Learn Spanish with Kids: How to Start at Home
Learn Spanish at Home with Kids

Publication: Mar 7, 2021

Category: Teaching Spanish

Inside: Tips and resources to learn Spanish with kids, at home.

“Oh, I would love for my kids to learn Spanish. Your kids are so lucky!”

I hear this one often. Really, ask anyone if they’d like their kids to speak a second language and the answer will be YES. Of course we would! But then-

We barely remember high school Spanish. I took German. We can’t afford a tutor. I have no idea where to start. 

Don’t let excuses like this stop you from teaching Spanish to your kids!

The goal CAN be 100% fluency. It can also be a boost before they study Spanish later.

Whether it’s a little or a lot– it’s a gift!

Language -with all of its magnificent complexity- is one of the greatest gifts we give our children. Yet, we so often treat our verbal communication with children in a casual way. It is a misconception that children learn language passively. Language acquisition is a product of active, repetitive, and complex learning. The child’s brain is learning and changing more during language acquisition in the first six years of life than during any other cognitive ability he is working to acquire.

Scholastic

mom reads to kids in Spanish

Maybe you’re even a native speaker, unsure of how to start speaking Spanish with your kids. If that’s you, read how this mom started teaching her son Spanish at 4. It’s never too late!

Learn Spanish with Kids at Home: A Guide

This post is packed with links to resources you can use right away. I’ll offer a couple of tips, and then you can browse this list for ways to bring Spanish into your home.

If there’s a section that you want to see right away, click to jump to that part.

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    Some Basic Tips to Learn Spanish at Home:

    First, a few don’ts:

    • DON’T be self-conscious. Learning a language for adults can feel awkward, but set a relaxed, fun tone anyway.
    • DON’T give up if you miss a week or two. Those songs and words stay in little minds longer than we think.
    • DON’T make perfection the goal. Do what you can. A little bit every day is great.

    So, where to start?

    • First, take a little time to make a realistic plan. How often will you work on Spanish with your kids? Are there certain days or times when you can commit? Start small, stick to it, and then add more if you can. 
    • Gather some physical resources. I have tons of suggestions below, so grab a basket or make some space on a shelf. Go ahead a put the CD in your car or put some books in your child’s room for bedtime.

    learn Spanish with kids at home

    Here are some simple, inexpensive ideas to learn Spanish with kids at home!

    1. Learn Spanish with Kids Through Books

    Reading in Spanish together is a perfect way to learn very beginning words or develop semi-fluent kids even more. You can slip a Spanish book into your nighttime reading basket to ease into it.

    authentic picture books in Spanish

    Spanish Books for kids

    If you want to teach your kids Spanish, start building up a library today. I have some GREAT Spanish book lists and many even include a printable list to take to the library.

    See my Spanish book lists by theme.

    If you took some high school Spanish but don’t feel comfortable producing language on your own, books are perfect.

    Free Online Spanish Books

    FREE Online Spanish Books

    What if your budget is really tight, or your local library doesn’t have a great Spanish selection? No worries – each year there are more and more options for online Spanish books, many with audio options as well.

    See the list of online Spanish books.

    2. Learn Spanish with Kids through Online Resources

    You don’t have to even leave your home to access all kids of amazing Spanish resources. Here’s a rundown of the top resources so you don’t have to go hunting for them! I have a list of 100 Spanish online resources you can browse IF you’re up for it! Otherwise take a peek at my top picks below.

    Spanish Songs for Kids CDs

    Spanish songs and Playlists

    Music is one of the best (and easiest) ways to learn Spanish. You can choose to listen on YouTube (where the lyrics are often visible) or copy one of my Spotify playlists and listen in the car.

    I also have a huge page, packed with Spanish songs that are organized by themes like greeting songs, animals, colors. etc.

    See the list of Spanish songs.

    Learn spanish for kids with apps

    This is always one of my top posts– we know kids love apps, so why not make a Spanish-learning app? Gus on the Go and Spanish School Bus are both good for young kids, but there are many more options for different levels.

    See my guide to Spanish learning apps.

    Spanish Podcasts for kids

    Podcasts are another excellent way to get Spanish listening in. They are also perfect for busy families, or something to turn on while little hands are busy coloring or doing puzzles. Eat Your Spanish is the best option for beginners, as many podcasts are designed with semi-fluent kids in mind.

    See my guide to Spanish podcasts.

    YouTube Spanish Learning Channels

    You can find some great free classes on YouTube, or fun shows that introduce kids (even teens!) to the Spanish language. (Although some families consider switching Netflix or Disney+ straight to Spanish, that can be frustrating to kids I recommend shows designed for learners to keep it comprehensible and not “noise.”)

    See our guide to Spanish YouTube Channels.

    spanish story time online

    Bilingual Storytimes

    Spanish storytimes at the library are a wonderful way to learn and connect with other families. If that’s not an option for you, here are some online options!

    See the list of online Bilingual Story Times.

    3. Get a Spanish curriculum to use at home

    If you prefer a more formal, structured approach to learning, you’ll want to explore a curriculum that has lessons outlined for you. Here are 3 recommendations I have for you!

    Spanish For Kids Starter Kit (1)

    Free 6-Unit Spanish Starter Kit

    I created this series to take families through the basics of Spanish learning together. Each unit (I call it a “lesson”) has a PDF you can download and print. They include vocabulary cards, worksheets, games, and stories. This is a great place to start Elementary kids!

    See the Spanish starter kit.

    PreK Los Pollitos Curriculum

    This curriculum is a thorough introduction to Spanish through storytelling, games, and songs, based on the song “Los pollitos dicen.” It also includes video and audio content in case you’re not a native speaker.

    Download unit 1 for free!

    The Cultured Kid

    If you prefer a video-based curriculum, another option is The Culture Kid.

    Try 7 days for FREE!

    4. Make a learning Notebook

    Spanish notebook for kids

    Spanish Learning Notebooks

    It helps to have one central place for any worksheets, vocabulary cards, or games you may use as you’re learning Spanish. A simple notebook system can help keep you on track!

    See my step-by-guide for a Spanish learning notebook.

    Spanish Illustrated Dictionary

    If you are doing a mix of things– a podcast here, a song there– it can feel scattered. To keep track of your new phrases, you can also do a simple dictionary or pictionary.

    See my illustrated dictionary on Teachers Pay Teachers

    5. Use Movement as you learn!

    Get everyone up and moving as you learn new words, sing songs, or play games. Movement (and some silliness!) obviously helps kids get more excited about learning Spanish, and it also helps their memory.

    Games for Learning Spanish

    Kids learn best when they’re having FUN!

    I have lots of game ideas, so you can hop over to my Spanish games page to see what you need (PreK games? vocabulary games? Bingo templates?).

    See the list of Spanish learning games.

    Zumba videos in Spanish

    Zumba and DaNce Spanish Videos

    You can add some Spanish into your day with this list of dance and zumba videos.

    See the list of Spanish Zumba videos

    spanish yoga for kids

    Yoga VIdeos

    This is a fun list of Yoga videos for kids.

    See the list of Spanish Zumba videos

    6. Learn Spanish With Your Kids

    Unless you plan on hiring a tutor or enrolling your kids in a dual-language school, most of their learning depends on you, the parents. So if you’re really, really committed– you’ll need to learn along with your children.

    A lot of your learning can happen as you use the activities above with your kids. Ideally, though, you’re also working on your own.

    Free Online Spanish Resources for the Home and Classroom

    Spanish Learning for Adults

    If you only have a tiny bit of time, I recommend choosing a Podcast you can listen to during the day.

    Or, browse my list and pick several resources interesting just to you!

    See my beginner’s guide to teaching yourself Spanish.

    I hope these ideas were helpful to you as you learn Spanish at home! If you have more ideas, let me know in the comments below.

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    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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    10 Comments

    1. My colleagues were searching for TX H1155 yesterday and were informed about a document management site with a searchable database . If people need TX H1155 too , here’s https://goo.gl/WeLcRc

      Reply
    2. Good article, Thanks!

      Reply
    3. Are you aware of any Spanish podcasts for kids? Not ones intended to teach the language, just podcasts on any topic for kids that are in Spanish?

      Reply
    4. I am 50% fluent in Spanish (according to duolingo) and have started focusing my efforts with the hopes of teaching in Mexico in a few years. I’d like to start teaching my 1-year-old but not sure how to approach it as she’s also just learning English. Should I only speak in Spanish with her and have my husband only speak in English? Thank you!

      Reply
      • This is what we do in our house. I am not completely fluent, but I am able to speak as much Spanish as I possibly can with them. My baby just turned two and he understands everything that I say to him and he is learning as I learn. You don’t have to be perfect to teach them to be bilingual. You can do it!! iBuena suerte!

        Reply
    5. Great site and resources. Gracias!

      Reply
    6. I seriously want to learn spanish. I had a Hispanic babysitter for a few years as a child and while I remember some songs, I don’t remember conversational spanish much. Fast forward to my time as a nurse and I learned quite a bit of medical phrases, but again, not conversational. Do you think that getting a tutor would be helpful or maybe something like Rosetta Stone since I don’t know enough myself to teach my 4 year old?

      Reply
    7. Thank you!

      Reply
    8. Thanks! Helped a lot!

      Reply

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