“What if the truth was that all children in America, regardless of their cultural background, would actually benefit from learning two languages?” asks Ana Flores, co-author of Bilingual Is Better. She goes on to share: “The advances in neuroimaging that essentially take a peek into our brains are proving that our kids are excellent multitaskers, they can concentrate better, their brains are more flexible, they are better readers and they even have an edge over Alzheimer’s disease.”
There are many ways to make language learning more interesting for your children. Each of the tips below are activities that pique an interest for my child, therefore drawing him into the language learning experience by using all of his senses.
Here are 8 creative ways to teach kids another language through play:
8 Creative Ways to Teach Kids Another Language Through Play 1 of 9
Exploring language through activities with which they are already familiar is the perfect combination to draw children in to a new language.
Create and Explore Familiar Activities — with a Twist! 2 of 9
Fill a bowl with Oobleck along with the letters of the alphabet. Have your kids dip their fingers in the oobleck and take out a letter. Whatever letter they pick out is the letter they will say in Spanish or another language of your choice.
You can find the recipe for Oobleck here.
Sticky Notes 3 of 9
"Sticky notes have to be one of the handiest inventions ever. In addition to keeping us organized, they are wonderful for language activities to teach kids Spanish."
Stop by Spanish Playground for all the details on how to use sticky notes for language learning.
Use Familiar Children’s Books or Stories 4 of 9
Inspired by Familia has lots of great pointers for using children's books to teach your kids another language. One of the tips is to make sure you check your pronunciation if the language is unfamiliar to you. If you Google a word, it usually displays a speaker icon beside the word so that you can hear it being pronounced correctly.
Check out more great tips and activities from Inspired by Familia right here.
Cook Together or Visit Your Local Hispanic Restaurant 5 of 9
Cooking with your kids is a wonderful experience to enjoy together. But if cooking is not your thing, go out and enjoy a meal at a local Hispanic restaurant. Let the waiter know that you're practicing Spanish so he can interact with your kids in his native language.
Pen Pals 6 of 9
The lost art of letter writing can be a powerful tool to motivate your kids to explore another language.
Get more tips at Trilingual Mama.
Re-Enact a Familiar Story 7 of 9
Have your kids re-enact a story you've shared in another language. If they are still in the beginning stages of their language learning, have them only share certain words in their storytelling. For example, give them vocabulary words from the story: cat, hat, house, big, and small. These become the words that you expect them to say in the other language as they re-enact the story.
Explore a Spanish-Speaking Country Virtually or Even Better, In-Person 8 of 9
I highly recommend you take a family trip to a country that speaks the target language you're studying. Obviously, we don't always have the time or money, but don't fret, you can still explore your city! Find out if there's a community nearby that speaks the language or festivals that are coming up that are celebrated in the target language culture. If none of those work, you can go online and find videos, pictures, or books that tell you a bit more about the country.
The Power of a Toy Microphone 9 of 9
"If you have a toddler or preschooler who likes to be in control of anything mamÃ¡ or papÃ¡ is holding, then the echo microphone could be your new best friend!"
Stop by Open Wide the World blog to read the details on this simple and fun idea.
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