Updated: May 15, 2020
Have you ever had a song that gets stuck in your head all day?
It just pops up, seemingly out of nowhere and at the most random times. Unfortunately when this happens for me, it’s normally not songs I want on repeat in my for all of my waking hours.
This problem is compounded for some of you who, like me, have young kids… So not only do you have an undesired song stuck in your head, but it’s not particularly interesting lyrically or melodically.
The one that comes to my mind is “Baby Shark.” It’s been beaten to death over the past few years, but I have a soft spot for it as it has most recently been my cute two-year-old walking around singing it.
Despite the slight risk of insanity, I love using songs to teach my kids Spanish as part of our homeschooling! Like adults, kids can remember songs so well, making the teaching and learning nearly effortless! All you need to do is make it ‘comprehensible.’ Aka, let them know what the words mean. Even that can be informal- you can tell them what a word means as they ask.
The options for introducing Spanish to your young child while homeschooling are seemingly infinite.
But if you’re just starting out, as a licensed Spanish teacher I highly recommend using songs that have a very limited range of vocabulary. If they don’t know that’s being said and you don’t know what’s being said, they won’t learn any more Spanish. They could even memorize the song and the words (like my kids are starting to do with some songs). That’s still great, even if they don’t know what the song is saying, but if your goal is to make a step toward learning Spanish, they will need to understand what is going on- at least the gist of it.
So here are my top 5 picks for easy and fun Spanish songs to introduce your child or children to Spanish.
Buenos Dias (Good Morning)
One great thing about this song is that it’s already translated for you. Plus, it’s to a tune that many people are already familiar with! Sometimes I’ll start the day by going into my kids’ room and singing this song, finger motions and all, to let them know it’s time to get up.
Someone have a birthday coming up? The Happy Birthday song in Spanish is just about as simple as the English version! But even if you don’t understand all the words- the two main words are in the title!
Cumpleanos= birthday (literally: completion of years)
Cabeza, Hombros, Rodillas, Pies (Head, Shoulders, Knees and Feet)
When my kids and I are taking ‘brain breaks’ from school or Spanish class specifically, we often sing this song. The most fun part is speeding it up incrementally as you go. We normally sing it 3 times: Once at a normal pace, the second time at a medium/fast pace, and the third time is as fast as we can! The last time through normally erupts into a giggle fest with children sprawled out on the floor.
This addition is less of a song but does have music to go with it. It’s a longer video that gives lots of vocabulary. Around 7:20 in the video, they focus on numbers 1-5 with some great repetition. In general using videos like this isn’t the ideal way to try and learn a language- there’s little context for the words and no possibility to practice them with someone who knows Spanish. But I have to admit, my kids and I have both picked up some new vocabulary through these videos!
El Pollito Pio (The Chick Peeps)
A list of fun and easy Spanish songs for young kids wouldn’t be complete without this one. The song is more fast-paced, but children are introduced to farm animals and the noises they make in a repetitive, fun, and memorable way. My former Spanish students begged to watch this video. You might just want to slow it down or pause occasionally to hear the name of the animal.
And if you notice, it has over 1.3 BILLION views!! Wow, talk about a wide-spread children’s song!!