We like to think of summer as a time to take part in fun activities, but the summer of 2020 is shaping up to be an unusual one. This year may look different for your family, without soccer practice or swimming lessons. Whatever activities your kids will be doing, they can develop their Spanish skills up as well. Try these low-pressure ways to make summer Spanish a success.
Summer Spanish does not have to be stressful. The difference between doing something and nothing is huge. With a little Spanish spread throughout the summer, kids will retain what they have learned and start school more confident of their abilities.
The key to keeping up Spanish during the summer is finding activities that fit your family schedule and are not too complicated. Draw from this list, combining and adapting to make Spanish a part of your summer.
Summer Spanish Strategies
Review What They Know
If you child is in a Spanish program at school, she probably brought home activities, art projects, or vocabulary lists. Pull these together and put them where you can talk about them at snack or lunch time. If you don’t have material from school, collect a few picture books, family pictures and Spanish picture cards. Find 22 sets of free Spanish picture cards here. A quick game of memory or talking about family members in a picture is an easy way to keep basic vocabulary fresh.
Spanish Summer Read and Play Program
Reading, or being read to, is one of the best ways to strengthen language skills. Throw in some easy and fun speaking activities, and kids Spanish skills stay strong all summer. Start here to find links to all our past Summer Read and Play Program activities. The program is free, flexible and has fun activities like these play challenges with easy speaking activities.
Family Game Time
A game after lunch or before bed keeps kids engaged with Spanish. Whether it is once a day or once a week, over the course of the summer it will make a difference. Try simple games like tic-tac-toe for preschoolers or classics like Uno for kids who are a little older. Encuentra los animales is a printable game based on Go Fish. Here are our favorite Spanish board games for language learners (with free printable games)!
Listening to songs in Spanish and singing along is another way to add Spanish to your summer. You can listen in the car or while you are making dinner. For young learners, try the YouTube channel by Leoncito Alado, or the CD ¡Come bien! Eat Right! by José-Luís Orozco or his brand new CD ¡Muevete! Kids love songs by Rockalingua and they are excellent reinforcement for what kids are learning in school. You can listen to them free on the Rockalingua website. Are you looking for music that appeals to different ages? Try songs from Sonia De Los Santos or Lucky Díaz and the Family Jam Band. 123 Andrés is also a great choice.
With reasonable limits, movies, TV shows and short online videos can be useful to expose kids to Spanish during the summer months. Series on YouTube like Pocoyo and Peppa Pig are entertaining and full of new language. The short videos on Semillitas TV are also good exposure for younger kids. We have tons of short, fun videos that expose kids to high frequency vocabulary on the Spanish Playground YouTube channel. All the Disney films can be watched in Spanish, of course, and have the advantage of being familiar to many kids. So, pop some popcorn, snuggle up and get in some Spanish time.
Websites, Apps and iBooks
Websites are another option for online summer Spanish practice. Mi mundo en palabras is designed for Spanish learners and is very well done. This post about Mi mundo en palabras lists the topics in each lesson and gives helpful information for parents who do not speak the language.
OnlineFreeSpanish has lots of games to practice a wide range of vocabulary. They also have mini books and printables.
You can also explore Apps in Spanish for more practice.
Lee Paso a Paso – Learn to Read Spanish Step by Step and Leo Paso a Paso 2 by BQWare are great apps for beginning readers. There is also a Leo Paso a Paso 3.
The apps focuses on syllable sounds and combining them to make words. Syllables are key to reading in Spanish. All of the words are supported by images, so kids also acquire vocabulary. It is a very effective set of activities for children working to master reading in Spanish. The developer also has other Spanish educational apps available.
There are also many Spanish iBooks available at a range of levels. Check out these Free Spanish iBooks for Kids.
Online Video Conversation Classes
Technology makes it possible for children to talk to supportive, fun native-speaker tutors over video. Companies like 121 Spanish and PandaTree offer conversation-based instruction for children.
Summer Spanish can be fun. Look for activities that fit your schedule and are not overly complicated. With a little practice, kids will continue to develop their language skills and their love and appreciation for Spanish!