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Have Fun Learning Spanish With Your Child - Learn Songs About Weather, Alphabet, Numbers and More

Updated on September 8, 2016
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Cynthia is a writer, artist, and teacher. She loves studying language, arts and culture and sharing that knowledge.

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There Are Lots of Benefits to Learning Another Language Early

Have you ever noticed that children seem to pick up languages quickly? They seem like sponges in their ability to absorb the words and then repeat them.

Your perception is correct. The younger you learn a language, the easier it is. Why is this? Think about this: when you're a baby, all you have to do is listen and explore. Once you've done that for a couple of years, you start to mimic other people around you - with language and actions. Then, you start to read and write.

Because that's all you have to do when you're young, it's like your brain is "primed" to learn a language.

The older you get, the less you have the ability to absorb language like a sponge. Your brain starts to focus on other things: learning new skills, sports, or other subjects like music and technology.

It's not impossible - with a little immersion and lots of repetition, you can learn!

Explore the following explanations and videos. Watch the videos with your child. You'll be amazed at how they can pick up the language and numbers and can help you along as you learn, too.

As an added bonus, your child will gain confidence in helping you - the adult - learn something new.

Say "hello, friend" in Spanish.
Say "hello, friend" in Spanish. | Source

The Spanish Alphabet

The Spanish alphabet has more letters than the English alphabet.

There has been some discussion about dropping some of the letters: the ll, rr, and ch. Depending on your perspective, the Spanish alphabet has 27 or 29 letters.

For now, we'll just treat these letters as sounds. The ll is pronounced with a "y" sound as in yellow. Thus the word "llamo" is pronounced like "ya-mo."

The rr sound is the rolled - or trilled - r. Many English speakers can't easily make this sound because this sound is not part of the regular sound structure. For now, think of how you pronounce "ladder" and how your tongue flutters a bit when you pronounce the "dd" sound. Keeping that in mind, you can go around saying "Ruffles have ridges," and try to flutter the rr sound really quickly. It takes a lot of practice, and with enough of it, you can often get that rr pronunciation down.

The ch in Spanish is pronounced like the ch- in child. Simple as that.

There's one last letter that is still in the Spanish alphabet that is not in the English one: ñ. This is called "en-yay". Basically, it tells the speaker to pronounce the n with the same sound as the n in the word "onion."

Otherwise, enjoy this fun video with Cosmo the dog. It starts out with this dialogue:

"Hi, how are you? Do you want to learn the alphabet with us? C'mon, it'll be easy! 1-2-3!"

Then it goes into the alphabet, followed by the vowels.

Interesting Fact...

The United States does not have an official language, though many states have adopted English as their official language. Others have adopted Spanish and English as their official language.

The Spanish Vowels

There are five vowels: A, E, I, O, U. If you watched the video above, you already know the sounds. The cool thing about Spanish is that they always get those sounds. They don't change. English has short and long sounds, and the vowels regularly change sounds in different words. Not so in Spanish. Once you understand this fact, you'll be able to pronounce most words in Spanish fairly well.

The vowel sounds are outlined below. One thing to remember: they all get short sounds - they are not drawn out like we do in English. When you get to the vowels in the video, you'll really see what I mean.

A - gets the same sound as in "father" - always!

E - same sound as in the word "get" - this never changes.

I - has the same sound as in the word "feet".

O - is like the word "oh", but don't form your lips into a "w" sound at the end

U - has a sound like the word "too"

Basic Numbers

Once you've got the letters down, you can move on to the numbers. There's a great number rap song called, "Cuenta" or "Count." It teaches the numbers 1-30 in Spanish and the video spells them out for you as it pronounces them.

Here's a quick reference:

1 - uno

5 - cinco

10 - diez

15 - quince (say it like "keen-say")

20 - veinte

25 - veinticinco

30 - treinta

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The Weather in Spanish

Everybody likes to talk about the weather. It's something we all experience together.

The following video is really neat - it's made by some high school kids. The song is really catchy - you'll find yourself singing it at the most inopportune times. But, that's when you know you've learned it.

The translation is as follows:

What's the weather like today? It's nice out. It's hot. It's sunny. (¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? Hace buen tiempo. Hace calor. Hace sol.)

What's the weather like today? It's bad out. It's cool, it's windy. (¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? Hace mal tiempo. Hace fresco. Hace viento.)

The weather doesn't matter to me because I'm happy. (El tiempo no me importa porque estoy feliz.)

The weather doesn't matter to me because my friends are here. (El tiempo no me importa porque mis amigos están aquí.)

What's the weather like today? It's bad out. It's cold and it's snowing. (¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? Hace mal tiempo. Hace frío y nieva.)

What's the weather like today? It's not nice out. There are clouds and it's raining. (¿Qué tiempo hace hoy? No hace buen tiempo. Hay nubes y llueve.)

The weather doesn't matter to me because I'm happy. (El tiempo no me importa porque estoy feliz.)

The weather doesn't matter to me because my friends are here. (El tiempo no me importa porque mis amigos están aquí.)

What's the weather like today? (¿Qué tiempo hace hoy?)

I don't know! I'm at school all the live-long day! (No lo sé. Estoy en la escuela todo el día.)

Basic Spanish Greetings

Being able to say a simple greeting is critical in any language.

Some basic Spanish greetings are as follows:

  • Buenos días - Good day / Good morning.
  • Buenas tardes - Good afternoon.
  • Buenas noches - Good night.

Just for fun, here are these same greetings in French:

  • Bonjour - Good morning / Good day
  • Bonsoir - Good evening
  • Bonnuit - Good night

The following video by José Luís Orozco is sang to the tune of "Brother John" to help you remember.

It translates as:

Good morning. Good morning.

How are you? How are you?

Very well I thank you. Very well I thank you,

And you? And you?

Newer crayons list colors in three different languages.
Newer crayons list colors in three different languages. | Source

The Colors in Spanish

I made a song a few years ago with my students. It's to the tune of "When Johnny Comes Marching Home"

Here are the lyrics:

Los colores son rojo, amarillo y azul.

Los colores son negro, gris, y morado.

Verde, rosado, blanco, y café,

Uno más es anaranjado.

The colors:

rojo - red

anaranjado - orange

amarillo - yellow

verde - green

azul - blue

morado - purple

rosado - pink

gris - gray

negro - black

blanco - white

café - brown

If you ever forget, just look at a new box of Crayola crayons. They have the colors listed on each crayon in English, Spanish and French.

Still haven't had enough? Learn the colors in Mandarin Chinese! I'll admit, I can't offer a translation here.

The Colors in Mandarin

© 2012 Cynthia Sageleaf

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    • asmaiftikhar profile image

      asmaiftikhar 5 years ago from Pakistan

      Thanks a lot for sharing that useful hub.i voted u up!

    • profile image

      mikeydcarroll67 5 years ago

      You definitely did the language justice! I am a Spanish speaker myself and you really nailed everything on the head!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      asmaiftikhar - thanks for the vote. :)

      mikey - thanks for that compliment. I appreciate your feedback.

    • carozy profile image

      carozy 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Thorough and useful, voted up!

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      carozy - thank you so much! Muchas gracias. Hopefully parents and teachers alike will find this hub useful.

    • alocsin profile image

      alocsin 5 years ago from Orange County, CA

      Muy bueno, gracias. I especially like the videos. I'll explore some of the Amazon products you point out for use with my young nephew. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 5 years ago from Western NC

      Hahaha, alcosin. Hablas espanol, no? Thanks for stopping by. :)

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 4 years ago from UK

      All my three little 'uns are doing Spanish . I have been learning it with them. As my mother tongue contains the trilled 'r' and the N-ya sounds I feel at home with the enunciation. This is a great revision hub for us, Cyndi... Thanks again. You're a star!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Wow Cyndi! This is a useful hub packed with great videos and information. Thanks for sharing this. Voted up, useful, and Pinned. Kelley

    • Sharyn's Slant profile image

      Sharon Smith 4 years ago from Northeast Ohio USA

      This is an awesome resource CC. I took one year of Spanish in high school because I had to. I wish I learned more and retained it too. Voting and sharing . . .

    • cclitgirl profile image
      Author

      Cynthia Sageleaf 4 years ago from Western NC

      Docmo - that's great! My mother speaks Spanish and I learned it while at university, and teach it, still. But that's a great advantage if you can already trill your r's and you're familiar with the "enyay" sound. Thanks again, Docmo. :) Cheers!

      Kelley - thank you so much! I used these videos a lot in the classroom until very recently. I appreciate the votes and shares. :)

      Sharon - Thank you. One year? You sound exactly like my hubby. LOL. He always complains that he should have learned more, especially when we go to visit my family and everything is peppered in Spanish and English. Hehe.

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