If you are looking for ways to expose kids to Spanish during the summer, websites with Spanish audio are an excellent resource. There are sites at all levels with a wide variety of activities. I will mention eight of my favorite sources of online Spanish audio, but be sure to check out the online activities category for more ideas.
These are sites with a significant quantity of online Spanish audio. They have a variety of activities. I have tried to list the websites roughly in order of increasing difficulty. The first sites have material that is appropriate for beginners and the last sites I mention are appropriate for native Spanish speakers, but have enough support for Spanish language learners too. Each site has a large amount of material at different levels, so be sure to look around and see what might work for your child.
1. Kokone Mínimo – Since I wrote this post, this site has been taken down. There is a related site for school age kids called simply Kokone, but it does not have much audio. The link will take you to activities about Mexico.
2. OnlineFreeSpanish – This site has a wide range of materials at different levels. There is lots of vocabulary and it is supported by images. There is also pronunciation help on many of the activities. Be sure to check out the mini-books for language in context. Also, many of the activities are printable. You can read more about specific activities in these posts: Spanish syllable activities from OnlineFreeSpanish – Perfect for Beginning Readers and
Game from OnlineFreeSpanish teaches pronunciation, letter sounds and vocabulary
3. Salsa – These 42 video Spanish lessons are designed for kindergarten through third grade. They are made by Georgia Public Broadcasting and there is a PDF with the transcript and an activity for each video. You can find more information in this post: Free Spanish Videos from Georgia Public Broadcasting – Salsa
4. StoryPlace: La biblioteca digital de niños. This marvelous site is from the Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County in North Carolina. It includes La biblioteca pre-escolar and La biblioteca infantil and has lots of online stories and activities with excellent Spanish audio. You will also find story-related activities to do at home – a great way to extend language learning. You can find a detailed description of one of the many games in this post: Online activity teaches gustar and animals in Spanish
5. Mi mundo en palabras - This is wonderful interactive site designed to teach children Spanish. It is intended for children who can read and write, but many of the activities can be used by younger children with the help of an adult. Read this post for a detailed description and a list of the content of the different lessons: Mi mundo en palabras – Free Site Teaches Children Spanish.
6. ManualidadesconNiños – This is the Spanish companion site to SimpleKidsCrafts. There are hundreds of short videos of simple crafts with excellent Spanish audio. The video exactly supports what is being said so that kids can watch and understand the Spanish. Then doing the craft, you can use the language you heard. If you have a child who likes crafts, this is an amazing language learning resource. Hands on is the best way to learn Spanish! For a detailed description of how to use one of the videos, see this post: A Craft Activty to Practice Spanish – Make a Butterfly
7. Discovery Kids (Discovery Networks International) and Discovery Familia (Discovery US Hispanic) – Both of these sites have videos, games and printable activities in Spanish. Lots of the videos and games are excellent for Spanish language learners. There is a lot to see, so take your time and look around.
8. Cody’s Cuentos – The site is down at the moment. I will check back – hopefully it will be up again soon.
This site has audio podcasts of stories in Spanish. There are three levels and at the beginning level, there are rhymes, songs and very short stories. However, there is no visual support for the stories, so even the short selections are challenging for beginning Spanish language learners. Many of the stories are traditional fairy tales and those are a good choice for kids learning the language. A familiar storyline will help them understand unfamiliar words. The transcripts are online, so kids can read along.
These are just a few of many resources with online Spanish audio. During the next few weeks I will be suggesting other websites and other Spanish activities to use with kids during the summer. Be sure to check back to discover other ways to keep kids hearing and learning Spanish.