Easy Spanish Phrases to Teach Your Kids in the Bathroom
Soapy water, bubbles, splashing and maybe a rubber toy floating in the tub – all telltale signs that you are heading to the bathroom. For kids, this can be something that they look forward to but maybe dread. However, perhaps that extra dosage of fun can be a little Spanish, while in the bathroom – whether bath time, brushing your teeth or fixing your hair in the mirror.
Admittedly, learning a new language and in this instance, Spanish while not being a native speaker can be very challenging. From rolling your r’s to the battle between ‘h and j’ it may be a bit stressful, but this article is just what you need as we’ll be exploring how you can spice up your vocabulary and conversations in the bathroom with your kids in Spanish and a few tips on how to get your pronunciation on point as if you were born to speak the lingo.
Simple Spanish Questions and Answers for the Bathroom
Having a conversation is one of the best ways to learn something new because you’re exchanging information. Simple requests such as: Where is the toothpaste? Do we have any toilet paper? are simple starters into this world of Spanish. However, just before we start the conversation ,we have to develop an appreciation for the vocabulary. Here are a few words to start off with:
la bata (bah-tah) – bathrobe
la ducha (doo-chah) – shower
el lavamanos (lah-bah-mah-.nohs) – sink
el jabón – soap
el papel higiénico – toilet paper
el cepillo de dientes – tooth brush
la crema dental – tooth paste
la toalla – towel
el espejo – mirror
This list could go on for a while but these are just a few common phrases for you to wet your toes to get the conversation started. Your kids can use these words to express themselves and parents are able to facilitate such a conversation. Let us say for instance that you are visiting a relative’s house or perhaps you’re at your home and your child wants to use the bathroom – you can start like this:
Question: ¿Dónde está el cepillo? – Where is my toothbrush?
When asking the question, hold up the toothbrush and say ‘cepillo’ (ceh-pee-yo).
Response: está aqui. It’s here.
Give this a try every time you go into the bathroom to help your child brush his or her teeth. After they realize that the name of the object is ‘cepillo’, then put the toothbrush in the drawer and then look around for it, saying, ¿Dónde está el cepillo?
Open the drawer, and say, “AHA! Está aqui!”
Play out this same scenario every night when it’s time to brush teeth. Eventually, wait for your child to say, “Está aqui!”
After a few weeks of this Spanish exchange, you can try asking where other items are located by using the phrase, ‘donde está + name of item/place?’ Here are a few examples:
Other easy questions include:
¿Dónde está el baño? – Where is the bathroom? or
¿Puedo usar el baño? : May I use the bathroom?
¿Dónde está la pasta dentífrica? – Where is the toothpaste?
¿Dónde está el champú? –Where is the shampoo?
Let’s continue with some questions about a certain item(s) that isn’t or aren’t in the bathroom. Your kids are looking around for some toilet paper and seem to be looking for a needle in a haystack. So they approach you and ask:
¿Me pasas el papel higiénico, por favor? Can you pass me the toilet paper, please?
Your response could be:
Está aqui! – which means “Here it is!”
Nos quedamos sin papel higiénico – which means “we are out of toilet paper.”
Furthermore, it’s almost time for bed but it is important to get those teeth all clean. You and your child both rush to the bathroom to brush your teeth and they may have the toothpaste, prompting you to ask:
¿Me pasas la crema de dientes, por favor? –Can you pass me the toothpaste, please?
In addition, you may want to know where something is, perhaps the soap, towel or blow-dryer. That’s no hassle, because all you’d have to do is ask:
Dónde está el jabón? – Where is the soap?
¿Dónde está la toalla? – Where is the towel?
So anytime you want to know where something is, the phrase that you would use is ‘Dónde está’ followed by the item(s). Also, you may be having a problem or facing some difficulties and you have to convey it, this could be that there is hot water in the shower or perhaps the sink is clogged. These are a few phrases to use to articulate a problem:
Hay un problema con… – There is a problem with…
El baño está sucio – The bathroom is dirty.
No baja el agua del inodoro- The toilet won’t flush.
No baja el agua del lavamanos – The sink won’t drain.
If you keep at this, by continuously engaging in conversations, doing your bedtime routine with your kids in the bathroom together then soon enough all of the family will be speaking the language.
Moreover, parents can help their children full grasp and unlock their Spanish tongue by using flashcards and labelling the items in the bathroom in Spanish. The more both of you (child and parent) are exposed to the language, the easier it becomes to speak with such clarity and confidence. Unlocking the bilingualism in your child is essential and here is a helpful video on how parents are helping their children.
Just as a mental sticky note, learning Spanish has a lot of do’s and don’ts, so here are a few rules to keep in mind that can help with acing this beautiful language:
1. Never pronounce the letter z like you would in English. Pronounce like an S. In Latin America and some parts of southern Spain, the letter z is actually pronounced like an s.
2. Don’t pronounce the letter u in que, qui, gue,or gui. Whenever you see any of these four combinations inside a word (que, qui, gue, gui), you never pronounce the u. However, there’s also an exception to the exception. Not as commonly, sometimes you’ll see qüe, qüi, güe, or güi and whenever you find this, you do have to pronounce the u.
3. Don’t mistake ñ for n. The Spanish ñ is equivalent to gn in Italian, as in “lasagna,” or the nh in Portuguese, among others. The ñ sounds like ni in “onion.” While that isn’t completely precise, it’s a good start if you’re not sure how to pronounce it.
Keep these tips in mind, keep the conversations going to nurture the bilingual fire within your child.
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