Summer is upon us, and I am home with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. I was REALLY struggling with with how to get my children (and me, quite frankly) motivated to learn this summer instead of begging for screen time and snacks. We are learning to read in Spanish, but I really wanted to find more GAMES that we could do, outside or inside, that would support our learning and be fun!
So when the publisher provided me a copy of “100 Fun and Easy Learning Games For Kids” (affiliate) by former teachers Amanda Boyarishinov and Kim Vij from The Educator’s Spin On It, I was super excited about the possibilities to reignite our learning at home. I wasn’t sure how the activities in the book would dovetail with our overall goal here at Casa Pura Vida of Speaking Spanish using the Minority Language at Home (ML@H) strategy. But can I just say…
Um. This is the most amazing kid’s learning book, and I’ve already told anyone and everyone who will listen just how much I love it! I’ll give you three reasons why, an overview of how we use it in Spanish – and a preview of one of my favorite games in the book!
Let’s start with the reasons that I LOVE the book and am head over heels excited about it!
- I’m a former teacher – 15 years in the classroom – and I love to teach with clear goals and outcomes. In my research thus far about early childhood education, it’s been hard for me to discern what the actual outcomes of learning for children ages 0-3 are. Not that I want to create a completely academic environment for them, just that I want to know, in simple terms, what they need. This book, on page 9, has a list of “50 things kids learn in an early-childhood education environment.” BOOM! And, it tells you how to create a fun and beautiful learning environment that is organized and emphasizes early literacy!
- The games in the book are EASY to implement. Each page outlines the targeted skill, the materials, directions, and outcomes. I have been able to implement the activities with things that I a.) Have at home or b.) Can get at the dollar store. For a family on a small budget, this is a must. Plus, I don’t have to prep ANYTHING to do the activity. Big Sister can choose her page, and we do the activity immediately. There are even recommendations about how to prep for the activities with your child! Awesome.
- The book is BEAUTIFUL. I am inspired by beauty, and this book is aesthetically interesting and eye-catching. The color palette is so inspiring, the photos are incredible, and there is a diversity of kids shown throughout the pages. Way to go ladies – the time and effort you put into creating a great product has definitely paid off!
Ok, so let’s talk bilingual parenting and how this book dovetails. We are learning to identify letters and the sounds they make in Spanish, and this book has at least 25 activities to support this early childhood learning pre-reading strategy. To do the games in Spanish, I first just read the instructions and outcomes to myself in English, but I do the activity in Spanish with the girls. They love it, and we are using LOTS of Spanish! Our favorite game thus far is Zip Line Letters and you can find the instructions for it here from our friends at Stir The Wonder. Check it out and happy learning!
The list price for the book is 21.99, but with my Amazon affiliate link you can purchase it for $14.22… and it’s Prime eligible! What are you waiting for??
Finally… don’t forget to connect with Kim and Amanda here for more great content: