Category Archives: Blog

Il gelato per l’ultimo giorno di camp!

Today was the final day of Camp Italiano! These past two weeks have gone by so fast and it was sad to have to say goodbye to all of our great campers. They have been such an enthusiastic group and we really appreciate their involvement in the camp.

The theme being gelato was the perfect way to end the camp. We started off introducing the many different flavors of gelato to the kids. They shouted out which were their favorites and then we taught them how to say i gusti in Italian. Many of the campers preferred cioccolato or fragola.



We even showed them the gesture Italians use to say something is good! The gesture is placing the tip of your index finger to your cheek and rotating it back and forth as you can see below:


Then we played a little game where we taught the kids how to order a gelato from a gelateria. They had to say the name of what gusto di gelato they wanted, then the size (piccolo, medio, o grande), and if they wanted it in un cono o una coppetta. Then they had to pay the gelataio 2 euro for their ice cream.

gelato2 gelato adrimaddiegelato teogelato

After all of that practice the real ice cream truck (il camion del gelato) came! The kids lined up and would say “vorrei cioccolato”, per esempio. They had a litte picnic and really enjoyed eating their ice cream.

icecreamtruck icecreamtruck2


After the gelato, the kids had a lot of energy and played outside with le macchine, lo scivolo, e l’altalena.

boystruck maddieslide soniaswing

The next thing we did was the craft. Each camper place a cone, many scoops of ice cream, and panna (whipped cream) e/o ciliegie (cherries) onto a piece of paper. The finished product looked delicious.

maddieadricraft teocraft


We spent the final minutes of camp saying goodbye to the campers. In order to graduate from Camp Italiano, each camper had to name i tre colori della bandiera italiana (verde, bianco, e rosso). If they got them all right, they were given their own bandiera italiana sticker to take home with them. Luckily all of them graduated with flying colors, and were also given a special gift of either le bolle (bubbles) or i tatuaggi (tattoos).



We sang “Ciao Bambini Ciao” for the very last time, and after distributing their crafts and folders filled with all of their coloring pages, it was ready metterci in fila. Ci siamo salutati and thanked them for being such great campers.


Each and every camper has learned so much over these past two weeks and I hope they will want to continue learning Italian in the future!

Grazie tutti!

L’ultima lezione

Today was la sesta e l’ultima lezione dei Primi Passi “Mommy and Me” summer class. It has been so rewarding watching these young children grow over the past six weeks. After playing the same songs over and over and interacting with the babies, I have noticed that they have indeed learned a great deal. Not only have they been exposed to the Italian language, but they have learned to play and share with one another, handle the toys and puppets appropriately, and be a part of a class. For me, just seeing the smiles on their faces as we play and sing songs in Italian is enough to prove that they are getting something out the class. Their enthusiasm is wonderful and hopefully will last should they choose to continue to learn Italian.

Today one of the children who is almost three years old requested to hear “Giro Giro Tondo”, the Italian version of Ring Around The Rosie. Getting musical requests from the children themselves is very exciting! They have been a great group of children and it was sad to have to say goodbye to them. Perhaps next summer ci incontriamo di nuovo. I would like to see if any or all of them have continued taking Italian classes throughout the year and have learned more!

Thank you for reading and have a wonderful rest of the summer!

Buon estate e tante belle cose!


P.S. we have uploaded more pictures of our class on Facebook.


Today we made la pizza! We immediately started the day off making our craft which was a pizza paper plate. We used paint and paper cut-outs to make the pizza come alive. The campers were able to choose whatever toppings they wanted for their own personal pizzas.

angelinapizza pizzacraft

We then had some play time where the campers played with a Pizza Puzzle and, again, were encouraged to be creative by making the pizza whichever way they wanted. They had a great time working together to prepare the pizza.

pizzapuzzle adriannapizzapuzzle

Storytime was next. We read Little Nino’s Pizzeria, one of my favorite stories as a child, to the children, translated from English to Italian.


After listening to the story about pizza, we learned how to make a pizza! We talked about which ingredienti ci vogliono per fare una pizza. We then dressed up as cuochi, putting on grembiuli e cappelli da cuoco.


Properly dressed to make pizza, we sat around the table and learned about all of the ingredients. We passed around il basilico, l’olio d’oliva, la salsa di pomodoro, il sale, e la mozzarella. Each camper said the name of the ingredient in Italian and ha sentito il profumo. We talked about how some ingredients, like sale e mozzarella, do not have a strong scent, whereas other ingredients like salsa di pomodoro e basilico, do have a strong scent.


First we spread olive oil on the pizza dough, or la pasta. Then we put un pizzico di sale sopra la pasta. Poi, each camper ha spalmato la salsa di pomodoro all over the pizza. When it’s another camper’s turn we say, tocca a “Vincenzo”! Poi ci abbiamo messo la mozzarella e il basilico.

makingpizza makingpizza2 makingpizzz3

Ecco abbiamo la pizza prima e la pizza dopo! :


As the pizzas cooked nel forno, the children played outside. By the time the pizzas were ready, the children had tanta fame! They really enjoyed eating the delicious pizza.

eatingpizzaeatpizzaeatingpizza2 angelinapizza


Si vede che ai bambini piaciuta tantissimo la pizza!

For more photos please visit our facebook page.

As some of the parents dropped off their children today at camp, they said that their children were so excited and couldn’t wait to come to camp today. Others also say, on a regular basis, that their children sing the sogs we learn at camp throughout the rest of the day at home. Hearing that the children are enjoying themselves, learning Italian, and are enthusiastic about coming to camp each day fills us with joy. Please leave commenti if you would like to share anything else with us!


Le verdure e la frutta

Today we talked about le verdure e la frutta. We started the day off coloring in a bunch of fruits and vegetables. The kids colored in things such as la mela, l’arancia, la banana, la melanzana, la pera, la lattuga, la patata, la carota, and i broccoli.


Before introducing the new theme of the day, we reviewed our numbers and colors as always. The kids love pointing to all of the numbers and animals while we sing. Nico always loves handing out and collecting le bacchette magiche when we do ordine.



Poi, abbiamo introdotto il tema nuovo del giorno: le verdure e la frutta. We passed around the different vegetables that go in an orto and the fruits that go in a giardino. We talked about il limone, i peperoni, i piselli, i pomodori, la lattuga, la pera, la mela, l’arancia, la carota, e la melanzana.



We then read the story, “La Rapa Gigante” (The Giant Turnip) in Italian and in English. The children learned about the fruits and vegetables the kids in the book grew in their school garden.




After talking about all of the fruits and vegetables, tutti avevano fame! We had our merenda that consisted of biscotti, pretzels, succo di mela, and acqua, but we also gave out some carote!

We then moved onto the craft. Each child pasted a few of the fruits and veggies they had colored in earlier onto jumbo craft sticks to make fruit and vegetable puppets.




We took out a small toy teatro/palco where the kids were able to put on a small spettacolo. Each camper went behind the curtain with their fruit and vegetable burattini and would say for example: “Ciao, sono la mela, come stai?” The kids had a blast and really got to know the names of the fruits and vegetables in Italian after all of the repetition.teatro




The campers had a great time playing with the puppets and seem to be having more and more fun each day!

A domani!




Oggi abbiamo insegnato ai bambini i colori dell’arcobaleno: rosso, arancione, giallo, verde, blu, indaco, e viola. Ogni bambino ha colorato le forme in colori diversi. Per esempio, c’era un quadro con “verde” scritto dentro, poi un triangolo con “rosso” scritto dentro, eccetera. Dopo un po’ di tempo libero, abbiamo cantato la canzone di apertura: “Buon Giorno Bambini”. Poi, abbiamo cantato la canzone dei numeri per fare la pratica dei numeri. Dopo, abbiamo introdotto la canzone dei colori: “Coloriamo”. Abbiamo anche letto un libro dei colori.

arcobaleno/Angelina e Nico

Due altri ragazzi pi grandi si sono uniti al gruppo questa settimana, e un altro ragazzo sta facendo la pratica come un Camp Counselor. Quindi, c’eravamo in tanti ma ce l’abbiamo fatta. Abbiamo messo un altro tavolo per ospitare tutti quanti e abbiamo permesso quelli pi grandi fare il craft pi velocemente. Cos tutti si sono riusciti ad imparare al proprio ritmo.

Blair ci ha aiutato con la danza dell’arcobaleno dove i bambini hanno ballato e saltato sotto l’arcobaleno. Era molto divertente!

Dancing under the arcobaleno

touch the arcobaleno

Ogni bambino ha fatto un arcobaleno per il craft. Per fare le nuvole abbiamo usato il cotone e abbiamo messo la carta velina per ogni colore dell’arcobaleno.

Blair si aiuta Adriana

Vincenzo fa l'arcobaleno

Sonia fa l'arcobaleno

I bambini stanno facendo progressi. Si vede che capiscono quando parliamo in italiano. Alcuni addirittura rispondono in italiano. Dicono cose tipo, “voglio rosso”, “ancora”, “finito”, e “grazie”.

Adriana Maddie

Sono contentissima che loro si stiano divertendo e che stiano imparando allo stesso tempo perché così imparano più in fretta.

Vedremo quanto i bambini si ricordano alla fine della settimana!

Genitori: ricordatevi di fare la pratica dei numeri e colori con vostri figli!

A domani!

A tutta velocita’!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Wow can’t believe we completed the first week already of our Italian camp in Yonkers. Why does the summer ALWAYS go by faster and faster each year! I love the summer and I really want it to be like 6 months instead of 3 months! The key is to really enjoy every day while you can.

I can certainly tell you that our campers have been truly enjoying their days here learning Italian in fun, creative, and hands-on ways. They still talk about their Italian flags that we made on the first day. Some are still carrying them around and I even received a report that one of our kids even slept with it at night – aw!

Today we sped things up a little and took out all our macchine & atuo, aerei, elicotteri, treni, camioncini (pick-up trucks) and anthing else with wheels or propellers.

We began with a vocabulary coloring page that looked like this.

il trasporto

Our 3 and 4 year olds are still mastering the skill of holding pastelli (crayons), choosing colors, and cloring within the lines. We help them by saying things like, “scegli un altro colore,” or “Che colore vuoi?” and “Tieni il pastello così.” Our coloring time gives us an opportunity to reinforce the colors in Italian. And by now when ever someone has finished a task we hear, “finito!”

The kids loved when we took out our trenino (train set). I tried and tried to put the binari (tracks) together, but my mind is not mechanical enough. Don’t know if it’s an adult thing, but the kids had no problem, so I finally stepped aside and let them take over. They were much better and were really into it, especially Vincenzo.

Vincenzo e i trenini

i trenini

During circle time we learned the vocabolario del trasporto by playing nascondino (hide and seek). Carolina put four objects on the floor – l’areo, l’elicottero, l’auto, and il treno. When Carolina says “Chiudete gli occhi!” the kids close their eyes and she hides one of the objects. When Carolina says, “Aprite gli occhi!” the kids open and have to guess in Italian which object is missing.

We also got aboard the “moving line” and pretended to be in different modes of transportation as we listened to the song, “La metropolitana” from the CD Canzoni per bambini I.

Dopo la merenda, where the campers continue to put into use their new knowlede of functioning words like, finito, ancora, succo, acqua, etc., we did a craft of stamps and stencils of moving vehicles. It was a little messy but it was art time.

stamping fun

more stamps

Sonia's work

Show your kids these photos and see if they can say the vehicles in Italian. You can prompt them by saying “Cosa vedi nella foto?” “Io vedo….”

La quinta lezione

The fifth lesson of I Primi Passi (Mommy & Me) class was enjoyable for everyone. I bambini are getting to know each other better and better as the weeks go on, and love interacting with each other. We sang songs such as the “Buon Giorno” song, “L’occhio bello”, “The Wheels on the Car/Le ruote della macchina”, “La vecchia fattoria”, “Lo zoo”, and a song where we practice how to say the vowels in italiano. We also sang “Giro giro tondo”, “Ciao e a presto” where battiamo i tamburini, finishing with “Ciao Bambini Ciao” come sempre.


primi passi class

DSC05525 DSC05520

It is a joy to see these children smile and clap their hands to the songs that we sing, and play happily with the toys that we give them, because they are actually learning Italian in the process. Getting children involved with another language in the early stages of upbringing is crucial for their capacity to aquire the language as quickly as possible. I am happy to see these young children participate in I Primi Passi classes and enjoy themselves while doing so, and can only hope that they continue learning italiano once we have had our sixth and final lesson of the summer!

Ciao e a presto!

I Numeri

Uno, due, tre, quattro, cinque, sei, sette, otto, nove, dieci: i numeri in italiano. After repeating the numbers 1-10 in Italian many times, the children eventually got the hang of it and started to count with me.

We started the day off coloring in dieci pesci and counting them as we colored. After some playtime, we did circolo and sang the “Buon Giorno” song. The children are starting to join in as we sing which is very exciting!




We then reviewed and danced to “Su nel cielo”, the song we learned the first day when we learned about il tempo. Afterwards we began the lesson of the day: i numeri. We started off by singing a song about the numbers to the tune of Frre Jacques:

Uno due, tre e quattro

Cinque sei, cinque sei

Sette, otto, nove

Sette, otto, nove

Dieci, ciao! Dieci, ciao!

The campers quickly caught on to the song and were veramente bravissimi! We then read a story about fish called “Ten Friendly Fish”. We translated the story into Italian as we read, and after reading each page, we would all count the number of fish in Italian. The children really enjoyed questo libro.

We had our merenda where we always encourage the children to say finito when they have finished their snack, ancora if they want more, and grazie.

Our craft today was coloring in a fishbowl or boccia per pesci rossi as well as cinque pesci. The children got a chance to practice cutting too, a great activity to get their little hands and fine motor muscles moving. They then glued the fish to the bowl and pasted the whole thing on a blue sheet of construction paper with “Cinque pesci nella scodella” written on the top.







5 pesci

We then did some playtime outside, teaching the children words such as l’altalena, lo spruzzatore, la macchina, il costume da bagno, l’asciugamano, and la piscina. It is amazing how quickly the campers catch on to what we are saying in Italian. When we ask them questions in Italian, they do respond, even if it is in English most of the time, but this just goes to show that they do understand.






As always, we sing the “Ciao Bambini Ciao” song to say goodbye, which the chlildren are starting to join in on. Let’s see if they will all be singing at the end of these two weeks!

Ci vediamo la prossima volta!

La terza e quarta lezioni

Last week was la terza lezione of the Mommy and Me class. On my own I was really able to experience what it is like to plan a lesson, teach, and keep control of a classroom. There are many difficulties involved in being a teacher, and experiencing it first hand simply makes you a better teacher. I was more prepared and knew more of what to expect in la quarta lezione, this past Thursday. Each lesson begins with the “Buon Giorno” song where we greet each baby, the mothers, and the teachers. We then sing various songs such as a song about the Italian vowels and “Lo zoo”. The majority of the songs we sing are simply the Italian versions of popoular American songs for young children: “Giro giro tondo” (Ring Around the Rosie), “Se sei felice” (If You’re Happy and You Know It), “La vecchia fattoria” (Old MacDonald), and “Il Piccolo Ragnetto” (The Itsy Bitsy Spider). We always incorporate props, toys, and puppets to involve the children and keep thier attention on what song or activity we are doing.

The children love interacting with one another, listening to the songs, and playing with the toys and puppets. Each aspect is getting them one step closer to understanding the Italian language!

La bandiera italiana

La bandiera italiana was the focus of the lesson today. Each child came into camp today and colored in the Italian flag with pastelli rossi and verdi. We had a quick play time where the children played with giocattoli like bacchette magiche, corone and castelli.

le fate


We then did circolo (circle time) where we reviewed the colors of le uova and i bastoncini and then sang the “Buon Giorno” song to each child. Afterwards we talked about Italia and the colors of la bandiera italiana. Each child had to repeat the colors verde, biano, and rosso. We even played a game where we placed a green, red, and white crayon on the floor and had the children close their eyes. We removed one of the crayons, had the children open their eyes, and then identify which of the three colors was missing and say the color in Italian. Constant repetition allows the children to absorb the Italian words that they hear, so we try to do this as much as possible. We also read the children a book about rosso and Italia.


After our merenda, we did the craft. Each child made thier own bandiera italiana using construction paper. They even placed un bastone marrone on the flag in order to wave it around. We then had una marcia where the children marched around in a circle waving thier Italian flags while we played the National Italian Anthem, “Fratelli d’Italia”.

flagswavingflagsla marcia

After some sprinkler and play time, we reviewed the colors of the Italian flag again and sang the “Ciao Bambini Ciao” goodbye song: (to the tune of Farmer in the Dell).

Ciao bambini ciao

Ciao bambini ciao

Ci vediamo la prossima volta

Ciao bambini ciao

Ciao Sonia ciao

Ciao Sonia ciao

Ci vediamo la prossima volta

Ciao Sonia ciao!


sprinkler time

We encourage the parents and other family members to review what the children learn each day in camp. Going over the colors of the Italian flag, verde, bianco e rosso, is one of the many ways to get yourselves involved and help the children learn about this beautiful language and culture.

A domani!