Teaching Spanish during car trips and let’s not leave out…the fun!
Autumn has officially arrived. The fall leaves are turning colors, the air is crisper, and daylight hours are getting shorter. Of course, by now, most of our kids are back at school, and their English language conversation has increased as they get instructions from their teacher and socialize with their friends. We must work a little harder to continue to instill the Spanish language in the homes.
Gone is the summer where days were spent chatting with grandma in Español, or watching a Spanish program. We don’t have time for that! We have schedules to keep up with and homework to take care of daily. Yet, we want our children to speak Spanish. We want them to enjoy the gift of a second language. Regardless of whether parents are native speakers or not, it’s time to instill some tricks to the Spanish bag.
Whether we are zipping to soccer practice, zooming to school, or zipping and zooming to visit relatives in the months ahead, let’s use the car ride to our advantage!
- Play Spanish music. There are many children’s music artists that will delight the young ones, but there are also artists that will excite the older kids and adults alike. Before long, the entire family will be singing along to their favorite Spanish tunes!
- Print out some worksheets, and keep them handy in one’s car. Make sure to carry a pencil and eraser, or crayons in your car. When you arrive early to swim or music class, these will come in handy and keep your child thinking in Spanish.
- Make car rides strictly a “Spanish Speaking Zone”. This works great even if you do not know Spanish. Your child will have fun teaching you something that you don’t know. Your child can pretend play that he is the Spanish teacher, and you are the student. You can discuss colors, numbers, and shapes. The vocabulary is endless.
- Spanish books on tape. Start out with short books that are already familiar to your family. Familiar stories are always a welcome treat for kids. If you also have a copy of the book for your child, let your child read along with the book on tape.
By maximizing our time in the car with our family, we are increasing our children’s auditory, literary and oral understanding of the Spanish language. The added bonus is that through our collaborative teaching and learning of Spanish, we will create wonderful memories that will ultimately provide the gift of a lifetime. Enjoy making your car trips “solamente en Español” (Spanish only).
~By Diana P. a “mamá latina”