Discover Velazquez, Picasso and Dali with kids

It is a great excitement to learn culture through art, especially if they are hands-on experiences. The great master`s works that shaped Spanish heritage and provide limitless ways of enjoy art. Here are presentations about Velazquez, Picasso and Dali containing interesting facts about the painter, suggestions of puzzles, coloring pages and other activities,Youtube videos about paintings and books.








Preparing for a New Baby

Ever since I got pregnant I was looking for mothers with more than one child. My fellow bloggers have shared how they were preparing for the arrival of the new baby in their families:

“In korean culture it’s normal for moms to leave their kids with their in-laws or own parents, then the mil/own mom helps mom during my 2nd baby’s first 100days because it is necessary for moms to recuperate during that time. Some people also bring a cake home from the hospital to celebrate the becoming of an older sibling of my firstborn.” shares a fellow blogger Jackie Park, she writes a blog about her multicultural family in Seoul.


Varya, a Russian mother living in China:”We all went to see gender ultrasound. I think it is important to talk about the baby, read books, shows ultrasound pictures etc. We used to show the videos from baby center website and YouTube about baby’s development. And we shopped together and went through baby clothes, baby toys and diapers ”

Eolia, a French mother living Germany, she talked about the baby with her two children, explaining  the kicks in her belly and what is about to happen. She shared that her son (3yo and 2 m) was a bit disturbed by the fact that she couldn’t hold him as much and many tantrums after the birth of another child. “BUT he kissed my belly each night and loved to feel her move. He liked the fact to have a sibling”.


I have been constantly talking, reading (especially siblings without rivalry), absorbing and looking for our ways for transition:

As a multilingual family one of our future concerns is the language siblings will speak. We hope it will be one of the minority languages. If you are expecting another child stop by to read this successful story of a Russian mother in Italy and her blog post: 7 facts that can determine the language spoken between multilingual siblings.


pictures from Beautiful Mothers Around The World, inspire52.



5 things I learned from my Spanish husband

 Family is the most important value.
Spending time with your family (close and distant relatives) is the best: they cheer you up, and they are there for you from birthdays to troubled times, the family gives a sense of stability and security. And now in the times of financial crisis it is more noticeable as families welcome relatives and children who lost their jobs. Weekly family dinners provide warm atmosphere to socialize and reconnect despite the fact you are talking to each other every other day.
Children are great, bring them along everywhere (bar, concert, restaurant, etc).
Children are everywhere. Small and older ones play together while their parents are enjoying social events anywhere (restaurants, cafes, bars, and shops). If you have a newborn, there is always someone who will come up to hold and play with your child. There are simply no places where you can be denied access with a child.
Food is a pleasure, cooking is fun, having a meal is a ritual, preferably shared with family and/or friends.
 According to my father-in-law happiness is when all family is at the table. You eat food that has just been cooked and you eat it immediately. My mother-in-law is a specialist of bringing hot dishes as the dinner course changes. You taste and share the experience-that is essential and talking about food makes it taste even better. The only exception is silence at the table is when you eat seafood:) American style of running with cup of coffee in hand is unacceptable. You just can`t concentrate on the flavors and it`s no fun rushing and eating delicious pieces.
Communication is the engine of social life, a conversation is an art.
 “Social networks without computer” that`s how my husband refers to overall communication in his town. Wherever you go, you smile and greet all the strangers along your way. People say hello, have a small talk. The range of topics may vary from the harvest of strawberries and peaches and comparison of wines to national and international politics and sports. The simplest way to address communication is to thinks that every stranger is your cousin.
Apart from conversations everyone is listening and observing to what is happening around and pass this information as well. So mothers always know where their children are and what they are doing.
 Quality of life and philosophy of life.
 In life Spaniards always leave room for enjoyment without scheduling it and at the same time it does not affect the daily routine (working, picking up kids from school, etc). They do not live to work, and to work in order to have time to live. And they manage well.



Montessori in our house

We have chosen Montessori educational method before our child was born and signed up for Montessori preschool. We were inspired mainly by How to Raise Amazing Child Montessori and howwemontessori blog.

As our daughter was growing we tried to make the apartment space adjusted to her needs (as she stared crawling, walking), changing furniture and remodeling.

Right now we have several Montessori- inspired areas in our apartment

easy to reach clothes/shoes/towel


child-sized table with chair and mirror, play area with trays


low bed


reading station

I still struggle to have less books and have regular rotations  as it is hard with as many  many books as we have.

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set-the-table placemat

It has helped her to set the table and eat with less mess


educational posters at child`s level for passive vocabulary

We found it useful as we have 3 languages in the house


Montessori materials (some bought and some self-made)


Prior to starting preschool we visited parent and child class to help her get adjusted to the environment


Our daughter has already started preschool, we keep up with to help her needs for potty training and being more independent e.g. dressing herself


Want to make some changes to your house, see how my fellow blogger did it: ” Inviting Montessori to nuestra casa“.



Trip to Russia June 2015

St.Petersburg, Russia is my hometown. It has been quite some time since I was able to travel back to see family and friends and introduce our daughter the jewel of Russia.
Take away from our family after this trip:

Seeing family and reconnecting is great especially when living far away and giving our child an opportunity to make friend with them


Having a traditional meal over and over again matters as you get together with more people


Sightseeing helps to learn about culture



Traveling to country of language you speak is essential

It was great to meet a fellow blogger Galina (Raising trilingual kids) and her adorable children who already speak Russian, Italian and English. Our kids played so well while moms chatted and shared experiences.


You can still be surprised in your home country

We were amazed the quality of child-friendly restaurants. Our favorite one is Teplo. They have playground with sandbox and play room.We easily spent 4 hours there!!


and finding great children`s space like Museum of mitten. You take a trip around the world learning about mittens from various countries and have a guided excursion


and different areas for children for  role play





Language update May 2015

Our daughter is almost 2 years old, here is her language progress:

Spanish: saying short phrases, sentences (oso grande, bebo leche, vamos calle, oso sonando)

Russian: saying short phrases, sentences. her knowledge is stronger than Spanish as so far she spend most of her time with her mother

We try to add additional sensorial ways to learning the language like thematic yoga poses

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English: for quite sometime we wondered about her understanding English and we were happy as we could use it as our parent language chatting about things that she won`t understand, but now it`s OVER!

When I say I will grab some cheese, she runs after me saying cheese in Russian (Сыр) or when we tell it`s time to put her to bed (usually done by father) she says in Spanish: No cama.

We started singing in English with the local artist Enzo Garcia (you can find his songs on spotify) who plays


Earlier we used to track down her words, now we are writing down her funny quotes in  quotable_kid

This month our child has extra 1,5 hour of English a week as a preparatory class for her preschool,


sometimes she struggles to communicate what she wants but finally communicates with body language to get what she needs.

Coming up …a 3-week trip to Russia and starting LePort Montessori preschool with Spanish immersion.



Raising a Global Citizen: Z for Zest

This is the last post with a letter “Z” in ABC of Raising a World Citizen project among multicultural kids bloggers.
Z for Zest, its synonyms are enthusiasm, energy, pleasure. These qualities are inherited in each child, who is developing curiosity, interest, the joy of overcoming obstacles. Interests of kids are partially araise from what family hobbies.
We are passionate about discovering new cultures, learning languages and cooking.
We believe that interest is the best motivation. So we books that we read, people, objects that surround us and events/places we go to amaze our little daughter.
where do we get our energy and how to pass it on to our daughter?
Our schedule is far from busy as we are learning from Spanish father to be more spontaneous and it gives us all opportunities to just rest, listen to music and not doing much. It is almost like no action..meditation time that allows us to reconnect and talk openly.
Many people that we met is always an inspiration for us, some were through
organizing a multilingual meetup
celebrating our traditional holidays cooking favorite family meals
and adopting new
visiting cooking classes of other cuisines
reinventing traditional recipes:
adding extra ingredient to tortilla española

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Doing fun activities where we can look at, talk aboutpeople from around the world


Add a little Zest to your parenting and cooking;)

Global mini
In these Series 24 bloggers of Multicultural Kid Blogs Community got together to share ideas and tips on Raising Global Citizens. Follow us from June 1st to June 26th as we share a letter of the alphabet and an idea associated with it over at Raising Global Citizen Series page!
Creative World of Varya = Bilingual Avenue = The European Mama = Melibelle in = Smart Tinker = Good To Be Mom = Marie’s Pastiche = Third Culture Mama = Tiny Tapping Toes = All Done Monkey = Russian Step By Step = Multilingual Parenting = In The Playroom = Rue Du Belvedere = Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes = La Cité des Vents = Faith Seeker Kids = World Languages = The Piri-Piri Lexicon = Healthy Child, Global Mind = Mama Smiles = The Art Curator for Kids = Words n Needles = Multicultural Kitchen



Food related finger games in Russian

Finger game are essential for developing  speech and motor skills. As our blog is food-oriented I have selected some Russian finger games that include fruits, vegetables and cooking.



Мы капусту рубим – рубим,

Мы капусту солим – солим

Мы капустку трем – трем,

Мы капусту жмем – жмем.

Попробовали… Пересололи…

Солим снова…

Движения прямыми ладонями вверх-вниз,поочередное поглаживание подушек пальцев.Потирать кулачок о кулачок.Сжимать и разжимать кулачки



 «Апельсин» Мы делили апельсин;

Много нас, а он один.

Эта долька – для ежа,

Эта долька – для стрижа,

Эта долька – для утят,

Эта долька – для котят,

Эта долька – для бобра,

А для волка – кожура.

Он сердит на нас беда!!!

Разбегайтесь кто куда!!!

На каждое слово сжимают пальцы рук в кулачок.Загибание пальчиков, начиная с большего.

Бросательное движение правой


Сжимают кулаки и прижимают

их к груди.

Бегут пальцами по столу.




И буханку

Пекарь из теста

Испёк спозаранку.

Большой и указательный пальцы образуют круг.Большой и средний пальцы образуют круг.Большой и безымянный пальцы образуют круг

Большой и мизинец образуют круг.

Имитация лепки хлеба.

 «Компот»Будем мы варить компот,

Фруктов нужно много вот:

Будем яблоки крошить,

Грушу будим, мы рубить.

Отожмем лимонный сок,

Слив положим и песок.

Варим, варим мы компот.

Угостим честной народ.

Левую ладошку держат«ковшиком» пальцем правой руки мешают.Загибают пальчики по одному,

начиная с большого.

Опять варят и мешают


На базар ходили мы,Много груш там и хурмы,

Есть лимоны, апельсины,

Дыни, сливы, мандарины,

Но купили мы арбуз –Это самый вкусный груз!


Соединение пальцев подушечками, начиная с мизинцев, по одной паре пальцев на каждую стихотворную строчку;При этом ладони не соприкасаются.-мизинцы-безымянные-средние-указательные-большие-пальцы сжимаются в кулак, а большой отводится вверх
«За ягодами»Раз, два, три, четыре, пять,В лес идем мы погулять.

За черникой,

За малиной,

За брусникой,

За калиной.

Землянику мы найдем

И братишке отнесем.

Пальчики обеих рук здороваются,начиная с большого.

Оби руки идут по столу.

Загибают пальчики, начиная с большего.

Colorful Berries, Prince William Sound, Chugach National Forest, Alaska.

Чищу овощи для щей,Сколько нужно овощей?Три картошки,Две морковки,Луку полторы головки.Да петрушки корешок,

Да капустный кочешок.

Потеснись – ка, ты, капуста,

От тебя в кастрюле густо.

Раз, два, три, огонь зажжён,

Кочерыжка, выйди вон!

Вертикальные движения рук, словно отряхиваем землю.Загибаем три пальца левой руки.Плюс ещё два пальца.Загибаем постепенно три пальца на правой руке.Раздвигаем руки в стороны.Выставляем из кулаков большой, указательный и средний пальцы.


«Хозяйка однажды с базара пришла»Хозяйка однажды с базара пришла,Хозяйка с базара домой принесла.

Картошку, капусту, морковку,

Горох, петрушку и свеклу.

ОХ!Вот овощи спор завели на столе –Кто лучше, вкусней и нужней на земле.

Картошка, капуста, морковка,

Горох, петрушка и свекла. ОХ!

Хозяйка тем временем ножик взяла

И ножиком этим крошить начала

Картошку, капусту, морковку,

Горох, петрушку и свеклу. ОХ!

Накрытые крышкой, в душном горшке

Кипели, кипели в крутом кипятке

Картошка, капуста, морковка,

Горох, петрушка и свекла. ОХ!

И суп овощной оказался не плох.

«Шагают» пальчиками по столу.На каждое название загибают пальчик.

Удары по столу кулачками и ладонями

На каждое название загибают пальчик.

Стучат ребром ладони по столу.

На каждое название загибают пальчик.

Стучат ребром ладони по столу.

На каждое название насекомого

загибают пальчик.

«Пирог» Падал снег на порог.Кот слепил себе пирог.

А пока лепил и пек,

Ручейком пирог утек.

Пирожки себе пеки

Не из снега – из муки.

2 раза медленно опускают ладони на стол.Прижимают ладонь к ладони«лепят» пирог.«Бегут» пальчиками по столу.Прижимают ладонь к ладони«лепят» пирог.

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«У Лариски – две редиски»У Лариски –Две редиски.

У Алешки –Две картошки.

У Сережки – сорванца –Два зеленых огурца.

А у Вовки –Две морковки.

Да еще у Петьки

Две хвостатых редьки.

По очереди разгибают пальчики из кулачка, начиная с большого,на одной, а затем на другой руке.


         «В сад за сливами»Палец сильный и большой

В сад за сливами пошёл,

Указательный с порога

Указал ему дорогу,

Средний палец самый меткий –

Он срывает сливы с ветки!

Безымянный подбирает,

А мизинчик в землю косточки сажает.

Поднять большие пальцы правой и левой рук.Указательным сделать указывающий жест.Средний оттянуть и отпустить.Безымянный «подбирает»Мизинцем показать как сажают.



Мама нам печет блины,
Очень вкусные они.
Встали мы сегодня рано
И едим их со сметаной.


Касаемся поверхности стола попеременно ладонью и тыльной стороной руки. Если нет стола – подойдут и коленки. Можно делать двумя руками одновременно, а можно поочередно – например, если левая касается тыльной стороной, то правая – ладошкой. (подносим сложенные «щепотью» пальцы ко рту, имитируя еду)



Тесто мнем, мнем, мнем!
Тесто жмем, жмем, жмем!Пироги мы испечем
очень энергично сжимаем руки в кулаки и разжимаем – одновременно на двух руках или поочередно делаем движения, как будто лепим снежки
Бабушка кисель варилаНа горушечкеДля Андрюшечки.Вдруг летел соколокЧерез бабушкин порог.Вдруг он крыльями забил,

Бабушкин кисель разлил.

Вот и нету киселька для Андрюшечки.


Правая рука «помешивает кисель»Кончики пальцев правой и левой руки соединяются в горку, руки расходятся под углом.Ладонь правой руки ложится на грудь.Ладони рук скрещиваются, большие пальцы рук зацепляются друг за другаСкрещенными ладонями помахивают, словно крыльями.





Language update March 2015

Our little one is 21 months and she peaks more than 100 words in three languages, on her own she uses both Spanish and Russian. I guess most common question will be: ” is she mixing languages?”  The answer is “yes” and  we are fine, letting her just speak and practice and then depending on a parent we continue with what we had to say. Her progress encourages everyday.

What do we do:

– trying to teach similar vocabulary in all languages, so she has the basic knowledge about herself and the world and hopefully that will help her express herself better

– provide experiences to enrich vocabulary using any published materials (cookbooks, magazines,catalogs, etc)

– due to limited time to Spanish, the materials used by additional caregiver (our case- nanny) is repeated by parent the same day to increase the effect

– reading slowly by syllables Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.33.24 PM

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– using “orchestra toy” to promote sound recognition

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– making it fun with games using familiar stories

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Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 1.13.38 PM – moving on to introducing mnemotechnics. It is used in second language learning among adults (Prof. Atikson from Stanford Uni used it with Spanish and Russian), but can be also used with children to aid learning poems and words.

Here are some video examples for children in Spanish, in Russian. As our daughter does not watch television we use images on paper. (I am using a book by Polyanskaya, 2009 (Т. Б. Полянская, “Использование метода мнемотехники в обучении рассказыванию детей дошкольного возраста”, СПб.: ООО «ИЗДАТЕЛЬСТВО «ДЕТСТВО- ПРЕСС», 2009. – 64 с.)