Engaging Spanish Learning for Kids: Games, Songs, and Activities

Spanish made fun for kids. 🧒

Engaging Spanish Learning for Kids: Games, Songs, and Activities

In today’s globalized world, Spanish for kids stands out as an invaluable learning opportunity. Recognizing the value of bilingualism, it’s vital to tap into the receptiveness of your children’s young minds and introduce them to Spanish while it’s still very easy to learn. Encouraging them to start learning Spanish for kids now will equip them with a skill they can use and appreciate throughout their lives as they mature into global citizens.

The goal is to instill a lasting love for this Romance language and make learning Spanish a fascinating adventure! So, let’s discover what are the best resources to help kids learn Spanish fast. Whether you’re thinking Spanish songs, books, or cartoons – they’re all included in this comprehensive guide.

Introduction to Spanish for Kids

Teaching the little ones anything – from dinosaur names to Spanish for kids – is extremely simple if you know what methods to use. There are no ‘lazy’ children that ‘won’t study’. Only busy adults. If you give them your time and knowledge, kids’ minds will almost literally absorb all kinds of information, from languages to poetry or basic math, in no time.

How? Well, their brains have a less developed prefrontal cortex. Thus, they tend to use their imagination much more than us. While adults experience functional fixedness and see everything exactly as it is, children create unexpected connections to help them learn faster. Obviously, the difficulty level is different. So adults shouldn’t blame their ‘old’ and ‘dusty’ minds for not retaining information but for their lack of imagination.

Meanwhile, children have no problem associating new words with seemingly unrelated notions they already know. For example, my 4-year-old nephew associates the word aburrido (‘bored’) with burro (‘donkey’) – a Spanish word he already knew. The connection is Eeyore, the iconic donkey from Winnie the Pooh. He says that “Eeyore always looks sad, tired, and bored”.

spanish for kids

So what is the best way to teach your kids Spanish without resorting to endless and sometimes expensive Spanish classes? Read on to discover all the best resources.

The Benefits of Learning Spanish at a Young Age

Learning Spanish for kids holds numerous cognitive and social benefits, especially when starting at a very young age. Studies have consistently shown the extraordinary benefits of bilingualism on children’s intellectual growth. Far from being a burden, as some might believe, learning Spanish at a young age is actually a cognitive boon!

Bilingual children, such as those who are learning Spanish, frequently outperform their monolingual peers in numerous academic areas, including math, social studies, and reading. Their memory skills are often enhanced, with an improved ability to switch between tasks and solve problems.

Besides, learning Spanish for kids not only boosts academic performance but also fosters a greater understanding and appreciation for different cultures. Learning Spanish from a young age gives children a global perspective, better equipping them to navigate the multicultural world in the future.

In brief, introducing Spanish for kids at an early age is a great investment in your kids’ future because it supports intellectual growth, enhances cognitive flexibility, and encourages cultural sensitivity. It’s a gift that keeps on giving, benefitting them throughout their lives in many ways.

Spanish songs for kids

Spanish for Toddlers

While teaching Spanish for toddlers may initially seem daunting, it is, in fact, a surprisingly achievable goal with the right approach and resources. This task is made easier when it’s made enjoyable and engaging, turning learning into playtime.

An effortless yet impactful method is to introduce toddlers to Spanish songs and cartoons. Check out the section “Spanish for Kids: Songs, Books, Cartoons & More” listed below, where we share a couple of resources perfect for this age group. You’ll be amazed at how quickly toddlers can pick up new words and phrases when they’re having fun!

Integrating Spanish into your toddler’s daily activities is another efficient strategy. Here are some practical ways to incorporate basic Spanish for toddlers:

  • Counting: Encourage your toddler to count from 1 to 5 in Spanish (uno, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco). Make it a fun game, counting toys, steps, or snacks.
  • Body parts: When giving your toddler a bath or getting them dressed, name their body parts in Spanish. For instance, cabeza for ‘head’, mano for ‘hand’, nariz for ‘nose’.
  • Identify household items: Naming everyday household items in Spanish can go a long way for your baby’s learning progress. For example, mesa for ‘table’, silla for ‘chair’, puerta for ‘door’. You can also use stickers or flashcards for this activity.

By using these methods, Spanish for toddlers becomes less of a chore and more of an exciting exploration! Remember, the goal at this stage is not fluency but rather developing an early love for the language and establishing the foundation for future learning.

Spanish for Kindergarten & Preschool Spanish

As your toddler transitions into the kindergarten and preschool stages, Spanish for kids can become a bit more challenging yet remain equally engaging. What started as counting to 5 in Spanish can now evolve to counting to 30 or more. The progression depends on your child’s grasp of Spanish and their enthusiasm to learn more. There’s only one thing you need to keep in mind: Spanish for kindergarten and preschool Spanish are still supposed to be fun! Avoid forcing lessons when they’re not receptive; instead, harness their natural curiosity and eagerness to explore.

Spanish for kindergarten and preschool Spanish can be taught using storybooks, sing-along songs, and interactive Spanish games. Visual aids like flashcards remain an effective tool, helping children connect images with Spanish words for better recall and comprehension. At this stage, Spanish lessons for kids can expand to include the following:

  • Days of the week in Spanish: Teach them lunes for ‘Monday’, martes for ‘Tuesday’, and so on. Turn it into a daily routine by asking them what day it is in Spanish every morning.
  • Animals in Spanish: Whether they have a favorite animal or a beloved pet, learning animal names can be a fun activity.
  • Colors in Spanish: Incorporate color learning during playtime or while coloring, introducing them to rojo for ‘red’, azul for ‘blue’, etc.
  • Telling time in Spanish: Once they’ve mastered numbers, teaching them to tell the time in Spanish is a perfect way to advance their skills!

The secret is to gently increase the level of proficiency and use materials that align with your child’s interests. If your child loves cartoons, for instance, make the most of it! Dive into our recommended list of Spanish cartoons below and watch your little one’s language skills flourish.

Elementary School Spanish

Elementary school Spanish is where things can get even more serious. If your child has been on the Spanish learning journey since their toddler years, this is a good time to introduce basic grammar and sentence structure. However, you should always remember that each child’s learning pace is different. Let their interest and readiness dictate the speed of their Spanish journey.

Now that they have mastered reading, the elementary school Spanish curriculum can even include reading simple Spanish books. This activity not only improves their vocabulary but also gives them a chance to see sentence structure and grammar in context.

Language learning apps tailored for kids, such as Mondly Kids, can also be of great help at this stage. Designed to make the learning process interactive, exciting, and aligned with the digital era we live in, language apps for kids are guaranteed to be a success. For example, Mondly Kids offers a variety of fun activities, from vocabulary games to basic grammar exercises. This way, Spanish for kids can remain as engaging and fun as it used to be during their toddler years! Although the learning material becomes more complex, the fun and enthusiasm should never fade. From interactive games to story-telling sessions in Spanish, keeping the language alive and engaging is key to fostering a lifelong love for Spanish.

Spanish for Kids: Songs, Books, Cartoons & More

Some of the best tools for teaching Spanish for kids are songs, books, cartoons, games, movies and TV shows. Each of these resources offers a different and engaging way to introduce and reinforce Spanish vocabulary and phrases. Each of them increases your child’s motivation in its own way by transforming learning into an enjoyable adventure!

Every category below includes a curated list of top-notch materials suitable for children of all ages. These are designed to make Spanish learning engaging and relatable for kids, allowing them to connect with the language on a deeper level. Whether it’s singing along to catchy Spanish songs, immersing in a Spanish book, watching a captivating Spanish cartoon, or playing an interactive Spanish game, each activity contributes in its own way to a dynamic and comprehensive learning experience.

Spanish Songs for Kids

  1. “De Colores” by José-Luis Orozco
  2. “Los Pollitos Dicen” by Traditional
  3. “La Vaca Lechera” by Traditional
  4. “Arroz con Leche” by Traditional
  5. “Un Elefante Se Balanceaba” by Traditional
  6. “Pin Pon” by Panam
  7. “La Gallina Turuleca” by Traditional
  8. “Los Ratoncitos” by Traditional
  9. “Cinco Lobitos” by Traditional
  10. “Aserrín, Aserrán” by Traditional
  11. “Cinco Monitos” by Traditional
  12. “La Vaca Lola” by Traditional
  13. “Sol Solecito Luna Lunera” by Traditional
  14. “La marcha de las vocales” by Traditional
  15. “El Baile de la Fruta” by Pica-Pica

spanish books for kids

Spanish Books for Kids

  1. “Don Quijote de la Mancha” by Miguel de Cervantes (adapted for kids)
  2. “La Casa de Mango Street” by Sandra Cisneros (bilingual edition)
  3. “Un Elefante Ocupa Mucho Espacio” by Elsa Bornemann
  4. “Jorge el Curioso” (Curious George series) by H.A. Rey
  5. “Cuentos de la Selva” by Horacio Quiroga
  6. “El Principito” by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (bilingual edition)
  7. “La Maravillosa Medicina de Jorge” by Roald Dahl
  8. “El Pequeño Nicolás” by René Goscinny and Jean-Jacques Sempé
  9. “Frida Kahlo: Little People, Big Dreams” by Isabel Sánchez Vegara
  10. “Abuelo y los tres osos” by Jerry Tello
  11. “El Pequeño Vampiro en el País del Conde Drácula” by Angela Sommer-Bodenburg
  12. “Harry Potter y la Piedra Filosofal” by J. K. Rowling
  13. “El Cuento de Pedro, El Conejo” by Beatrix Potter

Spanish Cartoons for Kids

  1. “Dora the Explorer”
  2. “Go, Diego, Go!”
  3. “Pocoyo”
  4. “Peppa Pig” (Spanish dubbed version: “Peppa”)
  5. “Cantinflas Show”
  6. “El Chavo Animado”
  7. “Maya the Bee” (Spanish dubbed version: “La Abeja Maya”)
  8. “Pippi Longstocking” (Spanish dubbed version: “Pippi Calzaslargas”)
  9. “El Libro de la Selva” (Spanish dubbed version of “The Jungle Book”)
  10. “Los Padrinos Mágicos” (Spanish dubbed version of “The Fairly OddParents”)
  11. “Maya & Miguel”
  12. “Bob Esponja” (Spanish dubbed version of “Spongebob Squarepants”)
  13. “La patrulla canina” (Spanish dubbed version of “Paw Patrol”)
  14. “Dinopaka”
  15. “Minieinsteins” (Spanish dubbed version of “Little Einsteins”)
  16. “Oh, Noah!”

Spanish Games for Kids

  1. “¡Vamos a Contar!” (Let’s Count!)
  2. “Adivina el Objeto” (Guess the Object)
  3. “Memoria de Colores” (Color Memory)
  4. “Rompecabezas” (Jigsaw Puzzles)
  5. “¡Vamos de Viaje!” (Let’s Go on a Trip!)
  6. “¡Adivina quién soy!” (Guess Who I Am!)
  7. “El Juego de las Palabras” (The Word Game)
  8. “¡A Bailar!” (Let’s Dance!)
  9. “Lotería” (Mexican Bingo)
  10. “¡Busca y Encuentra!” (Search and Find)

Spanish Movies for Kids

  1. “Coco”
  2. “Moana” (Spanish dubbed version: “Vaiana”)
  3. “Ferdinand” (Spanish dubbed version: “Ferdinando”)
  4. “The Book of Life” (Spanish dubbed version: “El Libro de la Vida”)
  5. “Up” (Spanish dubbed version: “Up: Una Aventura de Altura”)
  6. “Brave” (Spanish dubbed version: “Valiente”)
  7. “Finding Nemo” (Spanish dubbed version: “Buscando a Nemo”)
  8. “The Lion King” (Spanish dubbed version: “El Rey León”)
  9. “Tangled” (Spanish dubbed version: “Enredados”)
  10. “The Incredibles” (Spanish dubbed version: “Los Increíbles”)
  11. “Bolt” (Mexican dubbed version: “Bolt: Un perro fuera de serie”)
  12. “Encanto”
  13. “Luca”
  14. “Frozen” (Spanish dubbed version: “Frozen: El reino del hielo”)

Spanish Shows for Kids

  1. “Plaza Sésamo” (Spanish version of “Sesame Street”)
  2. “El Perro y el Gato” (“The Dog and the Cat)
  3. “Cri-Cri: El Grillito Cantor” (“The Singing Cricket”)
  4. “Barrio Sésamo” (Spanish version of “Sesame Street” in Spain)
  5. “Pocoyó”
  6. “LazyTown” (Spanish dubbed version: “Villa Bichito”)
  7. “El Club de la Canica” (“The Marble Club”)
  8. “Cocoricó” (Brazilian show in Spanish)
  9. “Las Aventuras de Dani y Evan” (“The Adventures of Dani and Evan”)
  10. “Hi-5 Fiesta” (Spanish version of “Hi-5”)
  11. “Masha y el oso” (Spanish version of “Masha and the Bear”)
  12. “Cleo & Cuquin”

Incorporating Spanish into Daily Activities at Home for Children

Incorporating Spanish for kids into daily routines is a great way to create an immersive learning environment. Besides the obvious benefits it will have on your baby’s Spanish learning journey, even you might pick up some Spanish along the way. Here are a couple of things you can do to incorporate Spanish into your daily activities at home:

  • Label household items in Spanish;
  • Cook Spanish recipes together;
  • Implement a “Spanish-only” time during the day;
  • Turn simple chores into Spanish learning opportunities: for example, while setting the table, ask your kids to name the utensils and dishes in Spanish;
  • Use Spanish instructions when playing a game;
  • Switch between English and Spanish books for bedtime stories.

Taking it a step further, technology can also be your ally in teaching Spanish for kids at home. Mondly Kids, a language learning app designed for children aged 5 to 12 years old, brings Spanish lessons for kids to life with a combination of fun and interactive features. Equipped with child-friendly animations and sound effects, the app introduces kids to several learning methods comprising of word games, flashcards, grammar features and pre-recorded interactive conversations by fluent speakers to help your baby perfect his/her Spanish accent and pronunciation.

But that’s not all; the app also covers an array of engaging topics that kids love, such as animals, nature, fruits, and food, body parts in Spanish, colors, numbers, family, school, professions, buildings, leisure, and sports. These topics not only cater to beginner Spanish learners, but their fun design and storytelling aspect also make them particularly appealing for kids starting their Spanish journey.

Because of its beautifully crafted gamified experience, children absolutely love learning and playing with Mondly Kids. Trust me when I say this kind of immersive experience can go a long way in making Spanish for kids not only an educational journey but a fun and engaging adventure.

Spanish for children

Connecting with Spanish-Speaking Communities and Culture

As you most probably know, learning Spanish for kids goes beyond than just mastering the language. If you have the possibility to do this, introduce your kids to the Spanish culture and Spanish-speaking communities. This will help them foster a greater understanding and appreciation for diverse cultures.

Even more, you can encourage your kids to make pen-pals from Spanish-speaking countries or participate together in local Spanish cultural events. This will provide them with much-needed exposure to different dialects, slang, and cultural practices.

Connecting with Spanish-speaking communities and cultures can be an incredibly enriching and enjoyable adventure you can enjoy together with your children. The immersive experience can make learning Spanish for kids a living, breathing journey rather than just an academic exercise.

In the end, this is not just about teaching Spanish for kids but helping your children become globally aware and culturally sensitive adults who are grateful for what they’ve become.

Now let’s look at some frequently asked questions about Spanish for kids.

Can a 9-year-old learn Spanish?

Yes! Starting to learn Spanish as early as 1 year old is entirely possible and beneficial. At this tender age, children are especially receptive to new sounds and patterns, making it an ideal time to introduce a second language like Spanish.

Can a child learn Spanish by watching TV?

Yes, a child can learn Spanish by watching TV. Television shows, cartoons and movies in Spanish can immerse children in the Spanish language. The only condition is to handpick the best shows that are non-violent and will have a benefic impact on the child’s vocabulary. To further boost the benefits of watching Spanish TV, it’s recommendable to talk about the show, repeat key phrases or discuss the storylines in Spanish.

Can I teach my child Spanish if I’m not fluent?

Yes, you can support their learning journey by introducing them to songs, books, cartoons, games, movies and TV shows in Spanish. Additionally, language learning apps for kids such as Mondly Kids can further boost their Spanish proficiency. These apps, designed specifically for children, use engaging, game-like activities to reinforce vocabulary and grammatical concepts. They transform learning into a fun adventure, making it more appealing for young learners.

How long does it take for a child to learn Spanish?

The learning pace varies from child to child. They certainly learn faster than adults because this is the age when their brains are at their most receptive, poised to absorb new information like sponges. However, every child is different. So make sure to maintain a flexible approach, allowing your child’s interest and readiness to dictate how long it takes to learn Spanish.

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Diana Lăpușneanu - Linguist at Mondly Blog

Diana is a Linguist at Mondly by Pearson. Learning English as a second language early on fueled her lifelong passion for language learning, leading her to pursue a diverse array of languages as a hobby alongside her academic endeavors. With a Master’s Degree in advertising and a fascination for historical linguistics, she brings a unique perspective to her role, making language learning fun for readers worldwide.

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