Most of you already know that we are a bi-cultural family and I myself am bilingual. As such, my husband and I decided that we would make an effort to raise our children bilingually so they could learn both English and Spanish. So far, our daughter is doing a great job of acquiring both languages and most important of all, actually showing an interest in Spanish, which is the minority language.
It helps that my parents are a big part of her life, since they both speak Spanish more often than I do. Because I speak English to my husband, spoke English in the workplace, and speak English for 95% of each day, it gets a little difficult sometimes for me to “switch” my brain and speak Spanish to my daughter. I have to remind myself. So, any little help I can get is useful in not just exposing her to Spanish, but also reminding me to do so. Which is why I love bilingual books, TV programs, and other toys.
When I was contacted by Smart Play about their new bilingual toy line, Ingenio, I was highly interested in reviewing their products. As the email I received said, “there are very few affordable toys/games available for parents who want their children to be bilingual.” In my experience when shopping for baby girl, this has been true. Their products fill this need since 8 out of the 10 products they have so far cost less than $12.99. All ten products are designed for children 3-8 years old, which is perfect for my baby girl.
We received the Animal Learning Puzzle and the Spellable Puzzle Card Game. I was looking forward to playing the Spellable game with baby girl because it allows you to spell 3 letter words in English and Spanish. I thought this would be a great way to step up her learning and go beyond just the alphabet and on to forming words and promoting word recognition. Like any preschooler, she was super excited at the beginning, but after about 10 words or so, her focus began to fade. Since I don’t want to be a drill sergeant and “force” learning on her, but rather have it be a natural part of her playing and surroundings, I followed her cue and put away the game for another time.
But, just in that short period of time, I saw a few things that I liked about this product:
- Each letter is color coded; consonants are green & vowels are purple. I like this because you can add variety to the game by sorting the letters. Now she’s not just working on phonics, but also classifying items.
- Every letter card has a picture on the back that doubles for a word in English AND Spanish. So, you have pictures of juice/jugo for J and lamp/lampara for L, etc. Even the hard letters like Q work; Q has a quesadilla on the back.
- The spelling cards are also color coded; blue for English and red for Spanish. This helped my daughter know which language to use when trying to spell the word.
The animal puzzle was also fun to play with and has the name of each animal printed in both English and Spanish. It also displays the words for the surroundings in both languages. For example, tree/árbol and mountain/montaña. It’s a very cute puzzle and my daughter enjoyed teaching her dad the names of the animals in Spanish when they later put it together without me.
How to Enter
- If you’d like to enter this contest, simply leave a comment below and let me know if you already promote a bilingual home or why you would like to expose your child to another language.
- For an extra entry, you can tweet about this contest with a link back to this post and include @modernmami in your tweet. You must leave a separate comment with a link to your tweet for your entry to count.
All entries must be in by Sunday, November 22nd at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be notified via email. (Please be sure to provide a valid email address with your entry.)