Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Apple Activities in Spanish

Apples conjure up so much nostalgia for those of us in North America. Is it the same elsewhere in the world? This time of year means back-to-school, apples, apple orchards, apple picking, and in our house LEARNING ABOUT APPLES IN SPANISH of course!

Here we'll show you some of the apple activities in Spanish that we have been up to! You can use apples for learning numbers in Spanish, colors in spanish, sizes in Spanish, and you can also learn about apples in Spanish!

Read below for:
  • Books About Apples in Spanish
  • Apple Activities in Spanish
  • Apple Mini-Book in Spanish
  • Apple Anatomy Printable 
  • Apple Videos in Spanish

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Linguacious Flashcard Game Review + GIVEAWAY

Linguacious Flashcards Review

Who has enough time or money to test out all the resources available for teaching children a foreign language at home? How do you know which products are really worth it? Not to mention, every family is different and has unique needs and learning styles to consider. That’s why I was so excited when the Linguacious company reached out to me to offer a set of their Spanish Foods and Drinks Flashcard Game for review. It’s great to see products in action, and to hear how other people are utilizing the different resources in their own home, and I'm glad to offer that on this blog through reviews. For a while I've been seeing and hearing about the Linguacious flashcards. I was anxious to see how they would work out in our own home, particularly because my kids are wanting to start learning a few languages that I don’t know myself.

Keep reading for:
  • how to enter the GIVEAWAY for your own set of Linguacious cards
  • a FREE Spanish alphabet printable
  • fun ways to use Linguacious flashcards for learning Spanish

What Are the Cards Like

When I received the cards in the mail, I was quite surprised at their size. That’s the funny thing about ordering online...you can’t hold products in your hands first or see them in person! I had imagined the cards would be very large, but they are actually small—the size of regular playing cards. This makes sense and makes them easier to use for games!  They also have the feel of playing cards, that slick and shiny material that makes them easy to shuffle and handle, not to mention more durable and easy to wipe off. Oh is that just my kids? (Not even kidding, I’ve already had to wipe syrup off our set.) *face palm*

Aren't they purdy though? I love the clean, crisp photographs.

How Do the Cards Work
Each card has a QR code on the front and one on the back. You simply download the Linguacious QR code reader app (super easy and small enough to fit on my phone that has practically ZERO space left on it). I don't really like to let my kids use my phone (because I use it for work-related things), so we put the app on an iPad. Here you can see even my 3-year-old using it. She kinda thought it was magical. She would hold the reader above the card to scan it, and every time the app said the word she would look up in surprise and smile. :D

What I Really Like About Linguacious

Pronunciation Help
For families who are learning a new language that is indeed new to everyone in the family, these cards would be an invaluable resource. Last fall my kids and I tried to start learning French, and I can't tell you how many times I became frustrated by not knowing how to pronounce things! This app pronounces things very clearly and slowly, enough so that my kids were able to repeat each word correctly. That's pretty amazing considering they are just listening, and not watching someone talk and move their mouth for cues.

Print Free Front
I love that the cards have zero print on one side of the card. This is great for Spanish learners like my oldest son who is already a proficient reader in English. If he sees Spanish print he will try to pronounce it with English phonetics. This way he looks at the picture and hears the Spanish word. So no mispronunciation, and no translating from English (in other words, when we read the word first in our native language we tend to teach our brains to translate, whereas in this situation we are associating the picture with the Spanish word).

This also makes the cards great for quizzing yourself!! Look at the side with the picture only, and see if you can remember how to say it. If not, either scan the card or flip to the back to read (after you've learned them all with the scanner first of course!)

Interactive + Easy to Use
Most of the Spanish learning in our house happens like this MOM --> KIDS. I'm really happy to have a resource where the kids can feel like they are learning independent of me. My older kids especially are needing more of that these days, wanting to feel independent of Mom. ;) Linguacious makes the learning interactive (not just receptive), and makes it so that kids can take charge of their own learning.

I find that a lot of times tech can bog learning down. "Is the battery charged?" "Are we connected to the internet?" "Oh darn, it's taking forever to download." "Where's the remote?" "Oh no, the DVD is scratched!" Can you tell we're not a tech-y family? But even for us this was fairly easy to use. As long as we don't lose our iPad and make sure that it is charged.

What I Didn't Love About Linguacious

Like I mentioned above, I don't really love technology for learning. However, in the case of languages you just can't get around needing help from technology...unless you are able to travel abroad for immersion. So what I don't love about theses flashcards is actually what's really necessary about them. And I will say, for a tech-y toy this one makes it as simple and screen-free as it can be. Think, if it was French we were learning, I would have to go to WordReference.com and look up each individual word and click on the pronunciation button. (Which I was doing last fall.) These cards makes it so much easier on me!

Ambiguous Pictures
Just a few of the pictures were ambiguous and I had to tell the kids what the word meant. This was only for one or two pictures of the entire set, and this could be avoided by looking up all the words on each card in a Spanish-English dictionary. I plan to buy the Chinese set for our house as well (Yes! Linguacious has many languages to offer) and it will be interesting to see how it goes with a non-Roman alphabet. I'll keep you posted! But if you're learning Spanish, this shouldn't be a problem if you have a dictionary on hand (if you don't WordReference.com is the best).

You can also go to the Linguacious website, hold your mouse over the AUDIO option in their menu, and click on the set that you own. You will be taken to a page with a list of all the words (with English translation written beside it) and a button for the audio.

Those are really my only complaints! These cards are great and a really fun learning tool to have on hand.

Fun Ways to Use Linguacious Cards

Sorting by Type
The possibilities are probably endless for the games you could come up with for these cards. For the food set, we had fun sorting them by type of food. You could sort by Fruits, Vegetables, Meals, Sweets, Proteins, Grains, etc. You could even turn it into a Spanish lesson about health and what the human body needs to eat to be healthy!

Sorting by Beginning Sounds
I created some alphabet cards so we can sort the cards by the beginning sounds. Right now I'm trying to work with my preschoolers on learning the Spanish alphabet. You can see some of our sorting below. I would recommend picking out just a few letters and a few cards to work on at a time if you are working with littles. For example, maybe on one day you could just pull out the cards that begin with A. Then the next day work on a different vowel, until you've gone through all the vowels. Then you can get out all the vowels together and have the kids sort!

For older kids who have worked with the alphabet and Spanish sounds a lot, you can get out the entire alphabet. I see that being a fun project my older boys (7 and 8) would enjoy.

Of course, it wouldn't be a For the Love of Spanish post if I didn't share some sort of free printable, right?! You can download your own copy of the Alphabet Cards in the pictures. You can cut out the letter by itself, or as you can see in the photos, there in italics is how you pronounce the name of each letter.

Let me know in the comments if you decide to download it and how you plan to use it! The letters that are in lowercase used to be part of the Spanish alphabet. I kept them in there 1) to go with one of my favorite alphabet songs on YouTube and 2) I thought it would be helpful to single those sounds out for sorting!

Sorting by Color
We got out some of our blank colored paper and sorted the food by colors as well! You can say ¿De qué color es el tomate? for example. Help the kids answer, ¡Rojo!

Here's how to pronounce that question: day kay koh-LOHR ehs ehl(lah)...

Notice I put "lah" in parentheses, because the word "THE" can be EL or LA (masculine or feminine). You can just look on the back of the card and insert exactly what it says on the card where I have underlined and highlighted in the question.

Other Fun Games

Make It a Race
Once you have been over the cards multiple times (or maybe you could master different sections one at a time, for example first learn all the fruits really well), you can make it a race! Have the first player hold the scanner and scan one card at a time. They try to beat the app to saying the word. The player gets to keep going until the app beat him or her, or if he or she makes a mistake. Then it's the next player's turn. Play continues until all the cards are gone. Player with the most cards at the end wins.

Me gusta, No me gusta
Have a player hold up a card and the other players try to guess if the holder likes, or does not like that food. If players think he or she does like it they say "¡Te gusta!" If players think he or she does not like it, they say "¡No te gusta!" Once each player has "voted" the holder reveals the answer by saying "Me gusta" or "No me gusta."

Remember if the food is plural, be sure to insert gustan in place of gusta.

¿Qué tengo?
This is like that Headbands game. One player holds up a card on his or her forehead (without looking at it) and the other players try to help him or her to guess what is being held. You can describe the food by color, shape, texture, etc. You could also let the holder ask yes or no questions about the food. This would be for players who are a little more advanced in Spanish, or if you have an adult on hand that speaks Spanish really well to guide the game.

You can check out more game ideas on the Linguacious website as well.

Now that you have all these awesome ideas and examples of how the cards can be used, you want a set of your OWN don't you!!?!?! I thought so. :)

The Linguacious company has been so generous to offer a set to one lucky winner!!! The giveaway is being held on Instagram, and is super simple to enter. Just make sure you are following me @fortheloveofspanish and Linguacious @linguacious_llc, like the photo, then tag a friend or comment for an entry. A random winner will be selected on September 18, 2018. And as an added bonus, the winner will also receive a Linguacious "I love languages!" wristband!

And don't worry, if you don't win, Linguacious has also been generous enough to offer a 10% DISCOUNT code to all the For the Love of Spanish readers that is good through October 1, 2018. Just enter the code FORTHELOVE at checkout on Amazon!

Be sure to check out the Linguacious store to see all the have to offer. The languages include:


And there are different themes of sets you can get as well. Here are the Spanish options:

Spanish Animals
Spanish Around the Home
Spanish Foods and Drinks

Thanks to Linguacious for the awesome set of cards to review. All opinions in this post are my very own honest opinions. I did not receive any compensation (besides the card set!) in exchange for this review. This post may contain affiliate links. You can read my full disclosure for details.

Go enter the GIVEAWAY now, and BUENA SUERTE!!! Good luck!!

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Fall Themed Spanish Books - September Spanish Booklist

It's booklist time again!! What kinds of themes do you love to talk about in September? Around here we like to talk about trees, since the leaves will be changing colors soon, and apples, and this September we're reading the story "The Three Little Pigs" as part of our Jump Into Spanish curriculum, so I added the themes of construction and the farm as well! All these should make for a fun month! So see below for:
  • Books About Trees in Spanish, as well as some great tree activities and poems
  • Books About Apples in Spanish, as well as a fun video describing the parts of the apple
  • Books About Construction in Spanish
  • Books About the Farm in Spanish (including one sing-a-long!)

Friday, August 17, 2018

Our Spanish Plans for Fall - In Seven Simple Steps

Back-to-school means back-to-Spanish!! Although I try to always teach Spanish to my kids each week, starting a new school year puts a little boost in my efforts. I like to amp things up each fall, and at the beginning of every New Year.

As much as I can, I try to share with you all here on the blog (and on Instagram) what we do in our own home to learn Spanish. It helps me sooooo much to see what other parents and educators are doing. My hope is to share things that inspire you and give you ideas and practical help for learning Spanish in your own home!

I'll break down as much as I can what we'll be doing this fall (below), and maybe it will help you make your own Spanish plans for this school year. Or if after reading all of this, you still feel like you need a little help or guidance to get Spanish going in your house, I do lead a group called Jump Into Spanish where I share resources, lesson plans, videos, etc. for doing what we do each week. If you want more info or updates about that group go here: Jump Into Spanish Wait List

Read on for:
  • What method I use for teaching Spanish to my kids
  • How to use The Three Little Pigs to learn Spanish with your kids this fall
  • Resources for extending the story, practicing, and reinforcing what you learn

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Back to School Books in Spanish - August Booklist

I've really been in denial that it's back to school time around here. I dropped my kids off today for their first day! Their school had a "Boo-hoo/Yahoo!" breakfast for the parents. I was definitely in the "boo-hoo" camp. I am sad to see summer end!!!! If you're in the boo-hoo camp like me, you can use this amazing list of back-to-school books in Spanish to cheer you up, or if you're in the yahoo camp, you can use these books to celebrate! 

You can also find below some of these books read aloud on YouTube, back-to-school music, and a set of back-to-school vocabulary flashcards! ¡Disfruten!

Thursday, June 28, 2018

July Spanish Booklist for Kids

What's summer without ice cream, popsicles, a trip to the beach or pool, a picnic, and of course a little mischief? Those are the things I had in mind when trying to pick out the perfect list of kids Spanish books for July! These books will provide lots of practice with fun summer words in Spanish.

Choosing Spanish books for kids along a theme helps reinforce vocabulary in multiple ways and contexts. We are going to use this summer Spanish book list at our house too! I try to get most of the books from the library, and maybe choose a few to buy to add to our home library.

It can be HARD to find good books in Spanish for kids.

If you really can't find these books below or other fun summer books in Spanish, what you can do is check out books your library has along the summer theme, and then just talk about the books in Spanish. You can translate them as you read (not for the faint of heart!) or point at things in the illustrations you know the Spanish word for and talk about them, or maybe even just use the illustrations for a game of Spanish "I Spy."

Needing more tips for reading aloud in Spanish with your kiddos? Check out some of my ideas here.

Ready for this month's list? Read below to see titles and descriptions of all our picks for Spanish kids books for July!

Friday, May 25, 2018

June Spanish Book List for Kids

You might have heard me say this latelyreading aloud in Spanish and reading Spanish poetry have added so much LIFE to our Spanish learning! Don't get me wrong. I love all the activities and games and calendar and lessons we have done in the past. And we are still doing many of those things. However. Reading Spanish books and poetry has been such an easy and delightful way to add natural, authentic Spanish language to our life.

Spanish books and poetry take the pressure off of me (a bilingualish mom) to come up with real, authentic language. I speak Spanish, but I don't speak it as naturally and as effortlessly as I would like. Finding good books in Spanish isn't always easy. It has taken me a while to get the hang of finding them on Amazon and our local library's website. That made me think, why not start making a monthly booklist to share with you all?! Hopefully that will cut some work out for you, and motivate me to get more Spanish books into my own family's life!!

Keep Reading for:

  • A fun list of Spanish kids books for June 
  • Printable version of the list to assist you while searching for books at the library or online
  • Tips for reading Spanish aloud with your kids (to minimize complaining) 
  • YouTube videos of most of the books on the list (in case you're not ready to read in Spanish yet!)
  • Ideas for making reading fun this summer!