spanish songs for kids

Los esqueletos, The Skeletons, is a great song for kids learning Spanish. It fits in well if you are doing anything related to El día de los muertos or Halloween, but it is also just a fun song to sing and teaches lots of language. When the clock strikes the different hours, skeletons come out of their graves and do all sorts of things. Kids learning Spanish get practice with the structure for telling time, counting, and lots of common verbs.

This song is originally from Costa Rica, but like lots of children’s songs, you can find different versions in different countries. Some use the word esqueletos and other versions use calaveras (skulls). All of the songs move through the clock (cuando el reloj marca la una, cuando el reloj marca las dos), but in some versions the number of skeletons matches the hour. The actions that the skeletons do each hour vary and in some versions the chorus is tumbas por allí, tumbas por allá, in others, tumba, tumba, tumbaba, in others chumba la cachumba la cachumba lá. Some versions have no chorus at all.

Here are several variations of this song. Children will learn lots of Spanish listening to and singing any of them. Here are two of my favorites.

This version of the Spanish song for kids Los esqueletos has a wonderful video that shows the skeletons doing all the actions. It is by LCF Language Clubs, a language-learning franchise in the UK. The words are on the screen, but I have put a translation below. It is basically the traditional version with the chorus after every two hours, which moves the song along.

Cuando el reloj marca la una, / When the clock strikes one,
un esqueleto sale de su tumba. / one skeleton comes out of his grave.
Cuando el reloj marca las dos, / When the clock strikes two,
dos esqueletos comen arroz. / two skeletons eat rice.

tumba, tumba, tumbaba
tumba, tumba, tumbaba

Cuando el reloj marca las tres, / When the clock strikes three,
tres esqueletos se vuelven al revés. / three skeletons turn upside down.
Cuando el reloj marca las cuatro, / When the clock strikes four,
cuatro esqueletos van al teatro. / four skeletons go to the theater.

tumba, tumba, tumbaba
tumba, tumba, tumbaba

Cuando el reloj marca las cinco, / When the clock strikes five,
cinco esqueletos se pegan un brinco. / five skeletons jump.
Cuando el reloj marca las seis, / When the clock strikes six,
seis esqueletos se ponen un jersey. / six skeletons put on their sweaters.

tumba, tumba, tumbaba
tumba, tumba, tumbaba

Cuando el reloj marca las siete, / When the clock strikes seven,
siete esqueletos se montan en cohete. / seven skeletons ride on a rocket.
Cuando el reloj marca las ocho, / When the clock strikes eight,
ocho esqueletos comen bizcocho. / eight skeletons eat cake.

tumba, tumba, tumbaba
tumba, tumba, tumbaba

Cuando el reloj marca las nueve, / When the clock strikes nine,
nueve esqueletos juntos se mueven. / nice skeletons move together.
Cuando el reloj marca las diez, / When the clock strikes ten,
diez esqueletos bailan a la vez. / ten skeletons dance at once.

tumba, tumba, tumbaba
tumba, tumba, tumbaba

Cuando el reloj marca las once, / When the clock strikes eleven,
once esqueletos corren veloces. / eleven skeletons run fast.
Cuando el reloj marca las doce, / When the clock strikes twelve,
Doce esqueletos descansan por la noche. / twelve skeletons rest at night.

 

Luis Pescetti also sings a version of this song. It is really fun!

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