Update and my Q on games for kids

(Are they still making the Magic Eraser? I looked at two stores for one this weekend and couldn't find one. Or did all those kids getting their skin peeled off get it yanked from the market?)

Remember Shelley, who was wondering about her daughter's learning Swedish? She sent in an update:

"Thought you might be interested in an update on my 3-y-o's Swedish language development ... if you recall I asked you about that some time ago. Well, she was in Sweden for 4 weeks on a family vacation, and spoke a lot of Swedish there, more than I've heard her ever speak before, which was great but not that surprising -- I mean, an immersion experience does wonders for kicking passive language development up to more active usage of the language, and it has always been clear that she has 100% comprehension of Swedish. But what's been so unexpected (and delightful) is that she's continued to develop the Swedish usage now that we're home, and is using even more Swedish now than when we were there. She blends Swedish and English in sentences, in paragraphs, and all the time with her father (the actual Swede) and me (the fluent non-Swede), but *never* with non-Swedish speakers. She has total understanding of who speaks Swedishand who doesn't, and often will ask what something is called in English or Swedish. The other day she picked up a Swedish kids' book and remarked, "Hannah can't read me this," (Hannah is a babysitter we use sometimes.)

The other day we were at a picnic, and a mom there was playing with her kid and with Lise, showing them cards and asking them to name the objects on them. She showed Lise a card -- her face lit up and she started to say something and stopped. The woman, who knew a bit about her, said intuitively, "you can tell me in Swedish," and Lise said triumphantly (and correctly), "snigel!" She then looked at me and asked what it was called in English.

So the point is, she's getting it. Exciting stuff!"

Snakk om straks! (Talk about luck!) I'm glad to hear that. Any other stories about dual language acquisition welcome (Menita, Lisa C, and anyone else I'm blanking on now).

Speaking of card games....my older one has been fascinated by card games for weeks. We started with Go Fish, and then moved on to War (but we didn't tell him it was called War, so he started calling it "Aces, Winners, and Fun" but is now calling it "Aces Win Everything"), and then this weekend taught him Solitaire. He's picking up the nuances and the rhythm really quickly, in an almost scary way. I noticed that he was unconsciously counting cards last night, for example.

So I have two questions for you all:

1) What should we move on to next? A co-worker suggested chess, but I'm not sure if it's too early. He's 5 and reading and counting cards. Have any of you taught your young kids chess? Some people seem to think it's a mind-building miracle, akin to teaching Latin to preschoolers (experience with teaching Latin also welcome, while we're at it). Or should I just go straight to Texas Hold 'Em?

2) Can someone tell me the card vocabulary in Spanish so he and I can practice Spanish while we play? I've got ace (as), the numbers, queen (reina) and king (rey). But I don't know jack or joker (is it chacal or am I remembering wrong?). And I need to know how to say "Go fish!" Hearts are corazones and diamonds diamantes, but I don't know spades or clubs. Gracias por su ayuda.