10 Amazing Activities to Teach Your Toddler Spanish
Have you been wondering how to start introducing Spanish to your toddler?
Whether you’re a native Spanish speaker, speak some Spanish, or don’t know any Spanish yet at all, you can start having fun with Spanish at home with your preschoolers.
Toddlers love to read, sing, dance, play, create, and learn, so why not incorporate these aspects into your Spanish learning activities?
Here are 10 amazing, easy, and fun activities to get you started teaching Spanish to your toddler without any mess or fuss. You and your kids will love learning Spanish together!
1. Read books in Spanish, even if you’re learning yourself
Reading together at bedtime is a daily ritual in our home, so why not add some Spanish books into the mix?
Books are my go-to resource for basically everything, especially topics that I’m unsure about how to approach in my own words with my kids.
The best thing about books is that they are the perfect way for toddlers to learn Spanish, no matter what your own Spanish level is.
Even if you don’t speak any Spanish yourself, you can learn together with your toddlers through books.
I’ve heard so many parents say they wish their kids spoke Spanish, but they don’t feel comfortable teaching them because they don’t feel confident in their own Spanish ability.
Trust me, if you are open to learning Spanish along with your kids, you will have a blast learning together!
You don’t need to know any Spanish whatsoever to start reading picture dictionaries and board books together.
If you’re unsure about the pronunciation, search for audiobooks that you can listen to together until you get the hang of it.
You can even type a Spanish word into Google Translate and click the audio icon to listen to it spoken out loud.
So, what’s stopping you? Head to the library or bookstore and start filling up your home library with some books in Spanish.
Reading and learning Spanish together is such a fun and unique bonding experience for the whole family.
2. Read online Spanish Storytimes
There are so many online storytimes right now for kids to enjoy with their parents, but did you realize that some of them are in Spanish?
Storytime is a wonderful way for kids to listen to someone new, learn new words and stories, and sometimes even songs and dances.
They’re also fun for parents, because you can sit back, learn, and enjoy along with them.
Here are some of my favorite online storytimes in Spanish.
- Cuentos y cantos storytime from the Long Beach Public Library
- Ocean Bilingual Storytime from the Huntington Beach Public Library
- Bebé Abubé – Spanish Storytime from the Children’s Museum of Houston
There are also lots of Spanish storytimes broadcast on Facebook. I’m sure you can find even more if you start looking!
Sing and Dance Together:
3. Listen to Spanish music for kids on YouTube
Music is another integral part of learning any language, especially for kids.
We are incredibly lucky to live in a day and age when literally thousands of free Spanish songs are available at our fingertips, 24 hours a day.
If you head over to YouTube and search for “Spanish songs for kids,” you’ll find an enormous number of music videos made for kids in Spanish.
In order to help you cut through the overwhelm, here are some of my favorite Spanish channels featuring Spanish songs for kids.
You can also see a list of my favorite Spanish songs for kids on my blog.
Note: I highly recommend installing YouTube Kids if you’re going to be watching YouTube with preschoolers. It’s an app for desktop and mobile that features only kids’ content, eliminates ads, and allows parental control of exactly what videos are shown.
Atención Atención Oficial is the YouTube channel for the truly awesome Puerto Rican Emmy Award-winning children’s musical show. It is full of educational and entertaining music videos featuring Sr. Sapo.
Canticos is another YouTube channel featuring animated bilingual children’s music videos and nursery rhymes with lyrics in Spanish and English. They are very cute for the preschool crowd, and you’ll appreciate the lyrics in both languages.
Rockalingua has tons of fun and upbeat Spanish music videos for toddlers. The themes are really basic, like the alphabet, numbers, and body parts, so it’s perfect for parents who are learning too!
4. Freeze Dance – ¡Para!
The other day I stumbled across an Alexa skill on our Amazon Echo called Freeze Dance. Alexa goes through the letters of the alphabet, and tells you to pretend to be something that starts with that letter while playing a song. When the song stops, you have to freeze and tell Alexa whether she fooled you or not. My kids are obsessed with it.
While the Alexa version is in English, playing Freeze Dance (¡Para!) is equally fun.
If you’re comfortable with the Spanish vocabulary for the words that Alexa uses, you could simply play the game as-is while translating the animal/vehicle/person into Spanish at the same time.
You can also skip Alexa altogether and dance to these online versions of Freeze Dance in Spanish by Patty Shukla and Yo Gabba Gabba with your kids.
Either way, the whole family will love dancing and freezing over and over again.
5. Fun with Toobs
I made a really cool discovery the other day while looking for some printable Spanish activities for my kids to do at home.
I found these totally free Land, Air, and Water mats in Spanish and English. Land, Air, and Water is one of the first geography lessons children get in a Montessori classroom.
Print out the mats and use Safari TOOBS to sort animals and vehicles onto the mats.
TOOBS are wonderful toys for kids 3+. They’re tubes filled with little figurines with different themes. I ordered some the other day, and my kids adore them. We call them our Toobies.
For this activity, you might want to check out the On the Road, In the Sky, and In the Water TOOBS for different vehicles, along with various animal TOOBS if you’d like.
In addition, here are some other printable TOOB activities in Spanish that you can check out.
They are wonderfully educational and entertaining at the same time, and I’m sure your kids will love them as much as mine do.
6. Cubby Love Bears
If your kids love stuffed animals, you might want to check out Cubby Love Bears, a line of colorful Spanish-English bilingual talking teddy bears.
Cubby Love Bears were created by Dr. Tameka Maiden, a single mom in Texas. She was trying to teach her daughter, Tori, the colors when she came up with the idea.
The line includes Ory, the alphabet and numbers bear, and Yancy, the days of the week and months bear.
If you’d like to try your luck, you can enter the weekly coloring contest to win a free bear.
What a cute idea to get your kids excited about Spanish while cuddling an adorable bilingual bear!
7. Bilingual coloring pages
Kids love to color, so why not learn some Spanish at the same time?
Head on over to Teachers Pay Teachers and check out their selection of free Spanish coloring pages.
At the time of writing this post, there are currently over 400 FREE Spanish coloring digital downloads for you to check out.
Coloring pages are a great way to not only talk about the colors in Spanish, but also about many different topics as well.
There are coloring pages in Spanish and English that cover numbers, letters, holidays, animals, action verbs, and much, much more.
You’ll never run out of coloring fun, and they’re all totally free!
8. Fun With Frida Kahlo
Toddlers not only love to color; they also love learning about artists and their work.
When I taught middle school in New York City, I taught a unit all about the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. My students loved learning all about Frida and looking at her paintings.
We culminated the unit with a self-portrait project, where my students created Frida Kahlo-inspired self-portraits incorporating things they love into the background.
I created a similar project for preschoolers called Fun With Frida Kahlo.
This project introduces toddlers to Frida through books, toys, and video material. Then they create their own self-portrait using pastels. (Pastels are my favorite medium for this project, but you can use whatever coloring materials you have on-hand).
I’ve realized that preschoolers love learning about artists so much that I’m planning on creating projects about Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Antoni Gaudí as well.
9. Stick Spanish labels around your home
One super easy way to start creating a print-rich Spanish environment in your home is with Spanish labels.
Label everything you can think of in Spanish – the fridge, the microwave, tables, chairs, the TV, toothbrushes, you name it!
You can create your own labels using sticky notes and stick them all around your house, or you can download and print some free illustrated Spanish labels that I created for you.
Labels are a great way to get started with Spanish with your toddler for a number of reasons.
First of all, we actually use these labels in my house, and I can tell you that my toddlers (2.5 and 3.5 years old) are super interested in them. They’re not old enough to read them yet, but they’ve asked about them so many times that they now know the Spanish words for many objects around our home.
In addition, these labels are incredibly versatile. Not only can you tape them to objects around the house, but you can also laminate them and use them in matching and sorting activities. I’ve even punched holes in them and stuck them on a keyring as an easy alternative to flashcards that toddlers can’t lose.
Lastly, having Spanish labels around the house makes it nearly impossible to forget to incorporate Spanish into your day, every day.
As a mom of two toddlers, my mind is often in a fog. Sometimes getting meals on the table, doing the laundry, and giving them a bath is all my mind can handle for the day.
However, having these labels around the house naturally encourages us all to speak a little Spanish to each other, no matter how crazy things get.
For me, that little daily reminder is priceless.
10. Learn Spanish from native speakers
When you’re ready to move onto something more organized and structured, but still want your kids to have a blast with Spanish, give Homeschool Spanish Academy a try.
I found out about Homeschool Spanish Academy while searching for Spanish lessons for kids.
We signed up for a free 25-minute Spanish lesson, and my kids loved it, even though they are on the younger end of HSA’s suggested minimum age. (They suggest that they be at least 4 to be able to pay attention through a 25-minute lesson).
If you’re interested in reading a detailed account of our lesson, you can check it out here. They had so much fun learning colors and fruits in Spanish with Ruth.
The lesson was delivered live on Google Hangouts, which was exciting and a little nerve-wracking at the same time, but Ruth couldn’t have been nicer and my boys loved it.
We have built upon that lesson at home, and now talk about all the foods we eat and their colors in Spanish at mealtimes.
As a non-native Spanish speaker, I really love the idea of my kids learning from a native speaker. There is something special about speaking a new language with a native speaker, and that’s something I will never be able to provide them with myself.
The instructors for Homeschool Spanish Academy are located in Antigua, Guatemala. They are all certified and trained in-house, so you know you’re getting quality instruction.
In addition, HSA is accredited and high schoolers can receive high school credit for their courses.
They even have classes for adults, if you’re interested in brushing up on your own Spanish.
Sign up for your own free trial Spanish lesson and give it a try for yourself!
Now Go Have Fun!
There are so many amazing activities to help your toddler learn Spanish, this is just the tip of the iceberg.
Have you tried any of these ideas? Or found other ways to read, sing, dance, play, create, and learn together?
Comment below and let us know. We’d love to hear what you’re doing with your toddlers!
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- 10 Amazing Activities to Teach Your Toddler Spanish - August 10, 2020