Whether your kids are beginning to learn Spanish this summer or keeping up on their skills during a break from Spanish class, these interactive websites are a great way to keep them engaged with Spanish text.
These are sites that provide kids with lots of opportunity to read. Several of the sites have a variety of activities. I have tried to list the websites roughly in order of increasing difficulty. The first sites have material that is appropriate for beginners and the last sites I mention are appropriate for native Spanish speakers, but have enough support for Spanish language learners too. Each site has a large amount of material at different levels, so be sure to look around and see what might work for your child.
1. Aprendizaje en la lectoescritura
This site is excellent for beginning readers because it combines text with excellent audio. There are four levels with a variety of activities at each level. Click comenzar and then choose the nivel (level). Choose a letter and you will get screenshots for a variety of activities. Mouse over the screenshots to enlarge and hear what the activity is. Even though choose a letter, the activities in levels 2, 3 and 4 involve combining syllables to make words, matching words to images, and ordering words in phrases.
2. Fondo lector
When you open the link to this site a pop-up sometimes opens. Close it to reach the content. There are three levels of activities on Fondo Lector: basic, intermediate and advanced. At the basic and intermediate level these are the activities:
- Ordenar las palabras de una frase / Order words in a phrase.
- Ordenar una secuencia de frases / Order a sequence of phrases.
- Responder a preguntas de una lectura / Answer questions on a reading.
- Relacionar una palabra con su sinónimo / Relate a word to its synonym.
- Relacionar una palabra con su antónimo / Relate a word to its antonym.
- Encontrar una palabra que no guarda relación con las demás / Find the word that does not belong.
Click on Jugar nivel básico e intermedio on the left hand side of your screen. On the next screen, there are colored squares below the game. When you mouse over them, you see the activities I mentioned above. Click on the activity you would like to do. Then the game will ask you to choose básico or intermedio. When you choose a level, you will be asked to indicate which reading you want to start with. For example, for Ordenar palabras en una frase at the Nivel básico the range is 1-105. There are 105 exercises and you can start with any of them. The text below the box where you enter the number says Escribe su número and plusa en la almeja. You have to click on the clam to begin the game. When you complete an exercise, it will say Muy bien. Plusa el botón de continuar. This button is in the game, usually a green fish or a starfish. The green button to the right of the text box will take you back to the menu.
At the advanced level there are five types of exercies:
- Palabras polisémicas / Words with several meanings
- Señalar el significado de una frase hecha / Indicate the meaning of a phrase
- Señalar la idea principal de un texto / Indicate the main idea of a text
- Frases con diferentes sentidos de las palabras polisémicas / Phrases with different meanings of polysemous words
- Señalar el significado de un refrán / Indicate the meaning of a proverb
3. Cuentos y leyendas ilustrados por niños
This site has several stories at three levels and it is a wonderful resource because it includes a variety of activities for each story to help children engage with the text and the language. The texts are stories illustrated by children and for each one there are printable materials for parents and teachers, a variety of online activities and art activities. The illustrated stories can be read online or printed as PDFs. The games can also be downloaded to be played offline.
Cuentos y leyendas ilustrados por niños I – At this level there is an audio version of the story in addition to the illustrated version that you can read online or download and print. The Actividades interactivas are online games that are appropriate for young children and the Fichas are a collection of printable materials that go with each story. Many of the printable materials at this level are for children who are learning to learning to read and write, but the stories and online activities are appropriate for older Spanish language learners too.
Cuentos y leyendas ilustrados por niños II and Cuentos y leyendas ilustrados por niños III – There are several stories at each of these levels. When you click on the story, one of the options is to read the illustrated story online. At the bottom of that page there is an option to download the PDF of the story to print. There are also Fichas which are comprehension questions to do with kids and an printable activity. For example, the activity might be images to make puppets or a game. Actividades interactivas are six online games related to the story. The Actividades de plástica are art activities that move the story beyond the text.
4. Cuentos para dormir: Cuentos cortos con valores
This site has lots of information about literacy and the power of stories. There are also many, many stories. For Spanish language learners, I recommend the stories with illustrations because the pictures will help children understand and learn the language. Many of the stories also have excellent audio.
Some of the stories may be long for children learning Spanish, but you can choose Cuentos cortos. Within that selection you can choose stories con dibujos (illustrated) that also have Spanish audio.
This site also offers a Cuaderno de valores to download and print. It has lots of short stories, pages to color, and a glossary of values.
5. Taller de lectura – Cuentos animados from Educapeques
This selection of seven animated stories lets children choose what is going to happen as they read. There are seven stories at different levels and the text alternates with illustrations that help kids understand the Spanish. Some of the illustrations are interactive. There is no audio (other than music) on this site, but parents and teachers can read to children who are not reading independently.
6. Cuento a la vista – Un blog de cuentos infantiles.
This site features the work of illustrator Raquel Blázquez Fernández and author María Bautista. There is lots to read and do. Some of the stories are simple and others are more difficult, but I find them enchanting. On the right sidebar choose cuento a la vista – los cuentos que te contamos to reach the stories. On that sidebar you will also find coloréame, illustrations from the stories that can be printed and colored. Children also enjoy adivinanzas y trabalenguas (riddles and tongue twisters).
7. Biografías y Vidas
This site has thousands of concise biographies of historical figures and well-known contemporary people. I suggest encouraging children who are learning Spanish to read about people they are already familiar with and that are of interest to them. They will draw on the information they have to understand the language. These biographies are well written and often supported by photos.
You may also be interested in this post: Online Spanish Audio – 8 Free Websites to Keep Kids Listening to Spanish This Summer