Trilingual Board Books from Little Pim

Little Pim trilingual board books

I think it is important for kids to get exposure to foreign languages. Becoming bilingual is awesome, but kids benefit from any exposure. I learned French, Spanish, and German through being raised in Guatemala, France, Bolivia, and Austria; I studied Russian in college and taught myself (now incredibly rusty) Serbo-Croatian in grad school. Knowing foreign languages gave me a huge advantage when I was taking the SAT and ACT, and I often appreciate my ability to decipher Cyrillic characters. I believe that having any familiarity with a foreign language makes the world seem more friendly, and learning a foreign language can be a great first step in developing empathy for a culture other than the one we are born into. I had visions of creating a fully bilingual home, but so far we have more of a “we love languages but don’t consistently speak anything other than English” approach. I do my best to surround my kids with resources in other languages, and that is where today’s post about trilingual board books from Little Pim (which we were sent to review) comes in!

Exploring Spanish and French with Little Pim board books

The kids and I have borrowed Little Pim videos from the library and watched them through Amazon Instant Video (affiliate link) for years, but I only recently discovered these English-Spanish-French board books! We were sent four: Numbers, Animals, Colors, and Feelings. Each board book is sturdily made with lift the flaps and sliding images to make the book interactive. All four of my kids think they are fun, but five-year-old Lily and two-year-old Anna like them best – predictably, since they fall well within Little Pim’s 0-6 target age range. I was impressed with all four books, and I hope that Little Pim will release more books for this series!

Introduce kids to Spanish and French with Little Pim board books

Are you interested in exposing your kids to more than one language? Little Pim has generously offered one US-based reader of this blog a $75 gift certificate to their online store!

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Are your children learning a second or third language? Which ones? Do you have any great language learning resources to share? How would you spend this gift certificate if you won? My world culture for kids series is another great way to get kids thinking about the world they live in!

Playful Preschool Learning Ideas for Home or School

Over 25 playful learning activities for preschool aged children

I love hands-on, play-based learning – particularly when it comes to learning activities for preschool-aged children! I was thrilled to contribute to the new Three to Five: Playful Preschool ebook (affiliate link) with several of my favorite bloggers! This ebook is full of wonderful activities you can download and complete with your child using household materials. It’s perfect for homeschoolers, and I’ll be using it with my four-year-old this summer. Actually, my eight-year-old is using it to run play preschool for my four-year-old this summer. It’s a great way to keep both girls learning and playing together, all summer long! This $8.99 ebook, (just like the Zero to Two ebook I contributed to along with several of the same bloggers earlier this year) includes several printables, and all of the activities and printables are original – you won’t find them on our blogs. Here’s a fun preview:

Cathy James of NurtureStore created a list of topics that we then signed up for, so the book covers the full range of topics you would expect a preschooler to learn about – from art ideas to pretend play to math, literacy, and science. My preschooler loves to keep busy, and I was looking for some sort of a playful curriculum we could use to give her summer some structure. This ebook is exactly what I needed – and so beautifully photographed! Here are a few of the art activities:

playful preschool learning ideas - art, math, science, and more!

Science activities:

playful preschool learning ideas - science, art, math, and more!

And Math activities:

Math is fun! Playful ways to introduce your preschooler to mathematics

Plus my favorite of the printables – a  fun city scape!

Pretend play and playful learning ideas for preschool aged children.

Does this look like something your family would enjoy? You can download your copy here:

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What are your favorite activities for 3-5-year-old children? Painting is a big favorite in my house right now – such a delightful sensory art activity!

Toddlers and Preschoolers: Learn by Painting

toddler learning - painting for the first time

This week, 20-month-old Anna painted for the first time. My other kids all started to paint at younger ages, but this past year has been very busy with getting our house ready to sell, selling the house, packing, driving across the country, unpacking (on my own with four kids, since Mike was still in Massachusetts), getting settled, and shuttling kids to different schools. There are many wonderful things that kids can learn by painting, so I am glad that I was finally able to introduce Anna to this delightful art medium! I even got it on video, which starts off shaky until I got smart and pulled out my tripod:

Lessons Learned by Painting

Painting is a wonderful way for kids to explore self-expression, but they learn other lessons as well! During this session, Anna and Lily explored color, texture, storytelling, and probably even composition, on some level!

Painting allows preschoolers to explore color texture and self expression

Four-year-old Lily has done a lot of painting, but this was the first time she really got into color mixing. I really enjoyed seeing her excitement over creating new colors by mixing paint! She especially enjoyed mixing white with colors. Lily liked the muted colors, and it also made for a gentler result when she mixed other colors in.

painting develops fine motor skills and promote attention to detail

I adored watching the careful attention Anna paid to her painting. The final work looked like your typical toddler muddy brown painting, but she worked on it very carefully! She made a beautiful red and orange painting later in the week, when I restricted her palette to those two colors.

preschool learning about colors through painting

Painting is also a great activity to use for bonding with your child. I was doing dinner prep while they painted for this post, but I enjoy sitting and painting alongside them as well – good for me since painting isn’t something I do much, and a wonderfully relaxing activity for everyone! Setting up an afternoon of painting can feel like a lot of work, but it is worth it!

Do you paint with your kids? What benefits do you see?

Denise Fleming Book Activities

Denise Fleming Book Activities

Denise Fleming is April’s author of the month for the Virtual Book Club for Kids, and the kids and I really enjoyed reading several of her books together! Here are three of our favorite Denise Fleming books, with activities to go with them! Links in this post are affiliate links – purchasing anything through these links may earn a small commission for this site. Thank you!

Mama Cat Has Three Kittens features a very spirited kitten who loves to pounce. Four-year-old Lily and One-year-old Anna loved decorating this cat coloring page after reading this book!

Lunch is the very cutely illustrated story of a very hungry mouse. This is a great book to read along with a cooking project! Lily particularly enjoys making pasta, but you can find several kid-friendly recipes on this blog.

Where Once There Was a Wood is a more serious book, with a conservation theme. You can combine this book with a lesson on recycling, or upcycling. We do a lot of cardboard crafting our our house, from fancy light-up space shuttles to this simple cardboard play house and even simpler teeter totter. This is also a great book to read along with this simple gardening activity for little ones, or to go along with a bird feeder craft.

Do you have a favorite Denise Fleming book? Favorite Denise Fleming Book Activities? How about Mem Fox – next month’s author?

VirtualBookClub

The virtual book club is cohosted by Toddler Approved- The Educators’ Spin On It- Rainy Day Mum- 3 Dinosaurs- Learn~Play~ImagineCrafty Moms ShareReading Confetti-Inspiration LaboratoriesMom to 2 Posh Lil DivasKids Yoga StoriesEnchanted Homeschooling Mom- Ready-Set-ReadBoy Mama Teacher MamaPlayDrMomFantastic Fun and LearningGrowing Book by Book- Royal BalooThe Outlaw Mom® BlogKitchen Counter ChroniclesTeach PreschoolMama SmilesCoffe Cups and CrayonsJuggling With KidsHere Come the Girls-

Parenting Resources for Raising Children Aged 0-5

Resources for raising children aged 0-5 from First 5 California

As parents, we want what is best for our children – and sometimes it’s hard to know where to start! There is so much for a baby to learn, and it’s easy to worry about getting everything right. Thankfully, there are a lot of resources available to help parents today – from independent parenting blogs like this one to large organizations like First 5 California, the sponsor of today’s post!

A lot of parents worry about finding the perfect schools for their children. Good schools definitely make a difference, but as your child’s parent you are actually the key person to helping your child develop into a happy, healthy, and caring adult – because learning starts at birth! Children do some of their most important learning at home with parents, and you can help your child learn regardless of how much education or how many resources you had growing up through three easy steps: talking, reading, and singing!

Talk. Read. Sing.

Talking, reading, and singing are the three of the most important things you can do to give your baby, toddler, and preschooler a great start in life! Most parents find some of these activities easier than others, but your child is a very appreciative and uncritical audience! Talk, read, and sing with your child with the goal of enjoying your time with them and they will enjoy this time with you more than any toy or professional entertainment!

Talk.

Even tiny newborn babies love being talked to. And you can talk to them about absolutely anything! I have a delightful video of my dad talking to my daughter Emma when she was only three weeks old about the mathematical symbol pi because he was visiting us on pi day (March 14th). She loved every minute of his funny little talk! Be goofy and melodramatic – it helps your children develop emotional intelligence, while developing their communication skills!

Read.

Books are wonderful ways to bond with your child – and there are so many fun picture books available these days! Public libraries are free to join, and most of them have wonderful collections of board books that you don’t need to worry about your child destroying. Read the words on the page, or make up your own story. Read through the pages in order, flip through at random for a nonsensical story, or stay on a single page and admire the illustrations. Your child will love both versions, and they are learning no matter how you read the book! You can read more here about how I read with my kids.

Sing.

This is the one time in life that all parents get to be rock star singers. You can sing in tune, out of tune, songs that are popular, songs that make no sense. You can scat sing like Ella Fitzgerald. Your baby, toddler, and preschooler will drink it up – and learn at the same time! Drop by my music and parenting post to learn more about how we use music in our home, or go here to find some of our favorite musical activities for toddlers.

Things you can do to help your child have the best future possible

Visit the First 5 California site for all sorts of resources that can help you raise a happy, healthy, intelligent, and well-adjusted child! Their easy-to-navigate site includes simple and fun activities that you and your child can enjoy together, as well as a learning center and health center – all accessible regardless of where you live! A services and support section of the site covers resources that are available for California residents.

What are your favorite ways to spend time with your children? What activities did you most enjoy when they were babies, toddlers, and preschoolers?

This post is sponsored by First 5 California, a parent outreach and education program that supports parents, grandparents, and caregivers so that they can give their children the best future possible. You can find excellent parenting resources on their website, as well as in their Facebook and Twitter feeds.



This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of First 5 California via Burst Media. The opinions and text are all mine.