Let’s face it… Your preschooler loves to speak his own language anyway, so why not give him a head start by introducing him to Spanish? His young mind is a sponge of the words around him, and preschoolers can juggle multiple languages much more effortlessly than an older learner. By exposing your child to another language in his early childhood, you can create a successful learning environment, giving him a better chance at retaining it. Present “de colores” or “colors” through a medium he is already familiar with – songs, coloring sheets and games.
As a mom, you treasure those moments of lisping, off-key warbles with your preschooler. Pull out old favorites like nursery rhymes and night time songs, but substitute the traditional words for the Spanish and English colors instead. The catchy rhythm and sounds will stick with her long past her toddler years. Within the rigid structure of a repetitive song, the pronunciations and accents will be easier to remember.
One familiar version of a way to teach Spanish colors is to the tune of “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.”
Red is rojo, Green is verde, Purple; morado, Brown; café,
Yellow; amarillo, Blue; azul, Pink; Rosado, Orange; anaranjado,
Black is negro, White is blanco, Colors; Colores, Colors; Colores.
Another popular approach is to use “Frere Jacques (Are you sleeping?)”
Red is rojo, green is verde
Blue azul, negro black
Yellow amarillo, purple is morado
Grey is gris, brown café.
Download or draw a series of crayon worksheets for your child. While coloring in each one, talk about the color in Spanish. Use the time to slip in some extra Spanish words like lápiz (crayon), papel (paper) and ilustraciones (artwork). When she finishes her collection of drawings, hole punch the sides and slip them into a three-ring folder for her to read again later.
Reinforcement Games: Memory
Use a color matching game or create your own with colored squares of cardboard or index cards. Lay 25 colored cards face down in a five-by-five square and play memory with them. As you and your child turn each one over, practice saying the colors in both Spanish and English. As the game progresses, teach new words like coincide (match), partida (game) and gana (win).
Reinforcement Games: Twister
Pull out the game of Twister and get in some preschool Yoga practice while adding a Spanish twist (pun intended)! When you land on a circle, call out the color. If your child is an early reader, you could make Spanish labels out of colored construction paper to cover the English names of colors. Sneak in some extra words like izquierda (left), derecha (right), mano (hand) and pie (foot).