spanish song for kids

Summer is here and kids will be spending lots of time in the water. In Spanish it is very common to say ¡Al agua pato! or ¡Al agua patos¡ (Into the water duck/ducks) to encourage children to get into the water. This is a phrase you can use at swimming lessons, the beach, the pool or bath time. The phrase is so common that it is a brand of children’s swimwear and is used as the name of stores that sell children’s clothing and schools that offer swimming lessons.

There is also a well-known children’s song called Al agua pato. It has been recorded by many children’s artists, so are lots of versions available to download on Amazon. You can find a downloadable poster and coloring page of this saying here: Spanish Proverbs – Posters and Coloring Pages

Al agua pato is a very fun song to sing. Kids love the rhythm and the repetition of sounds. The chorus can stand alone and is often what children learn first. Here is a video of Sira from Yo canto y bailo esta canción singing just the chorus. The words are on the screen, but I have included a translation below. The actions make the meaning clear and are perfect for Spanish language learners. As always, thanks to Pablo at Yo canto y bailo esta canción for permission to embed the video.

Al agua pato pato / Into the water duck, duck
Sin los zapatos patos / Without your shoes, ducks
Al agua pato pato / Into the water duck, duck
Y al agua pez / And into the water fish.

The chorus is a good place to start with little children and beginning Spanish learners, but the rest of the song is lots of fun too. You can hear a recording of the whole song by Amapola in the video below. This version is one of the many available to download on Amazon. (It is marked as explicit there, but it is a mistake.) Adriana and Cantaré have really clear versions of Al agua pato on Amazon too.

El que quiera nadar un rato, / Whoever wants to swim a while
como un pato, como un pez, / like a duck, like a fish,
que se saque los zapatos / take off his shoes
como yo me los saqué. / like I took them off.
Al agua pato, pato, / Into the water duck, duck
sin los zapatos patos. / without shoes duck.
Al agua pato, pato /  Into the water duck, duck
y al agua pez. / and into the water fish.
Un poquito panza abajo / A little belly under
y otro poquitito al Sol / and a little belly to the sun
cada cual a su manera / each one in his way
goza de la natación. / enjoys swimming.

My favorite version of Al agua pato is by Luis Pescetti, a wonderful performer from Argentina. He won the Latin Grammy for Best Album in the Children’s category in 2010. Unfortunately, it is hard to buy Luis Pescetti’s music online and it is not available in stores where I live. If you live in a city you may be able to find his CDs, but I have to buy them when I am in South America.

Fortunately, Luis Pescetti generously shares his songs on his website and on YouTube. You will find several videos of him singing Al Agua Pato here, along with the mp3, the lyrics and chords. The version he sings is slightly different than the one above; it has an extra verse and slightly different words in the last verse. The lyrics for this version follow the video. The translation is provided for meaning only, with no attempt at rhythm or rhyme.

El que quiera nadar un rato, / Whoever wants to swim a while
como un pato, como un pez, / like a duck, like a fish,
que se saque los zapatos / take off his shoes
como yo me los saqué. / like I took them off.
Al agua pato, pato, / Into the water duck, duck
sin los zapatos patos. / without shoes duck.
Al agua pato, pato /  Into the water duck, duck
y al agua pez./ and into the water fish.
El que quiera nadar un rato / Whoever wants to swim a while
como un pato, como un pez, / like a duck, like a fish
tiene que mover los brazos / has to move his arms
y al mismo tiempo los pies. / and at the same time his feet.
Un poquito panza abajo  / A little belly under
y otro poco panza al Sol / and a little belly to the sun
cada cual a su manera / each one in his way
goza de la natación. / enjoys swimming.

You may also be interested in this post: Sing About Summer in Spanish

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