The holidays are almost here – can you believe it?! We can’t either! The calendar doesn’t lie, though, so it’s time to buckle down and make those plans.
There are so many amazing products out there specifically for bilingual kids (like our books, a present that the kids can open again and again –
wink wink), but often the best gifts are experiences rather than things to unwrap.
Here are 12 fabulous multilingual, experience-based gift ideas to make this Christmas memorable and language-filled!
1. Pick a new movie or an old classic to watch together.
2. Invite a special family member or friend who speaks the home language.
If that isn’t feasible, schedule a virtual visit over Skype! A beautiful tradition in Germany and Scandinavia is to celebrate the 4 Sundays before Christmas by inviting friends and family to gather around the Advent wreath. The wreath holds 4 candles. Each Sunday before Christmas, one new candle is lit, until all 4 candles are burning. Christmas is now less than a week away! Make it a tradition and organize an Advent Sunday brunch, tea, or barbecue. If you can’t gather in person, host a Skype session with family abroad.
Play Uno, Pictionary, Scrabble or other games in the target language. A game my kids still love is “Yes, No, Black, White”. In this game, you are not allowed to say any of the before-mentioned words, while the leader is asking rapid questions. It is a lot of fun and kids of all ages can play and have a blast. Here’s a quick example:
Leader: “What color are your teeth?” Player1: “yellow” (remember he is not allowed to say “white”) Leader: “What? Did you not brush your teeth today?” Player 1: “yes, of course, I did!” You guessed it… Player 1 is out XXX
4. Home language storytime.
Did you know that in Iceland it’s a tradition to give books for Christmas? It’s called “Jolabokaflod” (Yule – or Christmas – book flood). Families gather around a fire, drink hot chocolate (always a good addition, no matter if it is winter or summer where you live) and read books together. Start your own Jolabokaflod Tradition.
So go ahead, create a special reading nook and snuggle up for storytime. This is a great opportunity to introduce a popular book, character, or fairy tale from your home culture or a classic you always loved. Don’t forget the hot chocolate!!!
5. Have a bilingual Christmas dance party night!
Create a playlist of the catchiest hits in the home language, and make sure to mix in some Christmas songs as well. Make it extra fun by stringing up lights and dressing up for the dance floor! Christmas Songs in various languages
6. Spend an evening baking holiday treats together!
Practice your language together as you cook. You could even research traditional desserts in the target culture and try a new recipe! Here’s an easy cookie recipe we have used a few times: Easy Sugar Cookie Recipe. The cookies are done in no time and can be baked in advance. Smaller kids can easily decorate, so you can spend quality time focusing on your target language
7. Plan a special outing for the family or go outdoors.
Buy tickets to a sporting event, a kiddie concert, the ballet or the zoo. Discuss the trip in the target language as you prepare and while you are there. Or simply go outdoors and enjoy the rain (splash in the puddles), snow (make angels in the snow and build a snow ma) or sun (You lucky bugger! Just don’t rub it in).
8. Build a Family Scrapbook or 2020 Calendar together.
Print out pictures from the year, and spend an evening reminiscing as you create a photo album documenting all the fun you’ve had.
9. Gift your child a one-on-one dinner date with mom or dad.
Let your child choose a favorite restaurant and spend time discussing the menu options in the target language. Bonus points if they choose a restaurant from the home culture!
10. Magazine subscription – in the target language of course!
Try to find a subject that fits their interests. You can find popular titles like National Geographic Kids, People, and Highlights for Children in Spanish and several other languages.
11. Plan a scavenger hunt with clues in the target language.
Have a fun prize waiting for them as a reward for solving the clues.
12. Read a personalized bilingual book together!
Customize and order one of our popular children’s books. Make your child the hero of their own Underwater Adventure, Swan Lake performance, or Football/Soccer match!
If you choose to make us a part of your child’s Christmas this year, don’t delay! We offer FREE SHIPPING for Christmas orders, but we have some tight deadlines depending on where in the world you live. Check out all of the international shipping deadlines here: https://timtimtom.com/christmas-ordering-deadlines/
We’d love to hear your ideas for experience-based gifts for kids! Leave a comment or visit us over on Instagram to join the conversation.
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