Those who follow my Instagram feed many have spotted that the children and I have, in recent weeks, been learning Spanish. I work on the basis of exposing the children to as much as possible and let them see what they might enjoy. We do lots of various things, and at the moment, the highlight of the week in our Friday morning Spanish group. Both the children and I really enjoy the group and the rate we are going Mr H is likely to have a Spanish word as his first word!
The group is very play based and is run by a mum in the area and we are currently working through a short course. I have been amazed at how quickly both Mr D and Miss E have picked up the bits we have learnt, and how enthusiastic they are. It is not a lie to say that they will both only count in Spanish and say their colours in Spanish. Most activities we do at home are now followed with, ‘and mummy, how do we say that in Spanish?’
I was thrilled when b small publishing sent me some of their Spanish language books to use with the children. We were sent five books to look at (affiliate links below):
- Spanish-English (Picture Dictionary Series)
- My Spanish Sticker Atlas
- My Spanish Sticker Dictionary
- Hide and speak Spanish
- Bear’s First Spanish Words
By far the children’s favourite book is bear’s first Spanish words. This is a lovely hardback book that is split into sections such as Los animales (animals), La familia (family) etc and sees the b small bear illustrated in a range of scenarios. What I like about this is that as well as the English and Spanish words it also includes the pronunciation, so when the children present me with the book I can quickly attempt the pronunciation with a reasonable degree of accuracy. They both love sitting leafing through the book to say the words and phrase they already know. A similar style book is theSpanish-English (Picture Dictionary Series) which is small enough to pop into the changing bag as I have found myself sat at the park with the children asking how to say certain phrases in Spanish, this would be a great book to accompany a holiday to Spain with young children to help them problem solve a little as they conversed. I managed to capture a short video of the children using this book which I’ve shared below.
The illustrations in this book are bright and clear and like the Bear book it is split into sections for ease of reference as well as including a phonetic pronunciation guide too.
The My Spanish Sticker Atlas and My Spanish Sticker Dictionary books are great for slightly older learners who are able to independently read the text – there are a range of stickers to place into the books matching the English to the Spanish.
The spot where the sticker goes is marked in English and the sticker itself is marked up in Spanish (along with a pronunciation guide). I haven’t used these yet with the children as at the moment Mr D is beginning to show some interest in learning to read and I don’t want to confused his understanding of written English if I introduce written Spanish too! That said there is a lot in these books, particularly the atlas one which also includes stacks on information about the various countries too.
The sticker books are bright and engaging and I look forward to really getting stuck into these with the children in due course.
Finally, the Hide and speak Spanish book is a real gem, and a bargain at just £5.99. There are 15 key themes in this book and each theme contains nine key words, along with picture prompts. Like the other books there is a great pronunciation guide to assist learning as well as a range of bright illustrations. You use the two flaps provided at the back of the book to either cover up the illustration, or the wording. If you cover the illustrations then you read the Spanish and translate to English. Cover the Spanish and say the Spanish from the illustration. This has been good fun to use with the children, especially the animals section.
We have really been enjoying our Spanish and I’m going to be using these books more and more. We are doing an ‘all about me’ topic in the new year so we will be sure to to be using these books to learn the Spanish for various body parts too.
I am thrilled that the team at b small publishing have provided a bundle of books to give away to one lucky reader so you can set about learning Spanish too! To be in with a chance of winning please complete the Gleam entry below. The giveaway is open to UK residents only.