learn-italian-for-kids

8 Best Apps to Learn Italian for Kids

According to research, the younger you learn a language, the easier the road to fluency will be.

So if you want to give your little ones a leg up in Italian, now is the time.

Read on to see our eight favorite ways to learn Italian for kids.

Contents

1. Gus on the Go: Italian

Available on: iOS | Android | Website 

Price: $3.99

Gus on the Go uses fun characters, an easy setup and native audio to teach kids Italian. 

This nifty little app follows the adventures of a big-eyed owl named Gus who’s making his way across Europe.

In the Italian version, he’s going to the Boot to learn something new about the Italian language and culture.

With colorful, cuddly characters and an easy-to-understand setup, Gus on the Go provides young children with a friendly gateway to basic Italian.

The game provides native Italian audio to help guide students to pronunciation that sparkles. They’ll also be able to learn about culture as Gus travels to some of Italy’s most famous cities along his trip.

Gus on the Go is a great place to start with your little Italian student. With a simple, child-friendly interface and mobile availability, it provides fun first steps into learning a new language.

2. Muzzy BBC

Available on: iOS | Android | Website 

Price: $4-10/month

Muzzy was created by the BBC in 1986 to teach children different languages in a way that’s both entertaining and natural.

The program originally started as an animated film to teach English as a second language but was later dubbed many times over to allow English-speaking children to expand their language skills. It has since been adapted to fit the digital age and is now available on any of your devices with an internet connection.

Muzzy aims to immerse kids in the target language for effective learning, with the animations typically shown entirely in the target language.

Kids can watch in both English and Italian, allowing them to make associations and connect vocabulary.

The program includes two animated films along with a huge number of additional resources, such as games, weekly lessons, sing-along songs, an activity book and an online picture dictionary.

3. The Italian Experiment

Available on: Website

Price: Free

The Italian Experiment provides free Italian readings and lessons, and it has a slightly more advanced, straightforward plan for teaching kids Italian. 

The site provides free lessons on basic Italian terms and concepts, ranging from numbers to verbs. Along with cute illustrations, the lessons come with audio clips and vocabulary lists to help students along.

There are also children’s stories with text and native Italian audio, which come with translations for each sentence. You can toggle these translations on and off one at a time, a feature meant to encourage learners to try and understand the sentences on their own.

It’s a step up from some programs in complexity (though still approachable), explaining the language in terms that are more suited for older children who might find other programs a bit too simple.

4. RaiPlay Yoyolearn-italian-for-kids

Available on: iOS | Android | Website

Price: Free

This is Italy’s network for kids that provides authentic Italian content.

Rai (that’s Radiotelevisione Italiana) is one of the biggest media presences in Italy. They provide TV programs and radio shows across multiple networks, and RaiPlay Yoyo is the home for the network’s kid-focused content.

The advantage of using RaiPlay comes in its immersive learning opportunities, as it’s made by and for native Italian-speaking children. Because of that, it’s best used for young students with some experience with Italian and are ready to move on to something a little more challenging.

Everything is in Italian, but due to cognates and plentiful visuals, you’ll find it’s not difficult to navigate. Kids can play games, watch TV clips and find activities and print-outs to help absorb authentic Italian while having fun.

The downside of using this website is that it’s only available in Italy, which means you’ll need a VPN if you live outside of the country.

5. Disney+learn-italian-for-kids

Available on: iOS | Android | Website

Price: $8-$11/month

The Italian Disney+ website has beloved characters that your kids will likely be familiar with, such as Disney princesses, heroes from the Marvel universe, the Jedi of “Star Wars” and so much more—with an Italian twist.

All you need to view this content in Italian is a Disney+ subscription.

In many cases, you will be able to switch the audio and subtitle language to Italian.

Disney also has Italian YouTube channels that have popular cartoons such as “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse” and “Doc McStuffins” translated into Italian.

Disney Junior’s channel is perhaps the best place to start, as it has clips meant for preschoolers and therefore, the simplest language.

Even if kids don’t understand it at first, this is a solid way to get them interested in the language with the characters, movies and shows they already enjoy. 

6. DinoLingolearn italian for kids

Available on: iOS | Android | Website

Price: $14.95/month

DinoLingo is a language-learning program that teaches young kids Italian through the point of view of cute and engaging dinosaurs.

Your kids or students will quickly fall in love with the animated dinosaurs, colorful video content, and engaging games that form the basis of Italian lessons. The program relies on repetition, interval recall (in other words, SRS) and subtitles. 

In addition to videos and games, the program also teaches Italian through songs and books. And all your child’s learning is recorded in “My Report,” which allows parents to keep track of their child’s progress through the lessons.

DinoLingo supports parents in other ways, such as tips that parents can use to better implement the program and downloadable lesson plans to take the learning to the next level.

You can sample one lesson for free, but a full account requires a monthly subscription.

7. Languages Online Italianlearn-italian-for-kids

Available on: Website

Price: Free

This resource website from the Victorian Department of Education is full of basic Italian grammar and vocabulary to teach Italian to your little ones.

Since these resources were produced by a government agency, you know they’re high quality and rigorously checked for accuracy.

While the materials are targeted toward teachers, they’re super flexible and can easily be implemented in a household setting.

You can choose from themed topics such as clothes, numbers, basic phrases and even the present perfect on this website. Each theme comes with printable worksheets (and answers). 

The site is great because of the fun, downloadable vocabulary posters and simple flashcards. There’s even a song section with lyrics that links to the main topics.  

Just note that you’ll have to take an active role in administering these lessons, making language learning a family activity. 

8. Beelinguapp Italianlearn italian for kids

Available on: iOS | Android | Website 

Price: Free, monthly premium subscription for the ad-free version

Beelinguapp is the best app for teaching kids reading in Italian.

While it has some more adult sources, there are also reading selections appropriate for the little ones, such as fairytales and kids’ stories.

The app provides side-by-side reading materials in Italian and English, which will get kids familiar with cognates and open their eyes to the similarities between the two languages.

What’s awesome and particularly beneficial for the kiddies is that the stories are also narrated by a real voice actor who brings the text to life.

Of course, some basic reading skills are required, but keep in mind there’s a massive range of content on the app, so even beginners can find something they can work with.

The Benefits of Learning Italian for Kids

  • It will broaden their cultural horizons. Many kids don’t realize that not everybody lives like them, so learning the Italian language and culture will open their eyes.
  • It will keep their brains healthy. One long-term study showed that kids who were bilingual at 11 years old saw higher-than-average intelligence and reading skills when they were in their 70s.
  • Kids who learn a new language have improved memory, critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. It might even make them more creative and better able to think outside the box.
  • Another study showed that just one hour of Italian learning per week over the course of six months helped children learn their primary language more effectively than their monolingual classmates.

On top of all these benefits, learning with your little ones offers an opportunity for some family bonding and helps keep you on track in your own Italian studies as you work with your pint-sized study buddy.

There are even some programs that aren’t strictly for kids but would make excellent learning opportunities for the entire family. Take FluentU, for example.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

P.S. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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It’s never too early to introduce the kids in your life to the beautiful Italian language.

Start with our favorite resources above for a fun and effective introduction to Italian learning for kids!

And One More Thing...

If you're as busy as most of us, you don't always have time for lengthy language lessons. The solution? FluentU!

Learn Italian with funny commericals, documentary excerpts and web series, as you can see here:

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FluentU helps you get comfortable with everyday Italian by combining all the benefits of complete immersion and native-level conversations with interactive subtitles. Tap on any word to instantly see an image, in-context definition, example sentences and other videos in which the word is used.

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Access a complete interactive transcript of every video under the Dialogue tab, and review words and phrases with convenient audio clips under Vocab.

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Once you've watched a video, you can use FluentU's quizzes to actively practice all the vocabulary in that video. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.

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FluentU will even keep track of all the Italian words you’re learning, and give you extra practice with difficult words. Plus, it'll tell you exactly when it's time for review. Now that's a 100% personalized experience!

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Start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or Google Play store. Click here to take advantage of our current sale! (Expires at the end of this month.)

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