Monday, December 6, 2010

Bilingual Toys and Books For Kids




Future generations of children in the United States must to be prepared to meet and compete with the needs of a global business economy.
It is very important that we as parents give them all of the they need to achieve that goal.

This generation of toddlers will be among the first to be bilingual in elementary school in at least one language.  
Every day new private language schools/after school programs are being added across the country and  the focus  is on  full immersion of at least one language.



With shrinking public school budgets across the country, we as parents need to ensure that our children are assisted at home in addition to their language learning at school.
According to the Center For Applied Linguistics the percentage of elementary and middle schools offering foreign language instruction decreased from 31 % in 1997 to 25% in 2008, and from 75%  in 1997 to 58% in 2008.  A significant decrease! The changes mainly occurred at public schools, while private schools statistics remained the same. High schools stayed relatively steady at 91%.
At the high school level, children are already at a disadvantage, if language teaching is started at the elementary school age, the gains are much more significant.
I do not have to tell any of you that our babies, toddlers and elementary school children have the brain capacity to absorb practically everything around them,they are like sponges. They will take in as much as you can provide between the ages of 2 to10 without fear,reservations and  apprehension.
 Get them involved now, give them that edge, prepare them for the future.
Change and enhance their lives with language, other than music it will be the best investment you will make in their lives.

 Languages of instruction in total or partial immersion programs in school
are
Spanish- 42%
French- 29%
Japanese- 7%
Mandarin- 4%

There has been an increase over the last few years of toys and books that offer a bilingual options for toddlers and kids. Brainy Baby is a favorite in our home.

The ones I have listed below are Spanish and French language aids. All products are available online.

Brainy Baby( 1 to 5 years)- Spanish DVDs and CDs for counting,colors, phrases,animals, art,music. Easy for parents to learn too and loved by kids everywhere. My daughter loves the songs.





Ingenio by Smart Play
Great company Atlanta based, this product below is a favorite along with the bi lingual laptop and puzzles. The product is very affordable, it is not Leap Frog quality but they are great!







Baby Abuelita - Grandma and Grandpa sing to their little ones. Very cute dolls and songs.


Cantando con Abuelita Rosa


Cute just for playing

Baby Alive Hispanic - She speaks Spanish. The entire series is cute.




Gallopade International

Great site with books, toys, games and everything your child needs to learn another language.
Click on the Little Linguists tab to review books and other materials for kids up to 11. This site is a treasure trove of materials for other things too!





Usborne Language for Beginners- Flashcards are always great and lots of fun.

Usborne

Leapfrog and Fisher Price both offer Spanish /English options but beware of the ages listed, some may be too advanced for smaller children. Their product assortments have become extensive much more in the last year or so.  The products are all available on their websites or Amazon.
Some of the best ones are the Leappad books, The Alphabet Drum.
Fisher Price has the Laugh and Learn Fun with  Friends  Musical Table.


I love this one for 5 years and up groups.  No PICTURES(not available online) only in stores at Target.

it is a part of the Target brand and is called the Bilingual Pro Cyber Laptop
The following topics can be covered in Spanish and English
Math
Memory
Logic
Music
Science
Translation
Geography
and then they also cover translation for French,Spanish,German and Italian, I love this one!!

The price is a shocking $20.00. I think this is a limited edition item, it is stocked on the end fixtures of the toy aisle.

wow! Get it today!



Happy Learning!



2 comments :

  1. Thanks for the book recommendations. I also think it is very important to expose children at a young age to bilingual books. My daughter loves one such book that we recently read called Jazz Fly 2 by author Matthew Gollub. It's has jazzy music and a playful bilingual narrative which makes it interesting for kids and parents.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Betty,It is very important, so true. Thank you for the recommendation of the book. I will get that one for my daughter. Thank you for contributing to our blog! Please come back and share more with us!

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