Are You Wondering How To Teach Spanish To Kids? Get Spanish Activities For Kids To Help You Get Started.
*This post contains affiliate links. Things you buy through our links may earn us a commission.
The craze of teaching kids to be bilingual from a young age is growing. Schools are beginning to implement dual language immersion programs all across the country. Each year, there are more parents who want their kids to learn a second language, but these programs are hard to get into, especially if a family isn’t able to pay a high monthly payment! Not only that, but most parents don’t speak a second language, and wonder how they’re supposed to help their child learn if they can’t get into these programs. One alternative to this is teaching kids at home. Even if parents don’t speak the language, they can teach their kids, and learn the language alongside them! Nothing is more rewarding for a family than learning new skills together.
Here are some easy tips and tricks to use when teaching Spanish to kids at home!
Four Fun Spanish Activities
Need some ideas to get your homeschooler started on Spanish? Try these Spanish activities for kids to get you started. These activities are catered to parents who do not already speak Spanish. Please note that even though these tips are specific to teaching Spanish, many of them will work for teaching other languages as well!
1: Same Word
This activity is simple but effective. Grab a simple children’s book, one that has pages with 1-5 words on them. With the help of a Spanish dictionary app, my favorite is Spanish Dict, translate the word and memorize it. An example of this would be a children’s book that lists off different kinds of fruits and vegetables. Within a matter of minutes, your child will have learned that ‘manzana’ means ‘apple,’ or that ‘naranja’ means ‘orange.’ This activity is very good for lists of common themes such as numbers, fruits, animals, or colors.
My daughter’s favorite book to do the Same Word activity is the National Geographic “Little Kids First Big Book of Animals.” She has memorized dozens of animals by using this book and this activity.
2: One-Hour Rule
Once your child has memorized several words or has learned how to find places to translate words, implement the one-hour rule in your home daily. This is a commitment from both kids and parents. It’s as simple as it sounds. For one hour every day, you can only speak Spanish. In my home, that hour is from 5 – 6 p.m. During that time we eat dinner together, discuss our day, and make plans for the following day. Because every day is different, kids are always needing to say new words. This activity will be difficult at the beginning, and some dinners will be eaten in silence because of it. But after a few weeks, you’ll notice a difference. Kids will be excited about learning new words that they can talk about over dinner.
Numbers, colors, and animal names can only do so much. Those aren’t involved in everyday discussion. This is why this activity is so important. It allows kids and parents to have real conversations with each other about real topics.
After a few weeks of giving this activity a try, kids will be able to tell you what they did at school, a fun fact about their friends, and the goals they have set for their future. You’ll be thoroughly impressed!
3: Movies and Music
Kids look forward to their parents letting them watch movies or listen to music. Even though it can be a hassle at times, they can be very effective tools in learning a language. Watching a movie in Spanish, with English subtitles, allows kids to hear one thing while reading another. Their brain automatically connects the two and makes learning the meaning of a word in a second language doable. Most streaming services provide awesome opportunities for this. Netflix and Disney+ both have a large variety of popular movies available in Spanish with English subtitles.
Listening to Spanish music is hard at first. The beat and rhythm are still fun, but the lyrics don’t make a ton of sense. That does change over time. The most effective way to do this is by following along with the lyrics in Spanish while listening to the song. Our brains are developed well to learn and memorize repetitive lyrics, which most songs that include a chorus have.
4: Short Stories
It’s common for teachers, whether at home or in school, to assign short writing assignments to help students improve their writing skills, creativity, and thinking. The same is true in Spanish. If a kid has access to a Spanish dictionary app, they can write a story about anything. It may start as a sentence or two about the family dog, and after a few weeks turn into a two-paragraph story about the next door neighbor’s cool new water slide. Each kid will learn at a different pace, but these short stories allow each kid to learn new vocabulary, learn common grammatical procedures, and connect their English-thinking brain with their newfound Spanish abilities.
Learning a second language has evolved so much over time. It’s been proven that the younger a child is, the more effectively they’ll be able to learn a language. You’ll notice this too. As you learn together with your children, you’ll notice that they’ll be able to learn the language faster than you! Be patient through this process. Just as adults continue to perfect their English-language skills, Spanish is a continual process that must be consistently worked on. Enjoy the process, and most importantly, have fun!
About The Author:
Tanner Nielson is a father, husband, and writer who specializes in parenting. His blog can be found at JustDadsWinning.com where he’ll teach dads how to win with their kids. Focusing on things like teaching kids, traveling as a family, and activities to wow children, his blog will provide you with the material you need to be a successful husband and father.
Want more homeschool Spanish resources? Check out our Free Spanish Lessons For Kids Post by clicking the image below: