Tips on Motivating Your Child to Learn a Minority Language


I have mentioned on several occasions that our family is multilingual. My husband speaks 5 languages. I speak fluently 3. Our children are growing up trilingual as well.

I will admit, though, that it hasn’t been easy for me  to maintain our minority language – Russian – in the family. I don’t follow OPOL, I switch languages. I am also not the most consistent when it comes to speaking Russian to my children.

Actually, I was quite consistent till my older 2 turned 2. Then, they just chose English as their main language as it is the language in our home, and most of our friends speak English, too.

I have many times felt guilt of not being more persistent with teaching them Russian. Until one day, my oldest, who went through a stage between 3 and 4 absolutely despising speaking Russian to showing high interest in it and picking up more and more. And even asking me to teach her in a more formal way!

And then, my 3 year old, who is still refusing to speak Russian, suddenly started reciting Russian alphabet and numbers 1-10. Which happened due to her always enjoying playing with a so-called computer – an interactive toy we brought back from our last trip in 2015, that allows you to listen to the letters and words associated with them; and has some matching and guessing games. So, she learned the alphabet and she can recognise the letters in a complete random order!

All of this made me think that unconsciously I have been actually helping my children become interested in their mother tongue, which has become the minority language.

And so, I tried several things that have since been motivating for all 3 kids (with the youngest still using more English but understanding and replying in Russian when asked to).

So, here are the tips that motivate my children to learn their minority language:

1. Having books in this language at home and actually reading them to your children. In our home we encourage reading in general and our kids love books. They often ask me to read something for them.

2. Showing them cartoons in this minority language. Something so simple like Masha And the Bear (in relation to Russian), where there aren’t many words but they are quite repetitive. Kids love it and the learn the words and phrases, and what meaning they are  associated with. At least once a week when they asked to watch TV I give them a condition that it should be a Russian cartoon. They can take it, or leave it. In our case it is a 100% success.

3. Meeting other people who speaks this language and having a conversation in front of the kids. It can be a real conversation or a Skype call with your family. Let’s face it: kids are curious! They always listen on the background what you are talking about. They may not seem to be paying attention, but they are playing and learning. And at some point they WILL ask you what you were taking about and you can encourage them to learn the language.

4. Playing with other children who speak this language. This is not always possible depending on where you live. But grab any opportunity! Kids learn from each other.

5. Using technology: online learning programs, apps and more. All of this in combination and in moderation raises awareness, promotes motivation to learn this language.

6. If possible and affordable – sign them up for special classes. My oldest is not having fun learning Chinese characters. So we signed her up for a special calligraphy class where she is enjoying painting and writing the characters more than ever.

7. Visiting countries that speak this language is very beneficial, too. It can also be a virtual trio!

8. Avoiding pushing. No, it doesn’t mean not to try speaking to your child in this language. It simply means if they child is feeling very strong and is refusing – do not punish him/her, do not get frustrated, or discouraged. Revisit it again.

I hope these tips are helpful. Please share your own!

ABC Cards Games For Tots


Today is the second day of Fun Ways of Playing with ABC’s hosted by Something 2 Offer.

Today we are sharing about storebrought items that we can utilise and my category is tots!

I will introduce a few games that can be played with tots with ABC cards. They are simple and engaging and help developing fine and gross motor skills and language. These games are also great when emphasising a minority or a second/ third language.


Note: go very slow with tots. Use not more than 1 or 2 cards at a time.
Avoid baby language – tots need to hear to say words clearly. You can emphasize your articulation and repeat your requests and letters several times.

“Pick Up the Card”


Place a card on the floor and ask your tot to pick it up. E.g. “Pick up R for me please!” Praise and repeat!

“Give Me the Card”


Ask your tot to give the card to you: ” Please give me R!” Praise and repeat.

“Where Is the Card?”
Show the letter card to your tot and then hide it behind your back and ask: “Where is R?” Look around with your tot, flash the end of the card from behind your back – encourage him to look for it.
Note: tots might be reluctant to give the card back to you. Give them time to play with the card, don’t push it.

“Swat the Card”
Using a sweater or a soft stick, ask the tot to swat the card: “Swat R!” Encourage and praise.

These are very simple games that any tot at any stage would like. Once they are able to repeat them, encourage them to say the letter with you!

Please stop by the Landing Page for Storebought Ideas to see what other bloggers shared!

{The Very Best Activities of 2013}


best of 2013

I am starting 2014 by participating in The Very Best Kids Activities of 2013 which is organized by bloggers from Kid Blogger Network!

How does it work? Each participant chooses 1 of his/her favorite posts from 2013 and write about it and we visit other blogs to check out their activities from 2013!

Here’s my most favorite activity of 2013:

Mother’s Day Flower and Lady Bird Craft

Over all, 2013 was a great year for our family. I managed to take my daughters to Russia for a short visit, our older daughter turned 5, and we also found out that we will have another baby in 2014! So the excitement and wonderful expectations continue!

I have also taken an active part in Multicultural Kid Blogs Community and made many wonderful new friends both online and in person. I am wishing a wonderful year ahead! Don’t forget to stop by my blog from time to time and leave a comment under my posts!


Below you’ll find over 50 Kid Blogger Network members coming together for The KBN Best Of 2013 Blog Hop. We know you’ll find tons of wonderful ideas to browse, pin and share. We’d love for you to join the blog hop and share your favorite activity of 2013 too, and make sure you’re following the Kid Blogger Network on Pinterest
Happy New Year from the KBN Best of 2013 Blog Hop Co-Hosts! 
Powerful MotheringThe Good Long Road, All Done Monkey, Afterschool for Smarty Pants, B-Inspired Mama, Babble Dabble DoBits of PositivityBoy Mama Teacher MamaCaution! Twins at PlayChild Central Station, Creative Family Fun, Creative World of VaryaCute and PeculiarDirt and Boogers, Edventures with KidsThe European Mama, The Eyes of a BoyThe Fairy and the FrogFrogs and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails, Fun-A-Day!, Glittering Muffins, ,  Growing Book by Book, Hands on: as we growHere Come The Girls, iGame Mom, I Heart Crafty ThingsInspiration Laboratories, Kid World CitizenKiddie FoodiesKids Yoga Stories, Kitchen Counter Chronicles, LalymomLemon Lime Adventures, Let’s Play MusicLiving Montessori Now, Makeovers and MotherhoodMama SmilesMulticultural Kids Blog, My Little 3 and Me, P is for Preschooler, Peckle PiePennies of TimePlaydough to PlatoPlayDrMom, Preschool Powol PacketsRacheous – Lovable LearningStill Playing School, Smiling Like Sunshine, Stir the WonderTeach Me Mommy, Teach PreschoolThere’s Just One Mommy, Toddler ApprovedTrue Aim Education, Tutus and Tea PartiesWhere Imagination Grows, and Wildflower Ramblings.