Spanish is no doubt one of the most popular and useful languages to learn today. Not only is it spoken in Spain and the Canary Islands but throughout most of South America, Central America and is the second language of the US.
By helping your child to learn a foreign language such as Spanish you will help them grow up with more opportunities to be successful anywhere in the world.
Spanish is a fun language which most children enjoy learning. It is also an easy language to pronounce once you have learnt the key sounds.
In this blog post we will give you some ideas to help your child learn Spanish whilst at home over the next few months whilst the schools remain closed.
One of the best ways to introduce Spanish to young children is through catchy songs and rhymes. You can find some of these via the website Rockalingua.
Most of the songs are free and not only can you hear them but you can also download the lyrics and drawings. The songs cover everyday vocabulary such as greetings, daily routine, hobbies, colours, transport and much more.
The Rockalingua website also features other content such as games, videos, worksheets and picture dictionaries but you need to pay to access these.
Aprender Español Songs This website has over forty Spanish children’s songs which are really catchy for children of all ages.
Games are a great way to learn a language as you often use the same verbs and words so repetition really helps words stick. Plus, children learn without even realising it as they are focused on playing or winning the game. Games are interactive so children find out if they are right or wrong straightaway.
Juegos Arco Iris is a brilliant website packed with puzzles, colouring activities, stories and games. The instructions are all in Spanish and the pictures are labelled in Spanish. These activities will keep your child entertained for many hours!
Spanish Games Net
This website has tutorials to teach the vocabulary as well as follow-up interactive games and tests. You choose what topic you want to learn or practise and then whether you want to see the tutorial or just do the game or test.
Light Bulb Languages
This features a wide variety of PowerPoint presentations to teach the vocabulary or grammar as well as pdf and Word documents for exercises that you can print for your child to practise their reading and writing in Spanish. It covers grammar, Spanish phonics, everyday topics as well as cultural understanding of Hispanic countries such as the “Día de los Muertos”, Semana Santa, Guatemalan dolls. It is separated into various levels; 1st year of Spanish, 2nd year of Spanish up to 4th year of Spanish so is suitable for children of all ages.
This is another good website full of activities that children can easily do to learn and practise the basics in Spanish: greetings, colours, age, animals family, foods, the weather, clothes and so on. I use a lot of these for my lessons with children. There are displays, pdfs, Word documents, gap fill exercises and games.
Cartoons are a great way to learn because they use simple, short sentences that can be easily followed even if you don’t understand all of the words.
Dora The Explorer – This is one of the best ones to watch with your little one. Many times I have been teaching a child and they have proudly and excitedly come out with a word that they already know in Spanish because they “saw it on Dora the Explorer”. This proves that watching cartoons definitely helps words stick.
The Simpsons – Los Simpson These are probably more suitable to older children due to the humour but still they are a great and fun way to learn Spanish and make it easy to remember.
Sometimes there is no better way to learn new words than to see it written down and used in context. Some children love reading (others don’t!) but if you can encourage your child to read some Spanish books here are some recommendations:
Well-known children’s Spanish stories are translated into Spanish and read by a native Spanish speaker. You listen and also read the words in Spanish and can also see the English translation. It is typed in short paragraphs and you can pause to make sure you understand everything. There are classics like Jack and the Beanstalk (Juan y los Frijoles Mágicos).
This website also has beginner lessons with audio.
This is a free database of hundreds of children’s books. There are over 100 Spanish books such as classics such as Caperucita Roja (Little Red Riding Hood) as well as classical Spanish stories.
This website is a delight for any young language learner or parent who would like their child to learn a new language. It has many books, bilingual books in all languages as well as displays, stickers, stationary, games, DVDs, teaching books and dictionaries for all ages.
No doubt your child already spends a good while on Youtube watching a variety of videos of their favourite things. Why not make this time more productive by setting aside 30 minutes a day to focus on purely Spanish content? Here are some of the top children’s Spanish Youtube sites to subscribe to:
Calico Spanish For Kids
This channel features catchy songs with speech bubbles to teach the basics in a fun way.
These videos offer videos, songs, crafts and other activities.
Cantoalegre has fun music videos with the lyrics on the screen for you to follow.
Spanish Words Kids Love (Spanish Playground)
This uses simple patterned sentences to teach basic vocabulary like fruit, vegetables, clothing, body parts and much more.
Hopefully from this blog post you will get a few ideas as to how you can help your child continue learning Spanish over the coming months whilst we are all stuck at home with no schooling OR even start your child learning Spanish just to break up the day and give them the opportunity to learn something different and fun that they may not have had the time for if they were going to school as normal.
If you have any other ideas of children’s resources to learn Spanish, please get in touch and I can add it to the blog post!