4 pervasive myths about bilingual children—debunked

Myth 3: Bilingualism causes language confusion.

myths about bilingual children

Bilingual children are far from rare in the United States. The U.S. Census Bureau data indicates that at least 350 languages are being spoken across American homes, yet myths about raising bilingual children abound and often drive parents to consider dropping a language.

Here are four prevalent misunderstandings on the subject—and the truths behind raising children with more than one language.

Myth 1: Children only become bilingual by learning languages at school.

Yes, children can learn languages at school, but since exposure is important, children need to speak and listen to the target language daily. Some practical tips to make sure your children are exposed regularly to the new language include:

  • Regularly talking to them
  • Reading stories
  • Playing games
  • Listening to lullabies
  • Frequently traveling to areas where the language is spoken

Myth 2: Bilingual children have delays in their speech or language development.

All children (monolingual or bilingual) develop their language skills differently, but learning multiple languages doesn't delay language development. According to research conducted by the University of Alberta, learning a second language does not trigger confusion nor does it negatively impact language skills.


Bilingual children say their first words within the normal age range (between 8 and 15 months) and when they produce their first sentences, they develop grammar along with the same timelines as monolingual children. Additionally, children who learn two tongues have improved executive-function (focusing and multitasking) as well as metalinguistic awareness and creative thinking. However, if you notice your kid lacks linguistic milestones are significantly delayed, seek advice from a speech-language pathologist.

Myth 3: Bilingualism causes language confusion.

Current studies suggest that exposure to a second language for children with language difficulties in their primary language does not put at risk a more serious language impairment in children's primary language. Children are very sensitive to sounds and can separate between languages from a very early age. For instance, if parents follow the OPOL (One Parent One Language) approach, children will learn to differentiate between the two languages and their brains will adapt to use each language when it is appropriate.

If you notice code-switching (or mixing languages) with your child, know that it's a normal part of bilingual language development and is not a sign of confusion.

Myth 4: My child is too old to learn a new language.

The optimal time for parents to introduce a second language is exactly when children are learning their first language (from birth to 3 years). Before puberty, children can still process more than one language in a parallel way. In fact, a new study suggests that children can absorb the grammar of a new language up until the age of 17 or 18.

Here are a few tips to help you raise a multilingual child:

  1. Create the need for your child to use the second language. Try playing games or singing songs using only the second language.
  2. Have your children watch their favorite cartoons in the second language. They will be happy to see that their favorite characters are bilingual, too.
  3. Reading books and listening to audiobooks in the target language helps children with pronunciation and overtime it will improve comprehension.
Most importantly, you don't need to be a native speaker of a language to share it with your children. Getting input from a native speaker and staying consistent in giving your children lessons and exposing them to people who are fluent in the target language is what matters. The end result is always worth the effort

14 outdoor toys your kids will want to play with beyond summer

They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

With Labor day weekend in the rearview and back-to-school in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in summer-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

Meadow ring toss game

Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.


Balance board

Plan Toys balance board

Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!


Detective set

Plan Toys detective setDetective Set

This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.


Wooden doll stroller

Janod wooden doll strollerWooden Doll Stroller

Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.


Sand play set

Plan Toys sand set

Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.


Water play set

Plan Toys water play set

Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.


Mini golf set

Plan Toys mini golf set

Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.


Vintage scooter balance bike

Janod retro scooter balance bike

Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.


Wooden rocking pegasus

plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.


Croquet set

Plan Toys croquet set

The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.


Wooden digital camera

fathers factory wooden digital camera

Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.


Wooden bulldozer toy

plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.


Pull-along hippo

janod toys pull along hippo toy

There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.


Baby forest fox ride-on

janod toys baby fox ride on

Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.


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