If you have a little kid in your home, you're likely well-stocked with crayons, markers, and paint. As it turns out, you can put those art supplies to good, educational use with free printable educational downloads that teach Spanish through coloring pages. What better way is there to teach a kid something than by having them do an activity they already love?
There are a lot of advantages to learning a foreign language in general, but especially so for young children. In an email to Romper, Howie Berman, MA, CAE, executive director of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL), says, "research shows that children who grow up learning two, three, [or] more languages oftentimes demonstrate strengthened cognition and academic performance in other subject areas." Additionally, he says, "introducing language learning to children at a young age helps develop problem-solving skills, improved verbal and spatial abilities, confidence, cultural understanding, and empathy." Richard Peterson, chief academic officer emeritus for early childhood education at Kiddie Academy agrees, saying, "From a social and emotional aspect, children who learn a second language tend to display more empathy toward others and are especially more receptive to other cultures and experiences."
While all of these facts and data are motivating for caregivers, anyone who has lived with a preschooler knows they have short attention spans for the things they love, so trying to sit them down to formally teach them another language can be difficult. "Teaching young children another language should be engaging and fun," says Berman. So your best bet is to introduce the new language through activities they already enjoy, like games, music, and art. If they're really into coloring, there are plenty of free printable coloring sheets that teach the basics of Spanish available to you, like these from Canticos (the #1 bilingual preschool brand, which helps get children kindergarten ready in two languages).
These tools are a great place to start, but to get kids to really retain what they're learning, Berman notes the lessons should actually "use the language." He says, "Proficiency doesn’t come from singing a few songs together, but the exposure to the language over time will ensure progress." So the more you can bring the lessons to life, the easier it will be for your child to take them in.
Romper is thrilled to partner with Canticos, the #1 preschool bilingual learning system helping children become kindergarten ready in two languages with books, games, puzzles, videos, and an award-winning app, to bring you this article. Visit Canticosworld.com to learn more.