Learning Spanish as a Family: The Best Free and Paid Activities
Learning Spanish as a family can be an excellent way for your family to have some fun, promote intercultural understanding, and enjoy the benefits of learning a second language!
When you start your language learning journey, it’s important to find the methods that work best for your family. And this blog post will help you out!
Below, we offer advice on how to approach learning Spanish at home with your kids. We also share a list of our favorite free and paid activities to learn Spanish. We at Bilingual Bebe use many of these methods when teaching our online language classes for kids. We’re confident that they’ll work for your family as you begin to learn Spanish.
Let’s get started!
Understanding How Kids Best Learn New Languages
Before we get into the activities and resources, let’s understand how kids learn languages. Studies have shown that kids are more likely to pick up a second language when exposed to it at a young age because this is when children’s brains are the most cognitively flexible.
However, this does not mean they’ll pick up a new language no matter what you do! You still need to make learning Spanish as a family a fun, enjoyable, and productive experience. Here are a few quick tips:
Make it fun
If learning Spanish is seen as a chore, your kids are less likely to be motivated. But if they see it as fun, they’ll likely stick with it longer. That means ditching boring textbooks. Instead, opt for games, songs, and other activities that make learning Spanish enjoyable.
Set realistic goals
Don’t try to tackle too much at once. Start with simple goals, such as learning basic vocabulary or being able to hold a simple conversation in Spanish. Once you and your kids have mastered those basics, you can move on to more challenging tasks.
Incorporate Spanish into your daily life
You and your kids will be more likely to remember what you learn if you start using Spanish throughout the day. For example, you could sing songs in Spanish, read Spanish books together, or watch movies in Spanish.
Be patient and consistent
Learning a new language takes time, so don’t expect you or your kids to become fluent overnight. It’s essential to be patient and consistent in your efforts to help them learn.
Take advantage of free and paid Spanish-language resources
There are many great websites, apps, and learning materials to help your family learn Spanish. Check out some of our favorite free and paid activities and resources below!
Learning Spanish as a Family with Free Activities and Resources
These days, many free online and offline resources can make learning Spanish as a family easy and budget-friendly. Here are some of our favorites.
Free Activities to Learn Spanish Online
Use free language learning apps
Popular language learning apps, like Duolingo, offer interactive games to help you and your kids learn Spanish. The free versions of these apps can be an effective way to learn the basics of Spanish grammar and vocabulary.
As a family, you can set aside 10-15 minutes each day for everyone to complete a lesson. Then, spend an additional 10-15 minutes practicing what you learned.
Watch Spanish YouTube channels
And since these Spanish YouTube channels are free, you can watch the videos until you feel comfortable with the material. You can watch a video together and then discuss what you learned.
Listen to music in Spanish
You and your family probably won’t learn how to speak simply from listening to music in Spanish, but it is an excellent way to get exposed to the language. Try finding songs appropriate for your children’s age group and interests.
As you listen to the music, point out words and phrases you recognize. You can also look up the lyrics online to follow along and sing together.
Free Activities to Learn Spanish Offline
Check out Spanish language books and resources from the library
Your local library likely has a section of books in Spanish that you can check out and read together as a family. For younger kids, we recommend one or more of these popular Spanish children’s books.
To make reading an active learning experience, discuss the book, translate common words, and attempt retelling the story in your own words. At the library, you may also find other free resources, like flashcards, movies, and learning games.
Volunteer in Spanish
Another great way to learn Spanish for free is by volunteering in your local community. You can look for organizations that need help from bilingual volunteers. This activity could be a great way to practice Spanish and give back to your community. You can check out VolunteerMatch to see if there are any bilingual volunteer opportunities near you.
Go to Spanish-language meetups
Depending on where you live, you may be able to find a Spanish-language meetup group. This activity is a great way to meet other people learning Spanish and practice your Spanish skills in a casual setting.
Check out the MeetUp App to see if there are any Spanish language groups in your area. If not, consider starting one!
Talk to native Spanish-speaking members of your community
Is there anyone in your neighborhood who speaks Spanish? If so, you can ask them if they would be willing to help you and your family learn the language. This activity is a great way to get one-on-one help and practice speaking Spanish with a native speaker.
Play free Spanish language games
Your family can play many free Spanish learning games with minimal materials. A quick Google search will reveal several options, such as Hangman to practice common vocabulary or memory games to help with learning grammar. These games can be a fun way to learn the language and can be played during a family game night.
Learning Spanish as a Family with Paid Activities and Resources
There are so many advantages to raising bilingual children that you may find it helpful to think of learning Spanish as an investment. We definitely think of it that way!
So, here are a few of our favorite paid online and offline activities to help you and your family learn Spanish together.
Paid Activities to Learn Spanish Online
Purchase paid subscriptions for language learning apps
As we mentioned, many language learning apps, like Duolingo, have free versions. However, you may find some benefits to getting a paid subscription. For example, with a paid subscription, you can get more lessons, features, and a custom learning experience for your family.
Make these apps an active learning experience, by setting goals and practicing what you learn in the lessons together.
Stream Spanish-language movies and shows
With a subscription to an online streaming service like Netflix, your family has a wealth of Spanish-language content. You can watch shows and movies together and then discuss them afterward. This activity is a great way to learn about other cultures while also practicing your Spanish listening and speaking skills.
Sign up for online Spanish classes
If you want a more structured learning experience, find an online Spanish course. However, you may find it difficult to find a class that caters to families learning Spanish together.
You’ll likely have an easier time finding online Spanish classes for adults and online Spanish classes for kids. Either way, if everyone in your family takes classes, you can regularly discuss what you’re learning and practice speaking Spanish at home.
Paid Activities to Learn Spanish Offline
Buy books, games, and learning materials in Spanish
If you want to start your home collection of Spanish-language resources, you can order many games, learning materials, and children’s books in Spanish on websites like Amazon. By owning these resources, you and your family can use them to practice your Spanish skills whenever you have some free time.
Travel to a Spanish-speaking country
The best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself in it! You can do this by traveling to a Spanish-speaking country or living in one for a short time. Although this will make learning Spanish easier, it’s not always feasible for families due to time and money constraints.
Eat at Spanish and Latin American restaurants
One way to make learning Spanish fun for the whole family is to eat at Spanish and Latin American restaurants. These restaurants will expose your kids to the language and culture in a relaxed setting. Plus, it’s a great way to try new foods!
Make this an opportunity for your family to practice speaking Spanish by doing things like ordering in Spanish and asking your server questions about the dishes.
Attend in-person Spanish language classes
You can also consider signing up for in-person Spanish classes if you want your kids to be around other Spanish learners their age and have the opportunity to practice with a native speaker.
Of course, this option only works if you can find Spanish classes in your area and on a suitable schedule. If not, your best option may still be online Spanish classes that are easier to plan around you and your family’s schedule.
With a little effort, learning to speak Spanish as a family can be a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved! Use the tips and resources in this blog post to get your family started learning Spanish today.
And, if you’re looking for online Spanish classes for kids, check out LingoCircle! Our online classes are suitable for children ages 3-15 and make learning Spanish fun and engaging. Visit the rest of our website to learn more, and sign up for a free trial class today!
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