Wednesday, May 16, 2012

What's new at Baby Bilingual? (March-April-May 2012)

Just because I haven't been posting as often lately doesn't mean that I've stopped gathering resources for those of us who want to help our children (or students) learn languages!  (My sidebar is growing so unwieldy that I'm going to move a lot of the links to my Pinterest boards soon.  Or sometime.  Eventually.)  Here's what I've found recently while trolling the blogosphere for stories and ideas and inspiration....

Free books online:
Storyline Online--From the Screen Actors Guild Foundation, the website of this nonprofit project features videos of actors (many quite famous, like Betty White, Hector Elizondo, and Elijah Wood) reading picture books in English, including such beloved classics as The Rainbow Fish, Stellaluna, and The Polar Express.  Enrichment activities accompany each of the 25 or so books.
LiveBinders--a page with links to 29 other sites which read stories to children, some from a specific author (like Robert Munsch and Marc Brown), some from magazines (National Geographic Explorer, Highlights), some familiar (Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day), many not.

Le blog de Zelba--chatty, cute, engaging comic strips authored by a Frenchwoman (because the only French texts I seem to read these days are children's books and current events articles)
Author Ashley Hope Perez' blog posts about living in Paris with her bilingual (English-Spanish) toddler
The Sweet Life in Paris--blog by award-winning American chef David Lebovitz (and now his book is at the top of my Amazon wish list--friends and colleagues have been telling me about him for months and now I understand why!)
Between Us Bilinguals (I really like that title!)--written by a multilingual Polish woman with a linguistics degree who now works as a travel professional; more academic than personal focus
Pragmatic Mom--a self-described "Failed Tiger Mom" shares educational activities, book reviews, and more

Children's Lit in English:
We Read It Like This--reviews and read-aloud recordings of favorite children's books by a bilingual Brit living in Spain
Imagination Soup--inspiring educational activities for children
Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books--literacy advocate and teacher shares picture books and provides suggestions for how to use them in the classroom

Activities in English: 
Mad Glibs--180+ free online Mad Libs (you provide words, names, and expressions based on prompts, which are then inserted into silly stories for you to read); includes some songs and poetry (even Shakespeare!) and longer stories as well as short goofy paragraphs.  Some cool features: stories in other languages, ability to sort them by length, and possibility of clicking "random words" to have the computer fill in the blanks
Wacky Web Tales--90+ free online Mad Libs, most of which ask for 8-12 answers for 3-4 paragraph stories; these are designed specifically for kids (recommended for 3rd graders and up)
Let's Get Creative!--very fun writing ideas (like this random headline generator) by author-illustrator-teacher Bruce van Patter; see this page for games and projects designed specifically for parents to do with their children
Learning Games for Kids--free online educational games and activities on many subjects (English language, math, geography, and lots more)
Sporcle Languages--games and quizzes about words (not necessarily for kids)

Global Learning:  
National Geographic Kids--official website of the magazine for children
Around the World--articles from Time Magazine for Kids
US states activity--drag the state name into the correct place (link isn't currently working, but I'm leaving it here in hopes that it comes back)
Geography Learning Games for Kids--puzzles, capitals, and more; select activities for specific continents from the list on the left
Sporcle Geography Quizzes--locate countries on maps, plus many other quizzes
Language Castle Lists--suggestions for making preschool classrooms inclusive of other cultures; many of these ideas are applicable to your home as well

Happy exploring!  I'll close with a couple of pictures of our recent family trip to Glenwood Springs, Colorado--after all, Gwyneth is 10 months old now, and she's changing so quickly.

des filles heureuses

Griffin's first train trip--oh, how I wish I could take him to Europe!

nightswimming in the hot springs pool, just my garçon and me

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