While you are sorting the laundry or through DVDs or even through the junk mail on your table, get your multilingual children interested in their languages! Encourage them to join you in sorting all kinds of objects and help them learn the words of their languages for different shapes, sizes and forms.
Give your child some toys or objects with different characteristics: round vs square, thin vs thick, etc. and have your multilingual child work with you to organize them by different criteria: “All the things that don’t have straight sides go here and everything with a curved side goes here.” Each time your multilingual child hears these words, their vocabulary expands. Multilingual magic!
When you are done with one sorting activity in your child’s languages, change the criteria: “Ok, now everything that has yellow anywhere on it goes here, anything with blue goes here and the rest here”. Discuss the different characteristics: “Is this cube a square? What about this piece of paper?” “Look at this lemon, is it round? Hmmm, not really, huh, it is more oval, like this egg”. Multilingualism in action.
You can also set out different containers for different objects. An egg carton with different small items can also be fun: rice in one compartment, kidney beans in another peas, small stones, macaroni, etc. Give your child a spoon and they can move the items from one compartment to another. This is a great opportunity to spend time together discussing shapes, colors, sizes, etc. in your multilingual child’s languages.
What things do you like to sort or organize with your multilingual children and how do you incorporate the second language? Share your activiy tips with us!