Friday, January 9, 2015

The Magic of Music: Bilingual Learning Through Song

Spanish Language Learning CD Review

I received a complimentary copy of ¡Sabor! for review purposes;
however, all opinions are my own.
Wild Thing (my 5 year-old) has always been interested in learning Spanish and loves reading Spanish books and bilingual books with me or his father. He often asks to learn new words. 

However, Caterpillar (who is 3) rarely showed an interest and would only passively listen and rarely engage when we're reading books or speaking Spanish, which is limited since I know very little Spanish. 

When we received the Whistlefritz Spanish language CD, Sabor!, however, that changed. Most of the time when we listen to it, we are in the car. 

It quickly became a favorite CD for both of the boys. They request it over and over and are even now singing along. It has been the only thing that has interested Caterpillar in learning Spanish, and now he asks me what various Spanish words in the songs mean and will ask how to say certain words in Spanish as well, something he never did before. 

I'm glad to have a Spanish language resource that engages both of my boys now and a CD that supplements so well Wild Thing's interest in Spanish language books. 

I also appreciate, since my Spanish is so limited, that the CD booklet includes translations of all of the songs allowing me to better utilize the CD as a resource.

I had not idea that Old MacDonald Had a Farm in Spanish would be such a hit! But, my boys LOVE it and sing along.

What Spanish language resources work best for your family? Do your children enjoy learning through songs? I'd love to add more bilingual books and other materials to our resource library, so please share. 

Another valuable review of the CD is the one that All Done Monkey wrote, which I enjoyed. You can find out more about Whistlefritz's award-winning language learning materials in Spanish and French on their website.  You can also follow them on Facebook and Twitter.

You can read about some of our favorite bilingual picture books here: 

Weekly Library Picks

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Simple Last Minute Christmas Craft for Kids To Make

Paint Sample Christmas Trees -- Easy Christmas Craft for Preschoolers

I know it's not the best photo in the world, but we're in family time/chill out mode so I just "let it go!"

I first saw these paint chip Christmas trees on Pinterest via a round up of 20 Christmas Kid Crafts shared via A Little Craft In Your Day. We're big on repurposing items and using recycled goods or free and sustainable items to make crafts rather than increasing waste and spending money on pre-package crafting items. This type of crafting works well for our budget and lifestyle. Wild Thing (5) is obsessed with "reduce, reuse, recycle" as a motto. 

I also love that these Paint Sample Christmas Trees were something that both Wild Thing and Caterpillar (3) could make completely on their own by simply cutting rectangle paint samples into triangles (bonus: reinforces shape learning). Caterpillar wanted me to draw the triangle lines for him to cut, and then Wild Thing got creative and decided to make stockings as well. 

To decorate our stocking and trees, we used a short string of garland that we happened to have -- it was too short to go on our real tree, so it was a perfect way to add some extra decor to our trees and stockings. We simple cut it into smaller pieces and glued it on our decorations. (The key is letting them lay flat to dry for long enough to ensure the garland won't fall off.) Then, we added stars. One was cut out from an old Christmas card, another was a star sticker and the larger orange star was made by cutting out triangles from a orange paint chips and then pasting them together.

Initially, we thought we would make these DIY Christmas decorations into ornaments like Crafty Morning, but decided to go with a decorative garland instead. (I simply duct taped the decorations to some twine). Finally, we made a wreath for the boys to add their names to, as we're gifting this garland to a friend.

We love using paint samples for crafts, learning and art activities. My boys love doing scissor practice by cutting along the white lines to separate the various shades of colors. We've also used them for color sorting matching colored stickers with the same color of paint sample, and there are so many more uses for them. We've also used them to explore color combinations and made a fun color train. Here's a few of my favorites: Paint Sample Flowers and other Art Activities from No Time For Flash Cards, Rainbow Mosaic from I Can Teach My Child, and Paint Chip Mosaic Abstract Art from Happy Hooligans.

How do you use recycled or repurposed materials to create arts and crafts? What's your favorite use for paint samples? Please share! 

Check Out More Fun Activities From The Good Long Road:

Letter P Learning Activities
Letter I Learning Activities
Fun Meals and Snacks!