About La Mother Tongue

La Mother Tongue is my medium to share the joys and challenges of being a new parent as well as to share how we make a conscious effort in our daily life to bring baby up bilingual.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Agua Song

Papi made Sofía a small escenario in the basement so that she can do her song and dance shows!
Before we even finished it, Sofía had her first recorded performance!
We constantly are telling her how important it is for her to drink water and her is the result of such cantaleta!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Sorting Fun

Preschoolers and toddlers abound love to sort and Sofía is no exception! She is particularly fond of tiny little objects that one wouldn’t normally give a toddler! So together we made her a sorting box that she can take out whenever she wants to. Although the sorting box really need adult supervision, It does provides hours of educational entertainment and allows me a chance to make la cena too because she sits at the table or the island while I prepare.

Our sorting box has a spoon and science tongs for moving the little objects.  Then we have tiny containers filled with squinkies, floral stones, marbles, tabas (jacks), miniature erasures, pom poms,  little round magnents, and acrylic jewels.  We also have a few empty containers, including wide mouth travel bottles, for Sofía to move the objects from one to the other. 

Sofía likes to add her own containers too and to change them up.  The day we took the fotos, she used her toy cooking bowls and pots and pans!  I noticed that she becomes very creative when I give her tools to play with and no directions.  The great things about this activity is that it is not just fun, it is laden with scientific exploration and fine motor-skill development activities. Try it out with your tots and let me know how she or he plays with them!   

Friday, November 16, 2012

Crayon Scraping Fun on SpanglishBaby

Do you remember doing melted crayon shavings when you were young?  Here are some fun ideas to use melted crayon shavings with your niños!  Read our article,Colorful Fall Art and Science Activity, on SpanglishBaby!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Fall Art Proyecto

 Sofía and I love to mix mediums in our art proyectos.  Here is her final product. 
 First we went out and found leaves, sticks, pine cones, and other treasures from Mother Nature.
Inside, Sofía mixed paint colors ALL BY HERSELF and came up with colors that she spied outside in “fall”.  The last step was to put them all together!  Simple Fall Fun!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Studying about el Espacio

In Octubre we studied about Space since Sofía was going to be an astronauta for Halloween. Not only did we do actividades and art projects about Space, we went to the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum twice.  The first time was to see the rockets, flying machines, and astronauta suits.  Sofía SQUEELED with joy when she saw all the gigantic rockets!  She loved it!

The second time we returned specifically to watch a Sesame Street movie One World, One Sky, about Space in the planetarium.  This movie was espectacular and if you have a chance to visit on a Friday morning, this is a must see for youngsters.  The presentation in the planetarium was amazing and really it is hard to go wrong with Elmo and Big Bird.
There are also many hands-on actividades for niños to experience which of course have to do with space, flying, physics and science.  Although Sofía couldn’t really understand and grasp the entire concepts of what she was playing with…it didn’t matter.  It was fun!

The Smithsonian also offers a few items in the gift shop targeted specifically at girls. 
Hello Kitty just put the icing on the cake for Sofía to like Space study.

And really, Barbie is looking rather cool in her NASA uniform! 
All this Space exploration inspired Sofía to create a Baile de Astronauta!

But the best part of all our Space exploration was yesterday at desayuno.  Sofía looked at me and asked, “Mami, ¿cúando voy a poder viajar al espacio?”(When am I going to be able to travel to outer space?”

Monday, November 12, 2012

Gracias a los Veteranos!

When I was teaching, we used to do a Veteran's Day project (claro in Español) with my students.  They brought in fotos of their family members who are/were in the military...Arlington is full of them of course!   The projects lined the halls and on Election days, the voters especially enjoyed reading them! It was a nice way to say Gracias and simple way to honor them!   The students were so proud to share their work too and it was a fantastic way to teach some important cognates!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

My Reason for Voting Today

It wasn’t that I didn’t want a certain candidate to win in previous Presidential elections, it is that I never cared as much as I do now.  Especially now.  Today.  I admit, that in the past, I have taken my privilege to vote for granted, but I have been preparing for weeks now to make sure that I make it to the polls today to cast my vote.  I couldn’t sleep last night because of the excitement of being one of the first to vote as the doors open in a battleground state.  I woke up at 4:00 am this morning in anticipation to vote for President and there is only one tiny three-year-old reason why.  What is your reason for voting today?

Monday, November 5, 2012

Princesa Sofía

Here you go Disney and all you other doubters out there…..Latina comes in all colors, shapes, and sizes!  Here is my very own Princesa Sofía!
If you want to see what inspired this post…visit the SpanglishBaby post, Let’s Show What a #LatinaPrincess Really Looks Like.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Bite-Sized Carmel Apples with Arequipe!

This deli little mordisco is something I associate with typically being a Fall treat, especially Octubre and although anteayer was the last day of the month, this beauty is too good to not enjoy in Noviembre too!

 Use a melon-baller to scoop out little tart apple balls from Granny Smith apples.

Soak the balls in 7-Up to prevent browning.

Poke candy sticks in the balls and allow the juice to flow out before immersing in the Arequipe.

Bueno…..Arequipe is a wee bit costoso here, so I settled for Nestle’s Dulce de Leche.
Heat the arequipe and stir until smooth and flowing.

Generously dip the apples; spin and swirl until covered completely.  Ideally one would have something to cool the apple sticks upright.  I didn’t, so I used small plastic shot glasses.  That way if the arequipe dripped off, it had somewhere to collect and the person eating has some extra to scoop out!
Immediately cool in refrigerator until set.
¡Buen Provecho!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

El Dia de los Muertos

Today is El Día de los Muertos.  If you don’t know about the festivities, there are tons of resources out there to give you a plethora of information.  But in short, it is a holiday where one honors someone who has passed away by celebrating his or her life.  Usually the person is a family member, but does not have to be.  There are so many traditions connected with this simple idea.  One tradición that is usually done is to create an ofrenda or a display to honor the person.  I used to teach my students all about El Día de los Muertos and we used to put on a huge ordeal.  Students made their own ofrendas and added their own cultural twists to them also.  El Día de los Muertos is celebrated in many (not all) Spanish-Speaking countries, especially México, but it is also celebrated in many other countries as well.  Some of those countries celebrate it on the same day and others have it at different times of the year.  Some of those countries include Korea and China.

So even though I’m not teaching at a school anymore, I still like to create my ofrenda every year.  I think that it is a super linda tradición and I want Sofía to hear all the stories of my Oma as I put it all together.  This year I couldn’t create an ofrenda for my Oma because we have two gatitos who are into EVERYTHING and I didn’t want it to be destroyed.  Luckily I have a really good foto of the ofrenda so that I can still easily tell the stories to Sofía!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sofía’s Halloween Disfraces from 2009 to Presente

Look at how my Gatita has changed over three años!
Tigger 2009 
 Jirafa 2010
Campanita 2011 
Princesa and Astronauta 2012
Yes….Sofía had two disfraces this Día de las Brujas!  The Princesa disfraz was for our inside festivities.  The Astronauta was for Trick-or-Treating outside in the cold!   We didn’t want this to happen again this year!
Papi dressed up as Pelé.  (I can’t even write this with a straight face!)  But Sofía does know who Pelé is because he wrote a super chévere book!
¡Feliz Día de las Brujas!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Disecando Las Calabazas

Our end result is tres different decorated calabazas.  For Señor Calabaza, we used a drill and THAT was super fun!  For the felt sticker Calabaza, Sofía got to do it ALL BY HERSELF and so of course, that was a whole new kind of entertainment.  So when it came to actually carve the last calabaza, Sofía wasn’t too interested until she saw what was inside the calabaza. 

Sofía helped her Papi scrape out the insides and use pinzas to remove all the innards.

The seeds MUST be stirred once in a bowl!
  Wow… “¡Mira Mami!”  The pinzas double as a musical instrumento!

Papi shows Sofía how to draw the face before cutting it out.  “¡Hey!  Papi, ese no es cara de princesa!”  He tried to explain why it wasn’t.

She didn't like his answer, so she drew her own cara de princesa on the back!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Halloween Playdate and Parade in the Barrio

The first play date we ever hosted was Sofía’s first Octubre. We are lucky that our barrio has a group of girls all born in 2009 and they are amigas and we try to get together often. The next Octubre, we added costumes to our play date and we have tried to make it be an annual event since then. This year at the Halloween Playdate, Sofía dressed as a Princesa (her newest obsession!)
Sofía dressed as Tigger on her first Halloween.

This year we decided to add a Toddler Halloween Parade to our barrio play date.  We decorated our wagon for the event and let the neighbors know we would be out making noise with instrumentos musicales.

The parade was a big hit!  It was nice for the niños to cruise around the barrio in NICE weather (No Huracán Sandy in sight!) and in daylight!  The parade will definitely be an annual event!
And I almost forgot!  One of our neighbors brought a paper crown-making kit for the adults to wear since we are all Royalty!  That was a super idea that certainly needs to be repeated next year too!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Juegos y Premios en la Feria


We went to the Fairfax Feria (I don’t know its real name!) But the definite highlight was playing the carnaval/Feria juegos!  (Notice I didn’t mention WHOSE highlight it was!)

 Sofía used a huge martillo and won a premio!  She was allowed to pick out the prize ALL BY HERSELF!
This gigantic Crayola rosada is increíble! (And can double as a horse when needed!)

Saturday, October 27, 2012

The Pumpkin Granja

October is almost over and we have posted nada about one of our favorito holidays, Halloween!
Early in the month, we make our yearly trek to the Pumpkin farm to enjoy Fall actividades and choose our calabazas!

The park added a new Cow-Train ride.

Sofía visited with old amigos!
And we couldn’t miss an opportunity to go down the slides with Papi—Sofía LOVES to do this with her Papi!  (I think she could ride alone, but it is much more fun with dos!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Mezclando Colores y Agua

Does your Tot like to mix things?  I mean just about ANYTHING?  Well mine certainly does! 
I gave Sofía some empty take out containers, mixing bowls, squeeze bottles and plastic spoons.  All this to be paired with some water color and water.
Literally for about 50 segundos we talked about watching the drops of water mix around in plain water.  And then basically she wanted me out of her way.  She wanted to do all the mixing and swishing and coloring that she wanted to do at her own pace.  I of course had to participate and LIKE whatever she conjured up!
What was nice about this is that we kept recycling water and paint.  When Sofía mixed up all her clear water and used all her paint, we just refilled the squeeze bottles with her new concoctions.  This lasted for 3 days of play and dreary gooky beautiful colores!

It can be messy a little bit of a pain to clean and organize…..but educational benefits of free messy play certainly outweigh my minor annoyance about cleaning!  And the PURE JOY that Sofía gets out of this activity is topped by few others!