An Italian dictionary for kids must have at least one thing. Pictures! That’s for sure!
Don’t we get disappointed when we’re expecting a book to have pictures and find out it hasn’t (even us being adults)? Recently I heard of somebody that received a cookbook and… no pictures. She said that pictures in a cookbook give inspiration. They motivate a person to cook.
Children need even more motivation than grown-ups. Learning new words while learning a language is tedious. But learning without pictures is unbearable, at least for a child.
Importance of pictures for a child
A few days ago I was talking to my dad about an illustrated reading book I used when I was a kid. There was a certain picture in the book that had caught my attention as a child, and that up to this day, I still remember.
In the picture, there was a crowd working very hard. He remembered the image too and laughed. He also told me that grandma had read that same book to him when he was a boy. And that there was another picture, one of a man out in the sea, that had impressed him as well. I also remembered that one. “Wow…” I told him “I did not know that that book had impacted so much our early days”. And we laughed again.
My sisters also used the book. I must ask them if they remember some particular experience with it! Beautiful experiences as these give us life long pleasure. Common experiences… build a family! And remembering them always brings a smile to our faces.
We are visual by nature. I know you have heard the phrase: A picture is worth a thousand words. And pictures are a very powerful tool you can use when learning Italian.
How can I motivate my child to learn a second language?
I have frequently been asked the question from parents that want their kids to take interest in learning a second language: “What can I give my child to help him/her start learning a new language?” And to this, I always answer “Start with something that has a lot of pictures.” 🙂
Children (and adults too) love books with a lot of pictures. I must insist on this, many of us associate a word with an image. When we are learning vocabulary, there is no better way to fix those words in our brain than to pin them in with a picture.
An illustrated Italian dictionary
If you are planning a gift for your little child that is learning Italian, an Italian book full of pictures would be our recommendation. If it’s his/her first book, I’d recommend an Italian Dictionary for kids, because in that way you open their little eyes to vocabulary. An illustrated dictionary introduces vocabulary in a smooth and fun way.
And not only children can benefit from pictures. Adults who are visual learners can have a great time as well. I personally recommend parents to read along with their kids. And to incorporate the vocabulary that is seen on the book into the daily life of the little one. It will motivate him/her to learn Italian, and it’s also fun to remember words in the book pointing them out in life.
There are a lot of Illustrated Italian Dictionaries out there and all of them could suit your child. I’ll just give you an example of one that I like very much. But again, it’s only an example, there are hundreds of good books that are excellent resources for this purpose.
Hippocrene Children’s Illustrated Italian Dictionary
You could start checking out the Hippocrene Children’s Illustrated Italian Dictionary and then continue searching and comparing others with this one. I like this Dictionary because each entry has colorful pictures beautifully printed with English and Italian words listed below. The book is in alphabetical order for English words. The Italian words are alphabetically listed in the index.
I only recommend this dictionary for children who speak English wanting to learn Italian. I think it’s not so useful for Italian speaking kids. Words can be looked up alphabetically as in a dictionary but small children will enjoy looking randomly through the book.
If you speak Italian, please read the words and point out the pictures for your child. If you don’t speak Italian, you could have the words pronounced using Google translator or any other similar platform (Duolingo Dictionary can also give you the pronunciation). While viewing the book with your kids, or by yourself, you could have any of these platforms we have just mentioned open on your phone or laptop. As you turn the pages of this dictionary, you can search for each word and hear it pronounced clearly while looking at the pictures.
Your little child will not want to put down this book. 🙂
If you would like to take a look at Hippocrene Children’s Illustrated Italian Dictionary on Amazon, click here.
With an Illustrated Italian Dictionary or any other Italian Illustrated book, you could transform an Italian lesson into a pleasant family evening with your kids, and hopefully, build lasting experiences that they will remember even as grown-ups.