Tips for Introducing Your Toddler to the Spanish Language
Teaching a toddler a second language can sometimes seem daunting, but don´t worry, we got you!
These practical tips and strategies will help you to introduce a second language into your kids’ daily lives.
If you’re looking over the fence at the possibility of teaching second languages early to your kids, here are some facts that can help you make the decision easily:
There are many ways of exercising your brain, such as memory games, reading, and meditation. But one of the best ones is to learn a new language.
This will light up many different brain regions that work together to promote faster responses and better problem-solving abilities, memory, self-control, and sense of achievement.
Teaching a toddler a second language is also a great way of reducing the risk of mental illness and preventing cognitive aging. But, again, this is because it improves executive functions.
Don’t forget to track and celebrate progress constantly as well!
So, let’s dive in!
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Strategies for Teaching a Toddler a Second Language
Teach your toddler Spanish with these strategies we have cured, which are easy for you and your children to practice at home.
Introduce a second language to your kids by spending quality time with them.
Reading together can be the perfect time to bond and let their little brains develop with a few words in Spanish here and there as a first step.
Eventually, you will move on to Spanish full-time; stories before bedtime are a great idea.
Books in Spanish can help to internalize foreign languages. Choose those that you feel are more interesting and striking.
According to research, children like repetition. It provides a sense of safety, knowing what happens at the end. They gain self-esteem and feel they’re moving forward.
So remember to repeat stories and words, even see if they can guess what comes next exclusively in Spanish. They’ll most probably relate certain words with images and colors on pages.
Teaching toddlers a second language means patience, consistency, shared learning, and a good family time!
Watch TV in Spanish
Spanish TV shows and movies are getting more and more accessible around the world. From Dora the Explorer to Telenovelas, there is plenty to watch and learn in this beautiful tongue.
As a parent, you need a break sometimes when teaching a toddler a second language. Why not benefit from that time off by putting something educational on the screen?
CoComelon and Cleo y Cuquín are first-rate examples of how a kids’ show can be both amusing and educational.
See next: What’s the Best Age for Kids to Learn Spanish
Sing Spanish Songs
Sing and dance along to these Spanish songs! Prepare for a moment of joy and quality time by learning while teaching a toddler a second language.
Traditional songs from Latin America and Spain include short lessons on how to say or use certain words. Others have directions on how to dance to the lyrics and interact with others.
Some examples are Los pollitos dicen, Las mañanitas, and La marcha de las vocales.
Find a well-thought and abundant playlist here: 15 Super Popular Spanish Songs for Kindergarten
In today’s era, you must include technology in your strategies when teaching a toddler a second language.
Benefit from the wide range and kinds of both interactive and non-interactive YouTube material available on the internet.
You can find videos, channels, and series based on your level of exposure to Spanish.
The most famous topics are numbers, animals, the alphabet, family members, and colors, but you can seek further.
Here are some examples to guide you in finding what you’re looking for and what you deem appropriate for your children:
- Peppa Pig en Español Episodios | Criaturas Pequeñas | Pepa la cerdita
- The Colors in Spanish | Jack Hartmann Colors Songs | Colores | Spanish and English Colors
- The Farm Animals in Spanish
- Preschool learning | sing along | Learn Spanish | Vocabulary | SEL | Musica
- Learn Spanish for Kids – Numbers, Colors & More – Rock ‘N Learn
Include Spanish Words in Your Daily Routine
One of the best ways to teach toddlers a second language is to include Spanish words in their daily routines.
They mustn’t see it as just another class or something to practice occasionally but a tool for everyday use.
You can start by telling them the name of some easy ingredients and cutlery while cooking like:
Bacon – El tocino
Bread – El pan
Breakfast – El desayuno
Diner – La cena
Eggs – Los huevos
Food – La comida
Fork – El tenedor
Jam – La mermelada
Juice – El jugo
Knife – El cuchillo
Lunch – El almuerzo
Milk – La leche
Oranges – Las naranjas
Pan – El sartén
Plate – El plato
Sausage – La salchicha
Spoon – La cuchara
Sugar – El azúcar
And don’t forget the morning and night activities, such as chores and leisure projects:
To bathe – Bañarse
To color – Colorear
To cook – Cocinar
To drink – Tomar
To eat – Comer
To finish homework – Terminar la tarea
To fix – Arreglar
To get in – Entrar
To go out – Salir
To go to school – Ir a la escuela
To look for – Buscar
To need something – Necesitar
To study – Estudiar
To want something – Querer
To wash – Lavar
To wash teeth – Lavarse los dientes
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Share a Tradition From a Spanish-Speaking Country
Sharing traditions from other countries with your kids is an excellent way of learning a new language but also to become more tolerant toward other cultures.
This is an indispensable trait that will improve their personal and professional lives.
Choosing a holiday or custom from a Spanish-speaking country can seem an enormous task: where to begin?
Your kids will definitely love to know about the Mexican Day of the Dead, celebrated on November 1st and 2nd. Why?
Because it’s colorful, flowery, and has a profound significance. It’s about our loved ones who have passed, and people believe that they come back to Earth once a year to spend time with us.
To learn more about activities, symbolisms, and vocabulary, read the following articles:
- How to Celebrate Mexico’s Day of the Dead Like a True Mexican.
- The Ultimate Vocabulary Guide to Day of the Dead in Spanish.
Another idea is to pick a holiday that has a typical dish as a central attraction, like Argentinian Empanada Day. Then, you can make a fun cooking day out of it while teaching your toddler a second language.
Learn more about the holiday and how to make empanadas here:
Play Games in Spanish
Play all the games your toddlers know and are familiar with, but you must only speak Spanish.
Simon says, and I spy with my little eye, are perfect examples of easy games you can organize with some basic words.
The first one, Simón dice, is better for verbs, and I spy with my little eye is better for nouns and adjectives.
You can mix them for a joyful day and to get a complete, well-rounded Spanish lesson while having fun!
Read next: The Secret Formula to Teach Your Children Spanish When You Don’t Speak the Language
Let Them Talk
The most important tip we can give you if you’re on your way to teaching a toddler a second language is to encourage them to talk.
That’s how you can track progress and find the weak points in their learning journey.
Practice will help them to reach an upper level.
Kids also live and learn by example, so it’s indispensable that they hear you speak Spanish and show interest in learning the language.
Teaching a Toddler a Second Language Has Never Been So Easy!
As you can see, there are many ways of teaching a toddler a second language.
But the most effective one is through native, authentic Spanish instruction, which is the big differentiator here at Homeschool Spanish Academy.
We believe that real human connection and an expert-certified curriculum can genuinely impact your kids’ lives.
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Contact our support team to learn about our innovative, human-centered learning strategies and how to achieve your learner-specific language goals faster and better.
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