Best Spanish Songs for Kids (3-12)
One of The Best Ways to Learn a Language
Music is deeply entangled in early life and growing up. We tend to use music instinctively to communicate with our children, to play with them and to teach them about the surrounding world. Let us tell you that our instinct couldn’t be more right! Music is an invaluable tool for learning foreign languages that brings global cognitive benefits.
Numerous studies have tested the influence of music on children’s development. Let us take you on a scientific walk through the role of music in early life. We will share with you the importance of music in language acquisition and recommend you top Spanish songs for kids.
Why is Music Effective in Language Teaching?
Music can be regarded as a separate language that is based on tone, pitch and rhythm. Learning to understand the structure and patterns in music can be compared to learning a foreign language. And guess what! It’s proven that children of all ages can learn to detect patterns in music. This skill supports speech production and reception. Infants use the musical aspects of language (rhythm, timbral contrast, melodic contour) as a scaffolding for the later development of semantic and syntactic aspects of language.
Music helps with pronunciation, vocabulary clusters, visualisation and allows us to practice the language in context. When speech and music are combined to produce singing, both hemispheres of the brain have to actively cooperate: left brain for speech; right brain for music.
Have you ever thought about the motherese voice that we instinctively use when talking to children? Without being aware of it, we apply a greater degree of musicality to our language when directing it to small children. Motherese talk is high pitched, slow, and rhythmic, with a larger pitch range and more exaggerated melodic contours. It allows children to absorb information about the most important features of a foreign language. Music creates a nurturing, safe and inclusive environment that reinforces learning. Musical methods mean having fun with language and let the words come easily.
How to Use Music to Learn Spanish?
Musical activities should actively engage your child. Learning to understand music is like learning any other language. To turn listening to the music into active sessions, you can tap out the musical beats with your feet or maracas. Sing along and move around together with your child.
Music is such a great tool precisely because it enables us to apply learning-inductive techniques such as movement, multimodality, repetitiveness and social interaction. Try to involve many senses in musical activities by using additional props. Make gestures to demonstrate the context of the song and let your child move around. Play the songs various times to let your child absorb the linguistic features and activate information retention. Involve the whole family, sing along and move around together. It builds positive associations with the language and makes Spanish into a natural part of your child’s life.
Don’t worry if your child doesn’t join in singing. Let your child take in the language first and get used to it. Every child is developing in a unique way and needs a different amount of time to start speaking in a foreign language. The vital thing is to keep teaching stress-free and inclusive.
Naturally, music should be integrated in the teaching plan and used alongside other activities for the best results. Children need language exposure to learn, however the quality and quantity of language input are important. Songs are great for additional home practice but make sure that they are a part of a bigger picture. If you are looking for ways to immerse your child in Spanish language, check out our Spanish classes for children with the native speakers.
Top Spanish Songs for Kids
Bilingual Nursery Rhymes
Assisting your child with learning a foreign language is quite a demanding task. Many traditional Spanish songs will be completely new to you and you will need to get used to the lyrics and rhythm. Fortunately, there is also a way to pass to your children your favourite songs of your childhood, this time in a Spanish version.
Nursery rhymes are a great way for you and your child to learn. Probably you know the English versions of some of them. It’s a good idea to alternate between the languages and listen to both versions.
The songs contain lyrics and are skilfully animated to keep your child’s interest.
1. Las ruedas de los autobuses/ The wheels on the bus
2. Incy Wincy Araña/Itsy Bitsy Spider
Now it’s time for the Spanish version of Itsy Bitsy Spider.
3. Viejo Macdonald tenía una granja/ Old Macdonald had a farm
Old Macdonald and his farm is another children’s classic. It has a great, repetitive rhythm and the adorable animation with animals on the farm will easily convince both children, and their parents.
4. Si Estás Feliz/ If you’re happy and you know it
Lullabies in Spanish
The falling asleep ritual for children tends to contain music and singing all over the world. It should be a stress-releasing and bonding experience both for you and your child. Introducing Spanish lullabies is a great way to make Spanish a natural part of your daily life.
Check out our recommendations of canciones de cuna. Some of them have been sung to children for hundreds of years and transfer cultural heritage, alongside Spanish vocabulary.
There are many beautiful songs that your family will surely enjoy.
Check out our favourite picks:
1. Los Pollitos Dicen Pio, Pio, Pio
2. Collar de estrellas
Rockalingua offers a great variety of activities for the youngest Spanish students. Rockalingua songs are designed to assist children with Spanish learning and present the foreign language in context. They cover a wide variety of topics and vocabulary. Moreover, there are color-in worksheets and lyrics available for you to download.
Disney Songs in Spanish
Does your child love one of the Disney movies? Learning couldn’t be easier with Disney songs in Spanish. You can alternate between playing it in English and in Spanish so that your child gets used to the idea of the existence of foreign languages. There are many options to choose from. Find one that both you and your child will love!
1. The Lion King – Hakuna Matata
Is there anyone who can resist the Hakuna matata song?
2. Frozen – Let it go/Libre soy
The English version of this song has undoubtedly been played in every home with children, hasn’t it?
Now you can at least alternate between two versions! Your child will pick up the lyrics easily, having already listened to the English version.
3. Pocahontas – Colours of the wind
If you are looking for more Disney inspirations in Spanish, check out here the ultimate list created by Christa from Pura Vida Moms. You will find more beautiful songs from the Lion King, Aladdin, Mulan, the Little Mermaid and many more!
There are many YouTube channels with Spanish songs for children just waiting for you to be explored. They not only promote a wide variety of topics that children take interest in, but also promote healthy principles and values. The songs are jolly, repetitive and are accompanied by colorful animation. They have a great potential for an interactive experience for your child and the whole family. Remember that you can put subtitles in the YouTube video settings if the video doesn’t contain any.
If your child attends Spanish classes and you want him to reinforce what he has just learned in the class, search for a song about a specific topic. There are many songs teaching basic vocabulary, like numbers, colours, food, animals, means of transport etc.
Check out our top three favourite channels that make children’s Spanish education an entertaining experience. Here is a little sneak peek into what each channel has to offer.
- Tobbys Espanol: Learn numbers together with elephants swinging on a spider’s web. We have to warn you, the music is so catchy, you won’t be able to stop singing it! You can listen to it here.
- Toy Cantando: Get acquainted with Vaca Lola, a friendly cow. The simple lyrics and nice animation will be a perfect introduction for the younger learners.
- Super Simple Songs: Super Simple Songs offers many great resources adapted to the youngest learners. Check out here one of our favourite songs for a start: an adorable story about a duck and its ducklings. It’s a great way to learn numbers.
If you are looking for more ways to teach your child Spanish, check out our Spanish classes adapted to children. We make learning easy, fun and we personalise classes to your child’s needs and interests.
Let us know which Spanish songs for kids work the best for your child and your family. If we skipped any Spanish songs for kids worth attention let us know in the comments down below.
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