It feels like forever ago since I’ve had a chance to blog because–life. Can anyone else relate?
It has been difficult to get back on the learning track after a painfully long winter of sickness and yuck. I get so distracted by chores, daily needs, and trying to catch up with missed responsibilities that I decided to keep my goals as tiny and simple as possible: if I manage to do one small thing a day with my kiddos, it sure beats being overwhelmed by grand plans and doing nothing.
I have currently been seriously in love with Super Simple Español. My kiddos are always begging for screen time and they actually cheer when I finally say yes with these songs. (Trust me, there are plenty of other areas where they immediately groan, “Ugh. That’s just school!”)
The videos on Super Simple Español are fantastic for our monolingual family because they provide very clear context for each of their songs. “Big Sister” even refers back to it when we watch something more difficult for her to understand: “Mom, it’s a lot harder. . .I like it better with the pictures [from Super Simple Español].” The songs are all fun and applicable to children’s daily lives. And, best of all, they are fun enough that even I enjoy following along–and I learn a lot!
Our focus this week: F O O D!!!! Everyone eats and everyone loves to eat (ha, ha!), so there ought to be plenty of opportunity for practice and practical application.
“Big Sister” and “Handsome Man” have been learning two main songs this week (keep reading!), playing with play fruit, and being nudged by Mama Bear to apply various vocabulary as it comes up. They have been so cute to watch as they hardly notice they are learning!
SONG 1: ¿Te Gusta El Helado De Brócoli? (“Do You Like Broccoli Ice Cream?”)
This song on Super Simple Español has been a favorite of “Handsome Man” for a while, but we’ve been really focusing on it this week. There are fun visuals that make meaning easy to discern, abundant practical vocabulary words without being too dense or overwhelming, and most importantly my kiddos love watching. I’ll always hear them singing later in the day as they play. . .especially shouting out my son’s new favorite word: ¡guácala! (Yucky!!)
SONG 2: “LAS FRUTAS” (“Fruits”)
“Las Frutas” is a song from another resource I’ve recently discovered, Rockalingua. We currently are sticking with just the free content, which is still wonderful. In keeping with our food theme, kiddos adore the fruit characters and inevitably start cracking up before I even click play. They especially love when the banana character comes marching across the screen (You know you want to click and see! Ha, ha!).
APPLICATION ACTIVITY: ¡Si me gusta! ¡No me gusta!”
To help “Big Sister” and “Handsome Man” begin the journey towards owning the language, we did a simple activity using these adorable printables that I purchased from Mundo de Pepita. The price was right and by far worth the time saved.
Using painter’s tape, I taped the food pictures all over my kitchen. Next, the kiddos were invited to express which foods they liked/disliked by choosing a few foods and sticking them under the corresponding category on a poster board.
This activity was super fun and simple. I was very surprised by their enthusiasm. I purposely placed items where they often had to climb around to reach them, adding physical activity to hold interest–there were NO foods left on my wall at the end! Throughout the game, both children were declaring, “¡Si me gusta!” (“Yes, I like it!”) and “¡No me gusta!” ((I don’t like it!”) I was elated to hear so much Español in this mainly English speaking house!!!
Finally, at the end, we all sat down together similar to story time. We discussed what foods were on each list and I snuck in the specific words for each food while holding the printable in my hand (clear context–hooray!) For all the times, they’ve resisted “learning time,” I actually had to tell them when the activity was over. Hooray!!