Have you been looking for an enriching project you and your kids can enjoy together? One idea is to learn Spanish as a family. After all, learning Spanish has many benefits for both adults and kids. Becoming fluent in Spanish can open up educational and professional opportunities, deepen your connection to Spanish-speaking friends and family members, enhance your understanding and appreciation of other cultures and even boost your brainpower.
If you’re going to invest the time in learning Spanish together as a family, we know you want that time to 1) be effective and 2) be fun! That’s why we put together this guide to help you get started.
What REALLY Works in Learning Spanish
Are you imagining that learning Spanish as a family means sitting around and poring over textbooks or worksheets together? Think again. That’s not a regimen that very many families would stick to. Also, this approach isn’t actually the most effective way to learn Spanish.
Instead, your family will learn Spanish faster if you focus on getting as much Spanish-language conversation practice as you can. That might sound intimidating if you’re just starting out with Spanish. But it’s actually a lot more fun than trying to memorize Spanish vocabulary words and grammar rules. And it’s easier to work into your daily routines.
In the rest of this article, we’ll share some creative ideas for getting that all-important conversation practice that will help your family learn Spanish.
Plan Some Fun Family Activities in Spanish
Perhaps the easiest way to start learning Spanish together as a family is to add Spanish to the activities you already do for fun:
Watch Movies and Shows in Spanish
The next time you watch a movie or show on Netflix, turn on the Spanish subtitles. If you’re watching a favorite that all of you practically know by heart, you can even get bold and switch the audio from English to Spanish. For tips and tricks, check out our complete guide to using Netflix to learn Spanish.
Play Games in Spanish
If your family lives for game night, you can find an array of games for all ages that combine friendly competition and Spanish learning. As you play, be sure to say the Spanish words aloud.
Combine Art and Spanish
Here’s some great news if you and your kids enjoy doing arts and crafts together: Visual thinking can stimulate language learning. To help your budding artists learn some Spanish as they create their next masterpiece, choose art forms that are inspired by Spanish-speaking cultures. Also, be sure to ask each other lots of questions about your creations. For example, “¿Qué hiciste?” means “What did you make?” You’ll find more ideas like these in our article about how to use art in your child’s language learning journey.
Use Spanish in Your Daily Routines
You don’t have to sign up for a lot of special programs or buy fancy products to learn Spanish as a family. Instead, you can turn the activities and routines you perform every day into opportunities to practice Spanish. For some ideas, explore these blog articles from TruFluency Kids:
Make Chore Cards in Spanish & English
Gaining fluency in Spanish comes down to one simple thing: practice. Because chores happen regularly, using chore cards will give you consistent exposure to everyday Spanish vocabulary.
Add Spanish to your Bedtime Routine
If you use the same Spanish words and phrases over and over at bedtime, learning happens just about effortlessly.
Using the Calendar in Spanish
Is your busy family always adding activities to the calendar? Use this as an opportunity to practice Spanish.
Practice Spanish When You Go Out
Depending on where you live, you can find concerts, festivals, and other events where your family can talk with Spanish speakers and learn about other cultures. For example, in the Dallas area, where TruFluency Kids is based, we have events like the Avance Latino Street Fest and the Latin Fall Festival.
No events near you on the horizon? You can still grab a meal at a restaurant where the staff members speak Spanish. Mexican restaurants are just about everywhere in the U.S. But there are many more delicious cuisines you can explore from the Spanish-speaking world. Going back to TFK’s home city of Dallas, you can sample Spanish tapas, Cuban favorites like beef picadillo and tostones, and parrilla from Argentina (not to mention all types of Mexican food).
Learn from the Spanish Speakers You Know
If there are people in your life who speak Spanish, your family has a head start in learning the language. Did you know that emotional bonds can help us learn a language faster? For example, if your family wants to talk more with your aunt from Colombia or your neighbors from Mexico, that increases your motivation to learn Spanish.
Another advantage of learning from people close to you is that conversing in Spanish with native speakers teaches you how the language is really spoken. Think about how different your everyday conversations in English are compared with the English you learned in your school textbooks. The same is true with Spanish. Talking with native speakers will prepare you for other real-world situations, like using Spanish at work or while traveling abroad.
Now, none of this means that your Spanish-speaking friends or relatives need to give you formal Spanish lessons. Instead, ask them if they are open to having Spanish-language conversations with your family. You might start out with simple conversations and then move on to deeper topics as your family’s Spanish abilities improve.
Plan a Family Trip to Practice Spanish
Travel is finally getting back to normal. So why not reward your family’s efforts to learn Spanish together with a trip where everyone can practice their Spanish skills? In more than 20 countries worldwide, Spanish is the primary language. And it’s spoken widely in many other countries, including the U.S. So if you’re not up for an international jaunt right now, you could still put your Spanish to use in U.S. cities like San Antonio, Miami or Los Angeles.
Whether your family likes lounging on the beach or exploring historic sites, there’s a Spanish-speaking locale you’d probably love to visit. In several countries, you can even find Spanish immersion programs for the whole family.
Take Spanish Classes as a Family
Your family will learn Spanish faster if you work with a Spanish tutor who will give you lots of conversation practice and customize classes based on the ages, skill levels, and interests of your family members. You may decide that the adults and kids in your family need separate classes, but all of you can still benefit by sharing with each other what you talked about in your Spanish tutoring sessions.
Online tutoring opens up a world of possibilities for learning Spanish as a family, even if you live in an area where there are few native speakers offering in-person classes. For the grown-ups in your family, our sister company TruFluency delivers affordable online Spanish tutoring from instructors who are native Spanish speakers. And here at TruFluency Kids, we specialize in young Spanish learners. We offer classes on a flexible schedule for busy families, and our native-speaker instructors know how to keep kids engaged and motivated. Ready to get started? Contact us anytime. Our immersive Spanish classes start at $12. Check out a free class with promo code TFKNEWS!