Play Time and New Words!


February 15, 2013 by empraise

Yesterday seemed like a breakthrough “word” day.  During our walk down by the river he started saying agua (well, it was really more like “abua” but he knew when to use it!) for “water”.  He also started saying dedo (“doh”) for “toes” and used the “t” sound for the first time while trying to pronounce tenedor “fork”.  It’s interesting to see which words he utilizes in Spanish and which in German.  For example, he says “muh!” for moon (obviously closer to the German mond and not the Spanish luna).  Same story with mouth (which sounds very close to moon in German and is boca in Spanish).

His other communication skills are improving too.  He consistently signs for por favor/please/bitter and loves to identify buses/áutobuses (“bus!”) and motorcycles (he makes a motor sound with his lips).  I am still unsure how to handle situations when he pronounces a word in a language I am not using.  For the moment I say, “Muy bien amor, Papa dice mond y yo digo luna!” or I simply repeat it after him in Spanish.  I’m encouraged because even when he vocalizes the German sound for a word, he can still identify it when I ask him in Spanish.  This is the case with his mouth and the moon and others too!

We have been enjoying creative play as his attention span is getting longer and he is getting better at using his hands.  Plastilina is a definite favorite.  Playdoh!  ImageImageImage

We have also been working on him being gentle and so I thought it might be appropriate to do an activity where we discussed objects that were hard/soft. Through this activity I learned the difference between suave (soft/smooth to the touch or of a soft/smooth surface) and blando (gives way to the touch, the opposite of firm/hard, soft/squishy?).  We use the phrases “Sé amable”, “Sé más gentíl” or “Sé dulce” a lot.  This activity I got from No Time For Flashcards (love this site!) and uses a mixtures of soft and hard items.  Little M took them out and put them in the wetwipes box.  His hand is just too big to fit through the little opening and fish out the items inside!

Speaking of fish….Big M got the idea of doing an “animal encounter” with some tropical fish.  Little M warmed up to the idea pretty quickly, after his bath water warmed up!  At first it was too cold and he was squealing and not wanting to get in.  Soon he even picked one of the fish up and we got to talk about being gentle.


So, when should I use pelota and when should I use bola?  Little M’s original ball pit deflated so we bought him this puppy bed.  It was all we could find in the Korean grocery store in the middle of winter.  It’s way too small, but he loves it.  But, for example, what would I call those pom poms (puffy/fuzzy craft balls) that I was using in the hard vs. soft activity?


Enjoying reading his libros. This one his Grammy recorded and read to him (in English of course!)


Favorite autobús!


3 thoughts on “Play Time and New Words!

  1. Beka says:

    Love this! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Jennifer Gnolfo says:

    Yay! Finally, a non native bilingualism blog for spanish speakers! yours is the first helpful one I’ve found. I am raising my son bilingual in oak park, il, near chicago. My son is just 17 months, close to yours. I was enthralled reading your must recent posts about whether to speak english at home or in the presence of non bilingual family. I’ve had the same mix of emotions. I love your idea to do online tutoring to ask pointed grammar and vocabulary questions ! I love the new words and inquiries into subtleties, such as the difference bola and pelota. I have the same question. Please do share your insight. I’ll keep reading! Feel free to write me if you have time.

    • empraise says:

      So happy you found us Jennifer! Thanks for your feedback. I am thrilled that our little blog has been helpful or encouraging to you, even if only in a small way. I have found it so encouraging to encounter other kindred spirits as we navigate this very tricky road of non-native bilingualism. You can be sure I really love hearing your thoughts and experiences too! Will look forward to talking with you more soon.

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