The verb phrase vamos a + infinitive ( the base form of a verb), translates into English as “let’s + verb.” It is a good way to introduce new verbs. Hearing this common Spanish phrase in situations where the meaning is clear, children can begin to understand many Spanish verbs.

Some of the first verbs I teach are:

Comer – to eat             Vamos a comer. – Let’s eat.

Correr – to run             Vamos a correr. – Let’s run.

Dormir – to sleep         Vamos a dormir.– Let’s sleep.

Saltar – to jump            Vamos a saltar. – Let’s jump.

– Introduce your child to new Spanish verbs by associating them with actions.

Actions can take the place of pictures or objects when you introduce  verbs. When you say vamos a comer, for example, pretend to be eating.  When you say vamos a dormir, pretend to sleep.  When you say vamos a correr, run in place.  Choose one action, and do that action each time you say the Spanish verb.

– Choose verbs that are important to your child. If your child loves to dance, introduce bailar. If your child loves to draw, introduce dibujar.

– Teach new verbs in sets of three.  When your child is comfortable with those, introduce three more.

– Incorporate these verbs into your day at logical times.  For example:

As you sit down to eat, say Vamos a comer.

Playing outside say Vamos a correr and start to run.

Playing with figures or stuffed animals say vamos a dormir and have the toys sleep. Use the phrase at naptime and bedtime.

Say vamos a saltar as you jump over a puddle or off a step.

It will start to sound as if you are narrating what you are doing – that’s good!  That is what we do naturally with young children to provide the input they need to learn a language. You are giving your child the input she needs to learn Spanish.

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