This post is in partnership with Nick Jr. but all opinions and wording is my own.
To be honest, I don’t speak Spanish very well. I can understand it, though when I have to respond my Spanish is pretty broken. If you didn’t know, my entire family is from Costa Rica and both my mom and dad speak fluent Spanish. My grandparents, aunts, uncles and the majority of my cousins all speak Spanish. I’ve grown up listening to my family speak Spanish. In fact, one of my most favorite childhood memories is resting my head on my grandma’s lap and falling asleep to her speak Spanish with my mom and grandpa. I used to do that at the end of every family party or gathering. Even today when we visit her in Costa Rica I like to relax next to her while she is deep in conversation with other members of our family. She is so passionate about nearly everything so when she speaks Spanish it sounds beautiful and on fire almost. I’m sure you are all thinking, if your whole family speaks Spanish then why don’t you? Why didn’t your parents teach you? Truly, I’ve asked the same questions growing up.
My parents divorced when I was just two years old. Both my mom and my dad went on to marry other people. My step mom doesn’t speak Spanish and my step dad at the time didn’t either. So in both my households growing up we didn’t speak Spanish on a daily basis. Even though my mom and dad spoke Spanish they didn’t with their spouses. My grandparents only talked to me in Spanish which is why I can understand it well. I just was never taught really how to speak it. Which I don’t blame anyone for, it just happened that way. When I got to high school I took Spanish all through out and my Spanish definitely got better. I lost a bit of it though when I went to college. After graduating college, I moved to Costa Rica and enrolled in a Spanish immersion program and in three months I could speak OK Spanish. Since moving back home to California I lost a lot of the skill I developed simply because I wasn’t using it often. Anyways, that is a little history on why I don’t speak fluent Spanish even though I am fully Latina! I’m working on it though and I’m already looking forward to our next trip to Costa Rica next February to speak Spanish with my grandparents.
When Nick Jr. reached out about working with them in promoting Canticos, their bilingual classic nursery rhymes and educational music videos, a light bulb went off! We currently speak only English with our daughter Mila. Though when we visit my mom she speaks Spanish to Mila. And this year we took Mila to Costa Rica for two weeks where my grandparents spoke only Spanish to us and Mila. Other than that Mila only knows English. I thought using Canticos on Nick Jr. would be a GREAT way to work Spanish learning into our daily routine! I think it is a great time to learn, Mila is just two years old and picks up things quick. After watching Canticos on the free Nick Jr. app Mila can already tell you the Spanish words for big, small, night, morning and a few animals!
Photos by Lily Ro Photography
Canticos pairs classic nursery rhymes from all over the Spanish-speaking world with adorable animal characters to create educational music videos. Mila can learn simple vocabulary words, numbers, the days of the week and a ton more in Spanish and English. We have worked in a little Canticos play into our daily routine and it has become something that we all look forward to. (Also my husband has learned a few new Spanish words too! ;) I think Mila looks forward to using Canticos on the Nick Jr. app because they share authentic and relevant stories for little ones. The Canticos songs ignite creative thinking in Mila through storytelling and the power of play. Which is why Mila is catching on to the Spanish words so quickly! Because it is simply fun!
I thought this partnership with Canticos on Nick Jr. was the perfect partnership for us. Especially because of my own background and relationship with Spanish. This has fully inspired me to begin teaching Mila Spanish little by little. That way in the future Mila will hopefully be bilingual. I’ll be sharing her progress so keep an eye out!
What a fun way to end Hispanic Heritage month! By learning about Canticos on Nick Jr. and implanting their bilingual learning into our daily routine. I love that this partnership has opened my eyes about my own Spanish speaking skills and helping daughter learn Spanish early on. If you are interested in Canticos bilingual nursery rhymes and music videos check out our current favorite one below!
You can watch Canticos videos on the free Nick Jr. app or on Nick Jr.’s YouTube channel!