Learning with Canticos: Talk, Sing, Read, Write, and Play with Little Mice/Ratoncitos

Early Literacy
By Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

Kids love to read and re-read books. Why not take that opportunity to build-in other activities to make the most out of reading it each time?

Here are some tips to help you maximize the learning and fun with the third book in the Canticos book series: Little Mice/Ratoncitos - Based on the popular nursery rhyme in Spanish, “Cinco Ratoncitos de Colita Gris” (Five Grey-Tailed Mice).  This book follows little mice on their mission to eat as much cheese as possible before they get caught by the cat. Kids will enjoy this easy-to-read book with colorful characters and fun lift-the-flap surprises that help them learn the names of shapes in English and Spanish.

1. Talk

Use the book to talk about animals like mice, and have your little one explain to you what they eat. This is a great opportunity to discuss predators and preys.  

2. Sing

The descriptive lyrics lend themselves to acting out the actions while the song is sung. Encourage children to shake their mouse ‘tail’ and ‘nose’ as they munch on all the imaginary cheese they can find.

Not a Spanish speaker? Don’t know the tune? No problem!

Check out the sing-along app video here to see the lyrics and to hear the correct pronunciation.

3. Read

What’s more fun than reading a great story? Reading it twice, in two languages.

Novelty book: Read the story once in English. Flip the book and read it in Spanish. Open the book across to see all spreads at once and: 1. Lay it flat on the floor to see the whole story at once or 2. Stand it up and connect the ends into a circle to sit inside and be surrounded by the story.

Board book: Pick one language to read the story through. Start again in the second language.

4. Write

Depending on your child’s ability, practice drawing shapes or writing the names of them like “square” and “circle.” Lift the flaps to find the English/Spanish translations. Find activity sheets with shapes in our Parents section here.

5. Play

This is a great book to teach little ones the names of basic shapes. Encourage your little one to look around the room and point out items with specific shapes. “I spy with my little eye...a triangle!”

Make it a game! Award one point per correct item named. Award points generously and have fun!

Find more resources in our Parents resource center here.

About the author

Nuria is an entrepreneur and mom raising two bilingual children. She joined forces with another mom, Susie Jaramillo, and founded Encantos – a family entertainment and education company for today’s multicultural families.

Together they launched Canticos – a bilingual baby and toddler brand with books, apps, and sing-along videos is the first brand from. Nuria serves as Executive Producer of Canticos digital shorts which are now available across Nick Jr.’s digital preschool platforms: on NickJr.com/Canticos, Nick Jr.’s YouTube page and on the Nick Jr. and NOGGIN apps.

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