activities

Traditional Rosh Hashanah Activities for Kids

September 10th is the Jewish New Year, Rosh Hashanah, a day in which Jewish families around the world ring in the year 5779. Whether your child or classroom is learning Hebrew or not, it's a great time to expose them them to Jewish culture and global traditions surrounding this important Jewish holiday.

Rosh Hashanah translates from Hebrew to mean "start of the year." Traditionally, Jewish families attend services in a synagogue and enjoy traditional holiday meals with family on this day and the next.

The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram's horn, which is sounded on both days of Rosh Hashanah to mark the start of the new year.

For a fun craft, your child can make his or her very own (thankfully less noisy) cardboard shofar here.

Many of the foods Jewish families eat during this holiday are also symbolic. For example, apples dipped into honey help prepare followers for a "sweet" new year.

And Challah, a round loaf of egg bread is also commonly eaten on the first night and symbolizes the circle of life.

Apples & honey are traditionally eaten by Jewish families on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a "sweet" new year ahead.
Apples & honey are traditionally eaten by Jewish families on Rosh Hashanah to symbolize a "sweet" new year ahead.

Teach your child about this yummy tradition by whipping up a batch of Honey Apple Cupcakes together.

If you want your children to learn more about Jewish tradition and learn Hebrew, check out our award-winning Hebrew for kids program.

Are you celebrating the holiday this year or teaching your child Hebrew? Be sure to send us your pictures or share them on our Facebook page.

And don't forget you can get Rosh Hashanah cards here to wish your Jewish friends or family members a happy new year! The traditional greeting is "shana tova," which translates to "good year."

Little Pim Thanksgiving Coloring Page

Happy November! With Thanksgiving coming up, download and print Little Pim's Thanksgiving Coloring page!

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Don't forget to incorporate language learning into your holiday while cooking, spending time with family, and during playtime! Teach your kids how to say "thank you" in different languages and other seasonal vocabulary, like the Spanish word for "leaf" = "la hoja."

A post shared by Little Pim (@littlepimhq) on Nov 6, 2017 at 5:01am PST

For other fun activities, check out our blog post on 4 Fun Thanksgiving Activities you can do with your little ones!

Brush Strokes of Genius

A child’s grip on a pencil starts out loose, like their understanding of cultures and worlds beyond their own. As they master holding the pencil, drawing basic shapes, and later letters, more and more of the unknown comes into focus. They begin to recognize the semi-circular shape of an Iranian mosque’s dome. They are familiarized with the square shape of mosaic tiles in Roman churches. The muscles in their hands know what it’s like to write out characters, the same ones that Shakespeare used to assemble his sonnets. Via these examples, we see how motor skills underlie art, which is a vehicle of cultural exchange. While we at Little Pim often emphasize learning languages as a means of cultural exposure, we want to use this post to highlight learning motor skills as a perfect time to introduce your children to different cultures through art. Accordingly, below is a list of artists from around the world who can inspire activities that will reinforce your children’s motor skills, cultural awareness, and familiarity with art as a tool of self and cultural expression.

Piet Mondrian

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tate-museum
  • Dutch
  • 1872-1944
  • Was initially a teacher who painted on the side
  • Started out as a landscape painter
  • Was heavily influenced by the geometric shapes and simplicity of the cubist movement in Paris, where he moved
  • Met Bart van der Leck and Theo van Doesberg, who helped him develop his most famous artistic style, which highlights the beauty underlying simple shapes and primary colors

A child just learning motor skills requires a great deal of concentration just to bring these simple shapes to life. Resultantly, they have a heightened appreciation for them, an appreciation that Mondrian relearned. Your child might thereby be able to relate to an important figure in Dutch culture.

Activity

Ask your children to draw 10 dots at random locations on a piece of paper. Then, have them connect one dot to each of the others on the paper with straight lines. (Use a ruler if straight lines are difficult for them.) Repeat for the other 9 dots. The result is a very cool geometric pattern. Take out primary color markers, colored pencils, or crayons and have them fill in the shapes as they see fit. With that, you have a Mondrian inspired piece ready to be hung on the fridge.

Niki de Saint Phalle

  • French
  • 1930-2002
  • Was a sculptor, painter, and film maker, most widely revered for her monumental sculpture work
  • Had no formal art training
  • Was first recognized for angry, battered works that mirrored emotions associated with a troubled childhood
  • Developed a whimsical, joyous artistic style, child-like in its bright color palette

The fun, quirky nature of these pieces will appeal to your child’s innate happiness and creativity. Let their curiosity take over upon asking what the sculpture below on the left represents.

art-for-kids
art-for-kids

Activity

Break out the colorful Playdough for this activity! Show your child images of Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculptures and let the fun ensue. You can suggest rolling out small segments of different colored dough and connecting them to make a multi-colored snake, which is what I see in the sculpture on the left.

Joan Miró
Joan Miró

Joan Miró

  • Spanish
  • 1893-1983
  • Painter, sculptor, ceramicist
  • Was classically trained in art school but rejected traditional methods and styles later in life, claiming they were created to appease the rich, who commissioned the works
  • Was also inspired by cubism and moved to its epicenter, Paris
  • Classified as a surrealist, who allowed his subconscious mind to take control of his hands

The abstraction of Miró’s pieces reinforce to your children that there is no such thing as perfection, especially in art. It is all about personal perspective and emotions. Encourage them to make “mistakes” and try something wacky in their own pieces.

Activity

Grab a few hangers from the closet, thread/yarn from the sewing kit, scissors, and construction paper. You now have all the tools necessary to make your very own mobile, like the one above on the right, perfect for a younger sibling’s room. Snip the hook off of a hanger; that is how you will be able to hang the mobile. Then, cut a few straight pieces of wire from several hangers. Twist them to attach them to the hook. Splay them out in different directions. Afterwards, cut some pieces of thread/yarn and knot them onto the end of the wires. Go crazy cutting out awesome shapes from the colorful construction paper. Pierce a hole and knot the other ends of the threads into the construction paper cutouts. Boom! Your very own Miró inspired mobile!

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wang-guangyi

Wang Guangyi

  • Chinese
  • Born 1957
  • Still alive today
  • Went to art school after many failed attempts at college entrance
  • Heavily inspired by the Chinese Cultural Revolution
  • Internationally acclaimed for the “Great Criticism,” which were paintings on top of traditional propaganda
    • Ended the series in fear that its fame undermined its very message, which was that political and commercial advertising is manipulative
    • Continued with political criticism of VISA’s

While less child-like in its appearance than the works of the aforementioned artists, Guangyi is unfiltered and unapologetic for his opinions in his art, just as a child is before he or she is molded to fit into a society that values conformity.

Activity

Let your children make a statement with this next piece of art.  Suggest to your children that they draw how they feel about their least favorite food. See how their emotions translate into art.

Father's Day Language Learning Fun

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Father’s Day, Sunday June 18th, is a time to celebrate family, love, and happiness. All of the warm sentiments conjured on this day will mirror the warm weather forecasted in New York, where Little Pim is based, creating perfect conditions to have a wonderful day. What could make the day any better? Foreign language. While a shared appreciation for a father figure unites a family, exposure to a foreign language can unite an immigrant or multicultural family with its roots and can unite a curious family around a common love for learning. Language learning can be seamlessly incorporated into your plans for the day, whether you are attending a barbecue, heading to the beach, or staying in the comforts of your own home. It’s not only easy but fun, so read on for some helpful tips.

Barbecue

As you are slicing the fruit for a platter or tossing the salad to kick off the barbecue, you can make use of the vibrant array of colors on display to teach your child another language. The Little Pim flash card sets include the words for colors for each language offered. Accordingly, even if you aren’t proficient in the language you would like to teach, the cards can provide you with the necessary vocabulary to turn this fairly boring task into a fun language learning opportunity.

Moreover, as the adults surround the grill, and conversations about work inevitably ensue, your child might grow bored. To keep them happy and engaged, you can simply hand over your iPad. While this parenting move often leads to gaming, which isn’t necessarily intellectually challenging or fruitful for your child, you can use Little Pim livestream, to turn this moment into another language learning opportunity.

As the eating winds down and everyone is still gathered around the table or fire pit, you can introduce a fun language learning game to liven up the mood. In the game, you can choose a flashcard from the deck at random. You can’t let your child see it. Similar to the wildly popular game “Heads Up,” your child then holds the card to their forehead. Make sure to have the English translation side face the rest of the table. The other family members and friends have to give verbal hints or act out gestures based on which your child can guess the word in English. Once your child has successfully guessed the word, in order to earn a bonus point, he or she must translate the word into the foreign language of your choice.

Beach

As you pack your bag for the beach, make an assembly line with you and your child. As you pick up an item, pass it to your child and have him or her try to name the word in the foreign language. Many of the words that would likely be useful during this exercise are part of the flashcard sets, but below is a short list with translations into French and Spanish for your convenience.

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The highly anticipated ocean entry is another chance for you to involve some language learning into Father’s Day fun. While some kids are hesitant to enter the cold water, you can make it less intimidating by turning it into a game. You can call out what is written on one side of the flashcard and have them translate into or from English. Each correct answer can be a step backward towards “safety,” and each incorrect answer can be a step closer to the waves, or vice versa if your child is excited to go into the water.

The car ride home is perfect chance to pop in a French Bop or Spanish Bop CD. More information and statistics encouraging listening to music sung in a foreign language can be found in a recent blog posting.

Day at Home

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If Father’s Day will be low-key at home for you and your family, language learning might be the perfect stimulus to brighten the day. For example, while your child is writing that cute letter to Dad that you will save for years to come, you can teach them how to say some of the words in his or her letter in other languages.

While below is a short list of words and phrases your child is likely to use translated into French and Spanish, Little Pim’s content covers many more languages.

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Happy Father’s Day from Little Pim to you and your family! We hope language learning can make an amazing day even better.

Musical Spanish Immersion Class in NYC

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We're excited to launch our partnership with The Pineapple Explorers Club (based in NYC) for their Musical Spanish Immersion Class using our Entertainment Immersion Method® and language learning materials. If you're located near New York City, see below for more details or visit their website linked above:

Classes begin MONDAY JUNE 26th at 10 AM in Marcus Garvey Park (upper west corner below playground) & WEDNESDAY JUNE 28th at 10 AM in Central Park (Enter at 79th and walk South, group will meet on the left just before the playground).

Cost: $15 a child (cash or Venmo) or find them on KidPass!

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Happy First Day of Spring!

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spring-different-languages

Say "hello" to Spring in 5 different languages! Welcome the first day of Spring by teaching your little ones a new language. It's the last day to save 40% with code LUCKY at www.LittlePim.com.

What a great day to celebrate Spring by having your kids color in Little Pim’s Springtime coloring page. Print out this coloring page today and teach your kids how to say each color in a different language!

Share your finished page with #littlepim on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Enjoy your colorful day!

Simple Ways to Introduce Your Kids to Foreign Languages

Introducing children to foreign languages is not a far cry from encouraging kids to try sports. However, so long as our parental motives are pure, foreign languages are the simpler of the two! The following list includes unique ways to introduce your kids to foreign languages. You can integrate these ideas into Spring/Summer plans already made, and don't you worry, no athletic ability required!

Travel

Are you taking a trip via plane, car, or bike? Invite your child to be the guide! Previously teach and discuss key vocabulary words used when traveling through the foreign country. Make your tiny guide a badge, and write in the language he/she is learning. If your child is too young, then it's you! Role play as a pilot, taxi driver, or tour guide. Use new, simple vocabulary, and be sure to note the scenery you spot! If your child is just beginning, have him/her repeat the key words after you. You can also use music CDs and videos found here to keep them learning on-the-go.

Travel Vocabulary (English to Spanish)

Airport -----> el aeropuerto Plane -----> el avión Trip -----> el viaje Suitcase/bag -----> la maleta Bus -----> el autobús Train -----> el tren Ticket -----> el boleto Pilot -----> el piloto

Go all out: Dress the part, and pack along common snacks or candies found in your country of study.

Stuck Indoors

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Whether you've been quarantined for days, or a few hours which feel as long, Little Pim offers of award-winning language learning videos and companion products to bring foreign languages into your home. Make a game with the flashcards and allow your child to quiz you! Read board books before nap time as your child snuggles a Little Pim panda plush.

Do you have any bilingual friends? Invite them over for a multicultural meal and let them know you're interested in introducing your child to the foreign language and culture. Request for this friend to speak only in the language new to your child. Before your guest arrives, discuss with your child a few questions to ask. If your child is a bit older, he/she can even conduct an interview.

Go all out: Prepare a cuisine native to the foreign country of study.

Outdoor Games

Plan a scavenger hunt! Using the foreign language of choice, give direction and leave clues for your child. Allow your child to invite friends to help solve the mystery of lost treasure. As for the treasure itself, pick up a new video, book, or tickets to a cultural experience; anything to further teach in an unforgettable way.

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Pack a picnic! Bring along library books, trinkets, and colorful pictures of foods served in the appropriate country. Have your child make labels for each food item before you pack them. Play foreign music as you eat.

Go all out: Dine at the same time persons native to the country of study are also eating. As you eat your meal, excite your child, "It's as if we're really there!"

Need more resources, products, or help choosing which foreign language is best to introduce to your child? Please check out our language guide or email us at help@littlepim.com with any question. Little Pim is grateful to help!

Holiday Crafts for Kids: Christmas Around the World

Looking for some fun holiday crafts for kids during Christmas Break? Christmas Around the World is always a fun theme to incorporate into your holidays. Kids love learning about other cultures and countries and how they celebrate the holidays this time of year. Not only are crafts from around the world fun, they're educational as well. What more can you ask for? Before you dig out the paper, glue, and scissors, do a little research. Decide with your children what countries you want to learn about and make crafts. There are all kinds of wonderful resources on the internet for you to use in your research. Once you decide on which countries you'd like to learn more about, you can get started on the crafts. Try some of these fun ideas.

Flags of the World Ornaments

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Use real ornaments or make paper ornaments with the countries flags on them. For this activity, you can also head on over to your local craft store such as Michaels Arts & Crafts to buy supplies to paint your own flag ornaments. They will have plain ornaments that you can paint on. For a image database of the world flags and countries, visit this website from the CIA.

Traditional Holiday Crafts

During your research, find traditional decor or a tradition the country enjoys during the holidays and recreate it with crafts. For example, The Nutcracker is a traditional ballet done in Russia. Design and create your own nutcracker using things from around the house like milk jugs or cartons, paper rolls, Legos, or wood pieces. For ideas, check out this great post from Multicultural Kids on DIY Christmas Ornaments Inspired by World Cultures.

Holiday Nature Crafts

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Many countries have "treasures" that come from nature that you can recreate at home. For example, Poinsettias come from Mexico. You can make paper or tissue paper Poinsettias after learning about Mexico. Christmas trees originally came from Germany. In the link above, there is a beautiful Mexican Felt Poinsettia you can make with the kids. Do you have any Christmas crafts that you do with your kids that you can share with the Little Pim community? There are tons of fun Christmas tree crafts to make! Share your traditions in the comments below.

Holiday Dress Crafts

Many countries have traditional clothing they wear during the holidays. Make paper dolls or clothes pin dolls with the traditional clothing worn from the country you researched.

Paper Crafts

Make crafts of the countries you researched out of paper and hang on a tree or decorate your home. Origami is a great idea for Japan, or make paper chains from Sweden. Let your imagination run wild!

Whatever crafts you decide to use for Christmas Around the World, you know your kids are having fun learning and creating great crafts! For more fun activities, print out our Winter Coloring Pages or fun Hanukkah Crafts for Kids.

Little Pim's Winter Coloring Pages

It's a cold, rainy day here in New York City, which is the perfect time to cozy up with the little ones and do some coloring activities. We've got you covered for the entire Winter season with our latest coloring pages. Simply click on the links below to print out the pages. We'd love to see your creations. Post of photo on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram using the hashtag #LittlePim and we will share it across our networks. Happy coloring and we hope you're enjoying the glorious holiday season! ¡Adiós Amigos!...

Explore Winter in Ukraine with a Craft Based on this Clever Story

The Holidays are easily the most magical time of year for a child. Make it even more magical by exposing them to another culture, like that of wintry Ukraine! In Eastern Europe, Christmas is not heavily celebrated. Instead, it is the coming of Father New Years that brings anticipation to children everywhere. That doesn't mean that there's any less winter wonder! The Mitten is a common folktale for Ukrainian families to read to their little ones during the holidays. With such cold winters, it's no wonder that the main feature of this tale is a group of animals trying to stay warm!

  • Explore Winter in Ukraine with this printable craft based on the classic Ukrainian children's story, The Mitten.

The story starts with an old man in the forest losing one of his mittens. As animals in the forest find the mitten, they scurry inside to enjoy its warmth. The story begins with small animals, such as frogs and badgers, and works its way up all of the way to a bear. In the end, it's a little mouse that "breaks the camel's back," so to speak; causing the bear to sneeze and all of the animals to fly out of the mitten.

Engaging your child with The Mitten:

 

 

  • Read the story with your children.
  • Ask them, "Why do you think the smaller animals let the bigger animals take up the room in the mitten, even when there were too many?" This will help connect your child's mind to the abstract concepts of the reading.
  • Color and illustrate pictures using your kids' imagination of the different animals mentioned in the story. Learn how to say the names of each animal in different languages.
  • Discuss Eastern Europe and its Holiday traditions; its climate, its animals, and the similarities and differences between our stories and theirs.

For more phenomenal winter crafts, stay tuned to the Little Pim blog! Happy Holidays!