Looking for ways to incorporate more basic Spanish words into your child’s everyday vocabulary? When it comes to Spanish for kids, the key is to keep it simple and fun.
Although the best way to learn Spanish is with a tutor, there are certain things you can do at home to reinforce what your child is learning during Spanish lessons. It’s important for your child to put in a bit of practice every day, so practicing alongside your child is a great way to reinforce positive study habits.
There are plenty of reasons for your child to learn Spanish. Not only will they be able to connect with Spanish speakers, but they’ll also be better equipped to pick up additional languages in the future. Many language enthusiasts find that once you have one foreign language down, learning another one is much easier!
Use the following list of Spanish words for children to incorporate even more vocabulary into your daily activities. Sprinkle a little Spanish in throughout your day, and your child will discover just how fun the language can be!
19 Spanish Words for Beginners
Practically every conversation starts with a greeting and ends with a goodbye. “Hola” and “adios” are typically the first words that aspiring Spanish speakers learn. Use these to greet your child and say your goodbyes, and you’ll be taking a great first step on your Spanish journey!
Por favor/Gracias (Please/Thank you)
Polite manners and gratitude are as important in Spanish as they are in any culture. Teaching your child to say “please” and “thank you” in Spanish will help them be kind to others, even while their language skills are still developing.
For extra practice, try using these words during mealtimes. You can use por favor after a request, but you can also use it at the beginning of a sentence. For example, “Por favor, escúchame” (please listen to me).
There are also many different ways to use gracias. You can use it as a stand-alone “thank you,” or with more detail: “Gracias por la ayuda” (thanks for the help).
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Me gusta/No me gusta (I like/I don’t like)
We all know how much children like to share their opinions, so it’s no wonder these are two of the most important Spanish phrases for kids out there! Your child will be eager to pick up these phrases and practice them on you.
Me gusta(n) ___ literally means “___ is pleasing to me,” but in English it’s translated as, “I like.”
Because of the literal meaning, we must add the -n if the item you like is plural. Similarly, if you don’t like something, you can say, “No me gusta(n).” To help your son or daughter practice, ask him or her, “¿Te gusta(n) ___?” (do you like __?).
He or she can then reply, “Sí, me gusta(n) ___,” or “No, no me gusta(n).”
Lo siento (I’m sorry)
No list of Spanish words for beginners is complete without the phrase “I’m sorry.” This expression comes in handy when one is still learning the basics of a language. It’s also very useful for when kids are playing together, or if a child needs to show sympathy and apologize.
Necesito/Quiero (I need/want)
Every kid loves to express their needs and desires, and in Spanish it’s even more fun. Kids can use these words to communicate basic ideas like “quiero jugo” (I want juice) or “no necesito ayuda” (I don’t need help).
When it comes to learning Spanish for kids, nothing beats a visit to the animal kingdom! To reinforce the meaning of these simple Spanish words for beginners, you can ask questions like “¿Dónde está el gato?” (where is the cat?) if you have a furry family pet.
Size is omnipresent in a child’s life, from a small bug they see in the garden to a big dog they see at the park. Use these Spanish adjectives to make your descriptions more specific: “¡Qué grande el perro!” (What a big dog!)
These adverbs come in handy to describe the way something happens. With kids, you can use both words to describe feelings: “Estoy bien” (I’m fine.)
These two simple Spanish words are great for a game of “red light, green light” in Spanish, or for getting kids’ attention on the street.
In Spanish culture, being polite is also very important, and the words alto and adelante can allow you to be courteous to others (ie. when stopping to allow someone else to go ahead).
SEE ALSO: How to Say the Colors in Spanish
Do your children learn better visually? For some extra practice, have them watch this quick tutorial and repeat the basic words after our Spanish teacher Rosita R.
Infographic: Spanish Words for Children
Here is a fun image to remind you of the words we studied and practiced above. Save it on your phone to help you memorize all of these basic Spanish words in no time!
Most of all, have fun introducing your child to Spanish! Use this guide on Spanish for kids to have lively, descriptive conversations whenever you want.
While daily learning habits are important, a Spanish teacher is critical to maximizing your child’s potential with the language. If you want to take your kid’s Spanish skills to the next level, consider signing up for Spanish lessons or online Spanish classes for free!
Joan B. lives in Carmichael, CA and has been teaching high school Spanish for more than 18 years. Joan aims to help students improve on tests and increase their conversational ability when traveling to Spanish-speaking countries. Learn more about Joan here!