Discovering Rome

Rome is a great place: beautiful and interesting city ! It is impossible to remain indifferent. This is a place where the development of civilization took place and it is a must to see!!

Take away from our family after this trip:

Surround yourself with beautiful things























Cooking from scratch and fresh ingredients matter












We have rediscovered pizza.It is a pleasure to watch when it is done by professionals Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 5.56.32 PM

But is a good dish to cook together, we love that you can`t go wrong with ingredients and you can put what you like disregarding your food restrictions.



Stop and relax to have your favorite drink in a cafe

Screen Shot 2014-09-20 at 4.41.59 PM
















re-Read foreign books

One of the most famous tale from Italy is Pinocchio that is quite popular in Spain and Russia.

There is a funny Spanish song for children about this character:

Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 1.58.08 PM

(photo credit:

In Russian adaptation book and movie this wooden toy is called Buratino (ital. burattino — wooden puppet)
Screen Shot 2014-09-21 at 2.05.08 PM (photo credit: wikipedia)

As for English there is good guide for kids ” This is Rome”

Screen Shot 2014-09-25 at 6.07.48 PM

Spanish food market

Market is unique place to learn a language. Arriving to Spain without knowing the language was challenging, but learning along market stalls was a very delicious language learning experience 🙂 I learnt all simple fruits and vegetable and simple tapas names by trying.

After getting married to my Spanish husband, I immersed more in culture. My mother-in-law took me with her several times to the market. It was extremely useful to  about the products as most of the time you are amazed by the variety and the essential-how to choose well.

There is a large number of food markets in Spain, the large ones are in Cadiz, MadridBarcelona.




In Spain you not only buy food, but try and eat it. You will be served a glass of beer and you will eventually have a conversation with someone next to you.


see yourself how many of the dishes are cooked


and also try tons of sweets

5HM04wlK-2A yGnqK7s0CNE

With our daughter we buy groceries in many places,including farmer`s market, it is easy when you can take in your hand an object, explore its texture, name it and taste it. Every time is an opportunity to learn!! When you travel check out the world great market. If you are also passionate about photography check out this website for tips to take pictures in the market.

Meal planning in a multicultural family

The constant questioning what shall we cook today, tomorrow is common and this situation might be even more complicated in multicultural families. So far we combine both Spanish and Russian dishes during the week and it allows to have a variety of meals in the diet, but this only part of the story.

I used to do random shopping with a strategy of buying the products first and then figuring out what will I make out of them. I have been throwing unused products in the trash, and leftovers due to the cultural reason: Russian people cook meals for couple days or a week (e.g. soup, meatballs,ect), while in Spain everything is prepared the same day (with an exception of some tapas). With the an arrival of our daughter I do not have time to wonder and idly think what and how.

Family menu planning for a week has a number of advantages. And it  saves time and money, as well as eliminates the daily agony of choice.

meal-planning-medium (photo:

I can proudly say I am  more organized now, but I am far from chef Angel Leon and menu planning like this though I think it would be fun at some point with my daughter:


I use these templates:In the 1st one I write the dishes I will cooke and the second one the products I need for them.




We also have Russian and Spanish shopping lists. You can create yours in any language at Grocery list.

2014-06-04 10.21.24

And I would say shopping and going to a market is one of the best language activities. You can use  all your senses to learn: smell fresh bread, flowers, touch a variety of textures,enjoy the colors, listen others talk and participate in a conversation. While your children are growing you can combine a food kit for your chid to increase his vocabulary, see this idea from a trilingual mama here >(food kit ).

Having fun with fruits and veggies

What can be added to narration of minority language to make it fun and increase vocabulary and increase critical thinking skills, imagination,improve memory in children and, perhaps, add humor.

A riddle!

To help children learn about riddles, this concept can be introduced : “a riddle is a question that turns into a joke. It starts with a puzzling question and ends with an answer that surprises you and usually makes you laugh. The answer to the riddle is called the punch line. The question and answer make a riddle when the same words have two different meanings.”(Zipke, M. (2008). Teaching Metalinguistic Awareness and Reading Comprehension With Riddles. The Reading Teacher, 62(2), 128–137.)

Even if the child does not speak much yet or there is a speech delay or child is avoiding using your language, riddles can be a way to motivate and provide opportunities for communication.

Below there are some examples. Personally, I don`t intend to memorize everything, it is helping me to talk to my child while enjoy cooking and talking our native languages to our child. 


  Много одежек И все – без застежек. Кто его раздевает, Тот слезы проливает. (Лук).

  Pelo verde, barba roja, se deshoja y comienza tu congoja. ( la cebolla).

 When I am alive I do not speak. Anyone who wants to takes me captive and cuts off my head. 
 They bite my bare body  I do no harm to anyone unless they cut me first. Then I soon make them cry.


  И чернил он не видал, Фиолетовым вдруг стал. И блестит весь от похвал Очень важный …(баклажан).

translation: Turned purple without ink, shiny and very important.

  Una señorita va por el mercado con su cola verde y el traje morado.( la berenjena).

translation: a girl goes to a market with her green braid and purple dress.


There are also many poems that can be incorporated while cooking or eating. Here is an example in Spanish:

  Qué ricas las frutas que voy a comer, si tu me acompañas contento estaré.

  Qué rica naranja que calma mi sed, la piña, manzana y mango también.

  Comamos las frutas que nos hacen bien, el plátano crudo o frito tal vez.

  La pera, el durazno las uvas también, el higo y papaya qué ricas se ven.

  Qué ricas las frutas que voy a comer.


What tasty fruits will I eat, if you accompany I’ll be happy.

How tasty is the orange that satisfies my thirst, pineapple, apple and mango too.

Eat fruits that make us healthy, raw or fried plantain sometimes.

Pear, grapes peach also, fig and papaya are looking tasty.

What tasty fruits will I eat.

cabbage corn


So far I am a bit skeptical about flash cards, as I believe you need to show real objects.

However, I found nice real-like prints, at the back I have riddles.

2014-05-06 22.38.41


What can be done:

1. place card reverse side (with text) and have real fruits and vegetables near-by. Reply a riddle by matching card to fruit, check for picture at the back. a riddle aloud to your child and let him try to guess what is that.

3. Cook these  rainbow gummy sweets


and say the ingredients during preparation, guess taste with eyes closed (in this case make 1  flavor sweet).

When cooking you can use this fun Spanish poem as a structure and this way your child also learns why it is good to eat fruits and vegetables:

 En casa de mi abuela 
aprendí a preparar
 una rica ensalada
 que te voy a invitar. Mezclo lechuga, cebolla
y pepino     también, 
luego un rojo tomate
que seleccioné bien. 
Añado zanahoria
para la visión, 
eso lo aprendí
viendo televisión.

 Un chorrito de aceite
con jugo de limón
que dicen es bueno 
para la digestión; 
una pizca de pimienta
otra pizca de sal 
y   con esta ensalada
no tengo rival.

 Muchos vegetales
me voy a comer, 
porque fuerte y sano
yo quiero crecer. 
Ahora me quito
y cuelgo
el delantal
porque   este gran verso
llegó al final.

translation :

At my grandmother’s house I learned to prepare 
a tasty salad  and I’m going to invite you. Mix lettuce, onion and cucumber 
too, then a red tomato 
that I have selected well. I add carrots for vision, 
this I learned while watching TV. A little oil with lemon juice they say it is good for digestion; a pinch of pepper , another pinch of salt and this salad is out of competition. I’m eating many vegetables
, because I want to grow
 strong and healthy. Now I take off and hang up an apron because this great verse has reached its end.

For more just visit this collection of riddle in Spanish for all sorts of topics or Russian.