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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 20, 2022 -

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Canticos Learning with The Birthday Book/Las Mañanitas

By Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

‍Canticos books are too much fun to reach just once! Read them with your little one again and again and find something new to learn each time, while helping them become bilingual in Spanish and English.

Canticos books are too much fun to reach just once!  Read them with your little one again and again and find something new to learn each time, while helping them become bilingual in Spanish and English.

Here are some tips to help you maximize the learning and fun with the fourth book in the Canticos Classics series: The Birthday Book/Las Mañanitas – inspired by the classic Mexican birthday song “Las Mañanitas” (The Mornings). This song is sung to wake up a child on the morning of his/her birthday, it’s a fixture at every birthday party.  

  1. Talk

Use the book to talk about your child’s birthday. How did you celebrate his/her last birthday? Talk about the cake, the games, the friends that were part of it. Ask him/her what they would like to do for the next one? How would they like to celebrate? What theme would they like? Who do they want to be there?

  1. Sing

Sing the song and do it twice to double the fun!

Check out our bilingual sing-along video to see the lyrics and to hear the pronunciation in Spanish, check out our collection of bilingual songs while you’re at it.

The Youtube cartoon video features Sammy the bunny and a traditional Mexican birthday celebration with cake, candy, and of course – a piñata!

  1. Read

Read the book twice to double the birthday fun!

Novelty book: Interject your own sounds and commentary as you lift the flaps. For example, start by opening the first flap with a rooster crow. On the second flap you can say “Wake up snuggle bunny!” to the birthday bunny who doesn’t want to wake up. Play peek-a-boo with the next characters who pop up to surprise the birthday bunny. Read the story once in English. Flip the book and read it in Spanish. Open the book across to see all spreads and: 1. Lay it flat on the floor to see the whole story 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 to the end. Start again in the second language.

  1. Write

Take out your arts & crafts box and make a birthday card for a friend or family member’s upcoming birthday. Sing Las Mañanitas and personalize it for each birthday you’ll be celebrating.

  1. Play

Pretend it’s your child’s birthday and wake him/her up with the song. Act out a birthday party complete with cake eating and piñata breaking. Open an imaginary gift and eat imaginary cake with all their stuffed animals. Have fun with it, and know that your child is gaining tons of bilingual benefits!

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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?