Head start with bilingual bedtime stories!

The Buzz | September 12, 2018

Here are some amazing benefits to exposing your kids to bilingualism

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By: Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

 

Like me, you may love bedtime with baby for the bath time scents, the snuggles, the giggles, and the stories. Nursery rhymes, in particular, are wonderful for little ones as there is a cadence in the rhyming that helps little ears become attuned to phonics and develop early literacy skills. Why not give toddlers an extra edge by exposing them to nursery rhymes in two languages? Won’t you both be proud when your toddler effortlessly rattles off a rhyme in English and in a second language, like Spanish?

 

Why is bilingualism so good?

Countless studies support the idea that bilingualism is good for babies. Bilingualism has been linked to:

  • Improved cognitive skills which influence how babies learn, remember, pay attention and problem solve
  • Improved executive functioning which involves self-control and self-regulation
  • Protecting the brain later in life which includes the offset of dementia

 

And of course, if you’re raising bilingual babies, you’re raising global citizens – opening up their world to more people, cultures, and experiences to enrich their lives.  Now that feels good!

“How can I raise a bilingual baby if I only speak one language” you might ask?

Surprise! You don’t need to speak a second language to expose your little one to a language like Spanish. Spanish is a completely phonetic language. Each and every letter makes the same sound consistently throughout all vocabulary, making Spanish much easier to read than English!

 

  1. Read:  One of the easiest ways is to pick up a bilingual book and read along one language at a time. Knowing the story in the dominant language helps them process the story in the second language much faster, facilitating their language acquisition.  Buy a book at your favorite bookstore or get one in some of your favorite Burt’s Bees Baby’s gift sets.
  2. Sing: Lullabies and nursery rhymes are a great way to introduce a second language through music. Babies love repetition and hearing the words again and again makes it easier to remember. Find our sing-along nursery rhymes here, and get singing! They’ll build up that baby brain as they doze off to sleep.
  3. Don’t get discouraged: Is it easy? No. Is it worth it? Absolutely. Even if your baby never becomes fully bilingual, simply exposing your little one to a second language for some period of time has huge benefits!

¡Vamos! Let’s go! It’s never too early to start.

Bedtime just got better.

 

About the author

Nuria is an entrepreneur and mom raising two bilingual children. She joined forces with another mom, Susie Jaramillo, and founded Encantos – a family entertainment and education company for today’s multicultural families. Susie is the creator behind their first brand: Canticos – a bilingual baby and toddler brand with books, apps, and sing-along videos. Nuria serves as Executive Producer of Canticos digital shorts which are now available across Nick Jr.’s digital preschool platforms: on NickJr.com/Canticos, Nick Jr.’s YouTube page and on the Nick Jr. and NOGGIN apps.

You can find Canticos books in the Burt’s Bees Baby Bee Box and in a number of Burt’s Bees Baby gift sets.

You can learn more about Canticos at www.CanticosWorld.com and watch the bilingual sing-along videos on NickJr.com/Canticos. Follow them on Instagram @CanticosWorld.

 


Sources:

http://dana.org/Cerebrum/2012/The_Cognitive_Benefits_of_Being_Bilingual/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4442091/

One thought on Head start with bilingual bedtime stories!

  • If you’re looking for great music to encourage language development in both English and Spanish, check out 123 Andrés, 2016 Latin Grammy winners for Best Children’s Album. Their first two feature original songs and music in both Spanish and English, without code switching. All songs are presented in both languages. The third album, released this year, are lullabies, both original and well-known songs. Enjoy!

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