How to Learn Spanish for Kids: 8 Fun Websites to Jumpstart Their Learning
The internet brings an endless amount of information to our fingertips.
Why not use that to teach the kids in our lives a new language?
Encouraging kids to explore Spanish websites won’t just help them develop language skills and, potentially, grow up multilingual—it can also build a range of other skills such as empathy and creativity.
In this article, I’ve compiled eight of the best (and often free!) websites to learn Spanish for kids.
- Best for Absolute Beginners: Rockalingua
- Best for Authentic Content: FluentU
- Best for Listening Practice: “Salsa”
- Best for Interactive Games: PBS Kids Spanish
- Best for Full Immersion: Plaza Sésamo
- Best for Gamification: Duolingo
- Best for Self-guided Learning: BBC Primary Languages Spanish
- Best for Children’s Stories: The Spanish Experiment
Best for Absolute Beginners: Rockalingua
Rockalingua uses music to teach Spanish to young children. While $10 a month (or $99 for a year) will get you full access, many of their videos, games, songs, worksheets and vocabulary lists are available for free.
The videos on this site emphasize the importance of repetition for vocabulary retention. This makes them a valuable resource for young children and beginning Spanish speakers.
Their songs teach a variety of vocabulary words, and manage to sneakily work in a few grammar concepts!
They also offer a number of useful picture dictionaries, which can be accessed online or downloaded. They’re broken up into categories like parts of the body, school day routines, family and more.
These picture dictionaries are great for early readers! Plus, they come with related videos and activities, conveniently organized in one place.
Best for Authentic Content: FluentU
Other sites use scripted content. FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the Spanish language and culture over time. You’ll learn Spanish as it’s actually spoken by real people.
FluentU has a wide variety of videos topics, as you can see here:
FluentU brings native videos within reach with interactive transcripts. You can tap on any word to look it up instantly. Every definition has examples that have been written to help you understand how the word is used.
Plus, if you see an interesting word you don’t know, you can add it to a vocab list.
Review a complete interactive transcript under the Dialogue tab, and find words and phrases listed under Vocab.
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with FluentU’s robust learning engine. Swipe left or right to see more examples of the word you’re on.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning, and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It'll even remind you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re studying with the same video.
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.)
FluentU content isn’t filtered for kids, so I recommend that parents supervise their learning on this platform or use this with older children.
Best for Listening Practice: “Salsa”
This great series to learn Spanish for kids is produced by Georgia Public Broadcasting. “Salsa” uses animation, live action, puppets and music in 42 entertaining, kid-friendly episodes for first-time Spanish learners.
The short episodes feature familiar characters like Ricitos de Oro (Goldilocks) and Caperucita Roja (Little Red Riding Hood). This blending of familiar stories and a new language makes “Salsa” accessible even to beginner or intermediate speakers.
Each episode is accompanied by a PDF transcript of the Spanish audio, presented side-by-side with English translations. They also come with a related activity, downloadable in PDF form.
Alongside all of these resources, “Salsa” also offers a few simple games for young children.
Best for Interactive Games: PBS Kids Spanish
This PBS Kids site really takes the cake for interactive Spanish-learning games! These games work Spanish language skills while also allowing young children to practice other skills such as counting, colors and shape recognition.
PBS Kids Spanish offers games for all levels of Spanish speakers. In a game like Lost and Found, children can help a bilingual group of friends discover lost objects. More advanced Spanish learners can join Curious George in games like Igual para todos (Equal for All) where they’ll have to equally divide treats between a number of dogs.
Games like these are great for immersive learning—kids must work to understand a native Spanish speaker in order to figure out how to play the game! Many games are available in English as well.
Best for Full Immersion: Plaza Sésamo
Plaza Sésamo offers great videos, audio resources, games, stories, songs, articles and printable activities. Even better, these resources are specifically geared toward a native Spanish-speaking audience.
This means that the resources may be difficult for beginning Spanish speakers—at first. But the benefit is that it offers a fully immersive learning experience for young children.
In other words, Plaza Sésamo will teach young children to absorb Spanish media designed for native speakers. This will lead to quick gains in Spanish literacy and comprehension skills.
True to the “Sesame Street” brand, these resources are especially great because they teach important values and lessons about acceptance, tolerance, health, social consciousness and environmental awareness.
Univison.com also offers online clips from its show “Sesame Amigos” (“Sesame Friends”).
Best for Gamification: Duolingo
This language-learning course plays like a video game, where kids can work to build up a streak or race against the clock. This sense of play and competition makes Duolingo super enjoyable and motivates kids to continue practicing Spanish.
Duolingo relies heavily on repetition to help learners naturally memorize new words and verb conjugations. This is especially useful for getting kids to learn in an immersive way.
Young ones certainly don’t want to drill grammar worksheets any more than you do—getting them to absorb Spanish through repetitive but fun games can be much more effective.
Another cool feature is that you can track your young student’s progress over time. The website starts at absolute beginner and allows young learners to access progressively more challenging material.
Best for Self-guided Learning: BBC Primary Languages Spanish
BBC’s free Spanish language resources are great for slightly older students (ages 7-11) at the beginner to intermediate level.
For each of the vocabulary topics, you’ll find a Spanish-English word list with a clickable pronunciation guide, plus topic-specific videos, photos, songs and games.
Let the student pick the topic that most appeals to them and then explore the vocabulary and apply it to games and other activities!
As it’s a UK-based resource, it’s more geared toward European Spanish than Latin American Spanish. There’s even a whole subtopic on Spain’s culture, history and society complete with songs and videos!
One important note: on the website, you have to choose KS2 (Year 3 and above) to have the option to choose the Spanish subject.
Best for Children’s Stories: The Spanish Experiment
The Spanish Experiment offers five popular children’s stories that come with audio and video, as well as image-heavy text with English translations available.
In the audio recordings and videos, the story is read slowly by a native Spanish speaker so your children will hear an authentic accent and correct pronunciation.
The story offerings include classics like “Little Red Riding Hood” and “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” plus an original story called “The Bird and The Whale.” Since your children likely already know most of these stories, they can more easily follow along.
This is a great resource to learn Spanish for kids through illustrative stories they’ll probably ask you to play again and again!
With these websites, children can work their Spanish language skills in the comfort of their own home—often while having fun exploring games, songs and videos online.
Not a Spanish speaker? No worries! Virtually all of these websites are navigable even if English is your only language.
Plus, even if you can’t understand the words, you can still enjoy the fun videos and songs with your child. Maybe you’ll even pick up a little Spanish, too!