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How to create a Multilingual Christmas Wish List

The flyers for Christmas are everywhere! And they are telling us one thing: the holiday season is upon us!! As a parent raising bilingual kids, I see December as an opportunity to continue to infuse the Spanish language and culture into our everyday life. More than just the traditional pinata-making crafts and singing villancicos, I thought of creating a multilingual Christmas wish list with my kids. Using the flyers that are in the mail and spending a little time around the kitchen table, this activity is a valuable language-learning experience and a fun way to continue to celebrate our biculturalism and multilingualism. Here is how you can do this activity too.

1. Start with a Bilingual Brainstormings session

Start the wish list journey with a bilingual brainstorming session. Sit down with your child and discuss their interests, hobbies, and the things they've been learning in both languages. This not only strengthens vocabulary but also allows your child to express their desires in the languages they are acquiring.

Your child might not be completely ready to make a list with games or toys in another language. So help them explore age appropriate gifts that reflect the cultural richness of your language. It might be a book or a board game, a movie or a specific toy. Share these with your child in your language and start infusing the wish list with items that contribute to both linguistic and cultural development.

2. Integrate Language Learning Tools

Consider including language learning tools on the wish list. I’m not a fan of gifting screens for Christmas, however there are a number of apps and online resources that could be extremely beneficial to language learning. For example, we love the Canticos App, as well as some Youtube channels. Find bilingual educational games and interactive language apps to books that explore language in a fun and engaging way.

3. Make it Visual with Pictures and Language Labels

This is the funnest step of the wishlist: Grab some scissors and with your child, cut out the gifts you have selected for the wish list. Put them on a piece of paper to have transform this list into a visual masterpiece. Add labels to each item, in both languages if you want. Allow your child to associate the words with the corresponding objects. This visual reinforcement helps in vocabulary retention.

Remember that your child might need some encouragement to articulate their wishes in both languages. Whether they're sharing the wish list with you, grandparents, or friends, this practice enhances their communication skills and boosts confidence in expressing themselves bilingually.

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Creating a multilingual Christmas wish list isn't just about the items on the paper; it's about fostering a love for language and an appreciation for diverse cultures. By involving your children in this activity, you're not only making the holiday season more special but also giving the gift of language that will last a lifetime. Embrace the joy of bilingual gift-giving and watch as your child's language skills flourish amidst the magic of the season.

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