The Ultimate Free Guide to Learn Spanish Online with Kids

The Ultimate Free Guide to Learn Spanish Online with Kids

Inside: Free resources to learn Spanish online with kids.

 

It’s easier than ever to learn language now, with so many online Spanish resources for kids– for free! The hardest part is just going through all of them and deciding where to start.

No worries though: I’ve collected and sorted through the most popular Spanish resources, so you can find what you need. If I am missing any, let me know! I’ve also got you covered if you want to teach yourself Spanish and need resources for an older crowd.

Learn Spanish Online with Kids

SHOWS FOR SPANISH LEARNERS

 

1. Salsa
This PBS series was designed to teach Spanish through 15 or 30-minute story segments. You can access all the episodes here at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

salsa

 

 

 

2. Oh Noah!
Another PBS series, these episodes are a mix of Spanish and English. Noah goes to live with his grandmother in a neighborhood where most people only speak Spanish. All are available on YouTube.

 
 
 

3. Calico Spanish
Calico Spanish is mentioned again below for their songs, but they have stories and conversations online as well.

 

4. ¡Habla Jorge!

 

 

5. Maguaré

If mom or dad speak some Spanish, and the kids aren’t complete novices, Maguaré is a huge website from Colombia, packed with stories, songs, online books, and more. 

AUTHENTIC SHOWS in SPANISH

 

If you already have Netflix, you can see my Spanish cartoons on Netflix page

 

1. Peppa Pig
There are tons of free Peppa Pig shows on YouTube. They will be difficult for true beginners, but if your kids know a little they will definitely recognize words and phrases. Most of the language is clear, simple, and repetitive, and the action is slow enough that the language is more accessible. (Find the official Spanish channel here.)

 

 
 

2. La vaca hace mu
This series was made for Spanish speaking children, but would be great for learners as well. The language is very repetitive and easy to understand for novices. Each episode features a different animal and tells all about them.

 

 

3. Pocoyó
Pocoyo is another series with many episodes on YouTube in Spanish. This is a popular one among kids and has high comprehensibility as well.

 

4. Caillou
Again, lots of free episodes on YouTube.

 

5. Semillitas
Made for Spanish speakers, but could work for more advanced learners. YouTube channel here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCQQXfpbPfE
 

LEARN SPANISH ONLINE WITH SONGS

 

Songs are some of the most effective online Spanish resources for kids, especially when their parents aren’t native speakers. (I have started a collection of songs by theme you can access here!)

 

1. Calico Spanish
I really love how these videos have subtitles– perfect for parents trying to learn along with their kids! Find the homepage for the YouTube channel here.

 

 

2. Super Simple Spanish
An excellent resource for Spanish learners. Highly comprehensible, with songs that go beyond simple themes of numbers and colors, with communicative language. See the official YouTube channel

 

 

3. Rockalingua
Rockalingua has many songs for Spanish learners by topic as well.

 

 

4. Toobys
These are designed for younger kids, and have been really popular at our house. Songs from Toobys could be for Spanish learners or native speakers. Find the YouTube channel here.

 

 

5. Leoncito Alado
Made for native speakers, but slow enough to help learners. YouTube channel here.

 

 

5. Basho & Friends
Elementary-aged student students will find Basho & Friends feels less “little kid” but still comprehensible.  YouTube channel here.

 

LEARN SPANISH WITH KIDS ONLINE

ONLINE SPANISH STORIES & POEMS

 

1. A Collection of 50 Spanish Stories from Spanish Playground
A huge list of links to stories in Spanish.

2. Spanish Children’s Stories by The Spanish Experiment
Famous stories read by native speakers.

3. Children’s Short Stories in Spanish by 123 TeachMe

4. Collection of Poemas by Spanish Mama
Some of the most famous rhymes and poems in Spanish.

5. Songs and Rhymes from Mama Lisa’s World

6. Fables Told in Simple Spanish by Spanish Mama
These stories are told in picture format with only beginning vocabulary Some of these would be better for older elementary.

WEBSITES AND BLOGS

 

1. Spanish Playground
There are tons of resources on this site for Spanish learners.

2. Preschool Lessons from Spanish Mama
Designed for parents who speak some Spanish, or for teaching preschool Spanish classes.

3. 20 Spanish Apps and Games for Kids from Kid World Citizen
Great list for learners at home!

4. ÁrbolABC
Literacy activities similar to ABC Mouse, but in Spanish. 

5. Spanish Town
The site is newly designed, with lots of games and activities.

6. Online Free Spanish
Online activities, divided by level. 

 

Learn Spanish Online With Kids

What are your favorites resources to learn Spanish online with kids? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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Learn Spanish Online with Kids

The Best Spanish Cartoons and Shows on Netflix

The Best Spanish Cartoons and Shows on Netflix

Inside: The best Spanish cartoons and shows for kids, on Netflix.

Cartoons can be a great source of Spanish input for little learners. Now, we all know to limit screen time for kids, right?

BUT… videos and shows really can be an incredible resource for authentic and rich language.

I’m not a native Spanish-speaker and can’t provide a totally fluent environment for my kids, by myself. (My husband is fluent, but not at home as much as I am.) So we rely on music, books, and shows to round out the input. Sometimes it’s funny to hear my three-year-old bust out a phrase I know I’ve never used (¡Ay, cielos! from Pooh).

Netflix has a fair amount of cartoons and movies with audio in Spanish, and here are my top picks. They do pull and add shows, so this list may change. Lucky for us, most Netflix original series are available in multiple languages and stay there for good!

 

 

If you are looking for something for yourself, here’s a list of great Spanish shows on Netflix. Or check out:

 

I’ve include trailers for our favorite series, but they are mostly only available in English. 

 

Our Favorite Spanish Cartoons on Netflix for Kids:

 

1. Puffin Rock

We love, love, love this show! It’s nature-based, with lovely graphics and sweet story-lines. The audio is very clear and understandable, and would be perfect for learners who understand a fair amount of Spanish, but aren’t fluent yet.

 

2. Llama Llama

The popular children’s series has arrived to Netflix- WITH Spanish audio!

 

3. Peppa Pig

I really like the slow pace and simple storylines. This is an excellent show for kids who aren’t fluent, because the audio is very clear. Even beginners would be able to pick out the phrases they already know. (This show isn’t available in every country. If you can’t find it, you can still access the Peppa Pig Spanish Channel on YouTube, with complete episodes!)

 

4. Pocoyo

This is the best show for absolute beginners, as the phrases tend to be more isolated and easy to catch. Kids love this one! Again, not available in every country, but most episodes can be found on YouTube

 

5. Little Baby Bum

This is a series of popular children’s songs and nursery rhymes available in Spanish. Listening to songs is really one of the most effective ways to learn a language, and would be perfect for little ones.

 

6. The Magic School Bus Rides Again

Here’s something older kids will appreciate! Netflix brought back the classic Mrs. Frizzle, and it’s available in Spanish too.  

 

 

More Shows in Spanish on Netflix for Kids:

 

Below are series we haven’t necessarily seen or watch, but are in Spanish. Let me know if you love any and would recommend them!

1. Masha and the Bear

 

2. 72 Cutest Animals
(a nature show)

 

3. The Hive

 

 

4. Clifford

 

5. Word Party

 

6. Luna Petunia

 

7. Kazoops

 

8. Beat Bugs

9. Popples

10. Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales

11. Pororo

12. Inspector Gadget

13. Curious George

14. Ask the Storybots

15. Lalaloopsy

16. Julie’s Greenroom

17. Justin Time Go!

18. Care Bears and Cousins

19.Veggie Tales in the House

20. Trolls

And movies (some aren’t toddler-appropriate):

1. The Little Prince

2. Tarzan

3. The Fox and the Hound

4. The Wings of Life (nature documentary)

5. Lilo & Stitch

6. Kung Fu Panda

7. Brother Bear

8. Zootopia

9. All the Mickey Mouse movies

10. Disney Short Films

11. Piglet’s Big Movie. 

 

 

Did I miss any of your favorite Spanish cartoons and shows? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

 

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Shows in Spanish on Netflix for Kids

Lesson 5: Me gusta Activities for Preschool Spanish

Lesson 5: Me gusta Activities for Preschool Spanish

Inside: A preschool lesson with me gusta activities, with comprehensible stories, songs, and input for kids.

Lesson 5 Goals: I can say that I like or don’t like something.

Target Structuresme gusta, no me gusta, te gusta

(Las uvas, la zanahoria, el queso, la galleta, la lechuga, and los arándanos are also introduced. At this point, they are always presented with pictures or props. Only the target structures are meant to be acquired at this point. Having variety in the foods is fun for book, games, and songs. They can be learned naturally throughout the entire unit.)

Click here to see the week-by-week listing, and to access my overall unit plans. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far, ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant, Los animales Bingo.

Movement/brain breaks: Stretch with our movement words: levántate, siéntate, manos arriba, and manos abajo, corre and salta, Duck, Duck, Goose in Spanish, or ¡Salta, salta!

 

Me Gusta Activities

 

ACTIVITY 1

 

Introduce the new foods (las uvas, la zanahoria, el queso, la galleta, la lechuga, and los arándanos). Use props or toys if you can! These foods will appear in the stories, songs, and games throughout the lesson, so just go for comprehension and don’t expect students to produce them for a while.

Show the lettuce, for example, and say, Es lechuga. Use the animals props and say, El caballo come la lechuga, or hand it to a student and ask, ¿Emily come la lechuga o come la manazana?

 

ACTIVITY 3

 

Play Bingo with pictures of the foods. To keep the language as “whole” as possible, I call out the terms as Me gusta el heladoMe gustan las uvas. If the words are very new, show a picture as you call out the term.

me gusta lesson for kids

 

ACTIVITY 5

 

Do some total physical response with the words learned so far. Say a word or phrase, and they act it out. El gato dice miau, come la manzana, toma agua, etc. This is a perfect time to watch what everyone is doing and get a check on the pace of the lessons. Always go as slow as necessary, repeating games and activities as needed. These lessons are packed with new targets, so if anything is shaky I take extra time before moving onto the next lesson

ACTIVITY 2

 

Tell the story El pato que tiene hambre, available below. Stop to ask questions and check for understanding as necessary.

 

ACTIVITY 4

 

Vote on favorite foods and make a graph, like in Lesson 4. I prepared little cards with names ahead of time, since we’ll repeat this activity, but post-its would work as well. This is a fun way to get in lots of repetition of the food names as you ask and point to the pictures.

food graph in Spanish

 

Supplemental Me Gusta Resources 

 

A lesson on me gusta and no me gusta:

 

Sesame Street episode on me gusta/ no me gusta:

 

Pepp Pig episode on foods:

 

Las verduras en español:

 

Las frutas en español:

 

Silly, highly comprehensible songs that teach me gusta/no me gusta:

 

 

 

Want More?

If you like this lesson, click to purchase the whole unit! You’ll get games, printables, mini-books, and more!

Lesson 4: Teaching Food in Preschool Spanish

Lesson 4: Teaching Food in Preschool Spanish

Inside: A preschool lesson on teaching food in Spanish, through comprehensible stories, songs, and input for kids.

Lesson 4 Goals: I can recognize the names of several familiar foods.

Target Structurestiene hambre, come, toma, la manzana, la leche, el maíz, el pan, el agua

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Review: Sings the songs learned so far, ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant, Los animales Bingo.

Movement/brain breaks: Stretch with our movement words: levántate, siéntate, manos arriba, and manos abajo, corre and salta, Duck, Duck, Goose in Spanish, or ¡Salta, salta!

 

Teaching Food in Spanish for Kids

 

ACTIVITY 1

 

Introduce la manzana, la leche, el pan, and el agua. It’s best to use real objects or toys if possible, when introducing new words. Practice saying each a few times, and circle them a bit (¿Es una manzana? ¡No! ¿Es agua? ¡Sí!)

Have cutouts of la manzana, la leche, el pan, and el agua ready for everyone (included in a Unit 2 purchase). Pass them out, and practice following directions using the props. Say, come el pan; they search for the the right picture, and pretend to eat it.

ACTIVITY 3

 

Vote on favorite foods and make a graph. I prepared little cards with names ahead of time, since we’ll repeat this activity, but post-its would work as well. This is a fun way to get in lots of repetition of the food names as you ask and point to the pictures.

food graph in Spanish

 

ACTIVITY 2

 

Tell the story El caballo que tiene hambre, available below. The term uvas is included, and will show up later throughout the unit. You shouldn’t need to define, however, as the students will understand the word from the pictures.

 

ACTIVITY 2

 

Play ¿Qué hay en la bolsa? again, from Lesson 3. Have bags ready with toy foods inside, or sneak foods into one bag for each turn. Sit in a circle, and the kids take turns getting a bag. They have to put their hand in the bag and guess what food is inside just by feeling it. Once they guess the food, we talk about it. ¿Te gusta el maíz? ¿El perro come el maíz? etc.

La Comida Supplemental Resources 

 

A song to learn basic terms for food in Spanish:

 

More terms for la comida, going through the meals of the day:

 

Want More?

If you like this lesson, click to purchase the whole unit! You’ll get games, printables, mini-books, and more!

How to teach Spanish with Authentic Songs

How to teach Spanish with Authentic Songs

Inside: How to teach Spanish with authentic music, in the middle and high school classroom.

 

I didn’t know how to teach Spanish with authentic music, as a new teacher. Fresh from living in Peru and head over heels for the language and culture, I sat down with the textbook. Apparently, for the first half of Spanish I, we would learn classroom objects, articles, greetings, and regular verbs. Hmm. How did authentic songs with irregular verbs and  fit in?

I tried out some of my favorite music in class anyway, but it kind of bombed. We were listening to noise. Extremely catchy noise, but nothing comprehensible. I reverted to grammar songs and conjugation jingles. They were cute, but I was feeding my students the parts: hoping one day all the pieces would come together into the whole language I wanted them to acquire.

Then I finally got that I needed to start with whole, intact, understandable language. Real-life communication is the goal, and songs became more accessible because we were learning high-frequency verbs right away. I saw how comprehensible input and authentic resources could work together. My students could acquire authentic language and real-life skills like getting the gist of a text and picking familiar words out from unfamiliar word. My job was to introduce songs with the language we needed, and find a way to make it comprehensible.

(Just here looking for music suggestions? See my Songs in Spanish by theme and category.)

So, here’s what I wish someone had told me as a newbie teacher:

 

1. Think through the goal.

 

How will the song connect to your current targets? Will it be a cultural connection? Are you looking to highlight a pattern (present progressive, ir + a, etc.)? Do you want to focus on certain phrases or vocabulary? Here are some huge lists of authentic Spanish songs I came up with for Spanish 1, Spanish 2, and Spanish 2.

 

2. Think about how much of the song can be comprehensible.

 

How much of the song can you use? I used to get stuck because I didn’t know how to use a song that used many words we didn’t know, or grammar we hadn’t learned. I really think that songs are the best way to hook students to content just above their proficiency level. You can, of course, explain the entire song or provide a translation.

– Some authentic songs can be 100% comprehensible, if you work through them a bit. Very simple songs-perhaps children’s songs- are a great way to see how language works as a whole.

– Some are best because they repeat key phrases. Your students might not understand everything, but esto no me gusta and te estaba buscando get repeated a bazillion times and they never forget those phrases. If you are using a grammar-based approach, this is a good way to help set patterns; if you are CI-based, it helps to cement target structures from a different context.

– For other songs, the verses aren’t the focus, but the chorus can be understand and remembered. Voy a reír, voy a bailar, vivir mi vida, lalala…  The chorus is what your students will walk away singing anyway, so in this situation zero in all of your activities on that part.

 

How to teach Spanish with authentic songs

 

3. Plan how you’ll make the song comprehensible.

 

How can you bridge the gap from what your students know, to the song? There’s a whole lot more out there than what I’ve done in class, but here are some ideas. This will of course depend on how much of the song you plan to use and teach.

-Pre-teach important vocabulary/phrases.

– Listen to the song and project the lyrics onto the board. Focus on the parts you want them to know, and summarize the parts in between so they get the gist of the lyrics. Circle the phrases you want to emphasize, asking personalized questions to the students. In La bicicleta, for example, Shakira says, puedo ser feliz… I pause there, and we discuss. Students might fill in the blank for themselves (puedo ser feliz… tomando café, sin tarea, etc.) I don’t pause and translate/discuss every line, as that would kill the enjoyment. We will listen to the songs many times, so there is plenty of time to study different parts.

– Create an embedded reading to scaffold the text of the song.

– Watch the music video if it’s appropriate (preview, preview preview…  I speak from experience!), and pause to discuss. Use language the students know to discuss what’s happening and to help them interpret the lyrics.

I think songs are one of the best uses of authentic resources. While most of the time I want class to be comprehensible, music is a good way to get students to take risks and try to derive meaning from something above their level.

 

4. Create some activities to work through the song.

 

– Try Draw, Write, Check: have your students divide a piece of paper into 4 or 6  parts. Give them a phrase to draw for each part. Then, play the song. Each time they hear the phrase they drew, make a tally mark and check numbers after the song.

– Do an old-fashoined cloze activity.

– Type up the lyrics on the left side of a paper, and have students summarize each section on the right.

– Ask several questions (Is the singer sad? What does he wish would happen?) Give the students markers to highlight and color code the lyrics that give evidence for the answers.

– Change the voice of the singer from third to first person, or vice-versa.

– Make up actions and sing along!

 

If you’re looking for an easy activity packet to teach with authentic songs, you may want to check out my bundle:

 

 

 

More ideas from other teachers on how to teach with authentic music:

 

¡La música! from Kristy Placido

What can I DO {-re-mi-fa-so-la-ti-da} with a song?

– Create a PPT with screenshots of the music video, a la MovieTalk like in this example from Kristy Placido

Música miércoles for using Spanish songs weekly from Mis Clases Locas

 

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how to teach Spanish with authentic songs

Lesson 3: Farm Animals in Preschool Spanish

Lesson 3: Farm Animals in Preschool Spanish

Inside: A preschool lesson on farm animals in Spanish, through comprehensible input: stories, songs, and activities for kids.

 

Lesson 3 Goals: I can name some farm animals.

Target Structures: dice, el caballo, el perro, el gato, la gallina, el cerdo, el pato

Review: Review the ¿Cómo te llamas? ball chant from Lesson 2, and sing the songs. 

Click to see my outline of Preschool Spanish Lessons for Los pollitos dicen. (Each lesson provides enough material for multiple classes.)

Movement/brain breaks: Stretch with movement words: levántate, siéntate, manos arriba, and manos abajo, corre, and salte, Duck, Duck, Goose in Spanish, or ¡Salta, salta!

 

 

Farm Animals in Spanish

 

ACTIVITY 1

 

The farm animals have already been introduced from Lesson 2, though always with visuals and in the context of dice. Here in Lesson 3, we’ll zero in on the animals themselves. If you landed on this page just looking for activities for farm animals in Spanish, be sure to look over Lesson 2 as well.

Play Los animales Bingo (included in the free download for Unit 1.) You can call out the animal’s names, or say “La vaca dice mu”, etc.

 

ACTIVITY 3

 

Play Duck, Duck, Goose as Pato, pato, pollito. It’s tricky to get the hang of it with little ones, but this has been a big hit in my little class.

Once everyone can play, save this one for a brain break during the rest of the year.

ACTIVITY 5

 

Color and read the mini-book ¿Cómo dicen los animales? This mini-book gets in lots of dice repetitions, and can be sent home for extra reinforcement.

ACTIVITY 2

 

Do ¿Qué hay en la bolsa? Have a bag ready with toy farm animals inside. We sit in a circle, and the kids take turns getting a bag. They have to put their hand in the bag and guess what animal is inside just by feeling it. Once they guess the animal, we talk about it. I circle dice and the animal names each time:

 – ¿Es un caballo? ¡No! ¿Es un pollito? ¡Sí! ¿El pollito dice <muu>? ¡No! ¿El pollito dice <pío>? ¡Sí!, etc.

(Some of the students can’t name the animals yet, even though they are eager for turns. I don’t worry about output yet– the whole activity is designed as a way to catch their attention and get more input.)

 

 

ACTIVITY 3

 

Use the animals videos embedded below for MovieTalks. Show the video and mute the sound or pause the video here and there. Describe and talk about what is happening using words and questions the students know. ¿Es una vaca? ¿Cómo se llama? ¿El gato corre o salta?

The kids can also watch these videos at home, and see what language they can understand. As the class progresses through each unit, they’ll comprehend more and more of these videos.

SUPPLEMENTAL Farm Animals Activities and Resources:

 

This song from Calico Spanish is great. In this version, they say “hace” instead of “dice”– I believe that’s how it is in Spain:

 

El caballo:

 

El gallo y la gallina:

 

El gato:

 

El perro:

 

La vaca:

 

  

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