¿Hablas Español? Do you speak Spanish? Teach your kids these simple phrases to get them started learning a new language. Spanish is fairly easy to learn, fun to speak and adds to the skill set of your young global citizen.
Speak Like Cervantes
Everyday Spanish for kids is useful in a nation where more than 37 million people claim Spanish as a first language. Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the U.S. and Hispanic people are one of the fastest-growing U.S. demographics. Teach your kids some language basics by using things like beginning Spanish worksheets and this article on easy Spanish words and phrases for kids.
Spanish Courtesies and Conversation Phrases for Kids
Keep it short and sweet for good retention and polite, practical conversation with kids. Teach related phrases in groups that are simpler to remember than random remarks. Once a phrase or two is mastered, make it your default for an activity like having supper or tucking el angelito (elle ang/hay/LEE/toh), the little angel, in at night. Add these fast phrases to your family or classroom conversations:
- Por favor…de nada. (POR fah/VOR…day NAH/da) Please…thank you.
- Ven acá…siéntate. (BEHN ah/CA…see/EN/tah/tay) Come here…sit down.
- ¿Dónde estás? (DON/day ess/TAHSS) Where are you?
- Dime otra vez. (DEE/may OH/trah VASE) Tell me again.
- ¿Tienes hambre? (tee/EN/ez AHM/bray) Are you hungry?
- Es hora de comer. (ess OR/ah day koh/MARE) It's time to eat.
- ¿Quieres más? (kee/AIR/ess MAHS) Do you want more?
- Disculpa…con permiso. (diss/KOOL/pah…kohn pear/MEE/soh) Sorry…excuse me.
- Me gusta…me encanta. (may GOOSE/tah…may eng/KAHN/tah) I like it…I love it.
- Me toca…te toca. (may TOE/kah…tay TOE/kah) It's my turn…it's your turn.
- Lo siento. (law/SEEan/toe) I'm sorry.
- Cierra la puerta. (see/EH/rrah lah poo/ER/tah) Close the door.
Spanish Phrases to Use at Home
Adding a few basic Spanish phrases for kids to learn in home routines is an easy way to practice and master common phrases. Start by using the Spanish phrase directly followed by the English translation. Once your child understands what the Spanish phrase means, use only that version every day.
- Te amo. (tay AH/moh) I love you.
- Te quiero. (tay KEE/air/OH) I love you.
- Dame un abrazo. (DAH/may oon ah/BRASS/oh) Give me a hug.
- Hora de irnos. (OH/rah day EAR/nos) It's time to go.
- Vístete. (BEES/teh/teh) Get dressed.
- Cepíllate los dientes. (Say/PEE/yatch/eh laws Dee/EHN/tehs) Brush your teeth.
- Recoge tus juguetes. (Ray/CO/heh twos who/GET/ehs) Clean up your toys.
- Hora de dormir. (Oh/RAH day Door/MEEHR) It's time for bed.
- Leámos un poco. (Lay/AH/moss oon PAW/coh). Let's read a little.
- Buenos días. (Boo/EH/nos DEE/ass) Good morning.
- Que sueñes con los angelitos. (kay SWAY/nyez kohn lohss ang/hay/LEE/tohss) Sweet dreams.
- Buenas noches. (Boo/EH/nahs NO/chess) Good night.
Spanish Phrases to Use Around Town
Whether you're headed to the grocery store or on a family vacation, these Spanish phrases for travelers are great to use when you're on the go.
- ¿Cuánto cuesta? (KOOH/ant/toe KOOH/ehs/tah) How much does it cost?
- ¿Dónde está? (DON/day ehs/TAH) Where is it?
- ¿Dónde está el baño? (DON/day ehs/TAH elle BAH/nyo) Where is the bathroom?
- ¿Me puedes ayudar? (Meh pooh/EH/days ah/you/DAHR) Can you help me?
- ¡Que tengas un buen día! (Kay TEN/gas oon BOO/ehn DEE/ah) Have a nice day.
- ¿Qué pasa? (Kay PAH/sah) What's going on?
- ¿Ya llegamos? (Yah YE/gah/moss) Are we there yet?
Safety Phrases in Spanish for Kids
Parents, teachers, and caregivers use these safety phrases a lot to protect the kids they love. Add them to your school safety lessons or when you practice safety procedures at home.
- Ten cuidado. (TEN kooh/ee/DAH/do) Be careful.
- Toma mi mano. (TOM/ah mee MAN/oh) Take my hand.
- ¡Cuidado! (kooh/ee/DAH/do) Watch out!
- Pon atención. (Pawn ah/ten/see/ON) Pay attention.
- No corras. (NOH Kohr/rass) Don't run!
- Está caliente. (Ehs/TAH Ka/lee/EHN/teh) That's hot!
- ¡No toques! (NOH Toe/kehs) Don't touch that!
- ¿Te ayudo? (Teh ah/YOU/doe) Do you need help?
- ¿Me ayudas? (Meh ah/YOU/dahs) Could you help me?
Fun Spanish Phrases for Kids to Learn
Learning Spanish should be fun for kids. Add these exaggerated sayings to your lessons to make them more exciting.
- ¡Buen trabajo! (BOO/ehn Trah/BAH/hoe) Great job!
- ¡Bien hecho! (BEE/ehn EH/choh) Well done!
- ¡Guácala! (WAH/kah/lah) That's gross!
- No quiero. (NOH key/EH/roh) I don't want to!
- ¡Qué simpático! (Kay seem/PAH/tee/koh) You're funny!
- ¡Hazlo de nuevo! (ASS/loh day noo/EH/voh ) Do it again!
- ¿Otra vez? (OH/trah VEHS) One more?
- ¡No es justo! (NOH ehs WHO's/toe) It's not fair!
- ¡No fui yo! (NOH fuh/EE jaw) It wasn't me!
- El que se fué a Sevilla, perdió su silla. (Elle kay say fuh/EH ah Say/VEE/yah, per/dee/OH sew SEE/yah) Move your feet, lose your seat!
Sesame Street and Sésamo
A good way to increase exposure to Spanish words for kindergarten-aged children is through their favorite shows. Sesame Street for Spanish-speaking audiences is called Sésamo. A child who is encouraged might pick up some fluency if they watch enough multilingual Muppet antics. You can find Sesame Street videos that welcome you to bilingual fiestas with me encanta tenerte aquí (may eng/KAHN/tah tay/NARE/tay ah KEE), a phrase that means "I love having you here."
Not Your Average Telenovela
Dora the Explorer captivated the toddler-to-kindy set with her predictable adventures, the perennially pilfering Swiper and the sprinkling of Spanish that spices up the show. Though this show ended production in 2019, you can still stream it through services like Amazon Prime or Youtube. Dora makes Spanish part of the problem-solving fun. Your child won't become fluent, but she might be able to recite her colors and a few key action words en Español, in Spanish.
- ¡Subida!…¡Arriba! (soo/BEE/dah...ah/REE/bah) Climb!…Up!
- ¡Vamonos!… ¡Espera! (VAH/moh/nohss...ess/PAY/rah) Let's go!…Wait!
- ¡Tengo una idea! (TENG/oh OOH/nah ee/DAY/ah) I have an idea!
An Adorable Spanish-Speaking Pirate
Another Hispanic character to help your kindergartener learn Spanish is Santiago of the Seas. Your child will go on wild ocean adventures with this little pirate and his friends as they speak in both English and Spanish dialogue for an immersive experience. You can watch episodes for free from Nick Jr. to give your child a viewing experience they'll love while they become more familiar with basic Spanish words and phrases.
Cartoons for Young Linguists
Muzzy, El Grande is a well-known children's language program developed by the BBC to reach kids on their level with a wickedly fantastical fairytale about a benevolent monster who eats clocks and helps save the day in the Kingdom of Gondolandia. It works on a grown-up level, too! Find a sample online or borrow it from your library for equal parts laughs and language learning. Follow the story to learn variations in verbs and identify possessions.
- Casual: ¡Hola! Soy [nombre]; (OH/lah! Soy…); Hi! I'm [your name].
- Formal: ¿Cómo están ustedes? (KOH/moh ess/TAHN ooh/STAY/dess) How are you? (plural)
- Tú eres valiente. (too AIR/ess BAH/lee/YEN/tay) You are brave. (singular, familiar)
- Ella es hermosa. (Eh/yah ess air/MOH/ssah) She is beautiful. (singular, third person)
- Tengo un mapa. (TEN/goh oon MAH/pah) I have a map.
- Me gustan las hamburguesas.* (may GOO/stan lahss AHM/boor/GAY/sahss) I like hamburgers.
Sólo el Principio - Only the Beginning
Nailing a few Spanish phrases is only the beginning of a true journey into the language. Make it fun and the words will stick as proficiency and interest grow. Singing songs, repeating rhymes, playing games, reading books, using free Spanish lessons for kids and watching age-specific shows are all good ways to introduce the sounds and syntax of Spanish to a little linguist. By 2060, predictions are that nearly 129 million Americans will speak Spanish, making this the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world. Get a jump on the future with un poco de Español, a little bit of Spanish, today.