Reading is an activity that will bring many benefits to your kids. It will enhance their creativity, make them pay attention, improve their cognitive skills, and more. Learning through stories is a great way for kids to absorb different kinds of knowledge, from values to spelling.
And if you read to them in Spanish, it will also facilitate their language acquisition. They will improve their vocabulary and their pronunciation, and gain cultural sensitivity. Even if you don’t speak Spanish, the book will help you cultivate some vocabulary and interaction with the language.
It might not seem like it, but reading in Spanish will immerse the kids in another environment. And that’s basically the same way they learned their native language, by exploring their world. Books are other worlds, and reading is the way to explore them.
Even if your kid isn’t very fluent in their native language yet, it’s never too early to show him/her another one. In fact, the younger they are, the easier it is for them to absorb the language. You’ll be doing your kid a favor by teaching them Spanish at an early age.
Check out these short stories in Spanish that we prepare for you to read to, or with, your kids. They’ll have fun while learning. That’s what every kid needs.
How to Read to Your Kids
Books with Pictures.
The best way to start reading to your children is with a picture book. By seeing the drawings, they’ll understand the plot better, and be more fascinated by the book. As your children grow up, you can start reading larger or not illustrated books. This can be great for you too, since you can look up a few words in advance and point out the various items in the book.
Act It Out.
You can make voices, sounds, and act out the story. You can even change your acting from character to character. This will draw your children’s attention, and teach them that reading is fun. It will also help them understand the vocabulary and the story.
Create a Storytime.
You can choose one moment of the day to sit with your kids and read to them. At some point, they can even read to you. It can be before school, at bedtime, or at any moment you want. Just make sure to do it. Having a moment where you dedicate all of your attention to your kids will make them look forward to reading time.
Don’t Force It.
It’s easy to get carried away by your favorite books and force them on your kids. But this will only make reading an obligation and a boring activity. Kids might grow up hating literature. If you don’t see them excited about the book you’re reading, give them options to choose from. Sometimes they might even mention what they want to read without you having to ask. Listen to their wishes.
Spanish Short Stories to Read to Your Kids
Here are some tales in Spanish to read to your kids. Starting with short stories will subtly immerse them into the reading world.
El Hilo Invisible
by Míriam Tirado
This book is about Nura, a girl who has an invisible thread that comes out of her belly button. She’ll realize that the thread connects her with her loved ones. It’s about having someone far away, that the kids might not see every day, but the love and connection are still there.
It is illustrated in a very charming way, which will help the smallest kids to fully understand it. The author recommends it for kids aged four.
Míriam Tirado is a conscious parenting coach, whose main goal is to help parents educate through respect. She also wants to help parents bond with their kids. She has written other books for children, as well as for adults.
El Monstruo de Colores
by Anna Llenas
This is the story of a very different kind of monster: he’s full of colors! He doesn’t know why; but with the help of a friend, he’ll soon understand that those colors are his emotions. He’ll go on a journey to comprehend those emotions and organize them.
Each emotion has one color, which both kids and adults can associate with that feeling in particular. Therefore, those colors help kids understand easily the meaning of each emotion. The monster is illustrated in a peculiar way: it looks like a kid has drawn it. This makes the children relate to him even more.
It’s a fun, cute, and important story. Your kids will gain vocabulary about basic things, like emotions and colors.
To add extra fun, there’s also a coloring book about the monster that can accompany this tale. And there’s a beautiful pop-up version of the book.
It makes sense that Anna Llenas wrote a deep but easy-to-understand book, given that she’s an art therapist. She is also an author and a book illustrator. In fact, she not only wrote this book but illustrated it as well.
La Madre Goose: Nursery Rhymes for Los Niños
by Susan Middleton Elya
This book has some classic children’s songs, but some words are in Spanish. After all, some of these songs also exist in the Spanish language.
It’s the book with the least Spanish on the list, but it’s perfect for kids that are just learning the language. Adults will also enjoy reading the Spanish translation of some of the words that are in the nursery rhymes that shape them. Sometimes, the author didn’t translate the words and simply changed them so the Spanish words would rhyme with the English ones.
The illustrations were made by Juana Martínez-Neal, and have a tender vibe, perfect for a nursery rhyme book.
Susan Middleton Elya has taught Spanish and English classes. She also loves writing books that combine both English and Spanish, so kids can learn vocabulary in a new language. Just like she does with this book.
Letras Al Carbón
by Irene Vasco
This is the story of Gina and her little sister. Both live in a town where no one knows how to read, except for one man that owns a store. One day, Gina receives some love letters, but she doesn’t know what they say. So, her little sister asks the man of the store to teach her how to read. And a new world opens up to her.
It’s a book that will teach your kids the Spanish language and Colombian culture. It will also show them the importance and the privilege of literacy. The illustrations are very colorful. It’s recommended for kids from age 7.
Irene Vasco is a polyglot Colombian author. She has gone to different isolated places to teach how to read. She has written many other children’s books.
by Yolanda de Sousa
This illustrated book is about a kid that loses many things, and his mom helps him find them. It’s a wink to all moms that always seem to have magic powers because they find everything. This makes it fun and relatable for both moms and kids.
It will teach your kids vocabulary about everyday things, toys, and situations. Maybe next time your kid loses something, he/she will ask you in Spanish to please find it.
Yolanda De Sousa is a Venezuelan author; “Mamá Adivina” is her first book.
El árbol de la Escuela
by Antonio Sandoval
This book is about a school tree that students take care of so he doesn’t feel lonely. It’s a beautiful story with pictures by Emilio Urberuaga. In them, green and yellow colors stand out, so it’s very attractive for little kids.
Your kids will learn basic Spanish words about nature and school. Plus, they’ll learn some important life values. The book has been translated into many other languages, including Portuguese, Italian, and Chinese.
Antonio Sandoval loves everything that has to be with birds and nature. He’s participated in educational projects about the environment. That being said, it’s not a big surprise that he wrote a book about taking care of a tree.
Classic Children’s Stories in Spanish
A great way to improve your kids’ Spanish is by reading them classic tales they already know in their native language. Because they already know what happens in the story, it’ll be easier for them to understand the Spanish version. They will recognize certain things, and, therefore, learn how to say them in Spanish.
Just like you, generations of Hispanic kids grew up reading and listening to many of these stories. So, what’s better than your kid growing up with the same stories in both languages?
So here are a few classic tales in their Spanish versions for you to read together. You can find them on the internet or buy a physical copy. There are even books that include both the English and the Spanish version; great to raise bilingual kids.
Ricitos de Oro
This is “Goldilocks and the three bears” in English. That’s right: “goldilocks” in Spanish is translated as ricitos de oro. And “the three bears” is los tres osos.
This is the story about a hungry girl that finds a lonely cabin and eats the food that’s in it. She later finds out that the owners are some big bears.
El Patito Feo
This is “The Ugly Duckling”. This story about the bullied duck that then becomes a swan also has its Spanish version. Duck in Spanish is pato; duckling is patito.
Los Tres Cerditos or Los Tres Cochinitos
This is “The Three Little Pigs”. It is the story of the three little pigs that were siblings. Each one built their own houses, but the wolf chased them and destroyed two of the houses. Both cerditos and cochinitos are Spanish for pigs, so you might find it both ways.
In Spanish, you don’t always need to use pequeño to say that someone is little. You can simply add a diminutive to the word. For example: cerdos (pigs) = cerditos (little pigs). Diminutives can also be used when you feel affection for something or someone.
Learn Spanish Through Immersion
We get it, children can be very energetic. But all kids need is something interesting to keep their attention. These short stories will do that. They’re about different topics. They’re long enough for them to learn, but not to get bored. And they will prepare your children to read longer books, and discover the beauty of the Spanish language.
Another way they’ll learn in interesting ways is with our TruFluency Kids Spanish classes. We have dancing, singing, and even cooking activities. There are zero boring moments, and 100% Spanish immersion. Kids’ attention will improve as well as their language because they’ll be doing fun stuff.
We also think of the different routines and needs among families. Our classes are online, with flexible schedules, and if your child misses a class, they can just take another one. Try our classes and get 20% off of the first month.