Brazilian Portuguese is a great language for kids to learn. Since Brazil is Latin America’s largest economy and it is the 5th largest country in the world by both land area and population, knowing Portuguese could potentially be a really good job skill for your kids in the future. Or if you or your kids love to travel, the climate in most of Brazil is tropical and the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics are being held in Brazil, so learning a bit of Portuguese could be a wonderful excuse for an upcoming trip.
With this in mind, we have gathered up the best language systems, free online games, apps, and books that can help parents teach their kids some Brazilian Portuguese.
Super Baby Music is a good choice if you are looking for a Baby Einstein type video, but in Portuguese, then this is a good one to try. It is a DVD that is in Spanish and Portuguese. There are other titles in this series including Super Baby Music, Super Baby Animals, Super Baby Colors, and Super Baby Shapes.
Little Pim Portuguese is a great option if you are looking for a video for kids ages 0-5. These videos each start with a short animated cartoon featuring a panda followed by live-action footage of children doing everyday activities. The videos are themed on “eating and drinking, “wake up smiling” and “playtime”. You can see a preview for it here or use their digital downloads.
Bilingual Baby is another DVD that is made for babies to help expose them to a second language. It has over 60 words, phrases, sentences, and manners. The child only hears the Portuguese language, but there is small on-screen text in English to help parents.
The Best Portuguese Language Learning Programs and Websites for Kids
Duolingo.com is the best website to help kids learn a different language. The site is often used in schools for French and Spanish but they have lessons for pretty much any language that you can think of.
Some good websites that can help kids learn Portuguese are:
Discovery Kids Brazil is a Brazilian TV station for kids. They have a great website that has lots of games and activities.
An easy way to expose children to a new language in a fun way is through online games. There isn’t a huge selection of Portuguese games for kids, but here is a couple that we like:
Digital Dialects has lots of simple games that will help kids learn Portuguese basics.
Tudo Bem Portuguese has free online language learning games like Whack- a-Word, Hangman, Wordsearch, and Memory
Learn Portuguese has 9 games designed to teach Portuguese vocabulary and conversation skills. You can download the first lesson for free and if you like it you can upgrade to access all 50 lessons and 40+ hours of content.
Gus on the Go: Portuguese for Kids helps kids learn basic vocabulary concepts with interactive visual and auditory lessons on numbers, colors, shapes, and more. Each lesson review unlocks a vocabulary game that reinforces what your child has learned.
Portuguese for Children contains over 400 commonly used Portuguese words including colors, numbers, food drink and animals, all illustrated and professionally recorded by a native Brazilian (Portuguese) speaker.
Not surprisingly, there is no shortage of resources to teach HTML online. What is a little harder to find are resources to teach kids HTML (and CSS) that are simple and appealing. Since it is a relatively easy thing to learn and a good way to get kids interested in programming in general, we’ve found some really great websites, books and a few free online games that are perfect for teaching kids will get them building websites in no time at all.
Best Websites to Help Teach Kids HTML
There are lots of great websites available that are perfect for beginners; the hard part is narrowing it down. Some of the following sites have really good video lessons and tutorials that are okay for kids (younger kids will probably need parental assistance going through the material on these sites).
IPL2 for Kids has some easy and fun lessons to teach your kids HTML. This would be a good place to start as it talks about what HTML is and what are the rules, lots of stuff about different tags, how to link, CSS, and more.
Learning HTML for Kids has 12 easy lessons designed specifically for kids ages 10 and up. It is a step by step tutorial that is very well done.
HTML Goodies has another set of tutorials that is a great place to start. It goes into much more detail than Learning HTML for Kids but the information is laid out very clearly and this is a great resource.
Another option is Code School. Code School is an online learning platform that teaches a variety of programming and web design skills. Courses range from beginner to advanced levels and you get to earn rewards and badges as you learn. The courses use screencasts and interactive exercises and each course has at least five levels.
Code Pupil has an interactive HTML tutorial that is free and easy to do. You do a few lessons and then watch a video and are then asked to do another bit of code. It’s pretty good but if a younger child is doing this tutorial they will probably need a bit of adult guidance.
Code Academy (not to be confused with Code School or Code Pupil) is a very cool site that lets you learn coding interactively along with other people. It is very easy to get going on it and it is super fun as well.
W3Schools is a very good HTML resource. It’s simple it looks good and is very clear and easy to use.
HTML Books for Kids
There are a number of books that are aimed at kids to help them make websites, but the ones that we found are a bit old and out of date. If you do want to get an HTML book we think your best bet would be to get a general beginner HTML book that you can work through with your kids. There are lots of choices as far as HTML books go and a lot of them have great reviews, but you want to get something that is geared to the beginner where the writing style isn’t too confusing for kids. The books that we have gone through the reviews of and had a look at ourselves and think would be a great choice for kids are:
The Dummies series are kind of perfect for kids. They are easy to read, fun to look at, and don’t take the subject too seriously. The Dummies series has a few HTML books to choose from the latest is Beginning HTML5 and CSS3 For Dummies. This one is probably a good bet. Just make sure you don’t get one of the more advanced HTML for Dummies books that they offer.
If you have a ball and some general knowledge about soccer, you are all set to teach your little one how to get started building up some exceptional skills. Grab a ball, get your kid, find a backyard or a park, and have some fun! We have found some great tips, some soccer DVDs and books that are an excellent resource for teaching kids everything they need to know.
The four skills you want to introduce to the child are:
Dribbling is moving the ball with your feet. This will be a little trickier than teaching your kids to shoot the ball. You can start by showing them how to move the ball around using different parts of your feet. Don’t get too crazy; just keep it simple and let them have a try. Remember to give them lots of encouragement and keep it fun if you want to create a little bit of a challenge; you can set up cones or obstacles for the child to dribble around.
Ball Control is receiving the ball by stopping its movement. This is an essential skill because you need to be able to set up a quick shot or pass when playing the game. To practice ball control, you can throw or kick the ball to your child so that they can stop the ball with their feet, and then when the ball is under control, they can take a shot back to you or into the net.
Shooting is just kicking the ball. To practice, start with a stationary ball and then work up to a moving balling ball. The shots can be taken from any part of the foot, but the top part of the foot gives the shooter the most power. If you are teaching a very young child, don’t expect too much in the way of accuracy. Practice making shots at the goal from different distances and angles and remember to keep it fun!
Goaltending is another vital skill that you can practice at home. Make sure your child is standing out from the net a little bit, and you can practice taking shots at them from different angles. You can also teach them or have them practice their kicking and ball throwing skills, which are a fun thing that Goalies get to do.
Once the child has gotten the idea of the basic skills, you can introduce them to how the game is played and some more advanced skills. A couple of simple things you can go over:
The object of the game is to get the ball into the net and score points.
The reason they need to learn the necessary skills of dribbling, ball control, and shooting is so that they can move the ball from one end of the field to the other.
Explain the concept of defense and why the goaltender is essential.
Soccer DVD’s for Beginners
If you are looking for DVDs to help show you kids some of the basics of soccer, you could try Soccer for Kids-Getting Started. It has Squishy, the animated talking soccer ball, leading an exciting journey, featuring fun sing-alongs and simple diagrams to help introduce kids to the fundamentals of dribbling, passing, shooting, and more. Or you could try The Littlest Leaguers: Learn to Play Soccer, which is another accessible introduction to the fundamentals of soccer.
My Soccer Book (for ages 4-8) is a simple book that explains the fundamentals of soccer in basic steps and straightforward explanations for preschoolers.
The Everything Kids’ Soccer Book (for ages 9 +) gives kids tips and strategies for passing, heading, and defending. Kids also learn how to stretch before a big game, proper throw-in technique, rules of the game, dribbling drills, effective on-field communication, and the importance of teamwork.
Little Soccer is a straightforward board book for younger children. It has ‘riddles’ about soccer that the kids can answer. It is part of a Little Sports series that also has books for basketball, baseball, football, and hockey. My five year old loves this series. It’s a simple way to teach kids about some of the aspects of the game.
There are a few different methods for learning to ride a bicycle, and people have pretty strong opinions on what they think is the best method. We aren’t going to wade into that argument; instead, we are going to break it down into two different techniques that parents can use to teach their children how to ride a bike and show you some of the best instructions we could find for each method. Try them all and see what works best for you.
Learning to Ride a Bike the New School Way
This method focuses on learning to balance first and then worrying about peddling and stopping once the balancing has been understood. People are pretty keen on this method, and there are lots of videos that show you how it is done.
For this method, the key is to have a bike that is slightly undersized so the child can put his or her feet flat on the ground. If you have already bought a bike that is a little bigger than you were hoping they could grow into you could try and borrow a bike or check out garage sales or Craigslist, remember it doesn’t have to be the best bike around just something to help your kids learn to balance.
Once you have a bike that the child can sit on with their feet flat on the ground, you will remove the pedals, and the idea is that the child can learn to balance since their feet can touch the ground, and they can stop themselves from falling. If the child is comfortable, they can scoot along the pavement or use a slight slope to move them forward.
This video about a non-profit biking group in New York is a pretty good argument for this method.
Another great video is from the REI Outdoor School uses this method and gives an excellent lesson on everything you need to know.
Learning to Ride a Bike the Old School Way
The Old School Method is probably how you learned to ride your bike. This method involves taking the training wheels off your kid’s bike and running like hell along beside them, holding either the back of the seat or under the child’s armpits or shoulders until you can’t take it anymore and let go. Your child will either stop, fall, or keep on riding, and hopefully, at some point, will stop safely. Since there is a very high chance your child will fall, make sure they are wearing safety equipment (Especially a helmet that fits properly).
If you are using training wheels and don’t want to remove them cold turkey, it is possible to slowly move the training wheels higher and higher off the ground until they are hardly touching and so the child is weaned off them, and when the time comes to remove them, it isn’t as big of a deal.
If the child is having a lot of trouble with the balance, you can try taking a break from the bike and practice balance with a scooter. A lot of people find riding scooters to be helpful to learn to balance on bikes.
One of the big problems with this method is it is pretty hard on the back of the adult who is running along with the bike. A few people have come with some solutions to this problem using towels or bed sheets, or you can try a version of the grassy slope method.
If you are a parent who would like to teach your child how to swim, there are some pretty good tips and videos online that can give you great advice on how to help kids learn how to swim. We have rounded up some of the best websites, DVDs, and online videos to show you what to focus on.
Before you start, though, remember that water safety is the most essential thing, so kids under seven should always be within arm’s reach of an adult and NEVER leave a small child unattended near pools, lakes, rivers, streams.
If you are up for the challenge, here are some online swimming lessons to check out:
U Swim is an excellent free site that describes itself as the community service, which shows you how to teach children of all ages to swim. They break videos down by age and skill level, and this is a great place to start if you want to learn how to teach some necessary swimming skills. They also offer an iPhone app.
World Wide Swim School is another option for parents who are looking for online lessons. This site was created by Laurie Lawrence, who is Australia’s water safety advocate, infant aquatics pioneer, learn to swim expert and gold medal Olympic swim coach (Gold!). You download the lessons in this program, and they cost around $100 each, this is a bit pricey, but there are some free samples so you can try the program before buying it.
If those aren’t quite your cup of tea, have a look at these online video series:
Robert Bina’s “Learn how to swim” series is pretty great if you can get past the funky music and the old school graphics. The videos in this five-part series are very informative and very strong on teaching safety tips. This is a good series for ages 5 -9.
Phillip Toriello’s video series are short lessons on things like floating, treading water, big arms, and diving. They are very watchable and give lots of useful tips.
If you want a DVD check out:
The Swimming Lesson This series was made to teach children the basics of swimming and water safety in the pool. This is a guide for a fun interactive under five-year-olds swimming lesson. You can download this program to your computer for $9.95, or there is an iPhone version that is also $9.95 that might come in handy if you are traveling and maybe trying to teach your kids to swim at a hotel pool.
Waterproof Kids DVD is another DVD that has step by step lessons to help parents teach kids how to swim with a strong emphasis on safety. The reviews are generally very strong for this DVD, with people finding it well organized, easy to follow, and it has useful age-appropriate techniques.