Country (residing now): Mexico Country (originally from): USA Children, Ages: 2 daughters: F. (Born September 2013) and P. (Born January 2016) Majority Language: Spanish Minority Language(s): English
Baking with a toddler can get very messy, but I've also discovered it's a great way to boost the ml language!
My older daughter is 2 1/2 and she's still not at the stage I'd like her to be using the ml with me. Her phrases are still in the ML with ml words sprinkled here and there... She'll be entering preschool (in ML) this year, in August, and I'm naturally worried about the effect this will have on her ml language acquisition. So I'm trying to increase the input she receives in ml and I've found that baking (or cooking but I enjoy baking much more) is a great way to expand vocabulary and start getting her to talk in the ml.
I've noticed that I'm beginning to "condition" her experience in baking. On one hand, it's something she only does with me and always in the ml. Since it's just the two of us there's no ML interference; everything is in "our language". On the other hand, she's learning baking vocabulary only in the ml (for now) so she has to use it. I do a lot to emphasize reading the instructions from the recipe book, pointing out the ingredients and narrating everything we're doing. The last time we baked muffins, she started saying the ingredients in the ml and even creating sentences on her own. So, I'm happy with my ml activity and hope to keep on doing it!
I have recently made the same discovery with my nearly 2.5 year old! A friend pointed out the advantage of getting a wipeable tablecloth so it doesn't matter how much mess we make (don't know why I didn't think of that earlier). Like you say, lots of new vocabulary and even biscuits as a reward at the end!
Another tip I had is making collages by cutting out pictures from old magazines together and sticking them on paper then drawing (scribbling!) round them. Another opportunity for vocabulary describing the pictures, colours etc.
Jennifer and Caireen, sounds like you're both having some productive (and tasty) fun!
My daughter (now 11) loves to cook, and though I'm hopeless at cooking myself, I feed that interest--and her minority language side--by getting suitable cookbooks for her. She now has a number of cookbooks in English and uses them regularly to make us little treats!
"Maximize Your Child's Bilingual Ability: Ideas and inspiration for even greater success and joy raising bilingual kids", now available at Amazon (http://amzn.to/22XKuCt) and all global Amazon sites
Great ideas! How do you do cooking with toddlers? I tried a few times with my daughter and found it very messy and frustrating...now she's older and we still bake/cook occasionally but it's even more difficult now with my 17mnth son...looking forward to when we can all do it together. Any tips welcomed!
Oh yes!!! I've seen their FB page and would love to get the cookbook!! Will have to just go for it and try it with both of them one day and shut my eyes to how messy it could get. I have memories of my daughter picking up the bowl and tipping it up so the floor was covered in flour, sugar etc!!!
My son is now 3 and still loves baking. As I mentioned above, using a wipeable tablecloth at the dining table made a big difference to the amount of mess when he was younger. Now he's a bit older, he stands on a stool at the kitchen worktop next to me so he can watch and join in with what I'm doing. But he's old enough to know not to touch any sharp knives or the stove, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it with your younger one!
He loves helping weigh out ingredients. I use a food processor for most baking and he likes switching that on and watching it mix everything. And yes, it's messy and it would be quicker to just do it myself, but it really does provide a lot of things to talk about and describe including the names of ingredients and cooking implements, many of which he only knows in ml at the moment because he's only come across them while baking and cooking with me.
Thanks! My daughter never liked the noise of the food processor/handheld electric whisk/mixer!! I've heard that the TV series and cookbooks I Can Cook are great for kids/toddlers so want to try and buy them and give it a go with my little one as well as my daughter as currently I haven't even done much baking/cooking with my daughter!
Mayken: My girl and I are going to see her ml grandma in our ml country for the Easter weekend. (And buy more books!)
Apr 13, 2017 4:35:53 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken, I hope you two have a fun, book-happy weekend!
Apr 13, 2017 5:23:08 GMT 9
Mayken: On the train from Paris to Cologne we sat next to another ml mother and daughter from our school! Only noticed when almost in Cologne. It's a small ML-ml world!
Apr 13, 2017 21:40:37 GMT 9
Amy: Got fleeting impression during Skype call with daughter on holiday at grandparents' in ml1 country, that her ml1 pronunciation has improved! She even seemed more confident speaking in ml2!
Apr 14, 2017 23:12:48 GMT 9
Adam Beck: Mayken and Amy, you and your kids are both doing so well! Keep up your wonderful efforts!
Apr 15, 2017 21:26:50 GMT 9
Mayken: During the traditional German Easter fire, my daughter met her friend from her school day in the ml school! So many birds with one stone! (Sorry for the birds ;))
Apr 16, 2017 18:51:11 GMT 9