bilingual children · bilingual learning · Family · homeschooling · learning and kids · traveling with kids

New York City Itinerary! NYC is a child’s playground!

I enjoy traveling and I am grateful for the opportunities and means to do so. I am bicoastal and call California and New York my home. I am very much a California girl with New York engrained in my identity. That being said, I’ve traveled back and forth between states for over 20+ years. Now that I have a family, we plan trips often.

Traveling with children is always an adventure with children. My experience is the more I travel with my son the easier it is for me. He is a traveler and is pretty restricted with screen time, but on a flight all rules are out the window. At some point, he does sleep, so that breaks up the screen time. Some of my favorite things to take on a flight is a backpack with his favorite toys, a book, notebook and drawing paper. This helps us get through the flight. I also pack some fave snacks such as sandwiches and crackers.

While packing, my son and I pick outfits to wear while on vacation. It makes changing easier. I roll his clothes together and all he has to do is take it out of the suitcase. I use packing cubes like these from amazon.

It makes packing easier. I don’t go crazy with toiletries. I buy travel size ones for the family and I leave them at the hotel at the end of our stay. I also don’t travel lightly. I gave that up years ago.

Here is an itinerary for visiting NYC with children:

Day #1

We took a red eye to NYC. I know it was a stretch. Overall we did pretty well and slept for some of the flight. Once we dropped off our luggage at our hotel and made our way to have our first meal in the city. We had a great brunch at Citizens of Chelsea. It’s a delicious cafe with avocado toast and delicious hot chocolate. It’s a farm to table restaurant.

We were really tired from the flight and took the early afternoon to nap. Luckily, we were allowed to check into our hotel room early. After our long and needed nap, we were ready for dinner and stroll in the city. We ate at It was very good dinner with appetizers and yummy burgers. They have a kid’s menu which I appreciate. My son ordered salmon. He claims he is a pescatarian. After dinner, we were ready for a nice walk. We walked around and ended up at The Harry Potter store. we made it to the harry potter store and dinner. that was a great first day. The store is like being at Hogwarts. We decided to do a weekly subway pass, it has unlimited uses and it really pays off. It’s about $40 a person, kids don’t need one, they go under the turnstiles…lol

Day #2

We packed our days with some walking and balanced it out with some rest time. We started off with taking family photos in the West Village with Lili Aviles Photography. She is wonderful with kids and took our last photos in Central Park. She is very good about making families feel comfortable and just having some organic interactions. It was pretty chilly, we weren’t expecting that so that was a little hard. We took off our coats for some of the poses but the chill and wind made it hard at times. I can’t wait to see them!

Later in the day we had lunch at los Tacos #1 in Times Square.

We love broadway shows and try to catch one yearly. After our tacos we went to see The Cursed Child. Our family is a little Harry Potter crazed. It was wonderful. The effects and costumes and just incredible. It get s a little scary so we did share some spoilers with our son so he wouldn’t be in shock. It was spectacular and I Highly recommend it. Lion king is also a great one for kids. 

After the show we were to. dinner at Wagamama, an Asian fusion cuisine at Union Square and then we went to the playground.

Day #3

We were ready to set out and explore the city. we started off at the Smithsonian American Indian Museum. They have exhibits about Native New York and Native art from North, South and Central America. My son is learning about American Indians so to see the artifacts was very fascinating to him. They have a gift shop with a lot of great books and art.

Battery Park has a large playground with tall slides and jungle gyms. It’s called Battery Playscape. It represents playing in nature. What I love about city parks is that the structures are made out of wood and steel it’s not plastic. Kids need to know how to climb and recover when they get hurt. My son loved running around, climbing and sliding. It was rainy and cold ,but when you are having fun. It doesn’t matter.

There is also a beautiful/colorful seaglass carousel that costs $6 to ride. It’s worth the ride! It’s beautiful to see the seaglass move up and down in unison. We built up an appetite and made our way to Stone Street. The oldest street in New York. It still has cobblestones. We ate at Stone Street Tavern.

After that we went on the Staten Island Ferry (it’s free) and you can see the Statue of LIberty from there. The ferry can also take you to Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We didn’t make it there but I highly recommend it. It’s the old Domino facotry turned into a playground. This is the amazing thing about New York!  So much rich history and the city does a great job of using natural resources and nature for children to play on.

We finished our day by dining at Tao restaurant. The food was delicious and their desserts are to die for!

Day #4

We love visiting museums. Today it was the MOMA- Van Gogh Exhibit/Pinocchio Exhibit

I love that museums are for everyone and that we can teach our son to appreciate museums at a young age. 

I met a friend for lunch at a Mexican restaurant in Spanish Harlem Ollin restaurant on 2nd and 5th ave. I highly recommend it. Their pastel de 3 leches is like no other!

I then made my way to Central Park where my son played and ran around. 

Day #5

We started to lose steam by this time. So we woke up a little later and made our way to Brooklyn on the 4 train to Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. We stopped at small shops in the neighborhood and bought some unique home items and Brooklyn memorabilia.  Our next stop was LuAnn’s, andAsian vegan restaurant. They have the best pumpkin soup and sweet and sour sesame soy plate!

We made our way to our favorite playground and library. We love Underhill Playground because it’s a toy sharing space and it’s gated. Next, we went to Blue Marble Ice Cream shop and had a scoop of ice cream on our way to the Brooklyn Public Library at Grand Army Plaza. If you haven’t gone there, it’s a must. It’s a large library and they have an extensive children’s book collection

For dinner we had dinner at Zaytoon’s. They have the best lentil soup! I highly recommend them. we enjoyed dinner with friends and ended our night at a Brooklyn Nets vs. HoustonRockets game at the Barclay Center.

Day #6

We slept in today! We had a late breakfast and made our way to The Museum of Natural History- Dinosaur exhibit

This i s a huge museum. We try not to see museums in one day. They are too big, so we always focus on an exhibit. The entire museum is incredible. They do a great job of having interactive stations for kids and photo opportunities.

We had lunch close by at Tenzan, a Japanese restaurant on the Upper West Side.

We had desserts at Levain cookies. These cookies are so moist and feel like a muffin in cookie form!

Day #7

Another day of sleeping in:). We visited the Highline in Chelsea. The High Line is an original 1800’s railroad track that was closed down and then created into a park and restored with the train track in place. It was a chilly but sunny day, but worth the walk. There is a lot to do around there and they have bumper tires/cars by the Standard Hotel.

We headed to Peppe Rosso in Soho for lunch. There are high end shops on Prince Street and chain shops on Broadway Ave. it’s a fun area to shop.

Day #8

Our last day in NYC we packed and the hotel was generous enough to store our luggage. 

We returned to Brooklyn and went to brunch at Chavela’s in Crown Heights, Brooklyn

The boys went to see their favorite barber and get a haircut. I spent my afternoon on Vanderbilt Ave in Prospect Heights. I had a 20 minute massage at Honey Nail Salon, a bagel at Old Brooklyn Bagel Shop. and I shopped at some of the small businesses that sell locally made products

Van Leewen Vegan ice cream is spectacular! I highly recommend it. 

We returned to Manhattan and ended our stay in NYC with tapas at Boqueria in Chelsea. They have a few around the city. They have jamón Iberico y varios quesos. 

It went by so fast and we truly enjoyed and took in every moment. My biggest advice for traveling is don’t get caught up on how perfect your kid has to be, they will have a bad day. Traveling is tiring, just go with the flow. Allow for some rest time and down time.

Don’t forget to make fun memories together.



bilingual children · bilingual learning · Developmental stages of chldren · Family · homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time · summer and kids

Let’s Play!

As an educator, I am always reading, researching and learning. I try to read books that bring value to my teaching craft and to my parenting style. This brings me to my latest reflection. How many of you are sitting on a couch trying to relax and just when you think you have a moments of silent. BOOM! something happens. If I had a dollar for everytime my son is slamming into me when I am trying to have a moment of relaxation, I could retire already…ha! 

Kids love to play! They love to explore and get dirty. They love to pretend and rumble and tumble. My son loves to wrestle and ram into things. He pretends to have horns and bumps me with his head. He laughs so hard and as much as I want him to stop, I start laughing with him and he bumps me even more. Parents, our kids need to play! Whether they are 2 years old or 12 years old, kids need play! It looks differently for each child. 

Did you know play is not only helps create a fantasy world, but also helps with emotional regulation?

Here are a few different types of play:

Fantasy Play- exactly what it sounds like, kids are creating their own world, it might include talking animals or house play such as mommy and daddy. Did you know this type of play helps with higher thinking order in children? My son loves creating scenes in his head that are related to legos or Harry Potter. He loves putting on his Slytherin robe and running around the house casting spells on everyone.

Constructive Play- Children use materials to create something and it’s organized, systems are in place. During this type of play helps kids learn to problem solve, connecting with other kids, and having a deeper understanding of things. My son loves getting boxes and creating cars and televisions. He enjoys using the glue gun and making armor for his battles.

Games with rules play- Playing games with rules helps children learn about order, structure, turn taking, and learning to lose. That is definitely a hard one, but an important one. We play daily board and card games. My son loves chess because he beats me every time. He is learning patience, turn taking, and negotiating when he plays with me.

Rough and Tumble Play- This is the hardest play to understand. Even I have a hard time with it. Every time I see my son playing super heroes or cops and robbers, I cringe! I have gone as far as stopping him knowing that he is enjoying using his body in different ways. When kids play “roughly” they develop their social and physical skills. They also learn social cues such as when someone gets hurt, they will have empathy and adjust their play. My son wrestles daily and I am learning to enjoy it.

So the next time you see your child in play, don’t stop them, don’t ask them what they are doing, just watch them. You will learn so much!



This book is a great resource in reminding me about the importance of play.

bilingual learning · Family · homeschooling · Kids love of Science · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time · Uncategorized

Christmas Gift Guide For The Child In Your Life

What do our kids need? What comes to mind when I ask that question? Some might say toys, while others might say clothes, or the latest gadget. In the end our children need love and family. The rest is just the icing on the cake. Don’t we gift our children daily with a roof over their head, food on the table, back to school clothing and supplies. The list goes on and on. Christmas is whatever you family wants it to be. I love hearing about family’s Christmas traditions. As we start to make new traditions in our new home in a new state, I think about the special memories we are making together. The fun experiences of doing family activities or giving him opportunities to explore skills he’s never explored before.

So what do we want to give our kids for Christmas? We want them to rip open that present and smile with that gleam in their eyes. Whatever it is you choose to give them, consider one of these gifts to add to your bundle of gifts.

  1. Who doesn’t love comfy pajamas? Support a BIPOC small business and order pajamas for the entire family. These comfy PJ’s come in beautiful neutral colors.
  2. Capture your family moments by using “an old fashioned” instant camera and create a monthly album together. Capturing moments is important for a our little ones. It helps them recall events, it helps them write stories, and most importantly keep traditions alive.
  3. Work on a little velocity and speed activities with your kids and try out the stomp rocket. Our son loves this activity and is entertained for a long time!
  4. This game is for the entire family! Go on a scavenger hunt together using the find and seek game. Find and Seek
  5. Kids love bubbles, this a great gift for elementary kids. It comes with a set of wands in different sizes.bubble wands
  6. If you have a backyard, consider an outdoor projector as a gift. You can have movie nights with the family and make it a new tradition outdoor projector
  7. Kiwi Co is still my favorite gift! You can buy a monthly, tri-monthly, or yearly subscription. This is definitely a family fun activity. The activities are geared towards their age range and it goes all the way up to 12 years old. Kiwico
  8. I think kids should have tons of books to read. Children love story books! It’s ok if your child reads the same book over and over. The point is to teach children a love for reading. Mija Books is located in Lakewood, Ca. but the owner also has an online store. There are a diverse selection of books for children of all ages. So fill up your child’s home library now.
  9. Looking to maintain Spanish in your home? Check out Spanish Word Game. Make learning Spanish fun through this interactive game for kids learning Spanish.
  10. Lil Libros carries some wonderful board books for younger childrenLil Libros these are great introduction books and they have books for K-2 children as well.
  11. Who doesn’t love Lakeshore!? If you haven’t gone, you need to go! It is THE teacher store for everything learning. I found this awesome marble run for kids of all ages.
  12. Some other ideas are kid magazine subscriptions such as, Highlights and National Geographics for Kids

Whatever you get your children this holiday season, I hope it’s something you all can enjoy together. Start making those family memories.



Back to school supplies · bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · learning and kids · traveling with kids

Back to School Goodies!!

Happy Summer Families! It’s been a while. We are well into our summer camps and family activities. As summer is coming to an end, we are getting ready for our back to school over haul. We need supplies, clothes, backpacks and lunch bags. Here are my top choices.

Backpack- I chose Hershel this year. My family and I love the cushy straps and durable feel of the backpacks. They are easy to zip and they have various kid sizes. The problem I have with major stores is a one size fits all backpack. A Kindergarten students needs a smaller size than a 2nd grader and 5th grader needs a larger size than a 2nd grade. Hershel offers various sizes. I love the choices. Some of their backpacks are on sale with free shipping so take advantage.


Planet Box is an eco-friendly lunch box supplier. They have a 30% discount sale so take advantage. I love the compartments for each sized lunch box. They also have different choices for kids of various ages. So choose what is best for your child. Some boxes also come with containers and you can purchase a lunch bag with it. It has a lot of pockets including for an icepack and water bottle pocket!


Raise your hand if you child is growing so fast you can barely keep up!! I like to shop at various places for kid’s clothes. Target’s Cat and Jack brand is great for basics!! They have tag less clothes which kids love! Keep your receipts because if your child grows out of them within a year you can return them for a full cash return.

Read more: Back to School Goodies!!

For some long term staples such as jeans, sweaters, special event school outfits consider Janie and Jack. I just bought some long term staples for my son. They have a major sale going on, up to 60% off.

School Supplies!

All the stores are competing so check prices at Target, Walmart, and Amazon. I personally love Amazon because I can order in bulk and it can be delivered to my son’s school. 🙂 Whatever makes it easy for this career mom!

I hope this helps!



homeschooling · Kids love of Science · learning and kids · traveling with kids

L.A. Museums with Kids: Highlighting The California Science Center

We recently visited the California Science Museum in Los Angeles. I have to admit that I haven’t visited this place in years, so it was like going for the first time. I was very impressed with the space and exhibits. We didn’t do the special exhibits because we wanted to learn our way around the museum.

It turned out to be a fun experience as my son and husband went on a virtual ride and followed a photo time line of the Space Shuttle Endeavour making its way through Los Angeles. We also visited several of the permanent exhibits such as the Ecosystem exhibit and the Air and Space exhibit. We sat and listened to a presentation given by a scuba diver in one of the fish/shark tanks. My son was able to ask questions and interact with the presenter.

Our favorite part is definitely seeing the Space Shuttle Endeavour up close. It’s fascinating how much work went into making this shuttle and viewing different parts of the shuttle up close.

If you haven’t visited The California Science Center, I highly recommend you take your children. It provides a great learning experience as many of the exhibits have hands on learning activities. Please be aware there are strict COVID protocols in place. Adults have to show vaccination cards at the entrance and wear masks at all times unless we are eating.

Happy New Year!!



bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · Kids love of Science · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time

Christmas Gifts For Kids

As we get ready for the that special time of the year, I wanted to share some fun kid items I found. If you are looking for last minute gifts, consider one of these for your child.

I love giving books to kids, let’s face it, our kids don’t need another toy. I feel like books are priceless and all kids should have their own library. If you are in the Los Angeles/Orange County area, consider visiting Mija Books at Lakewood Mall. Recently, I visited Mija Books and for the first time in my life, I see books that represent my culture! The store is beautifully organized by age. There is even a Spanish section. I am so impressed with the plethora of diverse books being offered. There are also stickers, coloring books, crayons and affirmation cards. I just love it! Books vary in prices and begin at $7 for soft cover books. If you are not in the LA/OC area, you can also order on line at I highly recommend their store.

If you are looking for a hands on activity for your child, consider Professor Maxwell Kits. They come with special goggles while kids learn about Science and Social Studies. You can find the kits on Amazon These kits take the child to places around the world through the use of special goggles. It is a great way to integrate Science and Social Studies into your child’s world.

3. It’s so important that we take the time to talk to our kids. It’s easy to depend on a device, believe me, I’ve been there. I learned about these great conversation starters we can do with our children. You can ask questions such as, “What is the best thing that happened to you today?” Let’s get our kids talking to us and learning how to take turns talking and listening. There is nothing more impactful than face to face conversation!

4. Another favorite making it on my list this year is KiwiCo. I really love their age breakdown and their STEAM choices. They offer monthly, 3-month, and yearly subscriptions. I highly recommend this for children of all ages. They offer educational, but hands-on learning activities. Their directions are easy to understand and it’s an activity you can do with your child or let them challenge themselves and complete the task on their own.

Happy Shopping!!



bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time

Hispanic Heritage Month

It’s so important to highlight and celebrate our Latinx culture. September and October is a great time to highlight historical figures that made an impact in our world. Most importantly, we must celebrate our Latinx roots all year long! My son and I started this celebration with reading books about Frida Kahlo. It’s a colorful children’s book that lends itself to children of all ages. As you take your child through the pages you can talk about “auto-retratos” and the importance of embracing our Latinx features.

We talked about our skin color and the beauty of our culture. He was very thoughtful about choosing colors that represent his facial features. Crayola makes crayons for different skin colors now. This is a fun activity to do as a family and at the same time teach your child about an important person in history. You can also visit Frida Kahlo’s Casa Azul virtually!

Happy Hispanic Heritage Month.



Children and letter writing · Developmental stages of chldren · homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · Uncategorized

Connecting Parents and Teachers: What can I ask my child’s teacher?

Kids are back in school! So, what now? Take advantage of Back To School Night and ask your child’s teacher how you can continue to support your child at home. Here are some questions you can ask your child’s teacher:

  1. How can I support my child’s social/emotional well being?
  2. Can you recommend some books that help my child talk about their emotions.
  3. Do you have a feelings chart you use in school? I’d like to use it at home as well.
  4. Can you share your daily schedule with me?
  5. How can I support my child in math, reading, and writing?
  6. What strategies do you use in reading that I can use at home?
  7. In math, what counting strategies can I apply while helping my child with homework?
  8. Share a success story about my child.

These questions open up the conversation to learning more about your child as a student. It helps you, as the parent, learn what happens throughout the day. Ask your child’s teacher for resources. If you are not sure how to explain math to your child, ask the teacher to share some sample strategies used in the classroom. If your child struggles in reading, ask the teacher what are some strategies you can use at home to help your child. Covid has affected our little ones in different ways. It’s important that we take time to support them not only academically, but also emotionally. Teachers have so much insight into our children’s world. Asking these questions help parents have a bigger picture about your child as a learner.

Don’t forget to ask your child’s teacher how they are doing as well. Teachers do so much behind the scenes work. A little cafecito or special drawing from your child is always welcome too.



bilingual children · bilingual learning · homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time

Back to School

It’s that time of year! We are getting ready to send our children back to school. We are enjoying the last few weeks of summer, getting that back to school list together, and look for clothing and supply deals! This is another unique year! We are still living in the times of COVID. Two years later. We have to prepare our kids the best way we can. We have our checklists, supplies…check…..clothes…check, room assignment…check…Let’s not forget the most important part of all. Let’s make sure our children are emotionally ready. Don’t forget to check in with them. Ask them how are they feeling? What are they most excited about? Are they scared? If so, why? Plan something fun right before school starts. If you haven’t already, start those back to school routines. Get to bed early, early rising, have breakfast planned out, and get them out the door. The sooner you do it, the easier it will be for you.

Don’t forget to read some fun books with them! I am including some back to school books along with a bilingual book titled Basquiat coming out soon from If you haven’t learned about him, you must get this book. It’s also a great opportunity to support a Latina owned book publishing company.

Isabel is starting school and she doesn’t speak Spanish. She shares her language with her classmates through her artistic work.
It’s about a little girl who feels like an outsider and isn’t sure where she fits in. She stays strong through it all.
Children learn about a Brooklyn, New York based artist and how he changed the world through his masterpieces.



homeschooling · learning and kids · literacy development and children · story time · Uncategorized

Reading Nook

I wanted to give my son a space where he can enjoy his reading time. I really want to give him a sense of ownership and responsibility when it comes to putting his room together. He is a vivacious reader, so he asked for a special reading nook. I wasn’t sure what that would look like in his room, so I had to think outside the box. We looked around his room and tried to pick a quiet space where he can focus and read without distractions. We chose a corner of his walk in closet!. I know it sounds outrageous, but it’s even more outrageous that a child would need a walk in closet, so it will be part walk in, and part reading nook.

We started with going to Home Depot and picking out a color. He chose green, I had to bite my tongue! I know that means letting go as a mom and allowing him to make choices on his own. I decided I will add some neutral decals to it to balance out the bright green.

He really enjoyed painting the wall and learned how to paint up and down instead of side to side. I decided to let him paint as long as a he wanted to and then even out the paint when he tired out. That happened very soon. I could see the pride on his face as he painted his wall. Once he gave up, I took over and finished the painting project.

Next, I ordered some hot air ballon decals from Amazon and my friend sent inspirational quotes to put on his wall. It all came together well. He is so happy with his reading nook. This is an easy and simple way to give your child space to enjoy reading without the outside distractions.