When my husband and I had our first son, we made the decision to educate our children in Spanish first. Spanish is my native language, and my husband (even though he was born and raised in the U.S.) didn’t learn English until he was in kindergarten. We speak only Spanish at home and our second grader is in dual language in NEISD (I hope to speak on how that has turned out for us later.), while our three-year-old is in an immersive Spanish daycare.
During our time in these programs, we have gotten to know many American families who want to educate bilingual children. Many of these families don’t speak any Spanish at home, and I always express my admiration and recognition since I know it may not be easy. We all look for resources that help us teach Spanish basics to our preschoolers and kindergarten kids. Luckily, I have found some great YouTube channels that I would like to share with you.
First, let me tell you that one of the most used methods to help children learn, write, and read Spanish, is called “Estrellita” (Little Star), a phonics program that provides children with the tools to decode beginning reading material. Most bilingual and dual language teachers recommend the “Estrellita” program, even though not all are able to use it because of licensing. There are not many free resources about this method, but Simply Bilingual has a video with Spanish letter sounds that serves as an example.
Other YouTube channels that have Spanish learning materials for kids are:
When my oldest son was in kindergarten, one of my friends that is a teacher in Mexico recommended this channel to me, and it has helped my son learn about syllables. El Mono Sílabo is a monkey that loves to learn and has many learning videos, as well as fun songs, stories, and jokes.
This channel has more than 100 songs and stories in Spanish, and it teaches about numbers, letters, and colors. According to Wikipedia, ChuChu TV is an Indian Network of YouTube channels that creates content for children’s edutainment. The English language channel has over 50 million subscribers and is one of the 30 YouTube channels with the most subscribers, while ChuChu TV Español has more than nine million viewers.
CoComelon, the most-viewed YouTube channel in the United States and second most viewed channel in the world as of July 2021, also has a Spanish version: CoComelon en Español. They have lots of videos of traditional nursery rhymes and original children’s songs “en español” and you can also find them on Netflix and Hulu. Their songs can help teach some basic words, like colors, numbers, and even the ABCs in Spanish.
Super Simple Songs is another popular YouTube channel that has a Spanish version: Super Simple Español. I like their video lists, where they have organized their content by topics—from back to school videos to numbers, forms, animals, and holidays.
Last but not least, I also like “Atención Atención,” a YouTube channel that helps kids learn while playing. They have concert recordings, songs, full episodes, and crafts. “Atención Atención” started as a TV program in Puerto Rico and has won 25 Emmy Awards since it was created in 1999.