The Best Gifts for Bilingual Kids

  • Take them on an outing (to the zoo, to a park, to a museum, etc) and only speak in the target language. Tell them it’s a special time to connect and take the target language for a spin!
  • Sit down with them to play a fun bilingual game. Tell them you want to gift them a game that you can play with them again and again. Introduce the game, tell him or her what you love most about the game and why you thought it would be a good game for him or her. Looking for good games? You can find all our favorites here.
  • Tell them about your experience with bilingualism. We all need examples and role models– be a bilingual hero for the gift-receiver! Share with them the answers to these questions:

What do you love most about being bilingual?

What advice would you give me for my bilingual journey?

How has being bilingual helped you?

What’s something about bilingualism you wish you would have known earlier?

Why do you value bilingualism?

  • Give a career presentation in the target language! Make it fun with a slideshow or a poster presentation! Share what it is that you do, why you do it, what you love and some of the challenges. Especially if you don’t use the target language in your day-to-day work, preparing this special presentation will be a good exercise for you and your bilingualism. Keep it age-appropriate and connect it back to the things you learned at the child’s age that are helping you in your work today. For the child, this exposure is priceless! Not only are they probably going to be exposed to so much new vocab, they will also be inspired to think about the amazing careers they might pursue one day, too. Getting to know this side of you will also help him or her feel closer to you. One of my favorite parts of our Lelu monthly programming is our expert calls (which I’ve written about here) where we get to hear from professions in STEAM fields we’re learning about. Kids love them and get so much out of them!
  • Do a fun project or two with them in the target language! You already know Lelu is here to help with this! Lelu’s Spanish + STEAM boxes make great gifts for bilingual kids because giving a Lelu box is giving an educational experience! Lelu boxes are not intended to result in “more stuff,” they are best when used in-month and with others! (With the exception of the amazing games we include in each box, which will outlast any given month. There is such a lack of good bilingual games on the market, that bilingual parents will gladly receive more whenever possible.)
  • Ask the parent what types of books the child likes/is reading. Not surprisingly, parents have the intel on what their kids are reading/want to read. By all means, if you have a book series you have loved and want to share, it’s always nice to receive books that have touched others. But if you want to give something you’ll know they’ll like and use, ask the parent! You may hear:

My daughter has gotten really into Elephant and Piggie books in school. Her school only has the English copies of these, so at home we’ve been reading Elefante y Cerdita! We’re enjoying them and would love to add more to our library.

  • Go the extra mile. Gifting books doesn’t have to mean buying and giving books. One nice way to “gift books” is to loan them with the intention of reading them with the child! What do I mean? Go to the library and select books that you think would be a good fit for the child and then read them together! Make the book reading an experience, a happy memory. Tell them, “I went to the library and thought of you. I picked out these books so we can read them together.” This is such a sweet way to share your love of bilingualism and books. Then, once you’ve read the books, you can return them to the library and there’s no extra stuff to worry about back home.

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Ana Leyva

Ana Leyva

Founder and CEO of Lelu (www.lelu-usa.com). Writes about all things bilingualism. Mom of two, wife, first-gen grad of Princeton, Stanford GSB and GSE. @lelu_usa