Numbers don't lie—bilingualism is in! Courtesy of the 2013 American Community Survey, we know that one in five people over age 5 speak a language other than English in their homes, and 44 percent of those were born in the United States. So if you're thinking of bringing up a bilingual baby, you are not alone.
We recommend that you read with your little one for 20 minutes a day, but don't feel like you have to do it all in one go. Build baby's brain all day long with some short Mandarin talk, sing, read, write and play moments while sharing these books.
Talk: Build basic vocabulary with Belle Yang's cheery pastel board books, full of soft nature scenes. Chinese characters and their English translations appear on each page with a pinyin pronunciation guide at the end. Try Summertime Rainbow and then go on a hunt for colors around the house.
Sing: Belt it out in both languages with Chinese and English Nursery Rhymes. Each traditional Chinese rhyme is paired with one from the Mother Goose tradition. Familiar favorites "Liang Zhi Lao Hu" and "Xiao Xing Xing" are both included. Hooray for the included CD, but don't forget to sing along! Research shows that babies learn better when they hear songs and see words in person.
Read: Ready for a little longer story? Try one of my favorites from Dr. Seuss: Zai ba ba shen shang beng lai tiao qu or Yi tiao yu liang tiao yu hong se de yu lan se de yu.
Write: Get those fingers moving! Try out Koji Ishikawa's touchable die-cut beauties. Baby will be delighted when the animals in Dong wu dong wu zhuo mi cang pop right out of the book as you turn the sturdy die cut pages. Another great one for tracing finger games is Isabel Pin's Xiao dong de gu shi.
Play: Move along with Eric Carle's Cong tou dong dao Jiao. From head to toe, you and your little one will be twisting your crocodile hips and thumping your gorilla chest over and over again!
Have a tip to share with other parents who are raising a bilingual baby? Please share in the comments below.