Celebrate a Feliz Día de los Niños: Vocabulary & Activities for Kids
El Día de los Niños is coming up on April 30! This is a day to focus on providing children with books in many languages and making reading an integral part of their lives.
Read this article to learn about this celebration and how it concentrates on the importance of literacy for children of all linguistic and cultural backgrounds. I’ve included a list of Spanish vocabulary words and several super cool activities to commemorate this day in your classroom or homeschool.
What is Día de los Niños?
Author Pat Mora was inspired to establish El Día de Los Niños/el Día de Los Libros (Children’s Day/Book Day) 25 years ago.
The day is supported by the Association for Library Service to Children (a division of the American Library Association, or ALA) and REFORMA, an ALA affiliate especially for Latinos and the Spanish-speaking community.
Commonly known simply as Día, this a celebration of children, families, and reading that culminates each year on April 30. But Día isn’t just the last day of April. It’s every day of the year, and it honors all children.
In the United States, Día is a nationally recognized initiative that involves a daily commitment to linking children and their families to diverse books, languages, and cultures.
According to their website, all Día programs and activities aim to
- Celebrate children and connect them to the world of learning through books, stories and libraries.
- Nurture cognitive and literacy development in ways that honor and embrace a child’s home language and culture.
- Introduce families to community resources that provide opportunities for learning through multiple literacies.
- Recognize and respect culture, heritage and language as powerful tools for strengthening families and communities.
Día de los Niños Vocabulary
Check out these simple words related to Día de Los Niños/Día de Los Libros in English and Spanish!
Boy – el niño
Girl – la niña
Children – los niños
Books – los libros
Words – las palabras
Sentences – las oraciones
Pages – las páginas
Library – la biblioteca
Read – leer
Reading – leyendo
Bookshelf – la estantería
Literacy – la alfabetización
Fluency – la fluidez
Comprehension – la comprensión
Story – la historia, el cuento
Poem – el poema
Essay – el ensayo
Article – el artículo
Día de los Niños Activities for Kids
Books are entertaining and educational. They serve as sources of information and ways to make sense of the world. “Bookjoy,” the private pleasure of readers, should be widespread. Every child deserves to find a good home in books.
These ideas prompted the founding of El día de los niños/El día de los libros in 1996. Check out the book-related and other Latin American cultural activities below for ideas!
1. Book Display
Día is a celebration of children and books, so a prominent display of children’s books is an important component of the program—including bilingual books. Select a variety of books for children of all ages and in English and Spanish.
Whether you’re a classroom teacher or homeschool parent, highlight the books and let children know what they are about. If you need to add more books to your library, check out these curated lists of recommendations, which includes children’s books on friendship, courage, and more!
2. Latin Music Karaoke
Music is a language of its own. Do your kids love singing? Get a two-day party pass from Karafun, an online karaoke player for $6. Practice Spanish pronunciation and have fun singing classic songs including La Bamba by Ritchie Valens and Guantanamera by Celia Cruz.
3. Make paletas de fresa
Paletas (“popsicles”) are a popular Latin American treat made with fruit. Here’s a simple recipe:
Paletas de fresa – Strawberry popsicles
– 4 cups fresh fresas (strawberries, cut into quarters)
– ¾ cup azucar (sugar)
– ½ cup agua (water)
– 2 Tbsp jugo de limon (lemon juice)
- Combine strawberries and sugar in a bowl, and let the mixture sit for 25 minutes.
- Place in a saucepan with the water over medium heat and simmer for about 5 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- Transfer the mixture to a blender or food processor, add the lemon juice, and puree.
- Divide the mixture among popsicle molds or plastic cups, snap on the lid, and freeze until solid (approximately 5 hours).
Download this recipe as a printable PDF!
4. Gift a Book to a Child in Need
Give back to your community for Día de los Niños. The feeling your kids will get from serving others is a wonderful gift. Let your child pick out a special book from the bookstore to donate to a child at your local children’s hospital or charity organization. Help your child write a kind note to accompany the gift.
Another interactive activity is planting organic herbs with Garden-in-a-Can, an all-in-one container that makes gardening a cinch for young children. Just pop open the can, add water, and place in a sunny spot. In a few weeks, you’ll have fragrant cilantro and a reminder of El Día de los Niños!
5. Read, Write, and Share Bilingual Stories
Celebrate El Día de Los Niños/El Día de Los Libros by having students write and share their own bilingual stories.
First, read a book with parallel Spanish-English stories to your student or class. (Check out 15 Free Bilingual Books in Spanish and English Online if you need book ideas.) Use this as a model for how students will compose their own stories.
Individually or in small groups, have students create an illustrated bilingual children’s storybook to read to younger friends, siblings, or students. Give the kids time to explore and create the different parts that make up a book, such as title pages, acknowledgements, and dedications.
Consider showing your students how to use this online book cover creator to make fancy book covers. Finally, arrange for students to read their books aloud during the celebration of Día!
6. Latin Dance
Teach children how to dance the Mexican Hat Dance, La raspa, or another popular Latin dance. If needed, find a talented volunteer from your community to lead the group in a basic lesson.
Invite a Spanish-speaking storyteller to come to your classroom for a bilingual storytime featuring stories, games, music, and movement.
Another Way to Celebrate Día de los Niños
How about one more fun and unique activity for Día? Speaking Spanish with a native speaker from Guatemala is a meaningful and engaging way to help your child improve their Spanish literacy and proficiency. Sign up for a free trial class with Homeschool Spanish Academy today and empower your child to start speaking Spanish right away!
Want more free Spanish lessons, fun content, and easy learning strategies for kids? Check these out!
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