We are often asked how to get young kids to learn Spanish. Obviously if they get to live in a Spanish-speaking country it’s easy, especially if they go to a local school – they’ll pick it up on their own. In our case, with a Spanish mother and English dad, we’ve each spoken our own native language to our kids and they are bilingual in both.
If these two opportunities aren’t available, then the key is to make learning as fun as possible, via songs, and good old TV.
Kids love singing, in any language! Here are classic Spanish children’s songs you can learn and sing with your kids (the links are to videos, and you can easily Google the lyrics):
A mi burro, El corro de la patata, Vamos a contar mentiras, Pin Pon.
The easiest thing is to find your kids favourite TV shows and, via the audio/subtitle settings available on YouTube Kids, Amazon Prime, or Netflix, set the audio to Spanish. Peppa Pig, Paw Patrol (‘La Patrulla Canina’), or Caillou for example, work brilliantly in Spanish for young kids.
What if they complain and say ‘we want Peppa in English’? Good old-fashioned bribery may be called for – or giving them a little ‘extra’ TV as long as it’s in Spanish. Sooner or later they get used to watching the show in Spanish!
For original, classic Spanish kids shows, try the beautifully innocent Teo and, for something pretty old-fashioned, La Abeja Maya. The Teo series of books are also very good for younger children.
The biggest inspiration for kids to learn another language is the involvement of their parents or grandparents. Are you learning a lot of Spanish at the moment? Do they see you inspired by it?
Keep listening to our podcasts to keep your Spanish on the go too!