Top 20 Important Words that any Child Should Learn in Spanish

Alexis Fishbaugh, Kids’ Club Spanish School, Spain
1 October 2019
¡Hola! ¿Cómo estás? ¿Cómo te llamas?

With only few words and phrases your child will easily make a lot of new friends. Yes, you must have noticed that kids make friends quickly. Many times they do not even need language to do it, however knowing some phrases will definitely help the task. But why learn Spanish for kids?

There is no need to remind you that Spanish is a language widely spoken around the world.

It is quite easy to learn and gives your child endless opportunities for the future. There are other more crucial reasons that should be revealed. Our children are born into an intercultural and interconnected world, which means that from their birth they should be able to interact with people from different nationalities and understand their cultural context. We call this being a “Well Rounded Individual”, which will help them enormously in their future to understand the world we live in and to interact in society in a useful way allowing for responsibility, resilience, and resourcefulness.

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If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

– Nelson Mandela

Learning Spanish for kids may help your child break the ice when there is a new pupil joining the class, whose native language is Spanish. Just imagine, a new Hispanic child comes to school with the feeling of insecurity and loneliness. He or she is probably longing to hear just a few Spanish words that will make him or her feel at home in this foreign place. Luckily, your child knows how to communicate in Spanish at a basic level. With just a couple of phrases the new pupil will feel included in the new class and will make his first friend. Won’t that make you feel proud of your child?

“Learning Spanish at a young

age broadens horizons in

daily interactions with others”

Hence, even though English is considered an international language, learning Spanish for kids broadens their horizons in daily interactions with others. At the basic level you and your child can simply learn some useful words by watching cartoons and picking up some phrases from other people on the streets. Later, however, a detailed learning for kids program should be chosen for a more systematic approach in learning the new language. Nevertheless, let us start from the very beginning…
“Language comes first. It’s not that language grows out of consciousness, if you haven’t got language, you can’t be conscious.”
– Alan Moore
To help the situation described above become a possible reality, here are the top 20 important words and phrases that any child should know in Spanish.

Hola = Hello / Adiós = Goodbye

Let’s start from greetings. Acquiring a new language often begins with simple, obvious words. An “Hola” or “Adiós” will be a great start and will help your child to greet the new student, their hispanic teacher, or your neighbor in Spanish.

Sí = Yes / No = No

Also, a way to agree or disagree is very important. These words are simple, one syllable words that will not sound to foreign to your child.

Por favor = Please / Gracias = Thank you

All kids should learn how to say “please” and “thank you” since these words reinforce good manners. It’s easy to find ways to use these basic Spanish words in everyday situations.

Mucho gusto or Encantado = Nice to meet you

To be able to play with children from Hispanic origin, your child should first learn how to greet them properly. Sometimes the simple “hello” is not enough, so to extend the greeting and make it more polite use the phrases above.

Buen provecho = Enjoy your meal

Usually said by parents at a meal. At this time your child will be able to wish it to all the participants at the table.

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Bienvenido = Welcome

In the same way that a “Welcome” sign makes you feel invited, the Spanish word “Bienvenidos” has the same meaning and can be used at the children’s party or at the playground.

Lo siento = I’m sorry

Children can sometimes make a mistake. Knowing how to apologize is very useful when children play together and can be a fun way to avoid hurt feelings.

¿Cómo estás? = How are you?

“How are you?” is one of the most important phrases in every language because by asking that question you make another person feel that you care. The general answer to that could be – Estoy bien = I’m fine.

¿Cómo te llamas? / Yo me llamo = What is your name? / My name is

Each friendship begins with learning the name of another person. With this phrase, your child will be able to gain more connections and extend his friend list.

Me Gusta = I like / No me Gusta = I don’t like

These two Spanish phrases are extremely useful when it comes to learning Spanish vocabulary for kids. Me gusta(n) ___, literally means “___ is pleasing to me,” but in English it’s translated as, “I like”.

¿Quieres jugar? = Do you want to play?

This simple phrase will help your child meet new friends and experience new activities. Children do not waste much time on formalities so with this phrase they can jump right to the point, in order to get down to the important stuff.

Un amigo = A friend

A good friend is as almost as important as a family member. This word will be very useful in many occasions, especially at school.

¿Cuántos años tienes? = How old are you?

The age does not matter as long as both kids have fun playing. Nevertheless, one of the first questions kids usually ask each other is regarding their age.

La escuela = School

You know that place you love and hate, where you make friends, have new experiences and learn something new every day? It all happens in school or “la escuela”.

These might be just a few words and phrases, but it is only the beginning. Once your child is aware of how much fun learning Spanish for kids can be just by learning short phrases in Spanish and actually using them in daily life, they will want to learn more.  They will have the chance every day, for example when they meet a new friend, walk on the street, eat new food, or play a new game… every activity is a learning opportunity. With a little encouragement they will surprise you by learning this new language quicker than you expected. As Spanish has simple grammar and a melodic sound you can learn these 20 words with your child in no time.

If you notice that your child becomes interested in learning new words and phrases, think of further opportunities for them to advance their language level. For instance, you can give a try to Kids’ Club Spanish School, where we offer opportunities for kids to learn Spanish in a fun, dynamic way with many different teachers from various Spanish speaking countries across the globe.

Sign up for Kids’ Club Spanish School and check out how quickly your child learns “Español”!

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