It’s hard to believe how quickly the holiday season has come and gone this year! For the last-minute gift, check out a few ideas for further cultivating your child’s love of learning using gifts to reinforce knowledge of other cultures and languages!
As a non-native speaker in a few foreign languages, some of my favorite books are those that I can’t yet read to my children. Audiobooks that teach popular songs in a target language can be helpful for hearing pronunciation in a slow and repetitive fashion, while being catchy and sticking in one’s head. For older children, parents can also work together with them on translating the text. One great example is from a company who produces a variety of French books for young kids (their Christmas edition is Mes premières comptines de Noel - My First Christmas Stories [ French ] ). Each book typically has short snippets from six songs opposite colorful artwork.
Another company that has similar books has some in Spanish and will soon have some in Chinese. Or, for recommendations on music in a few other languages, check out this recent blogpost from Multicultural Kid Blogs on Christmas Music in Different Languages, which mentions some other audiobooks and CDs.
Activity books such as sticker books are another idea for young kids to learn about other cultures. There are some wonderful ones such as this one about Flags around the World.
Growing up, one of my favorite games was a board game called Passport to the World, which had an talking airplane that would ask questions about the 7 continents, and whoever gathered a token from each continent first won the game. While that game is now a collector’s item, another item that appears to have a similar concept and would probably be good for older kids as well as adults is Passport to Culture.
For younger kids, options like bilingual versions of Scrabble or Bananagrams are often other great ideas and can encourage one to think in a foreign language.
I haven’t been able to purchase this toy globe yet myself, but another site recommended it and it sounds like a great idea for exposing children to foreign language and other countries- apparently it plays authentic music from 39 different areas around the world!
Integrating second language vocabulary while doing activities with your child, such as colors and shapes through arts and crafts or kitchen vocabulary while baking or cooking, can be wonderful ways to show the real world applicability of another language. Any product that can bring enhance a parent and child’s bonding is ultimately the best way to go!
For even more gift ideas, check out one of our previous blog posts all the way back from 2011, which has ideas even for babies under a year of age, as well as for adults who are looking to share their love of language with their children.
Best wishes for the happiest holidays from all of us here at Little Pim!