Want a way to watch videos for entertainment and Spanish learning?
Can’t quite understand Spanish telenovelas?
Spanish videos for kids could be just the thing for you.
You don’t have to be a total newbie to enjoy them—videos for kids cover a range of age groups and Spanish skill levels.
Why Learn Spanish with Kids Videos and Cartoons?
There are plenty of reasons to learn Spanish with cartoons and other videos for kids—no matter how old you are! They are…
- Easy to understand. Kids’ shows and videos use simple Spanish that’s just perfect for those learning the language.
- Easy on the brain. They’re ideal for total escapism and don’t require much brainpower to follow, making them the ultimate way to combine relaxation with Spanish practice after a hard day’s work or study.
- Fun for everyone! If you do have children, nieces, nephews or young neighbors who are also learning Spanish, watching these shows can be a lovely way to bond together and encourage kids to enjoy learning a language.
- Short and sweet. Kids videos are typically so short that they require less commitment than watching a film or beginning a new TV show. You’re also probably less likely to binge on them than you are on the latest Netflix craze. Though that’s not to say you won’t get addicted… but at least your binge-watching will eat into less hours of your life, hopefully.
- Designed for learners. The repetitive nature of kids shows makes them ideal for repeating new vocabulary and language over and over. This means you’re more likely to remember it later and so are your kids. You could even try singing the songs or acting out parts of the show later on.
- They’re more than just shows! Shows aimed at children also often have accompanying educational material online, so the obsession with the show doesn’t have to stop once the video is finished.
Though this may not necessarily be a good thing if you’ve watched one too many episodes of “Dora La Exploradora.” Imagine if your child were well and truly obsessed to the point where you just can’t take it anymore! But this is unlikely to happen. Who doesn’t love Dora?
How to Learn Spanish with Videos and Cartoons for Kids
Do you feel like just watching these shows isn’t enough on its own?
You’re probably right.
If you’re serious about learning Spanish, watching videos is far more effective as a learning strategy if you actively watch, listen and record new vocabulary.
To do this, you’ll need to:
- Watch the shows more than once, especially if you don’t understand some parts.
- Be sure to rewind sections to catch everything that’s being said.
- Pause the show regularly. You can use this time to write down new vocabulary or to repeat what’s being said back at the TV.
- Try to learn songs by heart. Repetition is key. You could write down the lyrics if you’re having trouble.
Most of all, enjoy the experience and try to relax. This will most likely make learning easier and you might even find that you’ve picked up new vocabulary and language without even consciously noticing.
A great place to practice learning Spanish with authentic video content is FluentU.
FluentU takes real-world videos, like music videos, commercials, news and inspiring talks, and turns them into Spanish learning experiences.
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 like soccer, TV shows, business, movies and even magical realism. You’ll even find everything from “Let It Go” and “Hakuna Matata” to Bert and Ernie clips—not to mention some fun snippets from the videos I’ll be recommending!
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. 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 it recommends you examples and videos based on the words you’ve already learned. Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning the same video.
Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the App from iTunes or the Google Play store and bring FluentU’s innovative language-learning experience to your iOS and Android device.
So where should you begin finding the best children’s videos to watch? Here are recommendations to get you started!
Cool Cartoons: 5 Spanish Videos for Kids That Teach and Entertain
1. “La Ratita Presumida”
“The Vain Little Mouse” is a popular folk tale about a mouse who has various suitors that come to her house. A pig, dog and cat are just some of the characters who ask her to marry them.
She always asks them “¿Y por las noches, que me dirás?” (What will you say to me at night?) and is mostly displeased with their answers, which come in the form of various animal noises. This is a sweet story with a happy ending and, clocking in at under seven minutes long, it’s very easy to watch.
It’s also very repetitive in terms of the things the mouse says, so it’s a good one to watch and repeat, especially with children. You could even try acting out the story once you’re done.
This story is available to watch on YouTube, as are many other short versions of fairytales in Spanish such as “El Patito Feo” (the ugly duckling) and “El Gato en Botas” (Puss in Boots). If you type in “cuentos infantiles,” into YouTube you’ll get a whole list of other short videos of fairytales.
2. “Dora la Exploradora”
“Dora la Exploradora” is the Spanish version of the beloved “Dora the Explorer” and is a fun cartoon aimed at pre-school kids. Dora, who is seven years old, goes on adventures with her friend Botas (a.k.a. Boots) the monkey, with each episode featuring a different mission or journey.
This interactive show has space for viewers to shout their opinions at the screen or sing along with Dora. In the English version, Dora teaches her viewers Spanish and in the Spanish version, she teaches them English. You could start with the English version, especially if you’re watching with children, but the Spanish one is much more useful if you’re really serious about learning español.
The songs are perfect for repetition to aid learning, and there are eight whole seasons available waiting for you if you really get into the program.
You can watch the show on the Spanish Nickelodeon site.
“Pocoyó” follows the adventures of its namesake, a young boy discovering the world around him along with his friends Pato, Elly and Pajaroto. Pocoyó interacts with the narrator (José María del Río in the Spanish version, Adal Ramones in the Latin American version and Stephen Fry in the English version) as he discovers new things in the world.
It’s a great way to learn new vocabulary at the same time as Pocoyó and the cartoon is sweet and easy to watch. The 3D animation is also simple and appealing.
If you love Pocoyó, you can see even more of him by watching his film or by playing his two video games. Watch “Pocoyó” in Spanish on YouTube.
We also happen to have a great “Pocoyó” clip on FluentU.
4. “Mundo Zamba”
“El niño que lo sabe todo” is an Argentinian cartoon character and an adorable superhero. He’s “The Boy Who Knows it All” (or perhaps better translated into superhero format as “Know-it-all Boy”) who swoops in to save the day with well-informed answers to all the difficult questions asked by his friend, Zamba.
Zamba has lot of great questions about democracy, human rights and topics like voting and the history of Latin America. The issues are explained through an appealing, colorful and thorough series of cartoons. There’s a focus on Argentinian history, and an episode about a trip to the Argentinian government house, the Casa Rosada, was nominated for the 2014 Emmy Kids Awards.
Though this series is primarily about delivering history and politics lessons (with a generally progressive-leaning political stance), it’s also easy to understand thanks to the accompanying visuals and clearly-stated questions from Zamba. The characters are also rather endearing and you’ll soon decide on your favorite characters and episodes.
5. “Los Simpson”
Well-known series “The Simpsons” is shown all over the world in various languages. It’s arguably a more adult cartoon, but it’s also family-friendly and generally pleasant for older children to watch. And honestly, we’ve all grown to know and love this classic show from our childhoods onward.
The Spanish or Latin American versions of the series, “Los Simpson” are fun viewing with added language practice. You can watch episodes you already know in Spanish, or choose one you haven’t seen and try to see if you can understand the jokes.
You may have to adjust your ears, however, as it can be strange at first to hear Homer, Marge, Bart and Lisa with different voices. Once you get used it, though, you might find it hard to switch back to the English version. Perhaps you’ll even prefer “Homero” to Homer!
Try comparing the Spanish from Spain and Latin American Spanish versions for an extra challenge.
It’s a bit harder to get a hold of legally uploaded episodes of this one than the previous four shows, but we have some suggestions about where to watch it in our post about learning Spanish with “Los Simpson.”
Now that you have a great selection of Spanish videos for kids, you can boot them up and learn Spanish with these entertaining cartoons.
Sit back, relax and enjoy being a kid for a day.
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn Spanish with real-world videos.