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Every Kid Deserves the Chance to Learn and Grow

Pair these FREE educator-developed printable activities with your favorite Encantos videos, books, and songs to help your child develop critical reading, writing, math, and social emotional learning skills. Plus, check out our Tips for Grown-ups to help reinforce the teachable moments in each lesson.

Oct 08, 2021 -

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Nursery Rhymes: A Great Tool For Early Literacy

By Nuria Santamaría Wolfe

Nursery rhymes are not only fun little songs to keep your little ones entertained, they’re also great tools to help them learn and grow in their bilingual proficiency!

Nursery rhymes are not only fun little songs to keep your little ones entertained, they’re also great tools to help them learn and grow in their bilingual proficiency!

As they sing, move, and dance, kids are building language, motor, and many more skills.  

As a Latina mom, I know how important it is to ensure that fun activities be also learning opportunities.

It’s for this reason that I love the power of nursery rhymes.

Here are just a few of the benefits of nursery rhymes for baby and toddler development.  

Nursery rhymes can:

  • Develop early literacy skills: Through fun rhymes and catchy bilingual songs, kids learn phonics and vocabulary effortlessly.  Nursery rhymes books can be a child’s first exposure to literacy and provide a rich oral and visual experience.
  • Create connections and build community: For parents, these songs provide an opportunity to connect through music and play. For kids, knowing common songs helps them connect with other kids in preschool, the library, and everywhere they go.  The familiar nature of nursery rhymes connects families across generations and across locations.
  • Build memory capabilities: Repetition is a great way to develop memory capabilities that go beyond the songs and can be applied to any activity.  
  • Improve fine motor skills and coordination: Picture little fingers mimicking a spider climbing up a water spout. Now think of the palm of a child’s hand honking on an imaginary horn going “beep beep beep”. These actions help little ones move their bodies and work on coordination.
  • Provide hours of fun: Whether through songs (try searching YouTube kids music) or books, these children’s songs provide endless entertainment, smiles, giggles, and more! There’s nothing better than that!

So next time you’re singing Wheels On The Bus for the n-teenth time, smile, you’re giving your little one the gift of learning…all through the town!

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Ask a Bilingual Expert

Raising a bilingual child? On this page, our very own Director of Learning Design and Efficacy, Sophia Espinoza, addresses some of the most common questions, concerns, and curiosities around the benefits of bilingualism. Get the scoop below!

Sophia Espinoza is a career educator and curriculum designer with seven years of experience teaching in private and independent schools across the country. She is an expert in 21st-century education, including technologically-powered personalization, multilingual and multicultural curriculums, and social-emotional learning.

Sophia began teaching in Chicago Public Schools through Chicago Teaching Fellows, learning to support both English Language Learners and students with neurodiverse needs. Among her proudest accomplishments is launching the AltSchool Spanish Immersion Program, with the mission of creating bilingual global citizens who are socially conscious and environmentally aware. Sophia holds a B.A. from Northwestern University and M.A.Ed. from Dominican University.

Benefits of Bilingualism (FAQs):

Any advice on managing two Spanish dialects in the household? Does this cause confusion for kids?

What do you recommend if I’m not completely fluent and my child’s school doesn’t have an immersion class?

Do you recommend teaching different subjects in different languages? For example, the solar system in English and the days of the week in Spanish? Or is it better for kids to try to learn in both languages all the time?

We speak Spanish and English in our home but my child almost always answers or talks back in English. How can I go about encouraging her to respond and speak more in Spanish?

Should I set aside time or create activities for each language or is it okay to mix them both together?

Any advice for households where one parent speaks Spanish and the other English? Can this be confusing for children?

How can my child learn language through play?

What are the social and cultural benefits of bilingualism?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?

What are some strategies for raising bilingual children?

What are some common misconceptions about raising bilingual children?

What are some of the cognitive benefits of bilingualism?