  • Keep practicing our Spanish at home, of course
  • Keep reading books in Spanish, of course
  • Introduce something new from another culture as often as possible
  • Keep researching and learning from my fabulous and worldly fellow bloggers
  • Find cultural activities suitable for little ones nearby or online

I highly recommend this series on MKB to help learn about celebrations around the world. I would read it for days, if I had the time.  It is full of information and very thoughtfully put together: http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/christmas-different-lands-2014/. It’s a fun way to learn traditions, recipes and crafts that you may not have heard about before.  I know I hadn’t.

Here is an activity kit you can buy with activities from around the world.  I just bought this and I love it! It has taught me so much already and can’t wait to show my kids. http://multiculturalkidblogs.com/product/celebrate-christmas-around-the-world/

Xmas-cover

Let’s keep this community growing so we can all become World Citizens! (I love that saying)

What holidays do you celebrate?

What are the most fun celebrations you would love to share with others?

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it under www.bilingualeyes.wordpress.com. You can also find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook under www.facebook.com/bilinguazo. And don’t forget to hit me up on Twitter at https://twitter.com/bilinguazo. Thanks a bunch!)

Jumping Into Bilingualism

One of our favorite things to do as a family is to go to a lake that is close to our home and swim.  My big boy is very comfortable in the water.  In fact, he can spend hours in there practicing his swimming and splashing around just for fun.  But his absolute favorite thing is playing with his papa.  He throws him so high in the air and he loves the ride.  It’s very exciting to see! My little one is starting to get comfortable in the water and one day he will be flying through the air as well. Watching them always makes me think of how lucky we are.  How fortune I am to be able to stay home with them and teach them about my life, my culture and my native language.

Being a bilingual family is like being thrown into the air, flying high and then landing in the water with great big splash.  You know it’s something you want to do, you look forward to it, the anticipation grows then you jump.  And all you can do is hold your breath and enjoy the ride until you make a big splash!  I hope that I am making a big splash in their lives.  I hope that they are learning from me. I come from a family of teachers, my grandmother was a teacher, my mom, my aunts and uncles and even one of my sisters. It probably goes back further than that, I’m sure. I, however, am not a teacher.  I do not have the patience or skill required.  I know I could do better at it, but I am doing the best I can. I just have to hold my breath and jump.

I like to look for ideas all of the time on how to incorporate Spanish into our daily lives. Since I know that English will always dominate in our home, Spanish should then be something we practice for fun. I think next time we go to the lake, I will find a way to use teach more Spanish as we play. I found some fun games on Pinterest that may work nicely for this.

 

Do you know any songs about the outdoors I can use? Do you have any games you like to play to teach your native tongue? I want to look through your bilingualeyes.  Will you jump in with me?

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook under www.facebook.com/bilinguazo. Thanks a bunch!)

Bringing Themes to Life Through Language

zoo

The second session of Spanish school is complete.  This time, my oldest learned more about animals.  He loves to point and name them in Spanish.  We also had a planned trip to the Austin Zoo and Animal Sanctuary which happened to fit in nicely with the theme. While at the zoo, we would review the names of the animals as we passed them. He seemed to be really interested in this as we went along. 

Now the zoo here is an animal sanctuary so it’s not as large as other cities’ zoos.  It’s a wonderful place where the animals are cared for nicer than they probably ever have been before. It’s a great place and a great cause that I urge you to support if you have the chance. But, back to the story, I don’t know how receptive he would have been to repeating names in a larger setting for hours on end.  This was just the right size for a little review. And we had the additional bonus of being surrounded by total cuteness.

How can we tie in a theme like we did this week in future lessons? I’m searching for new ways to make it fun just like the zoo was. And I’m hoping to be able to combine settings and activities to give them different types of exposure to themes. I think this will help him visualize the words better.  At least that is what I’m hoping.

Being able to make the connection between words using different examples or in different ways helped me learn English. I loved when I made the connection and finally got it.  That feeling of accomplishment is one of those good feelings that I want my boys to experience over and over in life.

So with all of that being said, I’m researching themes and ideas to help with this little plan.  I know a lot of you have developed your own systems to make learning fun and interactive.  I would love to hear your ideas. What do you see through your Bilingualeyes

 

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook under www.facebook.com/bilinguazo. Thanks a bunch!)

Nominated for an Award!

very-inspiring-blogger-award

My blog has been nominated for the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” by writer of “Viviendo en el Extranjero” who writes about her amazing world travels, learning to live in a new country and starting a bicultural family keeping her roots. Thank you for thinking of me! This is so cool!

So it’s now my turn to keep it going.  I have to nominate 10 other blogs and state 7 things about myself.  Here goes…

These are the blogs I have been reading since I started on this journey through the blogosphere less than a month ago:

Blogs I have gotten to know through this journey with two very cool ladies I’d love to meet one day

Viviendo en el Extanjero

Cafechica

Blog I find inspiring by a good friend about life as a wife and mother of two sweet boys we love (been reading longer than a month, but deserves to be in my top list)

Little Bit of Life with HK

Blogs I started reading to learn more about the bilingual world

Journal of a Bilingual Family

Bubu Books

On Raising Bilingual Children

Bilingual Mom

Taco de Lenguas

Blogs I like about the writing world

A Little Birdie Told Me

A Little Goes A Long Way

 Seven things about me:

Mother, Wife, Sister, Daughter, Observer, Writer & Dreamer

I hope I do inspire someone out there.  It’s awesome to have your thoughts validated in this way! I’m a happy mama.

 If you have been nominated, please keep it going as well.

1. Thank and link the amazing person who nominated you.

 2. List the rules and display the award.

 3. Share seven facts about yourself.

 4. Nominate 10 other amazing blogs and comment on their posts to let them know they have been nominated.

 5. Optional: Proudly display the award logo on your blog and follow the blogger who nominated you.

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook under www.facebook.com/bilinguazo. Thanks a bunch!)

Teaching Language Through In Music My Own Way

Music has always been a part of my life. Even though I cannot play an instrument, I have always loved listening to different types of music. I also enjoy singing along to the ones I especially like and dancing in the privacy of my own home. Since both my singing and dancing leave a lot to be desired I will not subject anyone other than my husband and children to those. My husband is very sweet and never teases me on what I compare to be Elaine-esque (from Seinfeld) moves and I think my children find them funny.  At least they are good for something. 🙂

Anyways, I do believe that music is universal. You do not have to understand the words being sung to understand the tone and mood it is trying to achieve. You do not have to know the place the music comes from to accept it in your own home.  And you do not have to do anything other than listen to it and enjoy it. Sure there are certain types of music I just cannot for the life of me get into.  And there are certain singers whose voices I cannot listen to. But I respect them as artists if they created their own music, wrote their own songs, have an amazing voice or all of the above. And I appreciate the talent it takes to do so. These are all gifts I really do wish I had. Hopefully my children will have that extra passion for music so they can share it with the world one day.

As I was growing up, music was always being played in the house. And when we moved to the states, music was not only our companion for singing and dancing, but it also became our teacher. My parents would let us listen to music in English and we would sing along to it, learning what the words meant as we went along. My most vivid memory of this process is learning through ABBA. Now I know that they are not native speakers in English either, but perhaps that is what made them easier to understand. My mother has always said that she understands people who speak English with an accent better than those from the United States. And she means accents from anywhere in the world. I always found that interesting.

ABBA and all of those old records we had allowed us to pretend to be the artist. We could sing and act out the words along with them and just be one with the songs. My older sisters would help explain the words we were unsure of and we learned a lot of vocabulary through song. And my parents would make us look them up in the dictionary if we weren’t sure. (I still love looking things up to this day)  This is a memory that I love to hold on to because not only did I learn a lot, but I had fun being silly with my sisters.

I started trying to create this experience for my children as well. I have a couple of CDs with songs for kids in Spanish on them and we play them all the time. We usually have our own little dance party after our Spanish hour. Sometimes, however, we have it just because. My oldest tries to sing along with the words and is actually getting to be really good at it. My little one just yells and hums.  And sometimes, if my husband is home, he even joins in. It’s very sweet.

I have attached a little video of them singing along to “Juanito” sang by Jose-Luis Orozco. It is one of their favorite songs. I hope you enjoy it.  If you have any suggestions for music in Spanish to share, I would love to hear it. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, do you have any songs in your native language that you play for your kids? Any favorite artists or records? I would love for my babies to hear music from all around the world. Like I said, music is universal and you do not have to do anything other than listen and enjoy. And with that I hope you enjoy what I see through my bilingualeyes. 🙂

(If you would like to share my blog, I would be so grateful. You can find it in Spanish at www.bilinguazo.worpress.com and on Facebook under www.facebook.com/bilinguazo. Thanks a bunch!)

 

Offically Bilingual, or at Least Part of the Group

I have talked about finding new ways to help my children hear and learn more Spanish.  I have looked at so many sites, articles and books that I’m starting to confuse myself a little with all the advice offered.  So I decided to put myself out there and become part of a larger community.

I’ve joined a new Facebook group called Bilingual Parents Connect that I think will be great for my family.  It’s a closed group right now, but will be open soon. The main focus of the group is accountability.  Right now, the parents will help each other be accountable for reading to their children in their heritage language.  I think this is a great idea and it may actually work for our family! Fingers crossed.

I have been telling myself I need to do more, I even wrote a post about it not too long ago. I know I am not so great at motivating myself to try something new or something different on my own.  But, if you tell me people are watching or will be, well then, let’s go read! I have never liked failing, especially in front of people. (I suppose this could have something to do with my fear of public speaking 🙂 )

Of all of the things I have not done so great, this is one I can start to change.  Reading to my kids in Spanish is a great way for them to get used to hearing it and understanding it.  Plus we get to have that quiet bonding time where it is just the three of us looking at the book together.

I try to do what I call our hour of Spanish and we get excited for by chanting “es la hora de español” as often as I can.  During that time we also go over books we own or check out from the library.  (I will post some of our favorites another time.) This group makes me want to add more stories for them.  I hope we can keep each other motivated and can continue to grow as an international community together.  The diversity on the group so far is invigorating!

I shall keep you posted on our progress and hopefully work with them for a long time. For now I would like to say thank you to Olena Centeno for welcoming me and for lighting a little fire under me!

Do you have any favorite children’s books or children’s series in Spanish for little ones that you recommend?