Song for kids in spanish

Debajo de un botón (Under A Button) is a traditional Spanish song for children. Children love this song because it is tells a little story, and it is short and fun. It has great rhythm, as it repeats the last syllable of the last word of each line. It is one of the most common children’s songs in Spanish.

Although there are a couple of different versions of Debajo de un botón, there is less variation in this song than other traditional songs. The biggest difference is whether children learn two verses or four. If they learn the short version, the song is about Martin, who finds a button with a tiny mouse under it. In the longer version, Martin is Señor Martín and juguetón (playful). He puts the mouse in a sock where it lives.

I like this song for children learning Spanish because it uses the past tenses. The completed action of encontró (found) in the preterite contrasts with the descriptions of había (there was) and era (was) in the imperfect. Of course, children do not realize this, but by learning and singing this song they are absorbing the difference in the two past tenses. In the song, these verbs are used in completely natural structures that children can transfer to other situations.

Once kids know the song, I ask ¿Qué encontró Martín? ¿Qué había debajo del botón? and ¿Cómo era el ratón? each time we sing the song. (Be prepared – they answer un botón, tón tón, un ratón, ton, ton and chiquitín, tín, tín.) Asking the questions lets them hear the verbs again and reinforces the meaning of what they are singing.

You can download a printable coloring book of the song here. There are activities and a guide for teachers and parents.

These are the words to the shorter version of the song. As always, the translation is for meaning and does not attempt to keep the rhythm or rhyme of the song. There are several links to videos of the song under the words.

Debajo de un botón, tón, tón, / Under a button
que encontró Martín, tín, tín, / that Martin found
había un ratón, tón, tón, / there was a mouse
¡ay, que chiquitín! tín, tín. / Oh, how tiny!

¡Ay, que chiquitín!, tín, tín, / Oh, how tiny
era aquel ratón, tón, tón, / was that mouse
que encontró Martín, tín, tín, / that Martin found
debajo un botón, tón, tón. / under a button.

Spanish songs for children – Debajo de un botón
This is a video of a children’s group singing the song with props (a big button and a mouse that is not at all chiquitín)

Spanish songs for children – Debajo de un botón

Spanish songs for children – Debajo de un botón
This is a video by CincoDeditos, a group that teaches babies sign language. The video teaches the song and the signs (based on American Sign Langauge) for the song.  If you are interested in sign language and how it can be combined with language teaching, be sure to visit CincoDeditos.

This is the longer song, with four verses. In some versions the third line of the third verse begins escondió (hid) instead of que metió. As always, the translation is for meaning and does not attempt to keep the rhythm or rhyme of the song.

Debajo de un botón, tón, tón, / Under a button
del Señor Martín, tín, tín, / of Señor Martin
había un ratón, tón, tón, / there was a mouse
¡ay, que chiquitín! tín, tín. / Oh, how tiny!

¡Ay, que chiquitín!, tín, tín, / Oh, how tiny
era aquel ratón, tón, tón, / as that mouse
que encontró Martín, tín, tín,/ that Martin found
debajo un botón, tón, tón. / under a button

Es tan juguetón, tón, tón, / He is so playful,
el Señor Martín, tín, tín, / Señor Martin,
que metió el ratón, tón, tón, / That he put the mouse
en un calcetín,tín, tín. / In a sock

En un calcetín, tin, tin / In a sock
Vive aquel ratón, tón, tón, / Lives that mouse
Lo metió Martín, tin, tin / Martin put it there
porque es juguetón, tón, tón. / because he is so playful.

There are lots of recordings of this song available to download from Amazon. When I choose songs to use with children learning Spanish, I look for versions where you can hear the words clearly. These do not have too much background music and are easy to understand.

Spanish songs for children by Sari Cucien on the CD Patatín, Patatero

Spanish songs for children

Spanish songs for children by Los pequeños diablos on the CD Mis primeras canciones

Spanish songs for children

Spanish activities - Printable Find the Differences pictures to practice vocabulary
Spanish DVD for Kids - Bilingual Baby DVD, Brainy Baby Book and Flashcards

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