As of 2018, native Spanish speakers make up 13 percent of the American populace. That’s 41 million people.
Needless to say, learning Spanish is an excellent resource for Americans, young and old. And that’s precisely why you want your little one to learn the language.
Teaching Spanish to your child is a task that’s easier said than done. However, there are plenty of methods to be learned from those who have done it before you. Pick them up, and you’ll soon have the tools you need to make this goal a reality.
So, if you’re wondering, “How can I help my child learn Spanish?” read on to uncover the best tips for doing so.
How Can I Help My Child Learn Spanish?
It’s first essential to understand how children learn best. You can’t dive into your Spanish lessons as you would with an older student — or if you were teaching yourself.
Perhaps more mature pupils can pick up a language with more structured practice. They’ll study vocabulary and grammar and prove what they know on tests and homework. Your little one won’t pick up much in this style of classroom.
Instead, you have to create meaningful interactions when you teach Spanish for kids. Children pick up language subconsciously — that’s how they learned their native tongue. You can use this resource to your advantage by teaching Spanish in a way that is much more conversational and fun.
That’s not to say your Spanish lessons should be unstructured, though. Follow this guide if you want to know how to teach your child Spanish at home.
1. Add Spanish Into the Daily Routine
Your child is already familiar with their daily routine. They know which activities they do and in which order. And they know what you mean when you say, “Good morning,” or “Brush your teeth!”
Use all of this to your great advantage in teaching Spanish to kids. Pepper your routine with quick Spanish phrases that they will inherently understand because they know their routine.
For example, when your child wakes up, you can say, “buenos días” in place of “good morning.” You might also narrate what they’re doing as they brush their teeth: “Me cepillo los dientes” means “I’m brushing my teeth.”
These little lessons will help your child learn phrases in a natural, memorable way.
2. Try Some Music
Next, music is another great tool as you learn how to teach kids Spanish. In fact, music helps people of all ages to learn and remember a new language.
Kids have no trouble learning and memorizing the words to a song. As they save the lyrics to memory, they’re adding to their Spanish vocabulary.
You can aid in deeper understanding with hand gestures and movements, so they understand what they’re hearing. You can rely on Spanish music videos for kids to act out the lyrics, too.
Spanish music is an excellent mobile lesson, too. Play your kids’ favorite tunes in the car to teach them a new language on the go.
3. Commit Time to a Daily Lesson
Your child doesn’t have a broad attention span, but you should still try and lead a Spanish lesson daily to solidify your at-home training.
Most kids can partake in 10 to 30 minutes of Spanish lessons. The longer you can get your child to engage, the better.
In that short time, you might sing a Spanish song together, then work on their pronunciation and understanding of a word. Then, use a game or other activity to cement their knowledge.
You should be teaching these Spanish lessons daily to strengthen your child’s grasp of the language. You can further bolster your lesson plans by tying them together with a common theme.
For example, you can spend a week learning about the different members of the family. This one’s an easy lesson to reinforce outside of your teaching, too. You can start referring to your child’s family members in Spanish terms afterward.
4. Play in Spanish
You can make even more time for Spanish training by using Spanish when you play with your children.
Chances are, you’re already making time to play with your children. You know how important it is to their development — play hones their social abilities, leadership, self-control, gross motor skills and more.
If you incorporate Spanish into playtime, then you’re making this parent-child activity even more advantageous. Not only that, but your child is likely to engage more when you make Spanish a fun thing to do together.
So, speak intermittently in Spanish as you partake in your normal activities. Or you can get creative and invent new games.
For example, you might put questions in Spanish on notecards. Have your child answer the question before they can take their turn on a favorite board game.
5. Add Spanish Books to Your Home Library
Kids look forward to reading with their parents. And when you crack open that book, you know you have an engaged audience.
So, pick up some bilingual books to help your children learn vocabulary and phrases in a way they’ll enjoy. Not only that, but these tales might spark an even more genuine interest in the language if your kiddo connects to the protagonist or loves the story.
Make Spanish Fun For Your Child
You started by asking yourself, “How can I help my child learn Spanish?” As you’ve learned from this list, there’s one key to making it work — it has to be fun for your little one.
And now, you have some ideas for teaching through games, songs, reading and playtime. You can solidify it all with a quick daily lesson. Soon enough, your little one will be speaking a bit of the language — at it will all be down to your swift, fun teaching.
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