Monday, March 31, 2008

Hummel im Hintern?

Er hat Hummeln im Hintern. = He's got ants in his pants

This is a new one for me :) This and other important facts about animal sounds in German are available from's Tierlexikon

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Speaking German as a second language with your kids

I've just published a lens on Squidoo called "Speaking German as a second language with your kids." Lots of information for beginning bilingual families including the basics, myths on bilingualism and links to many resources.

Check out my lens

Squidoo is a place for people to share their knowledge and passions with the world. What an excellent resource! If you've ever felt overwhelmed by the challenges of raising bilingual kids, I encourage you to check out my lens.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Ein kleines Fingerspiel

Zwei Zappelmänner

Zwei Zappelmänner
aus dem Sack!
Der eine heißt Schnick,
der andre heißt Schnack.
Schnick hat 'ne Mütze
und Schnack hat 'nen Hut,
und alle beide vertragen sich gut!

Hand movements: Hold the fists together, with thumbs hidden. At "aus dem Sack" the thumbs come out of their hiding place and are stretched up in the air. Then first the left thumb (Schnick) and then the right thumb (Schnack) bow to each other. Then, alternately wiggle the thumbs. Finally the thumbs touch each other gently. This game is also good with painted fingernails or little finger puppets.

This game comes from Fingerspiele, Klassiker und neue Ideen für Babys und Kleinkinder (the translation is mine). Viel Spaß beim Spielen!

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Learning about Emotions

Being the mom of a kid with Asperger's syndrome and sensory integration dysfunction, I am always on the look-out for ways to discuss emotions and how to deal with them with my son. Asperger kids often have a low tolerance for frustration and a tendency toward perfectionism. His feelings frequently get the better of my son and using lots of stories and role-playing help him practice appropriate responses when he is unhappy, agitated, or just plain mad. The book, Ich und meine Gefühle, is a great resource for this topic.

The book reads:
Wenn ich traurig bin, muss ich manchmal weinen.
When I'm sad, sometimes I cry.

Wenn ich meine Gefühle kenne, kann ich oft auch die Gefühle von anderen verstehen. Es ist schön, zu spüren, dass ich anderen helfen kann.
When I know my own feelings, I can often understand the feelings of others. It is nice to know, that I can help others.
The book has a dynamic flow to it - large, vivid illustrations and short statements on each page. It might be a good book to read only a few pages at a time, allowing the child to discuss and digest the message of the book. All of us struggle with difficult emotions at times and reflecting on them can help us to master them instead of them mastering us. Every kid can benefit from discussion about feelings.

My special kid has come a long way since I first wrote about some of his unique challenges. This book will be an aid for him as he continues on the path to adulthood.

Ich und meine Gefühle. Emotionale Entwicklung für Kinder ab 5 from Alphabet Garten

A read-along adventure: Winnie Puuh

A story of a rainy, windy day in the Hundred Acre Wood where Puuh and Ferkel (Piglet) are blown about by gusty breezes and Puuh rescues Ferkel from a flood.

The pace and length of this story is just right for my 4 year old - a few sentences per page with accompanying sound effects and different voices for the characters. The page-turn signal allows him to listen without assistance from me and he can listen to the whole book in under 10 minutes. We particularly like the sweetly classic Pooh illustrations and gentle colors.

Winnie Puuh und das Hundewetter (storybook with audio-CD) from Alphabet Garten