Navidad! Such a special time of the year. As many special occasions this year, Navidad 2020 will be different and in a smaller scale, but it can still be magical and fun for the little bilingual ones at home!
Growing up Hispanic we would have so many celebrations starting December 12 with the day of the Virgin of Guadalupe, then you have two weeks of Posadas, Nochebuena, Navidad, New Year’s Eve and closing with Día de Reyes. My mothers house became a revolving door with all the tios and primos coming and going for the night of the celebration and the next day el recalentado (the leftovers). And of course, all the gifts!!
As we are raising bilinguals, I try to balance between the hit toy or what they really really want, and a couple in there that also enforce their Spanish skills. It takes a bit more research, but it is all worth it. Lucky you, our very own Janny has been building great lists for a couple of years (2017, 2018, 2019) and we have put our heads together to keep the list growing.
2020's Best Bilingual Spanish Toys for Kids
1) Leapfrog 100 Animals Bilingual Book
We love that Leapfrog has expanded and introduced another book to their series. The first one, 100 Words was so popular that it only made sense to expand. Yay, so our kids can continue on their bilingual journey!
2) Lil’ Libros: Lil’ Lotería
This version of the Mexican bingo has such beautiful and colorful illustrations. It is a great first board game for preschoolers that will build on their vocabulary. My little bilinguals love to play it – in fact after a couple of times of Mamá calling it, my youngest had already learned the new words and started calling cards for us.
3) Baby Alive Step ‘N Giggle Baby
We love seeing toys that our kids can interact with and hear Spanish. This Baby Alive Step n Giggle is the perfect addition to add to your child's play time, available in in blonde hair, brown hair, or black hair it also promotes diversity.
Shoes light up – Baby Alive step ‘N giggle baby doll has shoes that really light up with each step! 25+ sounds and phrases - this doll responds to playtime with 25+ giggles, sounds, and phrases! She comes with English or Spanish mode and a “mommy” or “Daddy” mode. For kids ages 3 and up - kids will love the light-up shoes and sweet responses of this baby doll that drinks water from her bottle and “pees.” a great toy or gift for boys and girls ages 3 years and up.
4) Gibby & Libby: Memory Matching Game
Matching game that helps preschoolers identify places and objects around their neighborhood, the cards come in English and Spanish making it easy to introduce Spanish as a second language.
5) VTech Play Smart Preschool Laptop, Black
I don't know about you, but anything tech is big in our home, but as an old school mom, I'm not a fan of a lot of screen time. That being said, if it's about learning and a toy, I'm all about it. I love this Vtech Play Smart Preschool Laptop because it's the best of both worlds in English and Spanish and a great way for your young child to get exposed to more Spanish, while "working n their computer." ;)
Sleek, black toy laptop like Mom and Dad's has 30 learning activites with leveled learning. Personalize it with your child's name, age, avatar and more. Activities include identifying letters, letter sounds, shapes and numbers, and categorizing food into fruits and vegetables. Play logic games, learn about animal sounds and footprints, and explore instrument sounds with a music game. Activities introduce children to beginning Spanish words, letters and numbers.
6) Melissa & Doug: Spanish Alphabet and Numbers Sound Puzzles
While homeschooling my oldest asked me “Mamá porque hay una manzana en la letra A” – Why is there an Apple for letter A in Spanish? Woops time to get an alphabet in Spanish! Great option from Melissa and Dough not only to recognize letters, but also learn the sounds setting the foundation for writing and reading in Spanish. They also have the numbers version to help them get started on counting and number recognition.
7) BeginAgain: Counting Chameleon Bilingual Puzzle
This fun and colorful puzzle is perfect for the bilingual preschooler to practice numbers and counting in sequence. It supports problem solving skills and creative thinking!
8) Hasbro:Scrabble & Monopoly Spanish Editions
These all-time favorites come in the Spanish edition too. Prefect way to practice Spanish as well as add on to their vocabulary. I have fond memories of all the primos (cousins) playing Scrabble and Monopoly in the kitchen table after a family meal. Watch out for the cheaters!
9 ) Wordy Toys Bilingual Puzzles
A toy that promotes healthy eating habits while introducing Spanish?! Yes please! This beautiful wooden set comes in both languages English and Spanish. Perfect to encourage imaginative play and gain cultural exposure.
And for the youngest in the house the Wordy Safari and The Wordy Sea puzzles. Beautiful wooden puzzles that show the name of the animal in both English and Spanish. These puzzles develop fine motor skills and build problem solving techniques.
10) Vtech Magic Star Learning Table
Activity table for the smallest bilinguals in the house. 6 different activities that encourages child to learn and explore. The activities are in English and Spanish for early introduction of the language; helps strengthen fine motor skills, learn colors and numbers, and get baby moving with the music. My daughter was a huge fan of her table.
11) Hola Amigo Box
As we transitioned to homeschooling, I was thrilled to find this amazing bilingual box filled with fun activities that always comes with a new bilingual book. It is also a Latino woman owned small business, that I was all on board to support. The line has 3 options:
- Toddler box – for 2 years to 3 years
- Early learner box – preschool to kindergarten
- Elementary box – 6 years to 10 years
We are using the Early learner box for our preschool pod. All boxes have a theme, and all the activities tie into it, they all come with a couple of crafts and sometimes math and counting games or writing and letter recognition games.
They also have the option to buy some of their boxes as individual purchase and on Holidays there are some add-ons or busy bags as well. We got the Halloween busy bags and decorated our house with those crafts.
12) Petit Advocate
This company creates adorable sensory kits and donates 20% of proceeds to the non-profit that corresponds with the theme. While the kits itself are not bilingual – you can make the activity bilingual or all in Spanish. We discovered them while on my quest to find Día de Muertos activities, they created one on it and donated their proceeds to Border Kindness.
Their themes go from recycling, Pride support, celebrating women, etc. They are sold individually so you can choose the cause that is near and dear to your heart to support.
This Holiday season will be very different, but is also an opportunity to re-engage with our kids, to have that screen free family time and bring out the board games, put on a good Salsa album and have some fun along with healthy competition. No matter the game, you can always keep the conversation in Spanish and take advantage of that time for exposure.
It's always nice when kids get unexpected little surprises and if they happen to promote Spanish language learning, all the better! Hey, isn't Santa multilingual anyway?
Last, but not least please consider #shopsmall and supporting your favorite small business this season.
Feliz Navidad from the mamas behind Mi Legasi!
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