My husband and I are teaching Sebastian, our 3-year-old, both English and Spanish. And while he’s just now learning to speak, we’re reassured he’s learning both languages when we hear him say sentences like “Mamá, más balls!” (“mom, more balls!”) We’ll get him to sort out the two languages later … here are a couple of the tools that are working for us that might also work for you.
Why is bilingualism so good?Countless studies support the idea that bilingualism is good for babies. Bilingualism has been linked to:
- Improved cognitive skills which influence how babies learn, remember, pay attention and problem solve
- Improved executive functioning which involve self-control and self-regulation
- Protecting the brain later in life which includes the offset of dementia
Nursery rhymes are not only fun little songs to keep your little ones entertained, they’re also great tools to help them learn and grow!
As they sing, move, and dance, kids are building language, motor, and many more skills.
As a mom, I know how important it is to ensure that fun activities be also learning opportunities.
It’s for this reason that I love the power of nursery rhymes.
Here are just a few of the benefits of nursery rhymes for baby and toddler development.
Being bilingual allows us to communicate with more people, appreciate other cultures and enjoy many cognitive benefits. We’ve experienced this first hand since we’re both bilingual and learned English at a young age. So when our daughters were born, we knew we wanted to teach them Spanish, but our reasons at that moment came more from the heart.
As Latinas, Spanish is at the core of our cultural identity. It’s connected to our childhood and the people we love, so we couldn’t imagine our daughters not having the language to communicate with our families, or not being able to participate in cultural traditions that were important to us.
They say the pen is stronger than the sword. This is usually positioned in the context of Plato, Marx, Niche or journalism, history books or political works.
So can we possibly help bring people together in a country full of friction with a pen, the paintbrush, and our good ole Macbook Pro?
Certainly children’s books have been used to encourage the best of our human nature and discourage the worst for hundreds of years.
Beautiful books become even more important when you are introducing a collection of traditional nursery rhymes from one culture to a whole new audience completely unfamiliar with either the language or the roots behind these works.
Birthdays are an excuse for parents to spoil their kids just a little more than on a typical day. This is exactly what talented painter and baker, and Cake Wars winner Alicia Becerra did when her daughter asked for a Canticos themed birthday party inspired by our ‘Las Manañitas’ book.
The celebration featured Alicia's famous hand painted cookies, which have been featured on the Food Network, Parents Magazine, BuzzFeed, and many others.
Manners matter. We all want our kids to be well-mannered citizens of the world and teaching them to be so shouldn’t have to be boring.
While manners include everything from saying “please” and “thank you” to offering compliments and exhibiting proper etiquette at the dinner table, the easiest place to start teaching manners is with greetings.
Proper greetings like “Hello” or “Good morning” are the first step for your little one to establish a relationship with a new friend or to make a great first impression with her teacher at the start of the school day.
Here are a few tips to help your little ones practice greeting phrases:
I believe we each have our own “super powers” or strengths that make us unique and special. As parents, we want to pass on our best traits and cultivate our children’s own super powers.
Here are the 5 super powers I use to infuse every part of the Canticos brand. These are the same 5 super powers I instill in my children. I share them with you in hopes they can inspire the values that you cultivate in your own children.
Sometimes, reading to a little one can be hard! They wiggle, they squirm. You might think “are they even listening? What does it matter, anyway?”
Having a Ph.D. in Literature and a Masters in Children’s Literature, I’m here to let you know it matters, and it matters a lot! The earliest years of a child’s life form the basis of all later learning - in fact, in their first three years, your baby is forming a million neural connections every second. Sharing books with your little one, in addition to being a wonderful time for the two of you to bond, builds a love of books and of learning that will last for the rest of their childhood and beyond.
How can you use beautiful children’s books, like those from Canticos, to support this important time? Tandem’s “three tips” for early literacy are great ways to start.
Jheymy Rivera really knows what it takes to raise bilingual kids. Not only does she have two kids of her own, but she is also the Lead Teacher at ¡HolaKids! Spanish Immersion Preschool in California. We spoke to Jheymy to get insights on how to help kids learn Spanish from an expert’s perspective. Here is what she had to say.
Encouraging your kids to develop good reading habits will not only be beneficial for them academically, it will also provide them with a lifelong skill to be successful in their adult years. As parents, it's up to us to make reading, in both English and Spanish, a fun experience.
The author/illustrator Susie Jaramillo is the creator and publisher of the acclaimed “Canticos” books. Here she talks about what inspired her latest bilingual, foldout, lift-the-flap board book, Little Skeletons Countdown to Midnight/Esqueletitos: un libro de contar en El Día de los Muertos (Encantos).
The Day of the Dead (DOD) holiday, (El Día de los Muertos) from October 31 to November 2, is both a celebration honoring those loved ones whom we've lost, and whom I would like to think still walk among us, and a reminder that life is short and precious and we should treasure the time we have. I’ve always loved the iconography and pageantry that has surrounded this particular holiday. Mexican people have a way of being close to death.