Spanish games and apps for children learning language.

Spanish song for up and down

This is fun and effective song for teaching Spanish to children.  The tune and the actions make it fun. The actions and the association of related words make it a great learning tool. There is enough repetition that kids quickly learn the chorus and also enough variety to make the song interesting.  Arriba, abajo is by Los pimpollos.  Los pimpollos is an educational TV program from Peru and the word pimpollo, which is literally the bud of a flower, means “pretty child.” There is an official YouTube channel where you can hear lots of educational songs by Los pimpollos.

When children sing they produce correct Spanish structures.  They internalize the correct syntax and grammar of the language. For example, as they sing the song Arriba, abajo they learn, at a deep level, that the verb estar is used for location, that the articles el and la agree with different nouns, and that the posessive adjectives, like tu and tus, agree with the nouns that follow.

Singing is also a wonderful way for children to hear and learn correct pronunciation. In addition to the vowel sounds and proper stress patterns of Spanish, Arriba, abajo has lots of repetition of the rr sound, the double or rolled r. Although many children, and many adults learning Spanish, have to practice to produce this sound, it is important that they hear it and recognize it from the beginning.  Repeat the word arriba and emphasize the rr.  Encourage children to listen for the sound.  (Remember that any initial r – an r beginning a word – is pronounced as a double r, although it is written as a single r. If you are teaching colors, the words rojo and rosado provide great examples of the rr sound.)

To make the most of this song, do actions that reflect the meaning of the Spanish words you are singing.  It is easy to do because the words are so concrete.

Arriba – look up
Abajo – look down
El sol está arriba – make a circle above your head and look up
El mar está abajo – make a wave motion with your hands and look down
Las aves que vuelan arriba – make your hands into flying birds over your head and look up
La hormiga camina abajo – make your fingers into a walking ant and look down
El techo está arriba – draw a roof shape with your hands over your head and look up
El suelo está abajo – rub the ground with your feet and look down
Tu cabeza arriba – put your hands on your head
Tus pies abajo – touch your toes

Click here to listen to Arriba y abajo. These are the words to the song and a translation.

Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
vamos a jugar. / let’s play.
Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
y te va a gustar. / and you will like it.
Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
vamos a aprender a donde están. / let’s learn where they are.
(2x)

El sol está arriba, arriba. / The sun is up, up
El mar está abajo, abajo. / The sea is down, down.
Las aves que vuelan…arriba. / The birds that fly… up
La hormiga camina abajo. / The ant walks down.

Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
vamos a jugar. / let’s play.
Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
y te va a gustar. / and you will like it.
Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
vamos a aprender a donde están. / let’s learn where they are.
(2x)

El techo está arriba, arriba / The roof is up, up
y el suelo está abajo, abajo, / The ground is down, down. (There is a misprint in the words on the screen for this line. The verb that they sing is está, as it is written here.)
tu cabeza arriba,arriba / Your head…up, up.
tus pies abajo, abajo. / Your feet…down, down.

Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
vamos a jugar. / let’s play.
Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
y te va a gustar. / and you will like it.
Arriba y abajo, / Up and down,
vamos a aprender a donde están. / let’s learn where they are.


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