Congratulations on choosing the most effective method for introducing babies, toddlers, and pre-schoolers to a second or third language at the time they learn best. The series is especially designed to take advantage of the critical window when young minds are hard-wired to learn up to three languages with ease, which is up to six years old.
There are numerous benefits of learning a second language early in life. Children who are consistently exposed from a very young age to the sounds of a foreign language are more likely to achieve native or near-native fluency in adulthood and have a much easier time learning other languages later in life. Research shows that these children also tend to have stronger verbal, cognitive and analytical skills – giving them a head start in school.
Simply put, learning a second language boosts brain power, even if the child does not achieve total fluency.
Did you know that September 15 to October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month? Every year, Hispanic Americans celebrate the contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America. September 15 marks the beginning of the month because it is the anniversary of the day Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua celebrated their independence. Mexico, Chile and Belize also celebrate their independence days on September 16, September 18, and September 21, respectively.
The month culminates with a celebration on October 12, when Spain and Latin American countries celebrate their own version of Columbus Day, known as Hispanic Day (Día de la Hispanidad) to commemorate Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas on behalf of Spain in 1492. This is considered the National Day of Spain (Fiesta Nacional de España), and parades and festivals are held throughout the country.
Young kids may be familiar with the story of Christopher Columbus's voyage to the Americas for Spain, but as a Columbus Day nears, it's a great time to teach them there's more to the story than just the Niña, the Pinta and Santa María.
Your kids (or students) will love this interactive white board activity from Scholastic that features fun Hispanic facts, history and even a Piñata concetration game.
We also love this set of printables of famous Hispanic American role models from Nick Jr. And this Hispanic paper flower fiesta craft from Latinaish will have your house (or classroom) looking festive in no time.
Of course, it's also a great time to introduce kids to Spanish language and culture. Check out our Spanish Bop CD featuring fun 15 Spanish language songs for kids, our Spanish vocabulary flashcards, or our colorful English-Spanish books perfectly suited for young kids.