My younger kids didn’t want to be left out of learning a foreign language, so I was pleased when we were chosen to review the Educator’s Spanish Collection from Whistlefritz. The set is designed for kids 7 and under, but could be used with older kids if they don’t mind kind of cartoony and silly videos.
Teaching Kids Spanish with Whistlefritz
Whistlefritz Spanish videos for kids immerse them in the language. They have puppets, cartoons, characters that soon become familiar to the kids, as well as real kids. My kids really enjoy seeing other kids in videos that they are supposed to be learning from.
The set we received included everything pictured above. Our favorite resource was the DVD/CD set. There are 5 DVDs, each with a run time of about 25-30 minutes long. The DVDs are about Animals, Let’s Play, Inside and Out, The Seasons, and Fritzi’s Party. Fritzi is this adorable little mouse that you get to know through all of the lessons.
Translation guides are available for each DVD by going to the Whistlefritz website and looking at the product page for the individual DVDs. It’s on the right hand side of the page. it includes a huge list of the words in English and Spanish, as well as a translation of the song lyrics.
My kids liked the one about the seasons (Las Estaciones) the best, and I found a clip of it to share with you so you can see what it’s like.
The CDs included in the set has 14-16 songs on it and those are performed by award winning artist Jorge Anaya, as well as children performing with him on some songs. Translation guides are available on the Whistlefritz website on each CD’s product page.
We also received Spanish Matching Cards as part of the set. This one is for ages 3 and up. It has 50 Spanish verb cards and you can play a memory/matching game with them. We didn’t set all of the cards out at once, honestly, because it was a bit overwhelming for my 5 year old, but we did half of the deck at a time and he really enjoyed it!
I like that the illustration on the card helped kids to know what the Spanish word meant. This was good for my 7 year old who can read, as he was able to visually match the Spanish word to its meaning.
Finally, the set included a book of 40 lessons. It’s called Spanish Lesson Plans for Kids and has been designed for pre-k and early elementary students. We used this independently of the videos and matching cards. I worked on the same lesson with my boys 2-3 times a week. Each lesson has an estimated time of 30-40 minutes, but we were able to complete each lesson in a shorter amount of time since we basically stretched it out over 2-3 sessions. I made sure to do a lot of review so the information stuck!
All of the 40 lessons have a description of the lesson, the goal, an objective for students to achieve, a list of any materials you may need, the vocabulary that students will be studying, and the time it should take to complete.
The next part of each lesson lists the Activities to complete with students, include a Focus and Review section where students will learn a little bit and review what they already know. Next is a scripted Teacher Input section that tells you what to say and what to do with the materials.
Each lesson also has a section with Guided Practice, Independent Practice, and Extension Activities. The Extension Activities often included an included worksheet or a suggestion on a Whistlefritz DVD or CD to correspond with that lesson. The lessons also included a Closure, or a closing statement or questions to talk with the students about just to wrap everything up.
If you’re looking for even more lesson plans, they provide MORE free Spanish lesson plans on their website that are different than those provided in their print book.
Each of the parts of the set could be used independently. We listened to the CDs or watched the DVDs on days I couldn’t devote to doing lessons from the lesson books. It immersed my youngest 3 kids into the language and they liked it. My 2 year old even learned a little bit!
The Lesson Plans were very structured. While I can see that they were designed to be used in a real classroom setting, they were simple to adapt to a homeschool setting. The Matching Cards made a fun game and my kids hardly even noticed they were learning.
If you’re serious about immersing your young elementary, preschool, or even toddler children into a foreign language, I think Whistlefritz is worth a look while you do your research into selecting a program! It can be a lot of fun for older students as well, especially if their younger sibling is working on it. The whole family can enjoy it together in a way that seems relaxed and fun for all.
To see what other Crew members thought about Whistlefritz products, including their French program, click the banner below.