Holiday Books and Movies for the Season

We love the holidays. It's such a great time for holiday time with family. And it's a perfect time for enjoying Spanish language activities with your Dual Kid. There are games to play, songs to learn, and cultural celebrations to attend. Of course, there are also books to read and movies to watch - here are a few to consider.

One tip first: even if you don't know Spanish yourself, it is really powerful to let your child read aloud to you in Spanish. Encourage them to stop and translate as he reads, which can really help them build up understanding vs. just going thru the motions. Take advantage of Google Translate when they get stuck -- just know that it's not 100% accurate, so if something doesn't make sense try to use the context and images to fill in the blanks.

Also, ask your local library or used book store might have a Spanish language children’s book section with a wealth of titles to choose. And Netflix definitely has a trove of children’s programming with Spanish audio dubbing or subtitles.

Who doesn’t remember the story of The Gingerbread Man? “Run, run, as fast as you can! You can’t catch me! I’m the Gingerbread Man!” This delightful children’s tale is retold in Spanish in El Hombrecito de Mazapan. You can find it on Amazon.

Que monton de Tamales! is a fun modern holiday story. Maria’s mom always makes tamales on Christmas Eve. This year, Maria helps – and accidentally loses her mom’s ring in the dough! What will happen next? There’s only one way to find out.

Christmas for Kids/La Navidad Para Ninos is a Kindle offering that presents the original English version side-by-side with the Spanish translation. This illustrated classic will introduce your kids to Christmas traditions around the world.

This is a list of Spanish-language books, but I couldn’t leave this one out. Nine Days to Christmas: A Story of Mexico has really fun cultural references for 6 – 10 year old readers. Follow Ceci as she counts down the days to Las Posadas.

Movies are another fun way for your Dual Kid to be exposed to Spanish. Here are some American Christmas movies that either have subtitles or are dubbed in Spanish. Be sure to check out our guide for watching movies in Spanish before you sit down to enjoy.

For the youngest of kids, try Disney's Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmas. It's an anthology approach to the Christmas spirit by featuring the whole gang in three short features. It's on Netflix with Spanish audio and subtitles.

One for those a bit older (say 6-8) is Santa Buddies gives us everything a kid wants in a Christmas movie: Santa Claus! Puppies! Magic! Danger! When Puppy Paws, son of Santa’s top dog Santa Paws, runs away, chaos ensues at the North Pole. It’s up to Puppy Paws and his new friends to save Christmas! Find it on Netflix with Spanish audio and subtitles.

And finally, a fun movie for the older kiddos (8+) is The Princess Switch. A Netflix original that offers both Spanish audio and subtitles. Try watching this one with Spanish audio and English subtitles to give everyone in the family a chance to enjoy together while being exposed to Spanish. It's about a baker who discovered her twin during Christmas and fun ensues!

You may notice all our movie choices are from Netflix. Unfortunately, we didn't have as much luck with good family holiday movies on Amazon Prime. But if you find some, please let me know!

Enjoy the holiday with your kiddos!