Bilingual Kids

How to Raise a Child Who Loves Spanish

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When it comes to getting my boys to love speaking Spanish, three things have made all the difference.

1. Consistency.

Choose a time and place for Spanish and stick to it. Like, for us, breakfast is always in Spanish. When you have a time and a place for Spanish, you start to build a habit for your kids and it’s less of a struggle to get them to practice.

2. Make it fun.

Spanish shouldn’t feel like a chore, instead, it should be something your kids look forward to. I’ve found that the best way to do this by playing games. When my kids were toddlers, they loved “Veo “Veo,” which is just like “I Spy” but in Spanish. Now, we love playing “Adivina el Animal” where one of us thinks of an animal and the rest of the family has to ask “Yes” or “No” Spanish questions to guess what it is.

3. Set a goal and offer a prize.

Talk with your kiddo about what the goal should be. Here are a few ideas, depending on their Spanish level:

  • No English during dinner
  • Learn 10 new Spanish words a week
  • Only watch TV in Spanish

Then, offer them a prize if they can keep it up for a month. In our house, the prize is always Legos (so many Legos!), but it could be anything — like a favorite meal or some special family time.  Make a chart where you can track their progress.

Hope these tips were helpful! Good luck!

Ailen is the Managing Editor at ParentsTogether. She lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two spirited boys.