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The Whole Child, Issue #051 - Bilingual homes
April 28, 2008


The Whole Child e-zine brings you free preschool activities each week to maximize your child's potential, build skills and parent-child relationships in just a few minutes per day. Useful tips, quotes, resources, opportunities and articles will be added for extra value!

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April 2008, Issue #050

Bilingual homes

Site Build It!

1. Hello from Shirley

My baby turned ONE on 21 April and I suppose that means she is officially a toddler now, since she is running all over. The other children are now 3, 5, 8, 9 and 16. Quite an age span for one household, but we love it. How do we do it? One day at a time!

I always say that for me, having only one or two children was harder than having the 6 I have now…and money was tighter too. As our family has grown, so has our income, confirming my belief that God will not give you a child and then not provide for her!

2. Take a look at Shirleys Preschool Activities

If you haven’t yet, scroll down the page of Preschool Ideas by Subject and find something new to investigate with your children.

Here are other themes to look out for at this time of the year:

13 May: Mothers’ Day

15 June: Father’s Day

Special SiteSell Promotion

3. Quote

"Faith is not given so you can avoid the hard times, it is given to get you through the hard times.”

Liberty S Savard, Shattering Your Strongholds

4. Tips

If you are raising your children in a bilingual home, you are giving your children a great linguistic advantage. As we all know, it is much easier for children to learn languages than adults. Sometimes the children’s language skills are initially a little ‘behind’ those of their age mates, because they are acquiring ‘double’ the amount of language info, but soon they catch up. It is best if each parent speaks their own mother tongue only with the child, rather than mixing two languages.

5. Readiness Activities

The following activities are aimed at ages 2-3. For older children, adapt the activity to their ability or alternatively repeat the activities previously suggested for ages 3-5 in the Backissues of The Whole Child publication.

To download the activities in a printable pdf, click here. You will need to have Adobe Reader installed. It’s a free download. Repeat these activities often - with your own variations too!


1. Gross motor skills

Balance: Find a spacious, comfortable area on the floor or the grass and play ‘aeroplane’ by lying on your back and lifting your child onto your feet above you.

2. Fine motor skills

Manual dexterity: Take large pieces of newspaper and ask your child to use one hand at a time to screw them into balls. This is good for the muscles of the hands. To give the activity a further purpose, make a target and let your child aim and throw the balls at the target. You could use a low laundry basket, waste paper bin or an easy object like a chair as the target!

3. Visual skills

Visual analysis and synthesis: Encourage your child to build age appropriate puzzles.

4. Auditory skills

Music appreciation: Expand your child’s musical horizons by listening to different genres of music. More about Music Appreciation

5. Mathematical skills

Numerical conceptualising: Encourage your child to count by asking her to put away three toys at a time, then four, then five if she can count that far!

6. Language skills

Practice opposites by making some statements like this:

The car is not inside the house, it is... (outside).
The grass is not above the sky, but... (below).
The tree is not shorter than me but... (taller). etc

Encourage your child to complete the sentence correctly. You may need to practice these concepts a few times before the child gets them right!

7. Faith-building

Spend some time romping, cuddling, tickling or holding and stroking your child. Tell her how much you love her and how much God loves her too. Experts agree that children may have different love languages and loving touch, words of appreciation and time are a few that you can use to convey your love to them.

Greetings until next month
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