We're currently raising a bilingual baby girl in Northern Virginia. Aviya's almost 2, and I would say she's mastering Spanish over English (a good thing in my opinion). Still, I'm often shocked at how much English she does know... numbers, animals, colors, letters, etc., and not by my doing! It reminds me of how quickly children pick up language if they are given the opportunity to experience it. In my search to provide Aviya with meaningful Spanish exposure, I've come across and/or been introduced to a few fun things to help her hear Spanish from places other than from her grandpa or me. These are great resources for bilingual and Spanish speaking parents who would like their children to hear Spanish in addition to conversations at home, and most of these are also great to introduce native English speakers to the language. Go through these and see which ones might easily fit into your routine to help promote Spanish language experiences!
Spanish & Bilingual Books:
I started reading with my daughter at just a few weeks old - I could tell she loved it right away, but I didn't like the fact that all of our books were in English when I was trying to teach her Spanish. Amazon.com to the rescue!! There is a wide variety of Spanish and bilingual books on Amazon. Some of her favorites (English), I found in Spanish online, so I Daddy could read 1 version and I could read the other. One of my favorite simple bilingual books is A is for Airplane, A es para Avion. The same picture for English/Spanish helps a little learner connect the dots.
Does your school-age child have access to MyOn.com, RAZ-Kids, or a similar online reading program? (If you're unsure, email the school to find out what's available). Fairfax County parents have a large selection of online library resources, including some online reading programs. If your child has access to any of these, search those for books in Spanish. They are read aloud, so you don't have to do the reading, and your child can still hear Spanish speaking with matching illustrations.
Songs & Videos in Spanish
I have a few baby songs in Spanish up my sleeve, but nursery rhymes, children Christian songs, and teaching songs (1,2,3s, ABCs) I just don't know or can't remember. I'm linking a few of our absolute favorites - but here's a tip: Does your child have a favorite show - Peppa Pig? Caillou? Whatever it may be, simply YouTube search "nameofshow espanol" and you'll likely find videos in Spanish. Now, I highly recommend limiting screen time, especially for babies under 2, but we aren't against Aviya watching a few educational songs/videos or even having some songs on in the background for a little dance party each day!
Tooby's - Aviya's favorite. Animated nursery songs and educational songs in Spanish. Fun, bright, and not too busy with movements. Fun songs like 5 Little Monkeys, Hickory Dickory Dock, ABCs, 123s, Itsy Bitsy Spider, etc., all in Spanish!
Vamos Bebe - A baby experiences new situations like musical instruments, the farm, bath time, etc. Very simplistic without too much movement. Great for vocabulary and concept development.
Disney Latino, Disney Jr. - We don't have cable, but Aviya has seen some episodes in Spanish on YouTube and enjoys them. Here you can play the Disney Jr. games in Spanish.
Library Story Time
There are lots of free story times available at local libraries - check out the calendar of events for your county's library system and type in "Spanish" as the search. Take your little ones to hear stories, do crafts, and sing songs with friends!
We have lots of toys that talk and sing to Aviya in Spanish, but her favorites are the simple ones. She LOVES her Spanish ABC puzzle and has learned her letters quickly because of how often she wants to play. For this one you would need to know the letter names (preferably also letter sounds) and words that go along with these letters (let me know if I can help... maybe I'll upload a video of all letters/sounds/vocab for these soon).