Bilingual Family in Barcelona Part 2
I can't help but to repeat myself: Take every opportunity to travel to countries and immerse your family in your target language!
I'm back, sharing resources we picked up from our recent travels to Barcelona, Spain. This list is much smaller than the list I had from our previous trip to Mexico City. For this trip, I did not take a large suitcase in order to limit my overall carrying capacity. This directly affected my choices of what I decided to purchase and what I had to leave behind. Believe me, there were so many games, toys, and books I wanted to bring back but had to make the hard decision to pick and choose wisely. So here it goes...
Activity Books / Crafts
We were able to find an assortment of activity books and craft sets at various shops in Barcelona. When visiting Casa Batllo, one of Gaudi's creations, we picked up both the trencadis sticker book and Barcelona travel coloring book. Trencadis is the signature style of Gaudi's decorative style and I felt the book lent itself to important fine motor practice by having the children peel stickers and place them on various forms. The suitcase coloring book served as a reminder of the places we were able to visit and how I could explain them to our kids back home. I fell in love with Djeco brand toys. These were some of their compact art sets. The top set has a few pages with printed animals. Children are to decorate it using stickers. My plan for using this activity set is to have my children decorate it and tell me a story verbally about the animal. I will write their dictated story and bind these stories into a book. The bottom left art set is water painting for children 18 months and beyond. Easy mess-free solution for painting, and the sheets are reusable. Endless fun! The last craft set is decorating animal felt-cut-outs. My plan is to have my kids decorate the animals and create scenes for them out of construction paper. This would help them with their fine motor and cutting skills.
Las Sílabas was one I found in at least two stores. I liked the academic quality and perfect for when we begin the transition into kindergarten. The brand, Educativa, has a few similar games with words and numbers all in Spanish. The Magnetic Fishing game is also a Djeco brand toy like some of the crafts above. I liked this set because the pieces were made out of wood and the colors were vibrant and catchy. We have played this game a few times now, and we practice taking turns and describing the fish we catch.
I was looking for non-fiction books in particular during this trip. I came across many interesting titles. In fact one I wanted to purchase was about bodily functions - why we bleed with a cut and how it heels or why boogers are different colors and what that means. The reason I did not purchase it was because it was only printed in Catalan and hadn't been translated to Spanish yet. An issue we deal with a lot in the US since lots of books haven't been translated or their translation is subpar. From the books we did purchase, there were a few Usborne books: Yo Me Pregunto: Los Alimentos, and Yo Me Pregunto: El Arte. Some of you may have seen that I had posted about an online Usborne party I was hosting after returning from our trip. Usborne is a UK based publisher who offers a variety of interactive books like flip-the-flap, shine light, touch-feel, and many activity and puzzle books as well. In recent years, they have grown their Spanish language offerings which made me love the publisher and their books. Another publisher I came across that had quality informational and fun books was Edebé. These titles include: Mi Enciclopedia de los Animals Muy Importantes and Libro Juego Para Salvar el Planeta. Groupo Edebé is based in Barcelona and prints textbooks as well as many children's informational text. Atlas del Cuerpo Humano is published by Albatros, a Czech publishing company. The last book pictured Mi Primer Libro de Ciencia: El Espacio is published by Grupo Editorial Bruño in Madrid but was originally published as First Facts and Flaps: Super Space by Pam Macmillan based in the UK. Their sub publisher Campbell Books has the tag line: "Books you can play with, toys you can read."
I love the idea of offering variety when it comes to our activities in the home. These two titles caught my eye because they both have lots of crafts and exploration play that is easy to set up and kids will love. Both of these books were published in 2019, so I felt great getting them right off the press.
Philosophy & Puzzles
We came across these two and thought they were perfect for older children and adults. Mando Cruel is a deck of visual cards with a variety of questions printed on the back of each. The questions are philosophical and makes you have deep conversations about the topic. Everything from what it means to eat meat to how are robots helping or hurting mankind. Escape Book Junior reminded us of Goosebump choose your ending books. Each chapter has you read the clues and figure out a solution to the problem getting you closer and closer to the finish line. The book has a variety of puzzles: mathematical, visual, word meaning, hidden messages, and codes. As adults, we got stumped on some.
There you have it, our goodies from Barcelona. I didn't come back with any souvenirs for friends and family but I am sure excited to share these books with my nenes (secretly I'm excited to read them myself!)
These gifts were all purchased at a variety of shops around Barcelona. For the list of shops click here.