Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Celebrating Birthdays in Spanish

The end of the summer is full of birthdays for our family!  At the end of August my son and I both celebrated our birthdays, my hubby celebrated his at the beginning of  September, we just celebrated my oldest brother's 26th birthday, and one of my nephews turns five this weekend!

I am also doing some celebrating this week with the Multicultural Kid Blogs group that is celebrating its first year of being together.  With all of this celebrating going on, I thought it would be fun to learn a few words and phrases in Spanish to help us celebrate in two languages.

When I studied in Costa Rica, I was honored to be a guest at a birthday party for the nephew of my host family.  They celebrated his birthday much like we celebrate birthdays in my family: with food, family, singing, and presents.  Below are some pictures of us celebrating our now two-year-old's birthday, along with some Spanish captions.  Remember, the best way to learn and practice vocabulary is in prases.  So after you learn the words . . . try some of the phrases below as well.

Let's start with ¡Feliz cumpleaños! =  Happy birthday!

Él tiene tres globos. =  He has three balloons.
A él, le gusta jugar con los globos.  =  He likes to play with the balloons.
Él está jugando con los globos.  =  He is playing with the balloons.
Hay tres globos: un globo rojo, un globo azul, y un globo verde.  =  There are three baloons: a red balloon, a blue balloon, and a green balloon.

Me gusta comer helado.  =  I like to eat ice cream.
Me gusta el helado chocolate.  =  I like chocolate ice cream.
¿Quieres un helado?  =  Would you like some ice cream?
¡El helado está frío!  =  The ice cream is cold!

Yo abro los regalos.  =  I open the presents.
¡Ábrelo!  =  Open it!
¿Qué es?  =  What is it?
¿De quién es este regalo?  =  Who is this present from?
¡Gracias!  =  Thank you!

Vamos a cortar la torta.  =  We are going to cut the cake.
¿De qué sabor es la torta?  =  What flavor is the cake?
La torta es chocolate.  =  The cake is chocolate.
¿Quieres un pedazo?  =  Would you like a piece?
¿Me das un pedazo de la torta por favor?  =  May I have a piece of the cake please?

Go here to read about all of the different names for birthday cake in Spanish!

If you want to get in on the celebrating...read below!

Multicultural Kid Blogs Virtual Birthday Party!It's a party, y'all! Multicultural Kid Blogs is officially one year old as of today. To celebrate we are hosting a virtual birthday party and YOU are invited!

The Party
Be sure to visit the participating blogs (see list at the end of this post) to see what they are bringing to the party, plus link up your own posts on the MKB site!

The Giveaway
Like any good host, we don't want you to go home empty handed, so we are offering some great prizes to three lucky winners. See the end of the post for details on the prizes. To enter, visit the MKB site to: 1) Link up a birthday-related post or 2) Comment on the MKB site to tell us your wish for the coming year!

Party Hosts

Party Favors

Prize #1
Mas Canciones en Espanol - Music with Sara - MKB Birthday Party Giveaway
Digital download of Más Canciones en Español from Music with Sara

Prize #2
Set of 2 books from National Geographic Kids - US Shipping Only
National Geographic Kids - Egyptian Mythology - MKB Birthday Party Giveaway

National Geographic Kids - How to Speak Dog - MKB Birthday Party Giveaway

Prize #3
DVD Fiesta Whistlefritz - MKB Birthday Party Giveaway
Lively Spanish immersion program DVD recommended for children ages 2-7 from Whistlefritz
Now it's your turn! Visit the MKB site for a chance to win one of these prizes by linking up your birthday posts or commenting to tell us your wish for the coming year!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

A Weekend Trip from Madrid & Bocadillos (September 17, 2006)

Warning: The following is an entry in my journal from Spain . . . some of it is quite candid.  You can tell I was experiencing culture shock!  Funny how most of my culture shock revolved around food.  What can I say?  I like to eat.  Always have.

Spain actually has delicious food . . . I just did not know that yet.  I also had yet to learn that the time to eat lunch was not NOON when the only places open were bars, not restaurants.  The best places to eat in Spain are homes or tapas bars.  I found an awesome YouTube channel this year called Laura Cocinillas.  She cooks scrumptious Spanish dishes as a means of teaching the Spanish language.  You should definitely try a few of her recipes, and let me know what you think!  You should also check out the blog Spanish Sabores to get a true taste of what Spanish cuisine is like.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

9. Bocadillos. If I never eat another bocadillo when I get back to the states, it will be too soon. First, let me explain what a bocadillo is--it's a sandwich. What's so wrong with that you might ask? Well, let me tell you. Everyday for lunch, that's what I eat. It's a staple of the Spaniard's diet. Bread for breakfast; bread for lunch; bread for dinner. Today, on the way home from Asturias, we stopped to get lunch. What were the options? Bocadillos. Don't get me wrong. They taste fine. They're just white bread, hard bread, just bread! You can get a bocadillo with queso (cheese), jamon (ham, that's cured, not cooked or whatever, like the ham we eat on sandwiches [by we I mean american]), chorizo (sausage), or tortilla (the eggy-potato thing. Yes, that's right, potatoes on bread--can you say starches-that-constipate-you-galore? Actually, for all the walking they do around here, starches don't stay around long enough to be turned into fat for energy storage). And do you want to know how much this cute little bocadillo (don't let the name fool you, they're not that cute) cost me? 3 stinking euros. That's right folks, a piece of cheese between two hard pieces of white bread cost me about five dollars. Give me some rice and beans please!! Or a salad (with GREEN leaves). Or even a cheeseburger (not from McDonald's or Burger King--I haven't gotten that desperate yet)!! But I mean, hey, I was prepared for this. I knew before coming here--since Cottey was so kind as to bring us here for a week--that the Spanish don't really know how to cook.

On a lighter--and more tasty--note my trip to Asturias was great. We left really early from IES, and stopped a couple hours later for breakfast at a hotel restaurant. It was reeeeaallly good. It was a buffet, with tortilla de Espana, meats, eggs, yogurt, fruit, bread (of course), and cafe con leche (the best!!). Then we drove to Leon, where we took a tour of the Cathedral there--Carmen was my tour guide again (she's great)--and walked around the town. It was a small town, which was a nice break from the crazy city of Madrid. We ate lunch there in the sidewalk cafes, then got back on the bus and headed toward Posada de Valdeon. Let me explain a little. Spain is made up of lots of different autonomous communities like states. Castilla y Leon is one of them. Posada de Valdeon is a town in the National Forest of Spain which is between Leon and Asturias. We stayed at a cute little hostal in the mountains of the National Forest. They call the mountains "Picos de Europa." The hostal had A-mazing food! There was a creamy vegetable soup with--yes--bread, then some macaroni thing with clams and mushrooms, then a salad, then chicken and french fries, then desert. The soup was the best part--one of those soups that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, like a hug to your stomach or something.

Anyways, the next morning we went for a hike through the mountains which was actually more like a walk down the road. It was SOO beautiful, I can't even begin to explain. But the sky was so clear, with perfect picturesque clouds. At the end was a little pueblo and then a taxi ride--more like a ride of death, skidding ever-so-closly  to the edge of the road that gives way to cliffs all the while Marc Anthony blasting from the radio (okay, so not Marc Anthony, but you get the idea--some pop music in Spanish)--to the top, where the bus was waiting for us to take us to our next destination. (By the way, if you navigated your way through that sentence, you are a pro.)

We walked around the streets of the pueblo, met some friendly Spaniards
on vacation, and hiked around the Picos de Europa National Park.

This is where we stayed the first night of our
Castilla y León/Asturias trip.
The meal we had there was delicious!

From Posada de Valdeon, we went to Asturias. Where there is ocean!! I believe it's the Bay of Biscay, but I could be mistaken. We checked into the hotel, then headed towards the beach. It was a small little beach with just a few people. We set up camp and pretty much just relaxed. I ate the rest of my--you guessed it--bocadillo from lunch, then laid there, then sat there, then laid, then walked to the water, then laid and sat some more. The boys played frisbee games and such, and some people were brave enough to actually swim. Later that night we wandered through the streets a while, until dinner. Llanes--the town--is a cute little fishing town that was actually built in like the middle ages. We went to the oldest part of the town, and by the architecture, it really felt like I had taken a step back in time. That night, there was a Potato Festival going on. The town has it every year, and the main event is a dance of partners who have to dance with a potato pressed between their foreheads. And they can't just move, they have to dance to the music, to the beat.  It was great to get a taste of the local culture. The music was an interesting mix of Latino music and Polka. Not my favorite, but . . . So, we stayed around and danced for a while, then went to bed. Our hotel provided a nice Spanish breakfast in the morning, then we left for a 7-hour bus ride home.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Hispanic Heritage Month #HHM // MKB Blog Hop

Today begins a month-long celebration of Hispanic and Latino heritage and culture in the United States: Hispanic Heritage Month!  To celebrate this year, I am co-hosting a blog hop with some of my favorite bloggers from around the world.  The blog hop (which includes some fabulous prizes) will be live from September 15 through October 15 so be sure to come back here and check out all the posts that everyone shares throughout the month, and link up your own posts as well!

September always reminds me of Spain, because in September of 2006 I left on a plane for a semester abroad in the country's capital city, Madrid.  So to kick off Hispanic Heritage Month, I am sharing a recipe from Spain.  I remember one of the biggest cultural adjustments for me during my time in Spain was el desayuno.  Most people in Spain do not eat a large breakfast.  Morning staples include fresh or packaged pastires, or maybe a pan tostada (toast) and a café con leche.  Here is a great explanation of a typical Spaniard's day in meals.  When I lived in Spain my señora (host mom) would set out a yogurt for me and a plate of packaged pastries to choose from for breakfast.  Then around 10 am, during a break from classes, I would get a pan tostada and a café con leche  from the cafetería that was actually located inside my school.

Some of my fellow alumnas on break from class in the cafetería of IES
having a café con leche.  Notice how it is served in a vaso not a taza.

One of my favorite sweet morning treats became the magdalena.  I would often buy them in one of the little tiendas on my way to school and keep them in my purse for snacks.  When I ran across this recipe for magdalenas the other day online, I knew I had to try it!  What I love about this recipe is that it is written by a couple passionate about Spanish foods--he from Spain, and she having lived there for years--and gives cultural tid-bits about this classic Spanish treat.  The ingredients you will need are as follows:

polvo de hornear
POHL-boh day ohr-nay-AHR
baking powder
piel de un limón
pee-EHL day lee-MOHN
zest of one lemon

Go here for the full instructions, and make sure you eat this treat while sipping on a café con leche.  ¡Buen provecho!
Hispanic Heritage Blog Hop - MulticulturalKidBlogs.comWelcome to the Second Annual Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop, hosted this year by Multicultural Kid Blogs and 15 of our member blogs! Hispanic Heritage Month runs from September 15 to October 15 every year, "celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America" (from HispanicHeritageMonth.gov) Be sure to visit all of the participating blogs (listed below) and follow our related Pinterest boards:

Enter to Win

This year to celebrate we are giving away fabulous prizes! You can enter two ways: 1) Link up a post in the linky at the bottom of this post (each post will count as an entry) 2) Make a comment on the main Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop post on the Multicultural Kid Blogs page answering the question, "How do you celebrate your heritage with your children?" Our Prizes Please note that there are shipping restrictions on some prizes. In the event that the winner lives outside of the shipping area, that portion of the prize will be added to the following prize package.

Grand Prize Package

Cricket Magazine - Spanish - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopAnnual subscription (print and digital) to one of the following children's magazines (winner's choice!): Babybug, Ladybug, or Ask en espanol (available at the end of September) or Iguana ($51.90 value). International winners will receive a digital subscription.
Hispanic Heritage Blog HopTwo Spanish activity books with games and exercises to review basic concepts, a card game that teaches wild animals in Spanish and English, two ceramic Day of the Dead skulls, and several small wooden toys.
Daria - Cancioncitas Booklet Cover - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopA Child’s Life In The Andes is a 35 page e-book that brings the culture of this historic region alive through rich photographs, kid-friendly information as well as 3 children’s activities, 8 coloring pages, 2 language pages and a word search that features new vocabulary.
DARIA_Cancioncitas CD Cover - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopCancioncitas De Los Andes/Little Songs Of The Andes from Daria is a digital CD sharing authentic music from the Andes performed on traditional instruments. The CD includes the most famous song from that region; El Condor Pasa, along with 5 other songs from this historic area of the world.
Sofia Spanish - Kids Yoga Stories - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopSofía en una Aventura por la Selva from Kids Yoga Stories: Fly like a toucan, slither like a snake, and flutter like a butterfly as you act out this journey through a Costa Rican jungle. What else might you see? The storybook includes a List of Kids Yoga Poses and a Parent-Teacher Guide.

First Prize Package

Annual subscription (print and digital) to a children's magazine from Cricket. See details above.
Smart Play - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopSmart Play Pad (SRP $ 24.99): Interactive tablet like electronic toy makes early learning fun and exciting for little ones. More than 30 touch sensitive keys teach language and pronunciation skills to help prepare children for school. Bilingual feature helps kids learn in English & Spanish. Lightweight and truly portable for on-the-go learning. Ships to US and Canada only.
Off We Go - Barefoot Books - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopTravel through Mexico with this beautiful picture book from Barefoot Books. Along the way, learn Spanish words and phrases and discover Mexican culture. Ships to the US, Canada, or Europe only.
Tico Tango - Barefoot Books - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopDiscover the animals of the rainforest with The Parrot Tico Tango from Barefoot Books. The rhyming text and brilliant illustrations teach animals and colors. Ships to the US, Canada, or Europe only.
Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopA Spanish-English picture dictionary, a simple workbook in Spanish geared towards 1st graders in Mexico, the classic "lotería" game, plus a couple of small wooden toys, courtesy of Kid World Citizen.

Second Prize Package

Annual subscription (print and digital) to a children's magazine from Cricket. See details above.
Mas Canciones en Espanol - Music with Sara - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog HopMás Canciones en Español from Music with Sara: A wonderful collection of traditional songs from Latin America. Perfect for children learning Spanish.
Belpre Reading Kit - Hispanic Heritage Month Blog Hop - Multiculturalkidblogs.com
Reading kit for one children's biography highlighting Latina librarian, Pura Belpré, courtesy of Latinas for Latino Lit. Includes a copy of The Storyteller's Candle by Lucía González, a 16-page HHM Reading Kit full of book-based activities to promote literacy, with a folder, a pencil and set of colored pencils. Retail value: $15.95 Ships to the US only.

Participating Blogs

Link Up Your Posts

Friday, September 13, 2013

Observations from Spain (September 13, 2006) #HHM

Here is another throwback post from my blogging abroad.  Enjoy!
Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Me trying to look Spanish
in El palacio real

Spanish culture is saturated with a history of royalty and in a sense all Spaniards hold themselves with an air of being part of that rich legacy. Just as well, Spain is a very colorful culture. People dress in vibrant, showy clothing not lacking in any hue. It is completely normal to see women tossing air about with abanicos (hand-painted fans, like the Chinese kind, but Spanish). The heat seems to boil the Spaniards and accentuates their colors. They are not afraid to express themselves--whether it is with clothing, hand motions, hairstyles, or boisterous voices. They take life seriously but as something that really must be lived with great expression and precision. Spaniards like to taste, smell, see, hear, and feel life to the fullest extent--like grapes are squeezed and fermented to get the strongest, fullest flavor--that is how Spaniards live. And I have a feeling that if I stick to it they will be more than willing to add me to their tapestry of color--as long as they know I'm serious about it. None of this standing on the sidelines stuff.

A view of the cathedral next to El palacio real

Inside El palacio real

Frescoes in El palacio real

The "Yellow Room" in El palacio real

Elephants in the Street

I have more to add to my list of observations . . . (am I on 7??)

7. It's been an adjustment living in an apartment. It's very confining feeling not being able to take one step out of the door to the outdoors. My room here is dark like the one at home, but they're into enerygy saving, so I only have one little lamp on my desk. We do have a flourescent light, but you know how I feel about flourescent versus incandescent light! We have a window, but it faces other apartments, where everyone hangs their laundry, so the sunlight is indirect sunlight that filters in from the top of the building. If I really wanted to, I could lean out of my window and hold hands with my neighbor, or ask them for a plate of food. Not a bad idea actually . . . they are always cooking something that smells pretty good.

8. Speaking of energy saving, Spaniards are very concerned about saving water. They actually are in a drought, and the water reserve is down by 40%. So they are serious about not using too much water. I have to turn on the shower to get wet fastly, then shut it off to suds up. Same with brushing teeth, washing hands. Basically, you better not be running water unless it is in a glass to drink it. Yesterday, Odalis and I were exploring the Old Madrid, where the palace is. Somebody was watering flowers on their balcony, but they forgot the hose was on, or poured too much water and it was leaking out of the planters, down three floors and watering the sidewalk. You should have seen what a spectacle it was!! People were coming out on their balconies, peeking their heads out from the shops, stopping on the street, yelling at them to quit wasting water. It was probably the equivalent of an elephant wandering around the streets by itself--that's how much it stirred up the neighborhood.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Picados de España (September 11, 2006) #HHM

One of my first trips to El Rastro,
an open-air market in Madrid.
Last year I resurrected my old blog from my adventures in Spain, and as we are gearing up for Hipanic Heritage Month I thought it would be fun to do again.  HHM celebrates the Hispanic and Latino culture in the United States.  As you read the following entry below, you can get an unedited glimpse of Spain through the eyes of a young college girl from the United States.  It is funny to look back and realize how much I took for granted what an amazing opportunity I had to live in a new country.  If I were to go back, I think I would view things much differently.....  

Monday, September 11, 2006
Picados de España

1. In Spain, nobody tips when they go out, therefore the waiters/waitress don't have to work for a tip, therefore they can be as rude or as pleasant as they like. It's been about 50/50 for me. One day I was eating in a cafe with Odalis my roomate. Odalis ordered, and as I was about to order, the waitress just walked away. Yesterday, we were at a chocolateria, and as I was ordering--like actually speaking, our waitress walked off. Nice huh?

My first of many trips to San Ginés

2. Spainiards don't eat breakfast. A normal breakfast for them is a glass of warm milk. And maybe a piece of toast. I'm starving by eleven o'clock. But at school, we have a break about then--because everyone is starving because they don't eat breakfast!! (to me it makes more sense to eat a heartier breakfast so that you don't have to pay for more food later!)--so for instance today I got a little bocadillo (sandwich) in the cafe at IES. And when I say little, I mean little. It was (cuesta) 80 centavos.  Not too bad. But then I had to eat lunch later! They eat lunch here around 2 or 3pm. That is their biggest meal of the day. Then at night they go bar hopping hanging out with friends relaxing and eating tapas. Tapas are various foods in small portions that go well with vino or cerveza (wine or beer).

3. Spaniards are very formal. They have a very set way of doing things. For instance: in the house, they don't walk around barefoot. They have house shoes and a house outfit. My host mom wears a knit dress as she cleans or watches tv or cooks, etc. My host brother has this pair of plaid shorts (like the ones that are popular in the US now) and a t-shirt. He wears slippers too! Then they get dressed to leave the house--like nicely dressed--slacks, button-up shirt, dress, heels, perfume/cologne, etc. I feel very frumpy around the city! I just don't think I can walk around in heels! Although, the university students, whom you can spot are a little more casual--a mix of punk, emo, preppy--I can't explain it. Kinda of like Urban Outfitters style . . . yeah, that's it! They even have a system for when they go out as a group. One person is selected to collect money from each person, they are called la encargada (the one in charge). Then they pay at the end and re-distribute the money.

4. Madrid is not like cities in the US where kids are rarely to be seen. Neighborhoods are not really distinguished from a downtown area. There are many central spots that have developed for whatever reason (e.g. the Palace is there, the Parque del Retiro is there, or Puerta del Sol for example is the middle of town, etc.). Family seems to be very important here and kids are a large part of what goes on. It is so amazing to hear a little kid speaking better Spanish than me. But there is a very lax feel with the kids; parents do not restrict their kids from running off or playing far away from them even though they are in a busy neighborhood in the city. For example, Odalis and I saw a woman the other day pushing her baby daughter in a stroller. She was a beeeUtiful baby! The woman stepped into a panaderia (bakery) and left the stroller outside--with the baby in it!!! And she was like IN the store. Loco!!!

5. Spainiards stay up late!!! Restaurants don't open until 9pm or so. Street cafes, are always full--tables on the sidewalks have people sitting, eating, drinking, all the time. Odalis and I went for some cafe con leche the other night, and we sat there and talked with tons of people around until 1! We didn't even realize it was so late because, there was still tons of people going here and there. If people are going out, to a discoteca, the don't leave until like 1 or 2 am!! The discotecas usually stay open until 5 or 6 in the morning, when the Metro starts running again. It's hard to keep up with the Spainiards! Especially on their slim diet! I guess they take it slow in the mornings, with less food, then pump it up in the late afternoon until evening to keep going. Somewhat opposite of what I'm used to. For example, the mornings (when I say morning I mean like 9-10 not 7-8 like in the US) are very quiet with not many people around, but the afternoon (2-5) and nights--whew! People everywhere!!

A view of Calle Mayor in Madrid, Spain

6. Not many people are friendly here. They are cordial, yes. But not extremely loving or helpful. I think some are more open to foreigners than others. Some though, have a radar for the stench of new people and won't give you a second thought. If you open your mouth to let out that Spanish with an English accent--well, all I have to say is, enter that area at your own risk.

"Fire, Fire!" said Mrs. McGuire--Bill Martin Jr. Book Review

This month we are participating in the Virtual Book Club for Kids, and the featured author is Bill Martin Jr.  Until this month, I only knew of one book by this author: Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  I remember my teacher reading me that story in first grade.  I fell in love with it then and still love it just as much today.  Discovering all the other Bill Martin Jr. books this month has been just as fun!  Bill Martin Jr. writes his books with rythm as the driving force . . . if you have ever read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom or Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?, you know what I mean.

Reading ConfettiAfter checking out all the books by Bill Martin Jr. available at our library, I found a new favorite: his poetry collection, The Bill Martin Jr Big Book of Poetry.  The foreward by Eric Carle gives an enlightening look into the life of Bill Martin Jr., who did not learn to read until college.  As you read through the beautiful collection of poems, hand-picked by Bill Martin Jr., you can tell that he had a deep connection to, and love for, poetry.  So it was not surprising to learn, that is actually how he learned to read--through poetry!

Our new favorite books of his turned out to be "Fire! Fire!" Said Mrs. McGuire and Barn Dance!  Barn Dance! has wonderfully detailed illustrations of a middle-of-the night escapade had by the farmer's boy.  He joins up with a fiddling scarecrow and all the barn yard animals for a hoe-down.  My two-year-old sat and looked at the illustrations and asked me to re-tell him the story over and over and over.  That is one characteristic of Bill Martin Jr., he always picks the perfect illustrator for each story he writes.

For "Fire! Fire!" Said Mrs. McGuire we decided to do some activities.  This story features a group of funny little mice that spy a fire through the key-hole of a door.  Each mouse says something simple that happens to rhyme with their name, and at the end of the story they discover that the fire they saw is actually . . . well you need to read it for yourself!  After reading the story I saw this awesome idea from JDaniel4's Mom for making a visual discrimination folder, and thought it would be a perfect fit with our story.

I made some little doors with key-holes, and gathered some old magazines, scissors and glue.  

Sifting through the magazines, I looked for scences that would be fun and interesting to look at and cut them to fit inside each "door."  I made sure to do this during rest time so that all the images would be a surprise for my boys.  I also tried to make sure each picture was an actual photograph, thinking that the more realistic the pictures, the better the activity would be for using their brains and sense of sight!

 After I found a good variety of pictures, I glued them all inside a "door."  I was so excited to find this Superman one . . . Jefe loves superheroes right now and I could not wait to see his reaction.

Think he will be able to guess what it is?

Here they are all finished!  I am glad I was able to find a variety of scenes: nature, food, animals, domestic, cultural, and of course, super.

It took me a while to decide how to present the activity.  I decided to print off some text that says, "Veo...Veo..." which means "I see...I see..." and hang it on the refrigerator with all the "doors."  If you do this activity at home you can use phrases like these: 

¿Qué ves? (kay vays) = What do you see?
Veo un... (BAY-oh oohn) = I see a/an... (for masculine nouns)
Veo una... (BAY-oh OOHN-ah) = I see a/an... (for feminine nouns)

For example, here Jefe thought he saw a dog.  I said, ¿Qué ves? and he answered, "A dog!" (Veo un perro.)  As he opened it I asked, ¿Es un perro? (Is it a dog?) and as the picture was revealed I said playfully, ¡No, es un pingüino! (No, it is a penguin!).  

My kids are not forming Spanish sentences on their own yet, so I model them as we play.  

Each time we opened a new door I would excitedly ask, ¿Qué ves? (What do you see?) or ¿Qué ven? (What do you all see?).  Then as we saw the picture I might say something like, ¡Yo veo Superman! (I see Superman!).  

Or "Yo veo un director de orquesta" (I see a conductor).

Yo veo un perro durmiendo en una cama. (I see a dog sleeping on a bed.)

I have to admit the boys really had fun with this activity, but it only lasted a few minutes.  If I were to do it again, I might make a door with a key-hole that is glued to a stick which we could use to cover up any number of illustrations in a book or magazine.  Either way, it was a fun activity and the doors are still hanging on the refrigerator.  Even though they now know what is behind each door, we can still use the images to talk about things like colors, nature, or even Spanish nouns and actions!

Of course, we could not read this story without doing a fire-themed activity as well.  So I taped some red and yellow tissue paper to some white card stock, and hung them on our deck posts outside.  We gathered up all of our bomberos gear and headed out to fight fires!  We yelled "Fire! Fire!" like Mrs. McGuire and "Water! Water!" like Mrs. Votter.  In Spanish it would be "¡fuego, fuego!" and "¡agua, agua!"

I was hoping the water would bleed like in this art project here so we could have a neat piece of "fire" art at the end as well.  However, apparently not all tissue paper bleeds.  Oh well, the boys found other "projects" to do with it, which of course involved dirt and rocks.  

And just like anything we do around here, I looked for new Spanish words we could learn.  Below are some flashcards I made with Spanish words we found in the story.  You can download them for free!  You can also click here for more Spanish vocab about fire fighters.  

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