Nowadays our children are constantly confronted with digital entertainment media like YouTube and Netflix, where the videos being shown are in English generally. What you have probably noticed, is that this makes it very popular for kids to communicate in English with each other as well.
Kids are also reading a lot less because of all this new age technology that is available and if the kids or their parents would like to catch up on their reading, the material that is available in Papiamento is really limited, especially for children between the ages of 0-5 years.
With the support of UNOCA and Fundacion Lanta Papiamento, Mrs. Jessica van Montfoort-Posner and her husband Mr.Marald van Montfoort came up with a new concept where they created a board book in Papiamento for kids up to age 5, which features a purple spider named, “Nini.” They also created digital animations in Papiamento posted on YouTube that teaches kids to count, colors, animals, our typical Aruban songs for kids and much more in a fun and innovative fashion.
“As parents of two kids of the ages of 2 and 4, we were always amazed how they learned the different shaped, colors, how to count in English through video’s on YouTube. This is when we thought, “we should have this in Papiamento as well!” Jessica van Montfoort comments.
“From our own personal experience as parents, we learned that there are two ways for kids to learn a language in a fun way. You have the “offline” method, where you can help them learn the language through entertaining stories and illustrations and there is the “online” method, which is currently changing the world and the way kids learn and get entertained. Even though the latter is taking over the kids their attention, we noticed that it is important for them to still receive both and have a good “online” and “offline” balance.” Jessica continued.
Jessica explains that this was the incentive for them to create a book (books) and audiovisual entertainment and educational videos too. In this way, they can enrich the Papiamento language among children.
“Another very positive effect that we have noticed the digital animations having on the kids is that they bring the characters of the book to live, making them extra excited about the book and wanting to know more about the characters.” Jessica explains.
Jessica also emphasizes on the importance of the bonding effect that reading a book with your children can have, creating a special moment where your family can strengthen its relationship by taking this time to be together.
For the ones that are interested, they can visit the YouTube channel through:
bit.ly/funwithnini or search for funwithnini in Youtube.
The book itself called “Nini ta salikeiro”, which tells the story about the adventure of Nini the spider at Philip’s Animal Garden is available at Bruna Aruba, Plaza Bookshop, DeWit&VanDorp, Giselle department store and Casa at Superfood.q