Incorporating Language Learning into the 2016 Olympics

rio-olympics

Olympic_rings_without_rims.svgFlash forward a couple weeks from today: It’s a sticky summer day, and to cool down and spend some quality time with your kiddos, you decide to go home, sprawl out on the couch, and watch the Olympic games. Your child becomes disengaged, or maybe your kid loves the games and is glued to the television. Either way, you are missing out on a huge opportunity to teach your children Portuguese and make them feel a deeper connection to Rio than the screen in your living room. We, here at Little Pim, recognize this language learning opportunity, and luckily, we offer lessons and flash cards in Portuguese that will make your son or daughter speak as well as Gabby Douglas flips in the time of a Usain Bolt 100 meter dash.

olympic-games-kidsSports Vocabulary

The most obvious vocabulary to introduce to your child during the Olympic games would be basic sports vocabulary, like the words for: ball, referee, pool, court, and field. To try to cultivate the strongest correlation between the words you are teaching and an image, it is probably smart to introduce the vocab as its corresponding image appears on the television.

Additionally, since the words you will be teaching them are about being active, you can make the language learning active. Play a game of catch while watching the 2016 games. When you have the ball, say the English word, and have your child say the Portuguese translation upon catching the ball. They can learn more about how to discuss playtime in Portuguese with the Little Pim “Playtime” lesson, which is available for online purchase. This online accessibility means they can sit on the couch and learn Portuguese on any device with the Olympics on in the background.

Geography

The Olympics has a record number of countries competing this year, so now more than ever the Olympics is a melting pot of cultures. This presents you with the ability to expose your child to a plethora of different countries. With that, you can teach them how to say each country’s name, main languages, and prominent religions in Portuguese. You can pull out a map and point at the country in question as you go along! If your family has roots in a certain country, this is a great time to introduce a bit of that country’s language too; Little Pim lessons could probably help you do so!

Counting

The number system is critical to any language, so it is a good place to start when learning Portuguese. As the shot clock winds down or the race is about to begin, have your son or daughter count down in Portuguese. They will be ready by New Years to count down to 12 AM in Portuguese!

Start by counting numbers 1-10 in Portuguese, then go backwards to start the countdown:

10 – dez 5 – cinco
9 – nove 4 – quatro
8 – oito 3 – três
7 – sete 2 – dois
6 – seis 1 – um

Stats

As each athlete’s statistics are plastered across your television screen, you can teach your little one the words for goal, assist, point, etc. This can be a particularly great exercise with little boys and girls who have already developed a passion for sports

(it is probably genetic) and enjoy memorizing statistics from player cards and a teams’ websites.

sports-vocabulary-kidsPersonalize the Activity

If your son or daughter is especially fond of one sport that will be performed during the summer games, make sure to focus on the vocabulary relating to that sport. This will make the language learning of greater value in their eyes, and thereby more fun for them.
For example:

Basketball Soccer Tennis
Hoop = aro Cleats = chuteiras Tennis net = rede de tênis
Rebound = ricochete Corner kick = escanteio Volley = voleio
Foul line = linha de falta Header = cabeçada Advantage = vantagem

Get Involved As a Parent

If you are fluent in Portuguese or have never heard a word of it, speaking the language with your kid makes it a group activity as opposed to a chore. Additionally, if your whole family wants to extend your exposure to Brazilian culture beyond language learning, please refer to a post coming out soon about fun activities infused with Brazilian culture that you can do right at home.

Portuguese Flash Cards Volume 1Vocab Reinforcement

For the words to stick, a child needs to become familiar with them by hearing them a number of times. On your way to a mall or weekend get-away, you can review the Portuguese vocab in a fun trivia-like format. The Little Pim flash card set could serve this purpose really well!

 

Teach Love and Kindness

Sports have the power to transcend countries’ borders, racial divides, and social differences. That power is what makes the Olympics such a beautiful thing to watch, especially today when these issues run rampant in our society. Teaching your child the English words for unity, equality, fairness, and sportsmanship, for example, is a powerful action in it of itself. Imagine the power of teaching them these words in yet another language, like Portuguese.

By teaching your child another language at a young age, you accomplish many things. You make them smarter, you differentiate them from other children their age, and you ultimately make them more valuable to our society and a potential employer. Above all of those things, you make them sensitive to and connected to another country, culture, and way of life. In learning a new language, they are learning to respect differences instead of hate them, just as sportsmanship teaches. Language learning is powerful. Sports are powerful. Rio is the perfect opportunity to combine sports with language learning, an action that could have an amazingly powerful impact on your child.

P.S. It will also be fun!!

To get you started:

“Creating Peace” Vocab List
Unity = unidade
Fairness = justiça
Equality = igualdade
Sportsmanship = espírito desportivo

Mommy tech and CES – the best gadgets for moms and kids

Like many of you I’m sure, I’ve casually followed the Consumer Electronics Show from afar – seeing articles and tweets here and there, heralding the coolest new gadgets of the future.  This year, I was actually able to attend the show in person, and I can tell you that the future is 3D, tablets and – good news for moms – waterproofing!

One of the coolest things to come out this year was a commercial pinball machine. I’m a comic book fan, so the idea of an Avengers pinball machine that takes up a fraction of the space of a regular pinball machine, sounds pretty enticing.

Pinball

Crayola came out with a Light Marker, which uses an LED-tipped point to allow kids to draw on an iPad with a virtual pen.

griffin crayola colorstudio hd

Our partners from One Laptop Per Child just released a kid-focused new Android tablet called the XO, PACKED with great learning apps – including Little Pim of course!

xo tablet

 

The pick of the bunch though? A robot which massages tired moms. The line for that one was out of the door!

describe the image

Two great holiday games from around the world!

The winter holidays are upon us. That means school breaks, family gatherings, and kids with a lot of excited energy looking for something to do. If the weather outside is frightful, and you want some delightful ways to keep your brood active and engaged indoors, try these holiday games from around the world that can also introduce children to different cultures and languages.

Schokoladenessen

Schokoladenessen: A German party game that means “chocolate eating” (got to love that)

You’ll need: a hat, scarf and gloves; kitchen utensils; dice; a wrapped chocolate bar.

How to play: Players sit in a circle. Each player rolls the dice and passes it along until someone rolls a double. The player who rolls a double then scrambles to put on the hat, scarf and gloves and then tries to unwrap the candy bar, using the kitchen utensils, and eat as much as he or she can, which is harder than it sounds, while the other players continue to roll the dice. As soon as another player rolls a double, the hat, scarf, mittens, utensils, and chocolate bar are passed to that player, who gets a turn trying to eat the chocolate. The other players continue to roll and the passing of the bar continues until all the chocolate has been eaten.

Watch the game being played here

 

pinata

Pinata: In Mexico and some other Spanish-speaking countries, piñatas are not just for birthday parties; they’re a Christmas tradition, too.

You’ll need: A piñata, of course. But why buy one at the store when you can make one and get the kids involved in some messy, crafty fun? Here are instructions. Plus you can use recycled materials and do a good thing for the environment, too.

How to play: Do we really need to tell you? Fill your piñata with candy, fruit or small toys and hang it from the ceiling or a tree branch. Each child (perhaps blindfolded) then takes turns batting the piñata with a stick until the piñata breaks open and its festive contents tumble out. Nothing says Christmas like sticky, gooey hands and happy kids smiles – or embraces the New Year like helping your kids learn about other cultures and languages. Feliz Navidad!

Watch kids take on a holiday piñata here.

 

10 Ways to Teach Your Kids about the World through the Summer Olympics

10 Ways to Teach Your Kids about the World through the Summer Olympics

10 ways to teach your kids about the world through the summer olympics

The Summer Olympic Games offer a great way to bring your family together and expose your children to new cultures, places, and sports, as well as lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship. This years Summer Olympics are being held in London (www.London2012.com) , starting July 27th and ending August 12th.

Here at Little Pim we’ve come up with 10 ways to help kids engage with the Summer Olympics while learning about the world and having fun! Most of these activities are appropriate for ages 3 and up.

 

1. History of the Games

 

The Olympic Games are certainly fun to watch, but they also have a rich history. Tell your kids about how the ancient Greeks started the games to honor their gods and goddesses. This is also a great time to slip in a lesson on the Olympic flag whose five rings represent the five major land areas and the field of white represents peace.

 

 

2. Create A Dream Team

 

Have each child assemble a Dream Team of his or her favorite athletes from around the world. It’s a great way to practice budding writing skills—or make a collage! Select a few to focus on and learn about each athlete’s event and country or nation of origin. Make flags to support your athletes and if they win an event, celebrate by singing their national anthem or making a special treat from their homeland!

 

3. Medal Pool

 

Assign each child in your home (or team up with another family) a country for one of your family’s favorite events. If that country wins any medals, give the winning country’s patron a special prize. A great way to celebrate victory is by cooking/buying something from that nation or playing the national anthem. Taking on a country to support is a great way to expose kids to new places and people- help them do some research on their country and make flags to cheer on your team. You can also post a kid-friendly map of the world to help them see where these countries are. Here is one we like!

 

4. Geography Game

 

Every time a new country wins a medal, help your kids find it on the globe or map. If they can name a major city in that country they get points. You get extra points for knowing some words in that country’s language or languages!

 

 

5. Olympic Torch Obstacle Course

 

Kick off the Olympics with your own Olympic Torch run. Set up an outdoor obstacle course at dusk, and send each child through with a lit flashlight. Time their speed and the winner gets to pick the first event that your family watches! Here’s the schedule.

 

6. Create your own Olympic Games

 

Set up a series of fun outdoor activities for your kids and make it into your own mini-Olympics. Beanbag tosses, three-legged races, and jumping contests can all be incorporated into the Olympics theme. The winners of the events get to wear homemade medals. Make sure there are prizes for all participants and runners-up so no one feels left out.

 

7. Mascots!

 

Have your family create their own mascots for their countries or Dream Teams. Stuffed animals make great mascots and having your kids involve their favorite toys will help them stay engaged in watching the events.

 

 

8. Food

 

Preparing to sit down as a family and watch something together means you will have to have some snacks on hand. Make cooking into a cultural event! Make something from a different country represented in the games. Or, make Olympic ring cookies that your kids can decorate with different colors of frosting or sugar.

 

9. Flags of the World and Coloring Pages

 

There is no shortage of available Olympic-themed coloring pages and teaching tools online. A great way to help your kids stay engaged while you’re watching the games as a family is to have them color in these pages (good for an activity during commercials too). They can decorate your house with flags of the world or pictures of their favorite athletes and events.

 

 

10. Viewing Parties

 

Some families like to get together and have neighborhood Summer Olympics viewing parties.  You could even have different rooms be focused on different activities—some for learning, some for play, some for food, and some for watching the games!

 

Have fun! Amusez vous! Diverti!

 


Memorial Day Traveling With Kids & Little Pim

We believe that treks with kids are made easier with a little preparation and these days it doesn’t hurt to have an iPhone, car DVD player, or tablet to make the trip that much more enjoyable. With Little Pim you can combine entertainment & learning.

Does it get any better for your wee travel buddies?

We’re thrilled to announce that Little Pim was selected to win two prestigious awards this month!

Dr. Toy has chosen Little Pim’s Gift Set Plus- a gift set that includes three of our language DVDs, a set of Word & Phrase Cards, and a plush panda- to win a Dr. Toy’s Best Vacation Children’s Product Award! Dr. Toy, Stevanne Auerbach, PhD, has been for many years one of the nation’s and world’s leading experts on play, toys, and children’s products. With 30 years of direct experience, Dr. Auerbach includes educationally oriented, developmental and skill building products from the best large and small companies in her four annual award programs.

We also received another new award from the Dove Foundation Review Board for our Spanish 3-Pak (Vol. I).

 

As you plan your seasonal getaways, be sure to take Little Pim along- our Digital Downloads are compatible with your mobile device or smartphone. With 10 languages to choose from and our two iPhone Applications: Little Pim Talking Coloring Book and Little Pim Word Bag, the only thing left to pack is sunscreen.

Here are some travel games you can play:
1. My favorite car game as a child was I spy. This is a GREAT game for your kids to build their vocabulary, both in 
English and in a foreign language. Even if they can’t spell yet, you don’t have to play I spy with letters – you can play it with sounds, or other descriptors. Passing by a field? I spy something that goes “moo”. Whether it’s a cow or una vaca, it’s a fun game to keep your kids engaged with what’s going on around them, and build their vocab and ability to describe their surroundings.
2. Make a map of where you’re going. Or rather, let your kids make a map – it doesn’t have to be to scale. Getting them to draw landmarks they see along the way – whether it’s a strange tree or a wacky building – this is a fun game for any aspiring cartographer.
3. Counting cars, counting cows, counting anything really. This is a fun game even as an adult (you can play it with license plates while your kids play it with car colors). Again, get them to count in English or in a foreign language. You can make it a quest to find a house or car that’s red/rouge/ 主要翻译, and helping your kids count in another language.

4. And last, but certainly not least – what journey would be complete without Little Pim? Get a digital download, put it on your smartphone or tablet, and let your kids watch and learn as you weave through traffic. Alternatively, pop in the Spanish or French bop CD, and have yourselves a good old-fashioned road trip sing-along!

To celebrate our awards, we’re holding a special contest! In the comments below share one item you never leave behind when traveling with your children. One person will win any one DVD or Word & Phrase Cards deck of their choice!