Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Florida Vacation

We were fortunate enough to get to visit my grandpa who lives in the Florida Keys again this summer. My husband could not come with us on this trip because of work but my wonderful mother came along to help keep the kids safe and me sane. :)

Here are some random pictures from our trip. If anyone is planning a trip to the Florida Keys with kids, let me know. I have experienced it twice now and I can give you some pointers to survive, I mean, have a good time.

Change of Scenery

Playing with playdough is nothing new for my boys. I just commented to my mother the other day that I think we could throw out all of the toys in the house and just keep building blocks and playdough and the boys would hardly notice. Just for a change of pace on a morning with beautiful weather, we pulled our little table and chairs to the backyard and set up the playdough. They had a blast and the clean-up was easy. Win-win situation for all of us. My favorite part of this photo is Mateo's headband. You might recognize the yellow crepe paper from the tentacles of our jellyfish that we used to countdown to our trip to Florida. After removing each one, Mateo insisited on wearing it. :)

Just Being Silly

How bilingual children play

At four and a half years old, Diego is definitely a bilingual child. Spanish is still his strongest language with a larger vocabulary but English is catching up at an amazing rate. He still only speaks Spanish with his father and I (something that I very much encourage) but he will switch to English or Spanish depending on the language preference of his playmates. He really has only one friend with whom he speaks Spanish. This little boy's parents do not speak English and his mother babysat for the boys while I worked. Now that his friend has entered school, I have noticed that they will sometimes speak to each other in English. This is usually when I will interrupt the conversation and ask a question in Spanish to get them back on track. It is critical to Diego's longterm language success to have many Spanish-speakers in his life.

Between Diego and Mateo, they almost always speak Spanish. I know that is it a little deceptive but if Diego says something to Mateo in English, I gently remind him that Mateo does not understand English and he must speak to him in Spanish. Diego is Mateo's hero and wants to do everything exactly like his big brother. If Mateo is going to be bilingual, it is imperative that his brother speaks to him in Spanish.

So what language does Diego speak while he is playing alone? Both. In the picture below, Diego had built two robots. One was speaking English and the other was speaking Spanish. At one point I heard one robot yell at the other, "Pero no hablo inglés!" (But I don't speak English.)

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