Learning

Teaching kids a Language

By on April 4, 2012

IMG_0027I love learning new languages. Should I have been younger I would have learned all the languages that I possibly could. 😀 I don’t think it’s too late to learn but my brain is not like a kid’s anymore. Theirs are like sponge, you dip it in the water and it will absorb as much as it can.

This is why I train my kids to learn some of the languages I know as early as now. Kids learn differently so do adults, there are those who can easily adapt a language by hearing, there are those who can easily grasp words when associated with colors while there are those who needs spelling out words for them.

As early as a child can speak, train them in hearing different languages whether by repeating words, phrases and sentences in languages you know. For example I tell them what their favorite color is  in German, Spanish, Filipino and Japanese. For red, that’s rot, rojo, pula and aka. For blue, that’s blau, azul, asul and ao. (And yes, with the help of lego blocks.)

Watching TV shows and movies in a different language helps too. Maybe you’re familiar with Dora the Explorer and Ni Hao Kai-Lan, such shows are both helpful and fun. Dora teaches Spanish with the help of a pet monkey, Boots, her Backpack, a map and cousin Diego and an unlikely fox villain called Swiper. Kai-Lan on the other hand teaches its viewers Mandarin Chinese. She is joined by her grandfather, Ye ye, which is Mandarin for paternal grandfather; Rintoo, a Tiger, Tolee, Koala; Hoho, a monkey and Lulu, a rhino, Mr.Sun and the ants. Both shows also teach cultural value and respect to the elderly which is another reason that I, as a mom, enjoy watching. They’ve adapted both shows here but in German and English to help kids familiarize themselves with English. Sadly, it has lost the charm much like an anime dubbed in English. ^_^

There are also playgroups for kids that offer language learning. You can always search online for such playgroups. In most cases, kids that are in such playgroups may be born from parents with one or both foreigners too so it’s good to take that chance to let the kids experience an environment of diversity.

Teaching kids a different language also interest them to know more about a particular country the language is spoken. It’s subconsciously instilling in them the passion to know more about culture, history and geography. They also become more sociable in the process because if they meet someone who can speak the language they know, the first barrier in socializing is already eliminated. With such, kids learn that though people or other kids are different, through language they understand that this difference can be embraced and appreciated.

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Learning

Features of Children’s Easels

By on January 2, 2012

Parents, teachers and others who care for children often seek ways to encourage creativity in their little ones. Children’s easels can inspire them to draw, paint and let their imaginations soar. When shopping for children’s easels, there are several features from which to choose.

For instance, some artist easels have large rolls of paper that hang above the top. Kids can draw, paint, write or scribble to their hearts’ content. When their masterpiece is complete, Mom or Dad can simply snip or tear the paper above the artwork and then pull down enough clean paper for them to start again. Other easels use large pads of paper that clip to the stands. After a child has finished sketching or doodling, he can tear off the page and access a fresh one with ease. Still other children’s easels use a single sheet of paper at a time that connects to the top of the frame. This prevents paint or markers from seeping through and marring other pages.

If you hate the idea of having to purchase and throw away paper again and again, there are other types of children’s easels that you might prefer. For instance, you might opt for a chalkboard on a tripod. Provide your little ones with a variety of colored chalk and an eraser for hours of unlimited creativity.

Likewise, dry erase easels are available as well. Kids can draw, practice writing and play games such as hangman. When they are done, they can wipe off their work and start anew with very little effort. These easels do have a couple of drawbacks, though. Young children might not be ready to use dry erase markers, which can stain clothing, furniture and walls. In addition, if a child accidentally uses the wrong type of marker, the easel may be ruined as well.

Since there are many features available, selecting the best children’s easels can be tough. One way to go is to choose a double-sided children’s easel. Not only will these allow two kids to draw or color at one time, but they provide different features as well. For instance, one side might be a chalkboard and the other a whiteboard, allowing little ones to sketch with chalk while an older sibling doodles using dry erase markers. Some easels are magnetic on one or both sides, offering three features in one.

flickr.com/photos/beatrix_honey

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