Things Bilingual Moms Do In Public

Things Bilingual Moms Do In Public

Inside: Thing bilingual moms do.

 

Mothering is interesting. So full of sweet moments!.. and also full of moments in which we would clearly choose teleportation of the entire family as our superpower. 

Sometimes I think my kids save up those “special moments” for the grocery store, the playground, or the dinner table at somebody else’s house. We react and handle things as best we can, hoping it’s the right thing to do. 

And sometimes, multilingualism saves the day. What can I say? Being bilingual– especially when you live in a fairly monolingual place– does give us some extra options. 

You can’t assume who speaks what around you, but it’s confession time. Here are five things I’ve actually done as a bilingual mom. Dads probably do them too. 

 

 

1. Make dire threats in the minority language.

Angry Comedy GIF by Bounce_TV - Find & Share on GIPHY

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Er… I mean, redirect. Some moms have to rely on that look; we can straight up say what we need to say in that grocery store line. 

 

2. Bribe our children in the minority language.

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Bribery is universally frowned upon in the parenting world, even though I’m pretty sure everybody does it. The good thing is we can get away with it.  Everybody around thinks we just repeated ourselves in a firm voice, and it magically worked. I’ll take it!

 

3. Redirect our kids in the majority language (for the benefit of other nearby parents). 

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Here’s a time to break out of the minority language: when your kids clearly need redirection, and you need all the other parents around to know you’re on it.

“Honey, let that little girl have a turn too,” exchange a smile with the mom across the playground, and you’re good to go.

 

4. Breathe a sigh of relief when our children say something rude(after realizing nobody understood it).

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Children say what they think: it’s a fact of life. It can also be horribly embarrassing. When my son once remarked that a nearby man looked like a wolf, I just prayed that the gentleman was monolingual and took the chance to quietly explain why he has to be careful saying things like that. The fact that is was said in English (and hopefully not understood) helped me play it cool and make the most of that teachable moment. 

 

5. Translate the positive…

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My three-year-old speaks whatever language she wants, in the moment. Did she just say something polite and adorable? Well, allow me to translate that for you. 

 

…and lie about the negative. 

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OH MY GOSH you CANNOT say that out loud.”
He loves it. Thank you sooo much.”
Don’t judge me but yes, yes, yes I’ve done this one.

 

6. Say sappy things to our kids without embarrassing them.

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Kids too embarrassed to show affection in front of their friends? No problem if they’re bilingual. You can sneak in all the mushy-gushy things you want as you drop them off at school. And maybe you’ll get that “love you mom” back, even when they’re “too old” to say it. 

 

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love being a Spanglish family. Of course, Spanish and English are widely spoken languages, and I should probably get going on a third, more obscure language, if I want to use of these “strategies” more effectively. #goals

 

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Things Bilingual Moms Do

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

The Best Netflix Movies Set in Spain

The Best Netflix Movies Set in Spain

 Inside: The best Netflix Spain movies. 

 

Netflix, with its ever-expanding range of options, has a growing selection of made-in Spain movies and shows. I’ve got some great titles for you here, whether you’re a native speaker or looking to keep up your Spanish skills. See my Spanish movies and shows page for tons more suggestions for Spanish-language titles, and of course let me know if I missed one of your favorites. 

 Remember that Netflix regularly adds and pulls shows– just let me know if you catch something I should update!

 

NETFLIX SPAIN MOVIES

 

Ready? Let’s get started.

 

1. Contratiempo (Invisible Guest)

 

A wealthy businessman is accused of murder and seeks the help of a famous lawyer to mount a defense as the last hours of his trial wind down. His storytelling of those events takes us down a darkening path of twists and turns, and unexpected revelations. I multitasked quite a bit while preparing this blog post and watched movies, but this movie had my full attention, and me on the edge of my seat. If you like suspense, this is a must-watch with incredible acting.

Info: Mystery, Thriller | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2017

 

 

2. Perdiendo el norte (Off Course)

 

A light-hearted comedy about two Spaniards who can’t find a job in Spain (despite being over-qualified on paper). Fed up with Spanish life, they move to Berlin in hopes of finding work, only to end up in a café. Life in Berlin comes with new romance, but also a host of cultural differences to navigate.

Info: Romantic Comedy | Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles | 2015

 

 

3. Fe de etarras (Bomb Scared)

 

Four Basque terrorists are trying to plan an attack on Spain. They wait for orders from “above,” in a Spanish apartment, and have to deal with everyday life and neighbors while unsure of the future. A dark comedy that was surprisingly compelling and funny. 

Info:  Comedy  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2017

 

 

4. Ocho apellidos (Spanish Affair)

 

“Cuando el sur y el norte chocan, el conflicto alcanza proporciones épicas.” Spanish culture collides when a Sevillian falls for a woman from Basque– even though he’s never before left his hometown. I didn’t love the chemistry between the main actors, but still enjoyable and cute. 

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2014

 

 

5. Ocho apellidos catalanes (Spanish Affair 2)

 

The couple we met in the Spanish Affair (Rafa and Amaia) have broken up. Amaia is engaged to a Catalonian her father doesn’t like, so he enlists help from Rafa to win her back and break off the new engagement. I enjoyed this one more than the first and found it more convincing, especially the storylines between the supporting characters. If you like the Spanish Affair, definitely follow up with this one.

Info: Romance, Comedy |  Spanish Audio  |  2015

 

 

6. 100 metros (100 Meters)

 

Based on a true story about a man with a young family who is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Determined to resist the disease as long as he can, he commits to training for an Ironman– with the help of his father-in-law, who has troubles of his own. I sobbed by the end; keep tissues nearby for this heart-wrenching and inspiring story.

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish |  2016

 

 

 

7. Bajo la piel de lobo

 

Starring Mario Casas, Bajo la piel de lobo tells the story of an isolated, gruff trapper who buys a wife. I am not sure how to describe the film: silent, spare, difficult, and yet compelling. You can’t go in expecting a neat, packaged conclusion, but it’s well done with good actors. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Spanish/English Subtitles  |  2018

 

8. La reina de España (The Queen of Spain) 

 

It’s 1956, and an American film company is making a movie about Isabel and Ferdinand, at the request of Franco– and Macarena Granada, now a big name in Hollywood, returns to her native Spain after 20 years to star in it. I found it slow and forced overall, but there’s a deep undercurrent of complicated Spanish history and a cast of actors that many viewers will enjoy nonetheless. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio  |  2016

 

 

9. El bar (The Bar)

 

A group of people are trapped in a bar in Madrid, after two people are shot and mysteriously disappear. As they try to figure out what is happening outside– terrorism? the end of the world?– tensions and suspicions rise inside the bar.

Info: Comedy, Horror, Thriller |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in Spanish/English  |  2017

 

 

10. Ahora o nunca (It’s Now or Never)

 

A couple who got together in a fairytale high school romance is getting married. The week of the wedding turns nightmare as everything goes wrong, quirky friends and family in tow. 

Info: Comedy |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in Spanish/English  |  2015

 

 

11. Nuestros amantes (Our Lovers)

 

Different from the usual rom-com storyline, this romantic “dramady” follows a couple who meet in a coffeeshop and decide to maintain an out-the-box-friendship: no exchange of personal information, and no romance. Things go beautifully until their personal lives intersect with fantasy, and they must confront reality.

Info:  Romance, Comedy  |  Spanish/English Audio, Subtitles  |  2016

 

 

12. 7 Años (7 Years)

 

Four friends are in business together, and have committed tax fraud. If one of them volunteers to go to jail for seven years, the company came remain intact and the other friends can walk free. The question is which one? They hire a consultant to help decide who it should be. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2016

 

 

13. Palmeras en la nieve (Palm Trees in the Snow)

 

A Spanish woman travels to Africa in hoping to unearth old family secrets, after finding a letter her dying father left behind. The story moves between her search and forbidden love in the time of colonialism. 

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles in English/Spanish  |  2015

 

 

14. A cambio de nada (Nothing in Return)

 

A coming-of-age story about a troubled teenager figuring out life and getting into trouble with his best friend. Poignant at times, tough at others, A Cambio de Nada explores adolescence in the context of trouble at school, trouble at home, and finding friendship.

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2015

 

 

15. Secuestro (Boy Missing)

 

A young boy is kidnapped, and his suspected kidnapper gets off on a technicality. The boy’s mother, a respected attorney, takes matters into her own hands and events soon spiral out of control. (I didn’t actually watch this one– after becoming a mom I just can’t handle scary things involving kids!)

Info:  Drama  |  Spanish Audio, Subtitles  |  2015

 

 

16. El guardián invisible (The Invisible Guardian)

 

A young woman’s body is found in the woods, and female inspector Salazar is put on the case. As she investigates the murder and begins to follow the case of a serial killer, she must confront her own past. (I didn’t watch this one either, but if you like serial killer murder-mysteries, this one’s for you.)

Info:  Thriller  |  Spanish Audio, Spanish/English Subtitles  |  2017

 

What other Netflix Spain movies do you recommend? Let me know in the comments below!

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Netflix Spain movies

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Spanish Bug Books for Toddlers and Kids

Spanish Bug Books for Toddlers and Kids

Inside: Spanish bug books for kids. 

 

My kids are really into bugs. Sometimes I’ll find them turning over rocks in the yard to see what treasures they’ll find underneath. I’ve had to study up to learn a lot of the names myself! Today I’ve collected my favorite books about bugs in Spanish, to read as a family. (Looking for more books? See my posts on 50 Bilingual Books in Spanish and English, and 50 Authentic Picture Books in Spanish.)

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Spanish Bug Books for Kids

 

Insectos! (Dk Readers En Espanol. Level 2)

Here’s a general guide and easy reader for bugs in Spanish. I like the DK readers for non-fiction, and this one will be helpful if you have a curious child or a learning the names together. 

 

 

 

..Sabes algo sobre insectos?/ Do You Know about Insects? 

This is another general guide, with good realistic photos and facts about insects in Spanish. 

 

 

 

La araña muy ocupada (Spanish Edition)

My kids really enjoy this book, which is a delightful introduction to how spiders spin webs. The spider and her web are raised, and little hands love to feel the growing web. 

 

 

 

La abeja de más (Spanish Edition)

A funny fictional story about a colony of bees who discover an unknown bee has entered their hive. This is a fun look into the inner workings of a hive, the queen bee, and worker bees. 

 

 

La vida de la abeja (¡Mira cómo crece!) (Spanish Edition)

Here’s a close-up look in the entire lifespan of a bee, from egg to adult. 

 

 

 

La oruga muy hambrienta/The Very Hungry Caterpillar: bilingual board book (Spanish Edition)

This is one of our very favorites, and a gentle introduction into the lifecycle of a caterpillar and butterfly. It’s hard to get better than Eric Carle! 

 

National Geographic Readers: De la Oruga a la Mariposa (Caterpillar toButterfly) 

Here’s a non-fiction look into the lifecycle of a butterfly, witch good photos and explanations. As a non-native Spanish speaker, it’s so helpful to have the technical terms for me to learn!

 

 

 

 

La Mariposa

Butterflies are just the backstory to this touching book about a boy who doesn’t speak English in his new school, but it’s a beautiful story with beautiful pictures. 

 

 

La Mariquita Malhumorada (Spanish Edition)

Another Eric Carle treasure that’s been translated into Spanish, this one follows a grouchy ladybug who meets lots of other insects and finally learns some manners. It’s also a good peek into a ladybug’s life.

 

 

 

 

La luz de Lucía (Spanish Edition)

This story is about a little firefly who learns to accept her own uniqueness and shine her light. 

 

 

 

 

Non-fiction Guides to Specific Insects in Spanish

 

If you are looking for specific guides or want to have a collection about different insects, you may want to check out these titles!

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re looking for more activities to do with bugs in Spanish, I have a bilingual game pack, with picture cards to play Memory, Go Fish, Bingo, and a mini-book. Check it out for some extra bug fun!

 

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Spanish Valentine’s Day Inspiration: Bulletins Boards and More!

Spanish Valentine’s Day Inspiration: Bulletins Boards and More!

Inside: Spanish Valentine’s Day bulletin boards and decor: inspiration for decorating your Spanish classroom in February.

 

I have a confession. Last year, I made my bulletins board in August. And there they sat, all year. I didn’t switch them out once. 

The world did not end, and my students learned plenty of Spanish. But there’s still something feel-good about changing the scene, freshening up the room, and drawing attention to new language.

If you are low on time, no worries! I’ve got some easy ideas for decorations as Valentine’s day rolls around this year. And just in February– when winter is dragging on– some red and pink really brightens thing up. 

If you ended up here looking for Spanish Valentine’s Day printables, see my huge post on Día del amor y amistad printables and classroom activities!

 

Spanish Valentine’s Day Bulletin Boards

 

Let’s start off with a tour of some fun bulletin boards! (Click on the name or image to visit the original creator.)

 

1. Mis Clases Locas – El amor está en el aire

 

How eye-catching is this one? And Allison made sure to laminate everything, so it can be re-used from year to year. Especially with the banners that hang on a string, bringing this out every February would be a snap. 

 

2. A Whole Llama Love – Gloria Dempsey

I saw Gloria’s post in a Spanish teacher’s group and fell in love with it. How could you not? I think she used the hearts below from Living Mi Vida Loca, which are free printables. 

llama bulletin board

I loved this one so much I went back and made the phrase “A WHOLE LLAMA LOVE into a free printable you can download right here. I freehanded the llamas, but I have a free llama picture file if you want to project them on the board so they’re large enough to trace. 

a whole llama love bulletin board

 

3. Hearts Board – @missteachercadet

This is so sweet and simple enough that you could have one of your classes do the hears themselves! It also doubles as a handy vocabulary reference throughout the month.

 

4. Collage board – Spanish Mama

This is about as low-prep as they come! Just print onto whatever paper color you like, mix and match, and done! Tomorrow I will be linking to the files to make this– there are a bunch of options to choose from!

Spanish valentine's day bulletin board

 

5. Kid World Citizen

If you ever create bulletin boards or displays in a common area in school, this is great idea. You could collect from different classrooms too!

valentine's decor in Spanish

 

6. Conversation Heart + Envelope – Sra. Davila-Madwid

Don’t have time or space to do up a whole bulletin board? Try something like this awesome door decoration! I love these bright colors. 

 

6. Candy Heart – Srta. Spanish

Another variation on the conversation hearts theme, this time with a way for students to add their ideas. Love it!

 

Spanish Valentine’s Day Decor Freebies

 

1. Hearts Banner – Living Mi Vida Loca

This is the free printable the internet has been going nuts over. Print onto colored paper, string together and go! 

 

 

2. Terms of Endearment- Spanish Mama

We all know terms of endearment are huge in Latino culture, right? Bust them out in February with this list I made. If you go to the post, the download also includes an ink-friendly version with a lighter background. 

            

 

 

 

Spanish Valentine’s Day Decor to Buy

 

1. Poster – Señora Lee

I love this idea because it works for people like me– who aren’t switching out our bulletin boards every month! She suggest simply buying a dollar store frame, and switching out the posters as needed. So nice, because you can save everything from year to year. 

valentine's decor in Spanish

 

2. Valentine’s Banner Decorations – Mundo de Pepita

Here are some darling decorations that provide comprehensible language too. In four different languages, terms of endearment are presented in the shape they refer to (media naranja, for example). I love anything watercolor, and these are so pretty!

mundo de pepita decor

 

3. Poems from The Engaged Spanish Classroom

These adorable poems are easy enough for even novice learners to do. When they are done, you could put them up as a decoration, too, to display student work and add a splash of Valentine’s color to the room.

 poems

 

 

Do you have a bulletin board or decor that you’d like to add? Leave your idea or link in the comments below!

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Spanish Valentine's Day Bulletin Boards

 

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

The Numbers in Spanish for Kids: Fun Learning Activities

The Numbers in Spanish for Kids: Fun Learning Activities

Inside: Lesson and activities to learn the numbers in Spanish with kids.

Lesson 11 Goals: I can count 0-15 in Spanish.

Target Structures: cero, uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, diez, once, doce, trece, catorce, quince

(Secondary terms: el mono, la cama, se cae)

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far, ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant.

Movement/brain breaks: Stretch with our movement words: levántate, siéntate, manos arriba, and manos abajo, corre and salta, Duck, Duck, Goose in Spanish, or ¡Salta, salta!

 

Lesson 5 Numbers in Spanish Activities

 

Activity 1

 

Introduce numbers 1-5 with the song Cinco monitos. 

 

Activity 2

 

Act out the song Cinco monitos with props or finger puppets. You could choose someone for mamá, and someone for el doctor. Use props like a phone or stethoscope if you have them. Sing or play the song, and let them act out. To make it super-visual, lay down a sheet for la cama, and they act out saltando and se cae.

Or, print out my freebie Cinco monitos titeres, and act out the song that way. 

cinco monitos

 

 

Activity 3

 

Once numbers 1-5 are down, choose a song for the numbers 1-10, or 1-20. There are many to choose from on YouTube (linked below!) You could also sing to the tune of One Little, Two Little, Three Little Indians as Uno, dos, tres pollitos (or monitos!). Finger puppets are provided in the activity pack for either way. You can line up the students, and they lift their puppet finger as part of the song.

 

Activity 4

 

Play an alternative to”Musical Chairs.” Hand out enough number cards for everyone (it’s fine if some students have the same numbers). Play music and the students can dance or walk around. When the music stops, call out a  number. Whoever has that number sits down. The last ones standing win.

Supplemental Numbers in Spanish Resources:

 

Another cama song like Cinco monitos, with numbers 1-10 this time:

 

Song for learning numbers 1-20:

 

Authentic children’s song in Spanish (Chocolate) that repeats 1, 2, and 3:

 

Another classic children’s song in Spanish with counting:

 

And one more authentic song in Spanish with numbers!:

 

Want More?

Click to purchase the whole unit. You’ll get games, printables, mini-books, and more!

With Unit 4, you’ll get a class set of game cards and Bingo for numbers 0-15. You can also make mini-books, on the Cinco monitos, and with farm animals. 

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Buenas Noches: A Preschool Goodnight in Spanish Lesson

Buenas Noches: A Preschool Goodnight in Spanish Lesson

Inside: A preschool Spanish lesson on saying good night and good morning. 

 

Lesson 10 Goals: I can talk about sleeping and waking up.

Target Structures: duerme, se despierta, les da, busca, la cama, el oso (review: buenas noches, buenos días)

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far, ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant

Movement/brain breaks: Stretch with our movement words: levántate, siéntate, manos arriba, and manos abajo, corre and salta, Duck, Duck Goose in Spanish, or ¡Salta, salta!

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Lesson 10 Buenas Noches Activities

Activity 1

 

Show and discuss the mini-story Pablito no duerme.

To prep the story, you might gather some common items children sleep with and talk about them, or have the kids bring a special item they like to take to bed. You could also do a class graph: ¿Duermes con un oso? ¿Duermes con una manta especial?

In this story, the little boy asks for several things before going to sleep. After telling the story, it would be fun to act it out with props, and have a child pretend to be going to bed. You could change some of the details (for example, his mom doesn’t give him a cookie– she gives him an apple). 

 

 

Activity 2

 

Play a version of Doggy, Doggy, Where’s Your Bone?, to get in repetitions of duerme, despiértate, and busca. To go along with the unit, we’ll call it Gallina, gallina, ¡busca tu pollito! Here’s how to play!

You Need:

  • A small cut-out of a pollito (a small object will suffice if you don’t have that prepped)
  • A chair, facing away from the rest of the group

To Play:

  • Teacher picks one child to be the “gallina.” The rest of the class sits in a circle or in chairs. 
  • Teacher tells the gallina: “¡duerme!” with the pollito under the chair. 
  • One student is picked form the group to walk up and quietly grab the pollito, then sit back down with the pollito hidden. 
  • Teacher tells the gallina: “¡despiértate!” The gallina has to guess who has the pollito. 
  • The class chants: “Gallina, gallina, ¡busca tu pollito!”
  • The gallina gets 3 chances to guess who has it.
  • If the gallina can’t guess, the class says where it is. Then pick another student!

 

Activity 3

 

Show and tell the story Los pollitos y su mamá. This is a long story! Review the vocabulary and make sure that everything is already familiar for your students. 

 

Activity 4

 

You could also supplement this lesson with the book Buenas noches, Gorila.

Spanglish Schoolhouse has a lesson and cute freebie to go with this book:

Supplemental Buenas noches/ buenos días Activities and Resources

Here are some sweet books for read alouds:  

A collection of Spanish lullabies and folk songs for bedtime, all on YouTube:

spanish lullabies

A nice, clear song with buenas noches repetitions:

Includes buenos días, buenas tardes, and buenas noches:

Pocoyó episode on going to bed, that goes along well with the story Pablito no duerme (also has a pato, which the kids should recognize as they listen!). You could listen to the original and pause to talk about it, or turn the sound down and narrate the video yourself .

Peppa Pig episode on nocturnal animals (especially fun if you have my Unit 4 packet, which studies nocturnal animals!):

Peppa Pig episode on a sleepover with friends. The language is complicated, so you might have to narrate quite a bit:

A silly, highly comprehensible song that teachers me gusta/no me gusta:

Want More?

Click to purchase the whole unit. You’ll get games, printables, mini-books, and more!

In Unit 4, I also have extension activities for reinforcing good morning and good night activities in Spanish. There are PPTs, printables, and a mini-book that study nocturnal animals versus those that eat during the day. 

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

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