Latin Christmas Songs: Your Essential Spanish Playlist

Latin Christmas Songs: Your Essential Spanish Playlist

Inside: Latin Christmas songs playlist to celebrate with family and friends. 

 

Whether you like to turn on the Christmas songs in October or you prefer to wait for December, there’s nothing to bring on Navidad nostalgia like music. I grew up listening to classic English carols and the likes of Frank Sinatra, but I’ve expanded the repertoire since marrying my Peruvian husband. Now there’s twice as much festivity, with a little more cha-cha-cha thrown in. 

Also: see Christmas Songs for Kids and Free Winter Holiday Cards in Spanish.

 

Latin Christmas Songs Playlist

This list is a mix of original Spanish songs, villancicos, and ones that are familiar to English speakers as well. Some are religious and some aren’t; some are old classics and some are recent covers. (If you’re a teacher and are looking for a non-Christmas song, skip to the end for a great Latin Hanukkah song.) Below are my top picks from YouTube, or you can turn on my Spotify playlist. 

Grab a mug a of chocolate and curl up for some Christmas cheer!

 

1. Mi burrito sabanero (Juanes)

 

It’s really not a Latin playlist without this classic. And Juanes nails it!

 

2. Los Peces en el Río (Pandora)

 

This is an original Spanish song that you’ll hear again and again during the Christmas season. 

 

3. Feliz Navidad (Michael Bublé y Thalia)

 

Obviously, Feliz Navidad. Thanks to this song, basically everybody knows how to say Christmas in Spanish. I adore the version by Michael Bublé and Thalia!

 

4. Hacia Belén Va Una Burra Rin Rin (Gaby Moreno)

 

Gaby Moreno’s entire Posadas album is excellent, but I choose this one because it was new to me, and captures that mix of Latin rhythm and advent-feel. 

 

5. Blanca Navidad (Matisse ft. Arthur Hanlon)

 

Here’s a fresh cover of Blanca Navidad that will get your toes tapping. Try the version by Andrea Bocelli if you love a more classic sound. 

 

6. Campanas de Navidad (Celia Cruz)

 

Throwback to older days of salsa-inspired music with this song by Celia Cruz. 

 

7. Noche de paz (Laura Pausini)

 

Beautiful, of course, from Laura Pausini (I like the Matisse cover as well). 

 

8. Campana Sobre Campana (Pandora)

 

It’s hard to beat Pandora’s version of Campana Sobre Campana. 

 

9. Ven a mi casa esta Navidad (Luis Aguile)

 

Luis Aguile’s Ven a mi casa esta Navidad is a must-listen-to and sure to bring back memories. 

 

10. Allá en el pesebre (Aliento ft. Majo Solis)

 

Beautiful, reverent cover of the traditional carol Away in a Manger (villancico). Listen to this one on Christmas eve. 

 

11. El Niño de Tambor/ El Tamborilero (Pandora)

 

There are tons of great options for this songs (Don Omar has a good cover), but this version is classic. 

 

12. Canción para la Navidad (José Luis Perales)

 

 

13. Adestes fideles (Andrea Bocellia)

 

To end on a more majestic note, O Come Let Us Adore Him in Spanish is a beautiful song. 

 

15. Ocho Kandelikas – Latin Hanukkah Remix

 

To round out the holidays, here’s a great version of Ocho Kandelikas, in honor of Hanukkah.

 

Hope you enjoyed my picks for essential Latin Christmas Songs! What did I miss on your playlist? Let me know in the comments below.

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Spanish Christmas Songs

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Spanish Christmas Activities: The Ultimate Round-up of Classroom Ideas

Spanish Christmas Activities: The Ultimate Round-up of Classroom Ideas

Inside: A round-up of classroom ideas for Spanish Christmas activities. 

The week before winter holidays can be a bit crazy right? You might be at the end of your rope and out of ideas, but no worries! I’ve scoured the internet for the best Christmas and winter-themed ideas, and gathered them here for you. 

Obviously, the guidelines on Christmas-themed plans will vary from school to school. Those of you at religious schools can celebrate it; others will need to present more neutral lessons. Because most Spanish-speaking places have Catholic roots, you might present it as culture. 

With all that in mind, I’ve tried to gather a variety so there’s something for everyone. If it’s not already obvious, I’ve also tried to note whether certain resources are religious or not. 

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

 

Spanish Christmas Activities

merry christmas in spanish

 Easy & Fun Ideas

 

  • Ask or tell a funny Christmas/winter story: mishaps of Santa, a kid who discovers Santa isn’t real, or build a story around a familiar character like the Grinch.
  • Choose a Christmas song in Spanish and just focus on a few keywords (like Navidad). Do a really easy listening activity like Draw, Listen, Check
  • Introduce Latino traditions like Las posadas, Los Tres Reyes (freebie below), or traditional foods. 

Carta a Los Reyes Magos

  • Use authentic 2018 holiday commercials in Spanish and do a voting tournament to choose the class favorite. Dustin Williamson has put together AWESOME resources to do this here, all for free!
  • Write and decorate cards. (Grab the color version of my Holiday & Christmas cards in Spanish for free!

  • Retell the original Christmas story. Use a picture book, draw as you go (a la Story Listening), or use a video from below as your visual.

#authres

There are lots of infographics, songs, and video clips you can throw in during the winter holidays. These are fun to to prompt discussion and give the students a chance to see what they can understand from an authentic resource.


Credit: Easy Spanish 


Credit: Azteca Noticias

Visit my Christmas in Spanish page on Pinterest to find lots more Navidad realia!

 

Songs

 

If you have a younger crowd, I’ve got a great list of Christmas songs in Spanish for kids. Below, you can find my  top picks for a variety of ages, both religious and non-religious. 

Feliz navidad from Michael Bublé and Thalia
I love, love, love this version! Non-religious except for the word “Navidad.” His accent isn’t perfect but Thalia makes up for that. 🙂

 

Mi burrito sabanero 
This is a great dose of culture, comprehensible language, and Christmas that will be new for most of your students. Definitely religious, with religious images.

 

Noche de Paz – If you’d like a familiar Christmas carol in Spanish, this is a good pick.

 

Báte, Báte Chocolate Perfect in case you need a highly comprehensible winter-themed non-religious song (hot chocolate, anyone?)

 

Ocho Candalias Great song for including Hanukkah in your winter plans. 

 

 Ideas for Older Students

 

Lotería de Justino 
Movietalk Resources from Aprendemos Juntos (INCREDIBLE and free resources based on a MovieTalk on the Spanish lottery short film)

Los pingüinos de Madagascar
MovieTalk resources from Aprendemos Juntos (another CI-packed resource)

El tío de Nadal 
from La maestra loca (Hilarious, + authentic culture.)

Navidad Stations
from Mary Overton 

Volver a casa MovieTalk Resources
from Aprendemos Juntos

Navidad Inesperada
 MovieTalk Resources from Aprendemos Juntos 

Juego de navidad
from Aprendemos Juntos

Rosca de reyes
from Cynthia Hitz

Podcast for Beginners: ¡Feliz navidad!

Podcast for Intermediate Students: ¡Lotería!

Navidad mini-unit
(IPA-style) from Get Your Learning On

General Spanish Christmas Resources

 

Spanish Christmas Cards from Spanish Mama

Bilingual Gift Tags in Spanish from Mommy Maestra

A Spanglish Christmas Poem from Family Life in Spain

“Ojo de Dios” Craft from Bilingual Eyes

 

MovieTalks

 

There are some amazing short films that make for great MovieTalks– this is one of those times you can get the best of #authres and CI.

If you’re new to MovieTalks, read about them here. Basically, you narrate a short film in language the students understand, discuss, and possibly type up a reading.

Commercial from Spain for the 2015 Christmas Lottery  (There are tons of activities to go along with this! Lotería de Justino  Activities from Elena Lopez)

 

Introduce Panetón + Comprehensible Language (reps of “vuelven)

 

Los tres reyes

 

Commercial for Christmas with llamas!

 

Sweet Family Commercial

 

#authres Movies

 

IKEA Commercial: Kids writing letters to Los tres reyes. 

 

Peruvian Navidad Commercial:

Lotería de España:

 

Christmas Stories

 

Narrate these videos in simple Spanish, or using the original versions with more advanced students. 

Re-telling of the Original Christmas Story (audio and subtitles in Spanish)

 

Santa Story: Very clear Spanish and story (audio and subtitles in Spanish).

 

 

 

 

Christmas Spanish Activities 

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Spanish Christmas Activities

 

 

 

 

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Expressing Thanks and Saying Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish

Expressing Thanks and Saying Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish

Inside: How to say Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish, thank you in Spanish, and you’re welcome in Spanish. 

 

Greetings are one of those things in Spanish: being polite, warm, and expressive is right up there with syntax and grammar. Thanksgiving itself isn’t a holiday usually celebrated outside the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, but if you’d like to wish Spanish-speakers a Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish, you can say it like this: Feliz día de acción de gracias. 

(Or, if you want to be hip and modern and say Happy Turkey Day, you’d say Feliz día del pavo.)

Acción de gracias is old word with religious connotations, and churches will sometimes have a services that’s called Culto de acción de gracias— literally, a meeting for the action of giving thanks. I’ve heard the variant of Feliz día de acción de gracia, but it doesn’t seem to be as common.

 

Happy Thanksgiving in Spanish 

 

happy thanksgiving in spanish

 

Gracias is one of the most commonly-known Spanish words, but there are lots of variations if you want to use richer language to express gratitude itself. Niceties, of course, are huge in Spanish, and this sort of language goes a long way in developing relationships within Hispanic culture. 

There’s a certain formality of speech in things like thank-you’s and you’re welcome’s, and plenty of ways to say both. I’ve gathered a list of each for you, and tried to stick to phrases that are fairly universal. (There seems to be lots of regional slang for you’re welcome: graciela, no hay pedo, mereces, etc. But I figured you don’t want that hanging up in your classroom.)

If you’d like to post the graphics in your classroom, you can download them for free! I even included versions with lighter backgrounds to save printer ink. 

 

 

Thank You in Spanish

 

thank you in spanish

 

 

 

You’re Welcome in Spanish

 

you're welcome in spanish

 

 

 

If you are interested in Thanksgiving in Spanish activities for the classroom, I’ve gathered lots of great ideas for you. You can also see my Thanksgiving songs in Spanish, for kids!

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

The Classic Spanish Songs You Need to Know

The Classic Spanish Songs You Need to Know

Inside: The best classic Spanish songs, with YouTube videos.

 

Some songs run in your veins. They take you home, your heart swells with memories, and maybe you can’t help but go grab your dancing shoes. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, I’ve gathered a list of those songs here: those traditional songs in Spanish everyone should know.

To be be down-to-earth and real, reggaeton and bachatas are totally my guilty pleasures.

I use many pop Spanish songs in my classes (and love them)…. BUT–

It’s important to give our kids and students the music of decades or centuries, too

We’re talking the classic songs in Spanish, or from before Spanish was the official language. This music connects us to the present and the past. And music is so entrenched in Hispanic history and culture, you won’t have to look far.

(If you’re looking for Spanish folk songs for children, I’ve got a list of those as well. Or see my Songs in Spanish by theme and category.)

 

13 Classic Spanish Songs

 

You don’t have to dissect or study the music, if you don’t want to. It’s okay to simply listen to and love the these songs, together with your family or classes. They speak for themselves, as great art does.

So grab your dancing shoes, maybe a box of tissues in case the nostalgia kicks in, and let’s go!

 

1. Guantanamera

 

2. El condor pasa

 

3. Bamboleo

 

4. México lindo y querido

 

5. La bamba

 

6. Los caminos de la vida

 

7. Sólo le pido a Dios

 

8. Caballito nicoyano

 

9. Cielito lindo

 

10. María Isabel

 

11. La gota fría

 

12. Si vas para Chile

 

13. El solar de Monimbó

 

Now you tell me what I missed! Comment with your favorite traditional songs in Spanish below.

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classic spanish songs

Image credits: Simonovstas / shutterstock.com

Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2017 | Multicultural Kid BlogsWe are so excited for our sixth annual Hispanic Heritage Month series and giveaway! Through the month (September 15 – October 15), you’ll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can enter to win in our great giveaway and link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage!

September 15
Embracing Diversity on Multicultural Kid Blogs: 10 Fun Facts About Dominican Republic

September 18
Spanish Mama: Nazca Lines – Exploratory Art Project

September 19
Hispanic Mama: Fun Ways to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with Your Children

September 20
Inspired by Family

September 21
Spanish Mama

September 22
Mundo Lanugo

September 25
Spanish Playground

September 26
All Done Monkey

September 27
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

September 29
Pura Vida Moms on Multicultural Kid Blogs

October 2
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes on Multicultural Kid Blogs

October 5
Spanglish House

October 6
Mama Tortuga

Don’t miss all of the great posts from previous years as well: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

Easy Nazca Lines Craft for Kids

Easy Nazca Lines Craft for Kids

Inside: Nazca Lines craft for kids learning about Peruvian culture and history.

 

It’s Hispanic Heritage Month, 2017! At the end of this post, find our Multicultural Kid Blogs HHM giveaway for some fun prizes. Today I’m sharing an exploratory Nazca lines craft. The project gives hands-on feel for these marvels of Peru, and how they were made.

 

 

(more…)

Día de los Muertos: A Round-up for Teachers

Día de los Muertos: A Round-up for Teachers

Inside: Day of the dead activities, crafts, videos, and lesson plans for the Spanish classroom.

 

After the insane box-office numbers of Pixar’s Coco, celebrating Día de muertos in Spanish class is twice as relevant and meaningful. Though not celebrated in every Spanish-speaking location, Day of the Dead has deep roots in many parts of Latin America, and especially in parts of Mexico.

As a new Spanish teacher, I used to be unsure of how to treat holidays. I wanted to include culture, but teaching low-frequency words like “marigold,” “candle,” or “skeleton” seemed a poor use of time. Now I’m discovering part of the reason comprehensible input is magic: I can use any theme or topic to give my students whole, living language.

Thankfully, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. There are TONS of resources out there, in Spanish and English, and these are my favorites! Below you can browse my giant collection for Día de muertos, and of course let me know what I’m missing.

Day of the Dead Activities & Ideas

Day of the Dead Lesson Ideas

 

    • Pre-teach key unfamiliar vocabulary. Infographics or videos are a nice way to introduce words like calavera, vela, etc. 

    • Choose a short film for a MovieTalk. (You can find my favorites embedded below). If you teach various levels, make it easy on yourself by choosing one film to use for all the classes and adjusting the language for each group.

    • Create a story with your class, using Day of the Dead as a theme. Remember that you don’t have to come up with a story from scratch. You can always choose an authentic story like the one below, and re-tell it to your class in simplified language. 

  • Create an ofrenda with your students (see how other teachers have done Day of the Dead ofrendas with their students). 
  • Watch Coco on Netflix (or buy the DVD). 

There are some great free and paid resources on TpT to go with Coco. I loved this free Coco PPT from Arianne Dowd, and this EdPuzzle

  • Watch the Book of Life.

For the Book of Life, you can use: A basic guide with questions from Kara Jacobs, and a free guide for novices from Mis Clases Locas.

Google Arts and Culture

 

Google Arts and Culture has some amazing resources as well, for exploring Day of the Dead. I really like the video that introduces the holiday with vivid images, and there’s even an interactive altar!

 

#authres

There are lots of infographics, songs, and video clips you can throw use for Day of the Dead. These are fun to to prompt discussion and give the students a chance to see what they can understand from an authentic resource.

 Credit: Xoximilco blog

Credit: Enter to the Matrix

Image Credit: El Comercio

Visit my Día de Muertos page on Pinterest to find lots more Día de muertos realia!

Crafts and Printables

Free printable for papel picado from Live Colorful. 

Calaca Finger Puppets from Calico Spanish 

Easy Day of the Dead Crafts from Spanish Playground

Free color-by-number Calaveras from Spanish Playground

Sugar-Skull Your Seflie (for Teens) from Crafty Chica

Mini-Altars in a Jar (Image source: Creative Commons Licensed (BY-NC-ND) Flickr photo by Jessica Wilson

Stone Sugar Skulls from Alisa Burke

Día de Muertos Coloring Pages from Rockalingua

Shoebox Altar from Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

Songs for Day of the Dead

 

Here are two songs that work for different levels. You can also see my post on Day of the Dead songs, with more options!

 

Calaverita – La Santa Cecilia 

This song would work well for older students. And check out these amazing resources from Kara Jacobs and Elena Lopez for La Santa Cecilia!

 

Los esqueletos

This could work for younger students as well. 

 

 

Short Films for Day of the Dead

These would make great MovieTalks for a Día de los muertos. You narrate the stories in language the students understand, discuss, possibly type up a reading, and voila!– you have a high-interest, language-packed activity in story-form.

Día de Los Muertos 

I was already planning on using this sweet short film when I came across some amazing resources from Williamson CI & TPRS for doing a MovieTalk. Click here to access a PPT with text and screenshots, activities, and online games. There are also great embedded readings on customs in various countries as well. This is my favorite resource I’ve come across so far, and it’s free!

Another FANTASTIC resource is from Elena Lopez, who put together more resources for “La niña recuerda.

 

Día de Muertos

Elena Lopez has wonderful resources for this one, too, complete with questions, textivate activities, Kahoot, and more

 

Dante’s Lunch

Again, Elena Lopz to the rescue with tons of comprehensible free activities for “La Cena de Dante.”

Authentic Videos for Día de Muertos 

 

 

More informational videos in Spanish:

 

 

 

 

Papel picado:

 

Flores de Cempasuchil:

 

Cómo hacer una Catrina:

 

Day of the Dead Makeup:

 

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Day of the Dead Activities

 

Welcome

Hey! I’m Elisabeth, a teacher and mom raising two bilingual kids in the Peruvian jungle. Read our story here. I love digging up the best Spanish resources for all you busy parents and teachers!

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