Hola Mamacitas! We all know the best gift we can give our children is quality education, and more often than not, we start educating them at home way before they set their cute little feet into pre-school. But there is a second best gift we can give our kids, and that is learning another language.
If you know another language other than English, the best thing you can do as a parent is share your linguistic skills with your child. Teach them at a young age so that they can use it as often as they do English and be really good at both. They’re bound to learn how to speak, read and write English anyway, what with everyone around them talking in English. We use what were familiar with, and children are no exceptions.
Their advantage is they can pick up things really fast (the advantages of being young) and most of them can emulate speech really well because studies have shown that young children have better verbal and cognition skills if they learn a second language. You should use this opportunity to introduce another language to them as part of their play and learn phase and you will be surprised with the results. You won’t need Spanish translation services anytime soon when you’re child is done!
No Habla? No problem!
But what if you don’t know another language? Don’t worry! You can still introduce your children to other languages by getting them cool Bilingual Toys. There are a multitude of brands and toys to choose from. Pick a toy that has a language or languages that you want your child to learn. It’s best to choose a language that you feel your child can use in the future because if they like what they learned at an early age, chances are they’re going to seek further education on it when they grow older. That is a huge advantage going in to college and getting a job.
Top Bilingual Toys
1. Ingenio Slide and Discover from Smart Play
Smart play’s Ingenio line of bilingual toys is a must have for any parent that wants to teach their kids another language. The Slide & Discover teaches kids 160 words in English and Spanish by using learning cards (17 in all) that have unique learning themes for each one. The flash cards also have colorful illustrations and real-life photos, with 10 word pairs in English/Spanish.
When you slide one of the cards into the front of the Slide & Discover, and then slide the five tabs up and down, this will reveal an English word, a picture, and the corresponding Spanish word. The Slide & Discover is lightweight and ultra portable, you can take it anywhere! The learning cards store easily in the back of the toy and the handles make it easy to use.
2. Dora Explore and Play Pad
Another awesome bilingual toy from Smart Play is The Nickelodeon Dora the Explorer Explore and Play Pad. This educational learning toy has the look of an everyday grown-up tablet, but is loaded with content that lets your child play and learn in English and Spanish.
This toy actually looks like an iPad! Turn it on using the home button (placed at the bottom, just like an iPad), and from there, four modes will appear: ABC & 123, Words, Spelling, or Quiz mode.
· In ABC & 123 mode, every time the button is pressed, kids will hear Dora pronounce the letters and numbers in English or Spanish.
· In Words mode, Dora will pronounce the name of the image on the screen to each corresponding letter in either English or Spanish.
· In the Spelling mode, Dora will spell out selected words in either English or Spanish.
· Pressing the question mark will immediately bring up Quiz mode, which will ask kids to find the corresponding letter or number that Dora states.
Learning another language is a great way to help our young kids with their early development. Not only will your child excel at school, but they will also have an advantage when faced with the challenge of talking to another child from another country. Your child may be the one who welcomes a foreigner or new immigrant, making them feel welcome and accepted in this great country of ours. Future Ambassador? Maybe! J