It’s that time of the year. Some of us have all the presents sorted and wrapped, others have not even started (like me just a few days ago). There’s still time to get lovely presents that can support a family’s bilingual journey. Here are 16 ideas for Christmas gifts for bilingual children and grown ups, including a few discounts.
Christmas gifts for children
The selection below includes toys that cover Portuguese, French, English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Italian, Russian, Danish, Japanese and Italian. And no electronic toys in sight!
1. Bilingual & Trilingual books
Petit Publisher offers trilingual books for children in Portuguese, English and Spanish. They are based in Portugal so if you’re based in the UK and want delivery on time for Christmas, you’ll need to order by the 16th December.
2. Janod Body Magnet in 11 languages
I love this French brand, Janod. It always offers quality toys, with beautiful design. This body magnet toy* has names of body parts in no less than 11 languages, including French, Portuguese, English, German, Dutch, Spanish, Catalan, Basque, Italian, Russian, Danish and Japanese. We’ll be getting one of these in the future when the girls are older (recommended age 7 years old)
3. Roll a Story Dice – any language
The Roll a Story dice* is a fantastic, creative way to learn languages. Is it a game? Flashcard? Storytelling? It’s all rolled into one. The dice have no words, just images. Throw the dice, and start building a story together. And the beauty is, it can be used in any language.
4. Trilingual puzzle English, Spanish and French
Learn colours and shapes in three languages (English, Spanish and French) with this trilingual puzzle*. There is also a version with first words.
5. Fridge Magnets for Kids in French
I remember having a set like this when I was a teenager. I had the English version and would leave grand and mysterious statements on the fridge. These fridge magnets* are in French on one side and English on the other.
6. BrainBox – Lets Learn German
Brain Box* is a game that enables children, and grown ups, to learn the German vocabulary associated with a variety of everyday situations, from birthday parties to shopping and lessons at school. Bilingual captions and questions at two levels make this a great game for beginners and more experienced German speakers alike. It’s also available in French and Spanish.
7. Cinematic light box
We’re getting our four year old one of these in A5 size this Christmas. She’s really getting into her spelling in school and I thought I could also teach her a new word in Portuguese every day using this novelty (see main picture above). As she grows up she can leave little messages in Portuguese for us. This lightbox* is in A4 size.
8. Wooden Letter Blocks
These are a classic and a must-have for any child. Letter wooden cubes* like these from Melissa & Doug, which come with a bag to store them, will be used for years, supporting various stages of development. Little ones start stacking cubes while still sitting (motor skills), moving on to learn letters, numbers and colours. Eventually they can create small words as well.
Christmas Gifts for grown ups
And a few suggestions for the grown ups…
9. Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Language
Lingo: Around Europe in Sixty Language* is a great choice for budding linguists
An interesting book for any foodie
or Speaking in Tongues: Curious Expressions from Around the World*, from the same author, are lovely books for the curious
and for the Lusophone in your life…
12. Lisboeta: Recipes from Portugal’s City of Light
Recipes from Portugal’s City of Light*, by Michelin starred Chef Nuno Mendes (in English)
Lisbon is my hometown, Nuno is a superb chef I admire and a fellow Londonder. It just makes sense! Nuno is launching another book about Lisbon’s cuisine in 2018, which I’m looking forward to.
13. My Portugal, a recipe book
My Portugal* is book of Portuguese recipes in English, to savour a little bit of Portugal all year round.
14. Best of Fado: Tesouro Portugues
For the music lover in your life the Best of Fado* CD is a compilation of various Fado artists including favourites like Amalia Rodrigues and Mariza. It’s easy on the ear and will appeal to Portuguese and non-Portuguese speakers alike.
15. A bottle of Port Wine
I know very few people who would not appreciate a bottle of fine port wine. We were given a Niepoort Vintage Port a couple of years ago which we absolutely loved, as did all our guests who had the pleasure to sample that exquisite port. This Port* is from the same winery. I’m sure you’ll find a good Port in your local wine shop too.
16. Tuga Box
TugaBox is a surprise box of Portuguese products, a subscription model to meet Portugal lovers’ needs. I love this idea and wouldn’t mind to be gifted a subscription myself (wink, wink!). TugaBox is offering a 10% discount to friends of Mother Tongue Notes. Just enter the code MotherT10 when checking out online (valid until 31.01.18, first box will be the January box).
*This list includes some affiliate links. I only recommend products that I like. See disclaimer for details