Polyglot Tot creates products and games in three of the largest (by population) tribal African languages of Nigeria: Hausa, Igbo, and Yoruba. When Brooklyn girl, Sunshine Abou Bakar was expecting her first child she went looking for fun, beautiful products in both English and Yoruba. It was important to Sunshine that her daughter could engage with both languages in an enjoyable way. After struggling to find what she was looking for Sunshine decided to create products herself.
The multilingual alphabet flash cards are chock full of distinctly African imagery, Each of the four sets of flash cards—available in English, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo include 20+ cards featuring plants and animal, as well as distinctly African imagery to teach your child a second language. What would Africa flash cards be without the "big 5", K for King, ceremoniously dressed in agbada, Q for queen, donning an expertly tied gele (headscarf). Drawing each card by hand, each card is a labor of love.
Polyglot Tot strives to change this by creating tools to facilitate learning how to communicate and socialise in indigenous languages at an early age. Incorporating age-old textile practices and artisanal techniques. The first line was inspired by the textile of Adire Eleko, an ancient resist dye technique akin to shibori and batik in Asia. Drawing on years of fashion design and textile appreciation each card was lovingly designed by Sunshine herself. The words on each card are extensively researched, including countless hours spent interviewing native speakers to get the phonetics just right. Having undergone extensive field testing by a “locally-grown” tester, we're certain that children enjoy the art, and that they’re sturdy enough to last.
""We speak Yoruba, French and English at home, at varying degrees of fluency. Our two year old now understands and is beginning to speak all three. Even though the tendrils of the diaspora now touch every corner of the globe, tribal languages are going extinct. Our mission is to help the transmission of tribal languages through our rich heritage to children. Foster pride and knowledge of African languages by promoting rich African Heritages. Children are hungry to learn new things, I want to make it easy for them to explore the world around them in their mother tongue.
All Polyglot Tot products are ethically produced in the USA using natural and recycled materials wherever possible, not in a smug or pretentious way, just in a we-can-do-the-right-thing-and-
Polyglot Tots Tribal Art cards are currently available for pre-order.