10 Tips for Teaching Spanish to Children

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about integrating Spanish and Yoga.

Read my thoughts here at Integrating Spanish and Yoga: a perfect combination.

I asked my friends in the Multicultural Kid Blogs group about their #1 Tip for Teaching Spanish to their Children so we could understand more about “how” to teach Spanish.

10 Tips for Teaching Spanish to Children:

1. Describe everything using regular words, not baby talk … we think our children are not absorbing anything, but they are actually picking up everything.  Description and repetition is key!  Here’s a picture of our family singing “Happy Birthday” and “Feliz Cumpleaños” for our son’s second birthday.
Diana from LadydeeLG

diana ladydeeLG

Picture from LadyDeeLG (Credit: Doodlehedz Photography)

2.  Making it a game and asking them to repeat after you.  Our son understands Spanish but usually doesn’t want to speak it, but he thinks this is really fun.
Leanna from All Done Monkey

3.  Pace yourself. It is a very long term process and you need to be consistent over years. Knowing that, realize you cannot be responsible for all the input. Travel to places where the environment takes over and you get a break.
Jennifer from Spanish Playground

4.  Make learning another language fun and engaging. I use a lot of visuals, and music when teaching my son Spanish. He follows along, and he loves it!
Frances from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

learning spanish

5.  Have regular playdates with people who have children and where Spanish is the mother tongue. At home our children love to watch Caillou and Pocoyo on Youtube. I don’t speak Spanish myself.
Juliette from The  Art of Home Education

6.  Assuming that one of the parents speak Spanish, speak to them in Spanish as soon as they’re in the womb and be consistent about it. Babies are capable of absorbing as many sounds as they are constantly and consistently exposed to.
Ana from Spanglish Baby

7. Treats! Is there anything more motivating for little ones than treats? Read more about getting started with a second language by using treats.
Julie from Open Wide the World

french children playing open wide the world
Picture from Open Wide the World

8. Songs and videos. My littles are riveted if it’s a song or video, and they remember everything perfectly. We love PBS’ Salsa Spanish videos and everything on You Tube, such as Pocoyo and other TV shows and the Spanish learning songs.
Sigrid from One World Homeschool

9. Talk, read, sing, play, cook, and everything else in Spanish.  If one of the parents speaks Spanish just be consistent and natural with it.  And if the kid(s) needs translation just say the same thing with other words. My 3 year old tells me “I can not hear you” and I just smile. But I know that the best thing is Immersion with the culture and language.
Cecy from Spanglish House

10.  Play board games and do puzzles together in Spanish.  Take the games that you haven’t played with for a while and recreate new games in Spanish, adding playsheets and new activities.  Read more at Tips for Adding Another Language to your Summer Games.
Kim from The Educators’ Spin On It

Learning-a-New-Language-with-Clothing

Picture from The Educators’ Spin On It

11. (Bonus extra) Integrate Spanish language learning and yoga.  Grab a familiar children’s book or kids yoga story and “act” out the book in Spanish through kids yoga poses.  Say the keywords and poses in Spanish, as well as the yoga instructions.  For an example, read Summer Fun with Spanish and Kids Yoga on SpanglishBaby or Spanish Animals Yoga Sequence on Spanish Playground.
Giselle from Kids Yoga Stories

jungle kids yoga story

 Image from Sophia’s Jungle Adventure storybook by Kids Yoga Stories

What’s your tip for teaching Spanish to children?  Would love to hear your ideas!  My email is giselle at kidsyogastories dot com or share on our Facebook page.

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