Start with something simple:

hola (hi)

adiós (goodbye)

buenos días (good morning)

buenas noches (good night)

Use these basic words and phrases to begin  to incorporate Spanish into your daily routine. As a parent or child care provider, you are already thinking of dozens of things at once, so it might take some practice.

– When you are driving or walking together, say hola and adiós to cars as they pass.

– Greet friends, family members and pets with hola.

– As you read storybooks in English, use morning and bedtime scenes to say buenos días and buenas noches.

– When you and your child are playing with figures or stuffed animals, incorporate these words and phrases.

Remember to pronounce the final vowels clearly  – buenos and buenas – they are different!  (If you use the link to hear the words, you will be hearing the singular.  Don’t forget the “s” in the phrases buenos días and buenas noches.)

Finally, there is a good chance that your child already knows a little Spanish, thanks to Dora the Explorer, Sesame Street, a preschool class or a friend or relative.  Remember to reinforce the words that she already knows whenever you can.

Buenos días, buenas noches - a picture book in Spanish