As the holiday season comes into full swing, many families are looking forward to celebrating time with loved ones. If you are in the process of introducing a second language to your child, this time provides numerous opportunities to plan for activities that increase language fluency and increase cultural awareness. Parents across Texas that plan on introducing multilingual activities into their home can benefit from holiday-specific activities. If Spanish is your chosen language, Christmastime is the perfect opportunity to have a fun, educational holiday!
Crossing Borders Preschool is here to serve as your trusted child development center, providing immersion education to help young learners prepare for a lifetime of learning. Our language immersion programs in Houston rely on proven instructions from native speakers to get your child excited about the advantages of being bilingual.
As the holidays approach, you can combine your love of the times with your child’s enthusiasm for mastering a second language. Today, we’ll cover a few ideas that may prove beneficial in infusing more Spanish-speaking activities into your plans. If you’re interested in learning more about our language immersion preschool, be sure to contact us for more information!
SING CHRISTMAS SONGS
One of the quickest and most effective ways to get into the holiday spirit in a different language is to sing your favorite songs. You and your little one can sing villancicos (carols), relying on numerous songs to practice Spanish pronunciation and get in the holiday spirit. Songs such as Noche de Paz (Silent Night) will sound very familiar and result in an easier transition for English-speakers while other songs such as Los Peces en el Río (The Fish in the River) will consist of a completely different tune.
Whether you choose to go caroling or have a singalong within your own home, singing holiday songs can provide a fun time for the entire family. Start with short, simple villancicos, then move up to more advanced ones as your student becomes more comfortable. For added fun, you can illustrate and act out these songs, providing additional opportunities to introduce a second language.
MAKE A FESTIVE PIÑATA
Originally used to symbolize the seven deadly sins, piñatas today have grown in popularity to infuse fun into nearly any celebration. You can choose from several activities to accomplish this, including creating a custom piñata, investing in a do-it-yourself kit, or buying one at the store and personalizing it. Some families focus on one build while others make their own personalized piñatas. Your child can help every step of the way, relying on language-specific terms to communicate for the best result. When finished, you can celebrate by having your child attack it with a stick. Be sure to learn the lyrics to the song used during this celebration, and help your little one sing along. The piñata is a central theme during the holidays, and an ideal source for language practice. You can go through terms, definitions, symbols, and more to help your child understand the value behind this tradition.
DECORATE YOUR NACIMIENTO
The Christmas tree is a staple for many families, but if you are hoping to get further into the holiday spirit, you and your family can decorate your own nacimiento, or nativity scene. Families in Mexico, Chile, and across the globe take great pride in their nativity scene, caringly adding pottery, wax flowers, glass, ceramics, and more to personalize it to match their taste and faith. In most cases, the nacimiento is set up on December 16th, which is the beginning of Las Posadas (more below!). Featuring beautifully decorated and unique outcomes, families everywhere can get in the holiday spirit with this traditional piece. You and your child can add baby Jesus on the night of Christmas Eve, then the three kings on the fifth of January.
Our immersion preschool proudly provides guidance and instruction to get your little learner excited about the holidays, and doing so with relevant cultural celebrations can help him or her appreciate the differences from their own version of Christmas. We suggest trying this activity with your child, and keep in mind that the level of detail is not important. Families can rely on egg cartons, construction paper, clay, and more to create their own nativity scene. Now would be the perfect time to discuss the different elements of this project, relying on Spanish terms for added fun!
CELEBRATE LAS POSADAS
Translating to “The Inns,” this celebration centers around Mexican and Spanish culture to commemorate the lodging for Jesus. The reason for plurality is because this celebration lasts nine days (for nine months in the womb) worldwide and celebrates the nativity of Jesus Christ. Holiday-goers across Texas that celebrate the Christmas season can easily implement this fun activity into their regular merriment, adapting a smaller-scale version of the traditional format to recreate Mary and Joseph’s search for lodging. Your family can reenact the process, speaking in Spanish throughout the program for additional excitement. In Mexico, families traditionally finish the procession by hosting a party and breaking open a piñata. If you and your child decided to make such an object, now would be the perfect opportunity to complete your celebration and cap off the evening!
Crossing Borders Preschool is here to get your little one excited about the opportunities provided by bilingual education. Our language immersion programs in Houston work to lay the groundwork for a lifetime of learning, and you as the parent can help by making the most of the holiday season.
For years, our proven language immersion lessons have helped young students across Texas develop an excitement for speaking another language and learning about other cultures. Our early childhood education program also provides the standard curriculum, ensuring your student is ready for a lifetime of learning. Contact us today to learn more!