Spanish Christmas Books for Kids

Spanish Christmas Books for Kids

Inside: Christmas Spanish books for kids.

 

When I was growing up, my mom created little Christmas traditions we kept up for years. One of them was “the book basket.” We had a stack of annual favorites, and she would read a little bit from each one, finishing the last page or chapter of each on Christmas Eve. Every year she’d get choked up in the same parts, and even my dad would tear up on the last page of classics like A Certain Small Shepherd and The 24 Days Before Christmas.

We rolled our eyes at our sentimental parents, of course. But of course, here I am with kids of my own, boo-hooing my way through sweet books too. Now that I’ve got bilingual kids, I’ve been on the hunt for Christmas books in Spanish, so I can carry on the family traditions with our own bilingual, bicultural twist. 

In this post I’m sharing my favorite titles in Spanish, and would love to hear your suggestions as well! For more book lists and suggestions, be sure to see my Spanish children’s books page. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Christmas Spanish Books for Kids

 

Spanish Christmas books

 

 

Christmas Traditions

 

El Niño Espíritu by John Bierhorst and Barbara Cooney
(Mexico)

The nativity story, as told by Spanish missionaries to the Aztecs and one that dates back to the 16th century. Cooney is an award-winning illustrator who brings the story to life with period illustrations.

Feliz Nochebuena, Feliz Navidad by Maricel Presilla
(Cuba, Puerto Rico)

A tour of the author’s Christmas memories from growing up in the Caribbean, centered on the delicious food and recipes, and the people who made them. 

¡Ya Llegan los Reyes Magos! by Georgina Lazaro

A beautiful book that introduces traditions surroundings Los Reyes Magos, from a child’s perspective. 

The Night of Las Posadas by Tomie dePaola
(Santa Fe, New Mexico)

Though this one isn’t in Spanish, Tomie dePaola stories and paintings are just irresistible. This story tells about a small town’s procession of Las Posadas. Mystery and miracle follow, to save the posadas on Christmas night.  

 

Contemporary Christmas Stories

 

¡Qué Montón de Tamales! by Gary Soto
(Mexico)

As María helps her mother in their family tradition of making tamales for nochebuena, she tries on her mother’s ring. It slips off and gets lost in the mountains off masa they are preparing! María enlists the help of her cousins to eat all the tamales and find it.

La Noche Buena: A Christmas Story by Antonio Sacre
(Cuba, Miami)

This year, Nina leaves behind a snowy landscape to spend Christmas with her grandmother in Miami– where it’s hot and humid. There, she learns about another side of Christmas, full of new food, dancing, music and family.

El Árbol de Navidad by Alma Flor Ada

A family decorates their Christmas tree together, as told by rhyming cumulative text with each added ornament. I love the folk illustrations in the story as well. 

Arturo and the Navidad Birds by Anne Broyles
(Central America)

Arturo is visiting his grandmother, and she tells him the story behind each ornament as they decorate together. When Arturo accidentally breaks a bird ornament, he is filled with guilt and tries to make another. A sweet bilingual story that won second place in the International Latino Book Awards for picture books.

 

Translated Classics

 

Los renos rebeldes de Navidad by Jan Brett

We love Jan Brett at our house, and I was so excited to see this one in Spanish! She retells a Ukranian folk tale in Spanish in this gorgeous book, about a young girl in charge of Santa’s reindeer. 

¡Cómo el Grinch robó la Navidad! by Dr. Seuss

It’s hard to get more classic than the Grinch for Christmas, and now you can enjoy this story in Spanish!

El Árbol de Navidad del Señor Viladomat by Robert Barry

Señor Viladomat has accidentally bought a tree that is too big for his house. What he does with the chopped-off end part brings Christmas cheer to many neighbors, both animal and human

La Navidad del Camioncito Azul by Alice Schertle

Everybody’s favorite little blue truck is back for Navidad, with a counting-Christmas-trees twist. 

 

The Legend of the Poinsettia by Tomie dePaola

(Mexico)

Written in English, this recounts the Mexican folktale behind the poinsettia (or flor de la Nochebuena), and Holy Night. As always with dePaola, gorgeous paintings vividly accompany the story set against a group of children waiting for Christmas. 

There are several other versions available for this classic folk tale:

El Regalo de La Flor de Nochebuena retold by Pat Mora

Milagro de la Flor de Nochebuena retold by Brian Cavanaugh

Zetta the Poinsettia by Alma Hammond

 

Bilingual or English Books

 

Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano

A bilingual introduction to Jose Feliciano’s classic songs, with lift-up flaps for little fingers. 

El Mejor Regalo del Mundo: La Leyenda de la Vieja Belen by Julia Alvarez

(Dominican Republic)

Julia Alvarez is one of my favorite Latina authors, and you won’t want to miss this delightful bilingual re-telling of the Dominican folk character La Vieja Belen. 

Tres Reyes Mago: Colors – Colores by Patty Rodriguez

This sweet and simple board book introduces colors to kids in the context of the Christmas story. 

The Santero’s Miracle by Rudolfo Anaya
(New Mexico)

This bilingual story takes place in a small village, where Andrés is visiting his grandpa. When a big snow hits, Andres worries his family won’t be able to join them for Christmas. A sweet story of a surprise miracle and family. 

Miracle on 133rd Street by Sonia Manzano

A sweet story about a roast too big to fit into Mami’s oven. What started as a simple cooking problem ends up being an opportunity for the neighborhood to come together and spread the Christmas spirit. 

Twas’ Nochebuena by Roseanne Greenfield Thong

A retelling of The Night Before Christmas that introduces the tradition of Nochebuena, along with Christmas vocabulary in Spanish:

’Twas Nochebuena and all through our casa

every creature was kneading tamale masa

N is for Navidad by Susan Middleton Elya

A bilingual alphabet book that introduces different Latino Christmas traditions and words. 

A Piñata in a Pine Tree by Pat Mora

El Regalo de Navidad by Francisco Jiménez
(US – Immigration Theme)

Renowned author Francisco Jiménez recounts one Christmas from his childhood, the year in which all he wanted was a red ball. His parents explain that they have no money, and are on the constant move. A poignant surprise waits for us in this tale.

El Hombrecito de Mazapán by Louise Martin

The classic tale of the gingerbread boy, told in Spanish. 

A Doll for Navidades by Esmeralda Santiago

The author recounts one childhood Christmas when all she wanted was a doll, in this heartwarming story about love and family. 


 

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Spanish Songs for Kids: The Best Spanish Children’s CDs and Playlists

Spanish Songs for Kids: The Best Spanish Children’s CDs and Playlists

Inside: The best Spanish songs for kids, in Spanish-music albums.  

As we raise our own kids bilingually, we’ve tried to make our home atmosphere bilingual. That means music on both languages! Since I’m not a native Spanish speaker myself, I’ve always relied on music to put us in touch with Hispanic traditions and authentic language. Spanish-speaking culture varies widely across countries, so there’s a rich musical tradition for kids across many genres.

If you’re looking for songs in Spanish for kids on YouTube, I’ve got a ton of themed lists. But sometimes you want a physical or digital album you can turn on in the car or put on in the background, without screens or ads happening. So today I’m sharing a list of Spanish-language albums for families learning together, or creating that rich bilingual atmosphere. 

(And psst… if you have a bilingual baby shower coming, a Spanish board book coupled with a Spanish music CD would be a perfect gift!)

 

Spanish Songs for Kids: The Best Albums

 

Many of the classic and folk songs were new to me a few years ago, and it’s been so fun to learn together with my kids. Here I’ve got a collection of favorite traditional songs and newer songs. Please let me know if you have an album you love, that I should check out!

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

 

Traditional Spanish Songs

 

Here I’ve collected all kinds of nursery rhymes and folk songs for kids in Spanish. 

Recent Spanish Songs for Kids

 

Here you can listen to newer songs in Spanish, written for children. 

José Luis Orozco

José Luis Orozco is an iconic singer for kids, and one of my very favorites. His music tends to be just his voice, sung with a clear accent and accompanied with a guitar, which is helpful for Spanish learners just getting to know these songs. His two albums below are a nice mix of songs and traditional rhymes in Spanish. 

 

Marta Gomez

Marta Gomez is another artist covering traditional children’s music in Spanish, and the arrangements in her songs are just as beautiful as her voice– “On her songs, Marta mixes the joy of the Caribbean with the nostalgia of the Andes adding jazz and pop elements, taking the authenticity of South American indigenous folk music into a new realm.” I can have her on in the background all day!

 

Sonia de los Santos

Sonia de los Santos is another artist which parents can enjoy along with the kids. On ¡Alegría!, a bilingual album for families, “Sonia thought deeply about the elements of her life that bring her joy and tried to capture them in her songs to share with others as she believes that these days it is more important than ever to find reasons to smile and stay grateful.” With a bicultural childhood herself, her albums will especially appeal to Spanglish families like ours. 

 

Nathalia

I totally have a soft spot for Colombian artists, and Nathalia’s music has that rich, lyrical, range of sound that takes me to my happy place. There’s everything from lullabies to vallenato-inspired to reggaton-ish songs, in a mix of Spanish and English. 

 

Uno, Dos, Tres con Andrés

123 Andrés shares with us a wide range of musical styles (salsa, bachata, mariachi, Latin pop and more), in a bilingual format that families will love. He shares positive messages that range from immigration themes (Mi Padre Fue Un Trabajador Migrante) to friendship and manners (Mi Amigo Paul), that also work in learning topics. I love his songs like Dame una A for the vowels, and Diez Pajaritos with math concepts. Clever, fun music that belongs in every bilingual home!

 

Mister G

 A former indie rockstar, Mister G is a an award-wining Latin Grammy winner who produces bilingual songs. His music is mix of styles that will appeal to younger kids as well as older kids too. His albums are so prolific it’s hard to know which ones to show below from Amazon!

Lullabies

Something I regret is not having a bilingual set of lullabies to play for my babies or put on for bedtime. I learned some of the traditional ones to sing myself, but didn’t have a great playlist ready to go.

La Luna (Caciones para Soñar) from 123 Andrés is full of beautiful, folksy covers and a few original songs for bedtime. 
Putumayo Kids Latin Dreamland features various artists and a mix of lullabies with a very rooted-in-Latin-America sound. 
Canciones de Luna from Marta Gomez is another lovely collection of traditional and new lullabies in Spanish. 
Arullos: Lullabies in Spanish from José-Luis Orozco features well-known lullabies, gentle and with a touch of Mexican flavor. 

Here are some recommendations to buy, and the Spotify playlist I wish I’d made before!

Spanish Lullabies Playlist

 

Spanish Learner Songs

Some of you reading this might be just beginning to learn Spanish together. Though I still recommend listening to and learning traditional Spanish nursery rhymes and folk songs, you might want an album that specifically teachers some concepts like numbers, days of the week, greetings, etc. If that’s you, here are some options!

Caramba Kids from José-Luis Orozco Presents Caramba Kids

Perfect for newbies, these songs alternative between Spanish and English versions and they stick to more basic language (lists of vocabulary like the ABCs, numbers, etc., while still providing whole language.)

¡Sabor! Spanish Learning Songs from Whistlefritz & Jorge Anaya

These songs are really nicely done, but might be complicated for absolute beginners. If you and your kids speak a little bit, this is a good choice because it provides whole sentences, so you’re getting language in context. 

 

 

Hope these suggestions fill your Spanglish home with good music! As always, leave your suggestions in the comments below and let me know what other great music is out there. 

Spanish children's CDs

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A Collection of Day of the Dead Songs

A Collection of Day of the Dead Songs

Inside: The best Day of the Dead Songs, or canciones para Día de Muertos. 

 

With Día de Muertos drawing near, I’ve pulled together a variety of songs to use at home or in the classroom and add this link to my Spanish songs for kids page. These songs may be fun to sing, and the images are a great springboard for discussions about the holiday.

If you’re looking for an entire collections of resources and ideas for Day of the Dead, check out my Día de Muertos activities post as well! I’ve gots lots of links to free resources and ideas for celebrating or teaching traditions. 

 

Day of the Dead Songs for Kids

 

We’ll start off with some options for a younger crowd! These are a mix of traditional songs, and learners songs designed to teach about the holiday.

(Honestly, I am not sure how much I would show with really young kids. It seems like it would be hard to share without lots of English to explain what we are watching, and that some families might be uncomfortable with the graveyard images. However, you know your class and context! I am sharing these so you know your options, and can plan accordingly!)

 

Los Esqueletos – Chumbala

 

I like this one for the very clear singing voice, and the graphics are sweet too. (It works in telling time too, by describing what they do the night of Día de Muertos.) Though it portrays the calaveras in a whimsical way, the graveyard backyard might be scary. 

 

Las Calaveras – Chumbala

 

Another version of Chumbala, with slight different lyrics. 

 

 

Día de los Muertos

 

This song from Rockalingua is an introduction to Día de Muertos — the date, location, activities, etc. The music slogs a little, but still comprehensible and the graphics are useful when working with kids. 

 

El Día de Los Muertos

 

Another comprehensible Day of the Dead song for introducing what the day is about, the graphics here are also helpful for teaching. I didn’t love the music itself, and feel like it doesn’t coincide with the cultural context of the holiday. 

 

Tumbas Por Aquí Tumbas Por Allá

 

This one is a littler creepier, and sort’ve falls under the Halloween category too. 

 

 

Recuérdame – Coco

 

How could I not include music from Coco? Here are two different version, both of which includes scenes from the movie. 

 

Day of the Dead Songs for Teens or Adults

 

Here are some options for older students or adults as well!

 

Calaverita – La Santa Cecilia

 

This is a Day of the Dead classic: a lively song with a comprehensible chorus. Kara Jacobs has some fantastic resources that go with this song too! Just a heads up that Donald Trump appears briefly in one scene– this was before he was elected president, but it may feel political for some.

 

Recuérdame – Natalia Lafourcade

 

I love this re-mix of Recuérdame from Natala Lafourcade. It includes scenes from Coco, mixed in with scenes of Lafourcade singing and Day of the Dead contexts. Really lovely, folksy version that includes lyrics. 

 

La Llorona – Natalia Lafourcade

 

A traditional Mexican folk song, this is not exactly a Day of the Dead song, but it fits in with themes of death, and the afterlife. This story is difficult for me to hear or teach (rooted in a story of a jilted woman who drowns her children and then forever after haunts her former lover and weeps for her children), so be aware of that if you use this. 

 

 

Cumbia de los Muertos – Ozomatli

 

In a totally different musical genre, here’s a cumbia twist on Día de Muertos with some reggae thrown in. It also includes an English portion. (I’ve included two version below.)

 

 

 

Day of the Dead Songs

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Happy Birthday Songs in Spanish

Happy Birthday Songs in Spanish

Inside: Different versions Happy Birthday songs in Spanish, on YouTube.

In English, the song Happy Birthday is a staple at any birthday celebration– and wherever you go, it will basically sound the same. In Spanish, however, there are different versions, and they vary by country as well.

Here in Peru, for example, you’d better be prepared if you’re the cumpleañero! You’ll be sung at least three different songs, including Happy Birthday in English, before you get to blow those candles out. Though you say feliz cumpleaños to directly wish someone a Happy Birthday in Spanish, the words get switched to cumpleaños feliz in most cases, to fit the cadence of the song.

 

I’ll share several ways to sing to someone on their birthday, and you can pick your favorite. I wish there were a good version with lyrics on YouTube to recommend for free, but the pickings are slim. If you have more suggestions, let me know in the comments below for sure. 

If you are a classroom teacher, and would like to have quick, nice version with lyrics for your students to follow, you may want to look into this $5 version from Minute by Minute Spanish, which includes several regional options. 

 

If you prefer just to sing without music, here are the lyrics to some simple versions:



Cumpleaños, feliz,

Cumpleaños, feliz,
Cumpleaños feliiiiz,
Cumpleaños feliz.


Cumpleaños feliz
Te deseamos a ti
Que los cumplas feliz
Cumpleaños feliz



Cumpleaños, feliz,

Cumpleaños, feliz,
Te deseamos todos,
Cumpleaños feliz.


 

Happy Birthday Songs in Spanish

 

Let’s get started on our tour of Feliz Cumpleaños songs in YouTube, with option for kids to adults!

 

1. Cumpleaños Feliz with Lyrics

 

*Update!!* An awesome reader just sent me this link, which actually does show the lyrics during the song. WIN!

Cumpleaños feliz,
Cumpleaños feliz,
Te deseamos todos,
Cumpleaños feliz.

 

2. Cumpleaños Feliz – Canción Infantil

This one has a nice audio of children singing, though the images are a bit outdated!

Cumpleaños feliz,
Te deseamos a ti, 
Que los cumplas felices,
Cumpleaños feliz. 

 

3. Happy Birthday – Spanish Version

 

A slower version, sung by adults. Here are the lyrics:

Cumpleaños feliz,
Te deseamos a ti, 
Que los cumplas en tu día,
Que los cumplas feliz. 

 

 

4. Cumpleaños Feliz en Español

 

The graphics and lyrics are great in this version, though the audio is a little hard to sing along to.

Cumpleaños feliz,
Cumpleaños feliz,
Te deseamos todos,
Cumpleaños feliz.

 

5. Las Mañanitas

 

Work in some beautiful, cultural music with Las Mañanitas, traditionally sung on birthdays in Mexico and other Spanish-speaking places. 

 

And with lyrics:

6. Cumpleaños Feliz – Kids Songs

 

This one *does* show the lyrics, but unfortunately also show wine on the table! You may still want to use the audio, so here are the lyrics:

Cumpleaños feliz,
Cumpleaños feliz,
Te deseamos todos,
Cumpleaños feliz.

 

7. Festeja Tu Cumpleaños

 

Another version that sings Que los cumplas feliz, mixed in with an original version from Plim Plim.

 

8. Cumpleaños Feliz – Tambor Urbano

 

 

9. Feliz Cumpleaños

 

An original mix from Toobys. If you introducing vocabulary related to birthday, it includes words like pastel, globos, velitas, regalos, etc. 

 

10. Rompe La Piñata – Dale, Dale, Dale

 

You could also include traditional songs that are sung for the piñata part of a birthday party.

 

 

 

And just for fun– a bonus video poking fun and how long it take to sing all the songs in most countries! Maybe not for class, but a funny watch:

 

 

Do you know of any good Happy Birthday songs in Spanish that I missed? Let me know in the comments!

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Happy Birthday Songs in Spanish

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Spanish Speaking Countries Flags and Free Printable Banner

Spanish Speaking Countries Flags and Free Printable Banner

Inside: Spanish speaking countries flags (free printable banner). 

 

For Hispanic Heritage month, lots of people are looking for decorations. How about a string of flags from Spanish-speaking countries? I’ve created a little free printable that you can grab and put up in no time. These would be perfect for a bulletin board or to hang from a table or mantle. 

 

 

 

Spanish Speaking Countries Flags

Included are all 21 Hispanic countries, plus the United States in case anyone wants to use it (the U.S. has the second largest population of Spanish speakers in the world!). I simple cut them out, punched holes, and string them up with string. 

You’ll notice these are representations of each flag, and vary a tiny bit from the originals. 

 

Grab your free printable here! 

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Hispanic Heritage Month Photo Challenge & IG Story Templates

Hispanic Heritage Month Photo Challenge & IG Story Templates

Inside: Free Instagram story templates in Spanish and photo challenge. 

 

Hispanic Heritage Month celebrates Americans with Hispanic roots. I like teaching about the famous ones, sure. 

But what I really love is honoring the everyday people, with their myriad of connections and roots in Spanish-speaking places. 

I’m from the U.S., technically without my own “Hispanic heritage.” When I married my Peruvian husband, our cultures began to blend of course. Spanglish become our official home language; U2 and Maná shared equal space on the airwaves. He learned to love The Office and I learned that Karaoke was a legitimate date night option. 

What cemented it all was our first baby. My job changed from just embracing Latino culture to passing on Latino culture.

Both of my kids were born in the US, which meant that preserving their Hispanic heritage wouldn’t just happen by accident. And as much as their natural confidence, rhythm, and athletic ability are straight from their papi, I’ve been the one who checked bilingual books out from the library, made sure to put José Luis Orozco CDs in the van, and researched all the fingerplays and rhymes I could find. I think it’s just my personality, or the teacher in me– these things are always in the back of my mind!

Whether you have Hispanic roots, yourself, or are connected through teaching, children, partners, travel, or close friends, you probably can relate to this beautiful bicultural, bilingual mess of life. So I’m inviting you to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with a fun Instagram challenge!

 

Instagram Challenge: #projectHHM

 

I wanted a fun way to keep HHM it in the spotlight and connect with our amazing online community. So, together with Allison from Mis Clases Locas and Frances from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes, we’re launching a fun Instagram Challenge TOMORROW, September 20! 

Each day you can follow the daily post challenge, and tag us with the hashtag #projectHHM. The challenge will run for 15 days. Here are the photo ideas- be creative and have fun!

 

If you want to use the IG Story Templates, grab them here:

I can’t wait to see what everyone comes up with! The intersection of Latino culture with U.S. culture is a rich one. I will be featuring a few photos here, throughout the next two months. Remember to use the hashtag so I can find you!

Right now, make sure to follow the three accounts that are hosting #projecHHM:

 

 

 

 

For extra fun, we will sharing Instagram story templates that go with each day’s theme, and help us get to know each other better. I will be uploading here each day, or you can watch our IG stories and screenshot from there. 

 

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