Congratulations on deciding to expose your kids to a foreign language like Spanish. There are so many benefits to be had from raising bilingual kids. Learning a language can be fun and it’s great to let kids know that. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of activities you can play with your kids to enhance Spanish learning.
Watch Classic Movies, Cartoons and Series
Remember those great movies from your childhood? Does your child have a favorite movie? Great! You can incorporate that into learning Spanish. If they’re old enough to read then you can try using Spanish subtitles (but even better is to start young and only use the sound – just like you did in English). In some cases, you can expose them to movies where the audio is already in Spanish. If it’s a movie your child is familiar with, it will probably be much easier to follow. You can check out some Spanish Netflix shows that your kids will love here. Also, you can put most Netflix shows in Spanish, even if they were made in English. Just click on AUDIO.
Play Spanish Board Games
Most kids love board games. On family game night consider introducing them to a Spanish board game. For example, you can try playing Scrabble in Spanish. It’s a great way to learn vocabulary. In addition to that, you can purchase the Spanish version of your favorite board games such as Monopoly.
Incorporate Spanish in Card Games
There are actually a number of Spanish card games out there that can teach vocabulary for particular topics. For example, there is a game by Kloo for ages six and up that helps with sentence construction, important phrases, and vocabulary words. If you don’t want to purchase these, you can make one for yourself with flashcards to reinforce topics done in school or by the tutor.
In addition to that, you can incorporate Spanish into traditional card games. For example, you can speak in Spanish when playing the game or at least introduce a couple of phrases like ‘te toca’ which means ‘your turn’. You can play popular games like “Go Fish” by asking for a particular number in Spanish. There are many ways to incorporate Spanish into card-playing; you just have to be creative.
Introduce Them To Spanish Music and Songs
Kids love music. Spanish songs are an entertaining way to have contact time with the language. Research shows that marrying language learning and songs helps with pronunciation, grammar and vocabulary. In addition to that, it helps to develop the skills for learning languages in depth. Introducing songs in Spanish is great because, in addition to what we’ve covered before, your child gets to really listen. Listening is how your child acquired English so it’s a very important step in language acquisition.
When just starting out, especially with younger kids, don’t worry if they don’t get the words quite right. Remember when they started learning songs like “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” and they were using the wrong words? They didn’t even know what they were saying but it all worked out. If you’re looking for song suggestions you can check out Best Spanish Songs for Kids.
Try Doing Some Crafts
Introducing your child to arts and crafts projects is a great way to spend time with them. It’s also a great way to sneak in a couple of hours of Spanish exposure. If you need craft ideas, Pinterest is a great resource for that. You can also visit this website for templates you can cut out and use in your next arts and craft session. Even better, find a video on youtube where someone is giving instructions for a craft in Spanish. That way, you can SEE what they are doing, which will help you understand, but also, you’re listening too! GREAT FUN!
Cook With Your Kids
Talk about Spanish with your kids as you prepare meals with or for them. Even the little ones can help out in making a sandwich (without the knives of course). You can make menus with both Spanish and English on them for foods you usually make. In addition to that, while you cook you can say the word of the ingredient in Spanish. This is another method of boosting vocabulary.
Do a Scavenger Hunt
All you need is a pen and paper. Write down the Spanish words of a few things in and around the house and tell your kids to find them. This will cement certain vocabulary words in their brains especially if they keep seeing the words over and over again. This doesn’t require any purchases and is a low-cost way of helping your kids with Spanish.
Do a Crossword or Word Search Puzzle
If you can’t find a crossword or word search puzzle book to purchase you can use one of the free generators on the internet. Depending on their level you can write the clues in either English or Spanish in the case of the crossword puzzles and have them fill out the puzzle. With the word search, it would be helpful to put the English word beside the Spanish word on the list so they know what it means or have them look it up themselves.
You can either print Bingo cards or make them for your kids to play with. This is a great way of introducing and reinforcing numbers. In Spanish this game is called loteria, and can be found anywhere online, as a computer game or buy the boards for it. This is great for classic culture vocabulary.
Label Things in the House in Spanish
You can put labels on certain things in the house to help build their vocabulary. You can couple this with another activity to ensure the kids actually pay attention to the labels.
While these activities will provide hours of entertainment for your kids and rack up contact hours with the language, it won’t make them fluent. In order to be fluent your kid will need quality interactions and tons of hours with the language – hours that include real conversation and live interaction.
At TruFluency Kids, we believe in the Bellieu Method. The Bellieu Method is really about making communication the priority in language learning. We use relevant, everyday vocabulary that everyone will use on a daily basis. We believe in focusing on listening and speaking, just like kids learned their first language.
Check out a class for just $12 bucks! Our methods are tried and proven so you can be confident in your child learning effectively learning Spanish. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us. We’ll be more than happy to help!