It is often said that kids soak up languages like sponges, and for a good reason. According to Paul Kropp, from four to nine years of age, children learn to recognize around 3,000 words, learn around 100 phonetic rules, and can read at a speed of up to 100 words per minute. The child expert at monederosmart agrees, saying that books, as well as other educational toys, are a great way for maximizing this critical period for language learning. Here are just a few books to help your kids get a handle on their first words in Spanish.
First 100 Words by Roger Priddy
Aimers at babies up to three years old, this bilingual book is an ideal tool for building your little learner’s vocabulary in both English and Spanish. It comes with over 100 colorful photographs of toys, pets and food that children will be able to recognize from their daily life. Each picture features a bold label in both languages to make it easy to assimilate. This sturdy book is made from board and features a padded cover.
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
An absolute classic that many of us remember from our childhoods, the Cat in the Hat is a perfect read for kids between three and seven years of age. This version of the book about the outlandish cat comes in both English and Spanish, so you can introduce your little one to the world of Dr. Seuss in both languages.
Lil’ Loteria: A Lil’ Libros Bilingual Bingo Game by Patty Rodriguez
More of a game than a book, Lil’ Loteria is a great tool for developing the vocabulary of kids over three in both English and Spanish, as well as their matching and memory skills. After all, board games, card games and puzzles are well-known for increasing children’s cognitive skills. Inspired by bingo, this little book turns the popular game into a bilingual learning game. The first child to complete their game board wins—after they shout LOTERIA, that is. The game comes with 36 cards, and six boards for two to six players.
Before You Were Here, Mi Amor by Samantha R. Vamos
In this charming book a mum-to-be describes the family’s anticipation while they await the arrival of her baby. The author uses a blend of English and Spanish to write about emotions, as well as shapes, animals, colors and objects. The accompanying illustrations depict the excitement of a Latino family, as they prepare for the birth. This book comes with a glossary.
The Moon is La Luna: Silly Rhymes in English and Spanish by Jay M. Harris
A simple way of introducing your kids to new vocabulary, this book uses rhyme to help them remember words in both Spanish and English. After reading the book, your little ones should be able to easily recognize around 50 Spanish words, such as rio and pelo, as well as differences between words such as papá and papa.
First Thousand Words in Spanish by Heather Amery
Updated in 2014, this classic English and Spanish word book features large illustrations of busy situations surrounded by smaller pictures with labels naming everyday objects, animals and buildings that appear in the main picture. The benefit of this is that your kids can see the words both in and out of context. Whether it actually outlines 1000 words or not, the book features an alphabetical word list and a pronunciation guide.
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