Bilingual Parenting Life

Bilingual Toddlers Are Mental Jugglers

bilingual-collageDuring my pregnancy, my husband and I agreed that we would speak two languages to our little one. Naturally this was a given as we both already spoke Spanish and English at home. But fast forward to my now 2-year-olds vocabulary and let me just say that it has been such a challenge for us to teach her both. The hubby and I noticed that we tend to communicate better with each other in English and therefore speak more English than Spanish at home. Not sure how this happened but we caught it and are trying to get back on track.

Sure – we want our daughter to speak, read and write in both languages. But it’s definitely easier said than done! I mean it’s hard enough to teach our 2 year old daughter English let alone a second language. Please tell me we are not the only ones experiencing this?!  But never the less, we both agreed that two languages would help our daughter with her brain development and also become a good multitasker. This isn’t just our theory though. Apparently, this was confirmed in a study made by Pennsylvania State University. This study mentions that having the ability to easily switch between different structures, also known as “Mental Juggling,” allows bilinguals to be good multitaskers. Wow – who knew we are teaching our daughter to become a mental juggler?!

It’s definitely a challenge for us but it’s an important one to take on. So for now we will continue to push forward on a daily basis and speak both languages. I’ve come to find a few solutions on how to teach Mia both Spanish and English over these past few months. Hope some of these work for you!

 

  • Bi-lingual books: Having the option of switching from one language to another seems to be an effective way to continue teaching both languages in our home.
  • Bi-lingual flash cards: I like mixing up the English and Spanish flash cards so that Mia can figure out in her mind what the object is in either language.
  • Spanish kid movies/ TV shows: If we’ve caught ourselves talking more in English we’ll have our little one watch for example Finding Nemo in Spanish. She loves singing Dory’s part “Nadaremos, Nadaremos En El Mar.” Whoever invented Language options on DVDs is a genius! There are also TV shows such as Plaza Sesamo, Dora La Exploradora or even Sesame Street that teach them both languages. These TV shows are always in our DVR.
  • Word of the day: Pick a word of the day and print out a picture of it for Mia to color. Repeat the word in English and Spanish while she colors it as well as mention it throughout the day. Note: The internet is full of free spanish coloring pages. Here’s a link to a simple one we’ve used. Alphabet Coloring Pages by Mrprintables.com
  • Youtube Spanish/ English Videos: I like having Mia watch educational kid songs in both languages. Youtube has a great selection from teaching them colors and numbers to rhymes and riddles.
  • Visit Family/friends: We are fortunate that both of our immediate families/close friends speak both languages and are driving distance from us. Having them speak both languages to our little one helps contribute to her “mental juggling” skills.

By the way, Mia’s first word at 9 months was agua (water) followed by the word fan so we must be doing something right, right? Ok – I’m trying to give ourselves some credit here (insert burst of laughter).

Cheers to brain development!

    5 COMMENTS

  • Miles Moyers February 25, 2014 Reply

    Hi Gladys, great post.

    I’d be interested in knowing about Mia’s progress since my boy is at 14 weeks and I am working on teaching him English and Spanish.

    Keep up the writings

    • themotheroverload February 25, 2014 Reply

      Hi Miles! Great to hear from you. It’s definitely a work in progress as her vocabulary keeps growing on a daily basis but we’re excited that Mia is now able to switch from one language to another rather quickly. Give sweet little Ethan Timothy a big kiss from us.

  • Ale February 25, 2014 Reply

    It takes time to see the progress but it’s the perfect time to start when they r little cause they absorb everything like a sponge. Both of my kids r bilingual but my oldest(8) is the that one that I can say understands better and reads in Spanish as well. It’s not easy to raise great smart and successful kids it takes lots of discipline and determination and glad to hear nowadays more parents are focusing on their kids by dedicating time to their child development… Great job Gladys 😉

    • themotheroverload February 25, 2014 Reply

      Thanks so much for taking the time to reply Ale. It’s so challenging but important for us to stay on top of this. Saludos! XO

  • Lourdes February 26, 2014 Reply

    You are so right I remember how exited and proud I was when I heard my grandoughter first word agua

what do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Invest in your kids. Remember that they are the future. 👏😉
.
.
Mia just completed her Code-a-Bot summer camp at the University of CA Irvine! And guess what? She can’t stop taking about what an awesome time she had working on her Bot, the staff (especially Kevin aka Kermit) and how she made new friends. Check out our stories to see all the fun from her last day. .
.
If you’re interested, iD Tech is #1 in STEM education. The camp is for ages 7-19 and features popular courses, like video game development, Code-a-Bot and Artificial Intelligence. At over 150 prestigious universities (including Stanford and NYU).
AD @idtech #idtech #Summercamp #summercampforkids #kidactivities #codingisfun #idtech #summer
  • #ad Daddy daughter dates are the cutest. Am I right? .
.
I was able to hang out with these two cuties before they headed to the park. My husband wanted to stop by to grab a quick bite to eat at @Subway first because word on the street, they have 4 new delicious paninis in the San Diego area!
.
.
1️⃣ La Jolla Club: Premium sliced chicken, bacon, provolone fresco, tomato,fresh avocado, spinach, pepper and mayo on artisan ciabatta
2️⃣ Chicken Pesto: Premium sliced chicken, tomato, fresh mozzarella, spinach and basil pesto on artisan ciabatta
3️⃣ Neapolitan: Premium sliced chicken, pepperoni, provolone fresco, roasted red pepper spread and parmesan on artisan ciabatta
4️⃣ Caprese: Fresh mozzarella, tomato, spinach, basil pesto and parmesan on artisan ciabatta .
.
Find out which paninis were their favorite on our stories. And be sure to check your closest Subway for availability. Get them before they're gone! http://bit.ly/2M2cGG6 
#GetGrilledSanDiego #subwaypartner
  • 🔆GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED🔆
If you’re in Southern CA and looking for more things to do with your little ones we have you covered!!! We’re giving away a family 6-pack to @pretendcity Children’s Museum!! 🤩 This place has has so many interactive exhibits including a pretend Trader Joe’s super market, bank, police station, farm, restaurant, library, art studio, post office, gas station, fire station, construction site, and more! .
TO ENTER:
1️⃣ Follow @themotheroverload @pretendcity
2️⃣ Like this photo & spread the love to your mama friends that could use this too! Giveaway ends Thursday 7/18.
.
🚀 Plus, next week @pretendcity is having Space Week which is going to be OUT OF THIS WORLD! 🌍 View the website for full itinerary. #pretendcity #playislearning
  • It’s no surprise I’m a huge Las Vegas fan—and with good reason. Where else can you go watch a concert, gamble, rent a pool party cabana, eat at a five star restaurant at midnight, dance the night away plus get room service at any given time? .
These are just a few reasons why I continue to come back. And since I’m a December baby and love Vegas, pools and summer weather, I thought it would be fitting to celebrate a 1/2 birthday in Sin City right before I hit the big 4-0 (gulp!). .
.
Up on the blog today, top 5 reasons why you should book your next trip to Las Vegas and celebrate yours too! Link in profile. AD @caesarspalace #LikeACaesar #lasvegas #caesarspalace #birthday
  • 🦁Hakuna Matata!🦁Have you checked out the The Lion King AP Corner by Silly Symphony Swings at Disney California Adventure? We went last week as they're distributing a Lion King magnet and pin at this location. Plus, they have a cute prop for photos and a new souvenir sipper that is available exclusively for Passholders. It's open daily now through September 2, 2019. Peep our stories to see this corner. And don't forget to check out the NEW Tale of Lion King which also runs through September 2, 2019. #lionking  #thelionking #taleofthelionking #happiestplaceonearth #disneyland #annualpassholders
  • 💦Are you team pool or team beach? 🏖 ¿ Eres equipo alberca (piscina) o equipo playa? .
.
I definitely love both but not a fan of bringing the beach sand home. 😆 We loved staying at @omnilacosta in Carlsbad, CA as they have a sandy beach family pool. It’s truly the best of both worlds. 🙌😉 #ad #omnilacosta #sandiego #familytravel
  • #ad  Where do your kids do their school and art work? For us, it's definitely the kitchen. So it made sense to create a workstation that stores our kiddos art, crafts and school materials in our kitchen island. The best part? It's easy for them to pull things out of the cabinet and place them on top of the counter as well as put everything back away. Plus, I'm also loving how @Clorox Disinfecting Wipes help me to clean, disinfect and refresh this workspace.
.
.
Speaking of school and workstations, are you ready for back-to-school? Now ‪until September 14‬, you have a chance to win your own Ultimate Clean Space Makeover at home!  All you have to do is share where your kids work and play outside of the classroom. Head to the link in our bio to enter. #backtoschool
  • Summer vibes! ✌️
.
.
Mia our 7 yr old has been at summer camp at a university campus. And truth be told this is not how Lexi and I have been spending our time. I was a hot mess Monday and Lexi has been crying every morning.🙈 We know she’s having a blast in her robotics/ stem classes and making friends. So for now, I’m going to try my best to spend some quality time with my youngest. ☺️ Are you’re kids in summer camp? Were you also stressed out about leaving them? 😆 #summercamp #momlife #summer #momofgirls #summertime #summermemories #wearthesuit