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Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow

Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.

Oct 08, 2021 -

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Canticos Learning Talk with Little Mice/Ratoncitos

By Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

Kids love to read and reread books. Why not take that opportunity to build-in other activities to make the most out of reading it each time?

Kids love to read and reread books. Why not take that opportunity to build-in other activities to make the most out of reading it each time?

Here are some tips to help you maximize the bilingual benefits, learning and fun with the third book in the Canticos book series: Little Mice/Ratoncitos – Based on the popular nursery rhyme in Spanish, “Cinco Ratoncitos de Colita Gris” (Five Grey-Tailed Mice).  This book follows little mice on their mission to eat as much cheese as possible before they get caught by the cat. Kids will enjoy this easy-to-read book with colorful characters and fun lift-the-flap surprises that help them learn the names of shapes in English and Spanish.

  1. Talk

Use the book to talk about animals like mice, and have your little one explain to you what they eat. This is a great opportunity to discuss predators and prey.  

  1. Sing

The descriptive lyrics lend themselves to acting out the actions while the song is sung. Encourage children to shake their mouse ‘tail’ and ‘nose’ as they munch on all the imaginary cheese they can find. Want to keep practicing? Check out Canticos’s library of songs and videos on our Youtube education channel.

  1. Read

What’s more fun than reading a great story? Reading it twice, in two languages.

Novelty book: Read the story once in English. Flip the book and read it in Spanish. Open the book across to see all spreads at once and: 1. Lay it flat on the floor to see the whole story at once or 2. Stand it up and connect the ends into a circle to sit inside and be surrounded by the story.

Board book: Pick one language to read the story through. Start again in the second language.

  1. Write

Depending on your child’s ability, practice drawing shapes or writing the names of them like “square” and “circle.” Lift the flaps to find the English/Spanish translations.

  1. Play

This is a great book to teach little ones the names of basic shapes. Encourage your little one to look around the room and point out items with specific shapes. “I spy with my little eye…a triangle!” Have fun and know that they are strengthening their bilingualism through play.  

Make it a game! Award one point per correct item named. Award points generously and have fun!

Find more resources in our Parents resource center here.

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Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

How can my child learn language through play?

What are the social and cultural benefits of bilingualism?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?

What are some strategies for raising bilingual children?

What are some common misconceptions about raising bilingual children?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?