My friends, if you are in any of my Con mi Familia Spanish courses, you know I encourage you time and again to read to your little ones in Spanish, even as a total beginner. The language input that you get from reading is absolutely phenomenal for your learning at home, and it helps children fall in love with the sounds of the language and the way it flows while also promoting a love of literature. I have been looking forward to writing this blog post for weeks! The moment I discovered Habbi Habbi's bilingual books and Reading Wand on Instagram I knew that these would be a game changer for language learning at home. I love that they bring more Spanish into homes without the need for screens or stress. I love that the Reading Wand brings the books to life with just a tap and that my children can engage with the Spanish language all on their own. Most of all, I love that they are for every family, whether you are just starting out on your language learning journey or are already a bilingual home; these books are a true staple.
Now, I have seen first hand how difficult it is for a total beginner to read in Spanish. My husband always struggled with learning a foreign language in school. He is now quite literally learning Spanish alongside my children as they grow up (that's what inspired my course in the first place!) and he works so hard to read every book they bring him, even when it is a Spanish chapter book. I know how much work it is and I know how exhausting it can be! So even though I want you to keep pushing yourself to read books all by yourself to your children in Spanish, it is undeniable that these books are an invaluable resource when cultivating a bilingual home.
Habbi Habbi is a two-mama-run company that has language learning and a love of literacy at its core. With high quality board books and an epic Reading Wand, they help take the stress out of reading in another language and make it accessible for everyone. So many families are worried about correct pronunciation when learning a different language and I love that the Reading Wand takes away the pressure and creates an incredibly interactive experience for children (and adults)! I was blown away when my children started to use it and I am realizing more and more that, even as a Spanish speaking mama, this is exactly what I have been needing. As the only source of Spanish input for my children (aside from movies on weekends and music) it can be exhausting at times constantly speaking in my non-native language- it is serious brain work! Adding something in that can help increase the Spanish spoken and heard in our home without needing to add any screen time is a game changer for me.
Ever since our books arrived, my children spend probably an hour total each day (15 minutes here and there) reading and interacting with the books on their own. They are able to listen to and repeat the Spanish and English words they hear. They ask questions as they listen about the characters and their stories. They dance to the music. The pretend that the reading wand is a phone and touch the stories over and over to have someone call them. All the while, no matter how they are using it, they are interacting in two languages seamlessly. Me? I'm enjoying a hot cup of tea, taking a few deep breaths and loving every second.
So, how can Habbi Habbi books work in your home? Here are a few ideas and tips that can help you take your Spanish learning to the next level by introducing these libros.
1) Vocabulary builder! If you are already in my course and feel like you are wanting to bring even more vocabulary and more phrases into your world then these books are perfect. You can even find books to fit with different weeks in my course (food, body, emotions, family, home) and can use them to help reinforce new words and themes as you work through Con mi Familia! The best way to use these books as a vocabulary builder is to work right along side your little one. Read through the book using the wand and repeat each and every word or phrase you hear. You can quiz each other by asking where something is in Spanish and then see if you can touch the right thing with your magic wand! The reading wand takes all of the guess work out of learning new words and will help with lots of repetition you until you have the correct pronunciation and a firm grasp of your new vocabulary.
2) Veo veo... My littles and I have been playing the Spanish version of I spy as we read through these books and it has been an amazing way to get them to speak Spanish and really put their language skills to use. I will say "veo, veo...una zanahoria" and then they have to find the carrot on the page with the reading wand. I also love that I don't need to correct them, the reading wand is such a gentle guide to keep them guessing until they find the right thing. Then it's their turn! They say "Veo veo..." and it may be in English sometimes and Spanish other times but the beauty is you get both answers whenever the reading wand touches an item. The Spanish is always there. This is a great way to bring these books into your play and will help encourage your little one to speak the language with you.
3) Long car trip coming up? I am that mom who tortures her children with long car trips and almost no entertainment. We can look out the windows, sing songs, tell stories or sleep...those are the options I give my toddlers...am I cruel? Well now I feel more ready than ever for a long car trip now that I have these books! I love that my children can bring these on a long trip and have lots of screen-free Spanish entertainment. Just give them a reading wand and a stack of books and you can all listen and learn together while you're in the car. More than one little one using these books in the car? The wand even has a headphone jack! Instead of having two books battle it out at once with the sound, you can give your kiddos their own headphones to use as they read and interact with the books.
4) Learn to read in another language! Spanish is incredibly phonetic and unlike English can be sounded out easily once you know your letter sounds and simple accent rules. With Habbi Habbi, you can begin the journey of learning to read in another language with your kiddos. These books are an amazing support and you can listen to the word, look at each letter as you sound it out on your own and then listen again to double check. Slowly, your children will be able to sound the words and phrases out on their own but they will always have the reading want to help if they ever feel stuck. This isn't all you will need when learning to read but it is a great tool for support.
These are just a few ways that you can use these books to really help take your language learning to the next level. I am so excited to bring them into my own home and feel grateful to have even more ways to encourage my littles to listen to and speak Spanish in a fun and engaging way. They also have bilingual books available in Chinese and the Reading Wand works for both languages seamlessly! My children have really been wanting to learn Chinese and I'm so glad I will have these books to help support us on our next language learning journey. Please reach out if you have any questions and stay tuned for more tips and tricks on how to use these books in your home!
**This is not a paid or sponsored post. I discovered Habbi Habbi books on my own and genuinely fell in love with them and wanted to share them with you! I will always disclose whenever I am sponsored to write a blog post and whenever I receive a commission.**