Category Archives: Italian Preschool (asilo italiano)

Winter Break Mini Camp

Illustration of kids playing outdoors in winter

Ready for some winter fun in Italian? We’ve got it! Your preschooler will join friends in winter themed activities singing, playing, crafting, cooking,  and imaginary play all in Italian.

When: February 19 -23 2018

Time: 9 -12

Age: 2.5-6years

Where: Greenville Community Church

Fee: $250

Minimum to run camp: 5 students


Asilo italiano – Italian Preschool 2017/18 Enroll Now Open!

ABC tre colori

Did you know the the brain is NOT neurologically set to learn just ONE language? In fact it has the capacity to learn many languages simultaneously. Studies have shown that speaking two or more languages produces a kind of intelligence that goes beyond language. In fact, speaking two languages fluently transforms the most important operations of the brain in quite ingenious ways. The result is a sharper and more flexible brain.

Young children learn languages best through on-on-one interaction with real people. They also acquire language by living it and talking about important things in their life. At La Piazza di Carolina our classes are kept small so that we may provide that one-on-one experience. We also create an environment that is meaningful and relevant to the young child. Our immersion program is dedicated to channeling bilingualism and aiding the family in their goal to introduce it at a young age. Read more about our program.

Autunno at La Piazza di Carolina


We are in full foliage peak down-county Westchester where La Piazza di Carolina is located. We have been using the beautiful fall colors as our inspiration for lessons around here.


Today at our Saturday asilo italiano (Italian preschool) we went on a nature walk – in cerca della natura – with the goal of finding foglie rosse, arancioni, gialle, e verdi (red, orange, yellow, and green leaves).

The trees were glowing, the breeze delightful, and the sun was unexpectedly warm. Once we filled our secchiello (pail) with fallen leaves, we hurried back in the classroom to create our own alberi d’autunno (autumn trees).

albero dautunno1

la foglia – leaf

le foglie – leaves

le autunno – fall/autumn

il melo – apple tree

la zucca – pumpkin

la ghianda – acorn

lo scoiattolo – squirrel

la mela – apple

il rastrello – rake

rastrellare – to rake

C’era una volta…


C’era una volta un re e una regina che apartenevono al reame pi importante nel mondo. Un giorno il loro nipote, il principe Will, si spos con la donna pi bella del mondo, Kate. Subito dopo il matrimonio si diventarono il duca e la duchessa del Cambridge. Tutti Sperano che si vivino felici e contenti per sempre. Ta da!

And so goes our modern day fairy tale. So on the occasion of the Royal Wedding, we too at La Piazza di Carolina are celebrating. We chose to read some famous princess tales in Italian: Cenerentola (Cinderella) and Biancaneve (Snowwhite) and then role played our own royal wedding in fancy attire and crowns. To top it off we had a brindisi (toast) of suco di mela (apple juice) and tortini (cupcakes) and danced at the ballo.

Il_principe_e_principessa DSC06448 DSC06449

DSC06450 DSC06452

Cenerentola coloring page

Principessa coloring page

Here’s our royal vocabulary list:

la principessa princess
il principe prince
il castello castle
il cavallo bianco white horse
il re king
la regina queen
la corona crown
il principe azzurro prince charming
il ballo the ball (dance)



Brrrr! Che freddo! Che gelo! E quanta neve?! It is only January 21 and we have already had seven snowstorms! Good thing I like the snow. I mean I really like it. I get so happy when it snows. I love to watch it fall and create velvety blankets across my lawn. I love the stillness and quiet that comes in the morning right after a snow fall, when no one is out yet and the plows haven’t come through yet. Whenever the weather man predicts snow I say “yippie!” I know it is a far cry from most people who dread it, but I have always loved it, ever since I was a kid.

snow storm

I take my excitement and turn it into tons of fun with the bambini in asilo italiano.

We make pupazzi di neve (snowmen),pupazzo_di_neve

fiocchi di neve (snowflakes), Fiocco_di_neve_bianco fiocco_di_neve

concrete poetry out of words like slitta, Concrete_Poetry_la_slitta

neve, pattinare su ghiaccio, sci, and the children feel quite proud of their work.Poetry_linverno

They learn that they must bundle up in un cappello di lana (wool hat), manopole (mittins), stivali (boots), giubbotto (down jacket) and sciarpa (scarf), and when we come in from playing nella neve it’s time for la cioccolata calda e biscotti, (hot chocolate and cookies).

Next week we will be talking about gli orsi polari (polar bears) and their habitats, and what it means to hibernate (ibernare o andare in letargo).

How do you stay warm in winter? Tell us in English or in italiano.

We Were So Festive alla Italiana!

The week before Christmas vacation was quite exciting at La Piazza di Carolina. Everyone was in the holiday spirit so we kept the feeling going.

We read about American and Italian Christmas traditions. We learned how to sing Italian Christmas hymns like Tu scendi dalle stelle, and Siam pastori e pastorelli, and learned our Christmas words in Italian.

Buon Natale! Merry Christmas!
Babbo Natale Santa Claus
l’albero di Natale Christmas tree
il pupazzo di neve snowman
la renna reindeer
la slitta sled
il regalo gift
il presepio nativity scene
il bastoncino di zucchero candy cane

We made a Babbo Natale, and made a beautiful regalo for mamma e papà out of pasta.

Babbo Natale

Babbo Natale

We painted the pasta green.

Green pasta

We painted paper plates green and cut out the middle.

paper wreath

We glued the pasta onto the plates, dusted them with glitter and added a red Christmas bow. Then we taped our photos in the middle of the wreath. We wrapped them up in pretty tissure paper fastened with a bow and presented them to mamma e pap  for Christmas. I’m sure they were touched with joy when they opened our regali.


On December 18th we had our 5th annual Coro dei bambini di Natale concert. We had our best turn out yet. 21 children ages 2½ to 11 performed 6 Christmas songs in Italian:

Tu scendi dalle stelle, Con i rami d’agrifoglio, Il primo Natale, Siam pastori e pastorelli, Jingle Bells, Oh Tannenbaum.

Il Coro dei Bambini


Vi auguro un nuovo anno pieno di buona salute e prosperit !

Happy Thanksgiving!

Although Thanksgiving is strictly an American holiday, the children at La Piazza di Carolina learned how to celebrate it “alla italiana.”

First we learned about the history of Thanksgiving, (la storia del Ringraziamento). The pellegrini (pilgrims) came from far away across the ocean to America in una barca called the Mayflower. They came to build a new chiesa (church) to practice their own religione. But the inverno was so duro and freddo in their new home in America. Luckily they made new amici, the indiani americani, who taught them how to grow granturco (corn) and zucche (squash), and how to hunt (fare la caccia) for tacchino (turkey) and fish (pesce).

Nell’autunno (the fall), their harvest (raccolto) was so abundant, so they had a grande festa with the indiani for tre giorni (three days). They were very thankful (erano pieni del ringraziamento.)

We learned how to say Thanksgiving food in Italian and pretended to eat them.






Then we made our own granturco out of carta leggera (tissue paper) and chicchi di granturco (corn kernals).


Finally we pretended to be pellegrini (pilgrims) by wearing our school-made cappelli di pellegrini (pilgrim hats).



Here’s our list of Thanksgiving words in Italian:

Buona Festa del Ringraziamento Happy Thanksgiving!
il tacchino turkey
il granturco corn
le patate dolci sweet potatoes
il pane bread
le verdure vegetables
il ripeino stuffing
il pellegrini pilgrims
ringraziare to give thanks
la torta di zucca pumpkin pie

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Dolcetto o scherzetto?

Halloween, a VERY American “holiday,” is actually starting to catch on in Italy. Italians are very curious about what all the fuss is. I’ve heard that people are starting to carve pumpkins and kids are running around in costumes too, knocking on doors asking, “Dolcetto o scherzetto?” Hey, it’s another day in Italy for una festa! So why not?

Of course, at La Piazza di Carolina, celebrating Halloween would not be missed. We had a costume party and the children came dressed as, il uomo di ragno (spider man), la fata Tinker (Tinkerbell), un’ape (a bumble bee), una bambina giapponese (a japonese girl), una principessa d’argento (a silver princess), un dinosauro, (a dinosaur), un gatto, (a cat), una ragazza degli anni sessanta (a hippie girl), e altri super eroei (and other super heroes that really I don’t know of because I never had litttle boys of my own – only girls!).


We rehearsed our Cinque piccole zucche poem, read a book on Halloween themes, and made an awesome craft – a Halloween mobile with a zucca, strega, pipistrello, and fantasma.


To top it all off we ate organic cupcakes – tortine – brought in by one of the moms. Another fabulous day in asilo italiano!

“Come ti vesti per Halloween?” What are you going to be for Halloween?
il fantasma ghost
la strega- witch

la scopa broom

il gatto nero – black cat
la zucca intagliata – jack o lantern
il pipistrello – bat

il ragno spider

lo scheletro – skeleton
il teschio – skull
le caramelle – candy
i costumi – costumes
la maschera – mask
il gufo – owl
la casa stregata – haunted house
il vampiro – vampire

Le mele

Our lesson on apples (le mele) was a fun and informative one. We learned that apples come in many colors: rosso, verde, and giallo, and that they grow on trees (alberi).


We also talked about all the yummy things you can make with apples like apple pie, (crostata di mela), apple sauce (puree di mela) and apple cider (succo di mela).


Of course we cut up some apples in slices (uno spicchio) for snack (merenda).

We also took the opportunity to learn about the parts of the mela. The outside (fuori) is called the buccia, and inside (dentro) we find the semi (seeds).

We did our craft by dipping two apples halves into red and white paint and then stamping them on contruction paper. We labeled the parts in Italian. 397

We hope you review these new words with your Italian-learning child.

Al piu’ presto!


Cinque piccole zucche

Cinque piccole zucche

La Piazza di Carolina, asilo italiano


October is a great time to do a lesson about pumpkins le zucche. This is one of our favorite topics because there is material available in English and Italian.

We start by introducing the word la zucca for pumpkin. We show real pumpkins and cut-out pumpkins that we pass around and have the kids repeat the word.

pumpkins jack_o_lantern

We talk about the color, arancione, and have kids find orange things in the classroom.

We then read the book: “Five Litte Pumpkins”, by Dan Yaccarino. We translate it in Italian.


We also listen to the poem in Italian, Cinque piccole zucche, which can be found on the

Teach Me Everyday Italian Volume 2 teach_me_everday_Italian_Vol_2

We memorize the poem in Italian:

Cinque piccole zucche sedute sul muretto
La prima dice: Cielo, fa freschetto!
La seconda dice: Le streghe son nel vento.
La terza dice: Io non mi spavento.
La quarta dice: Dobbiamo presto partire.
La quinta dice: Oh no! Mi voglio divertire.
Huuh “Huuh dice il vento. La luce se ne va
E le zucche fuggono di qua e di l .

Watch our video here. Click Here

Finally we make a crafty picture of the scene.