I work with lots of different families and their children, and am constantly fascinated by the ever-changing needs that is dictated by a child’s age. If it’s not sleep training it’s potty training, then add reading, then solid food – so much is introduced into a little one’s life SO fast it seems overwhelming. Most recently I was caring for a 10 month old infant however, I’ve seen that it’s quite the opposite. The parents of this child, like many, are taking the “strike while the irons hot” approach to linguistics with their young one, and starting early – very early, and I’ve learned that their brains are meant to take in this huge load at this age, and that it’s in fact easiest if done as soon as possible. In short, the younger the child, the cleaner the slate, thus the greater ability to absorb, and more importantly, categorize, multiple languages without confusing one for the other. Check out a few of the tools I’ve seen in different homes to teach babies and children to become bilingual:
Written by Jen Arena with illustrations by Blanca Gomez, this is a fun learning tool that mixes English & Spanish in a really clear, concise, and cute way! It’s fun to read out loud and practice pronunciation, as none of the words are extraordinarily complex for children. A great beginner’s tool that reviews basic animals, family members, numbers and more!
Click here to purchase from Amazon
This app is easily downloaded onto your devices and available (for free!) in 13 different languages!
More languages are available for $1.99. Kids will love it as it melds education with technology,
and we like that they use real life photos instead of illustrations.
Have the nanny download the app on a couple devices for car rides or extensive travel!
Download the app here
A classic never dies! Collections of maps teach kids about different parts of the world. Have some geographic placemats around that the nanny can easily grab during meal times – that will spark conversation (for older kids of course) about different countries, cultures, and languages around the world. You can even coordinate the cuisine with the placemats if you’re feeling extra ambitious!