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Archive for the ‘music’ tag

January 21st, 2014 at 5:01 am

Music Videos in Spanish for Children

babypianoI’ve taught my bilingual kids all of the children’s songs in Spanish you’ll find below and they love singing them. I remembered the lyrics for most of them, but for the ones I didn’t, I turned to YouTube. Not only so that I could be reminded of the simple lyrics of  my own childhood, but also because of the cute videos that you can find for each song.

These allowed my kids to watch something fun while learning several songs in Spanish. I’ve included the lyrics for each song, but you can click on the name of each song to watch the video. Also, keep in mind that some times, the lyrics may differ a little because there are different versions of the same song.

Un elefante se balanceaba:

Un elefante se balanceaba
sobre la tela de una araña,
como veía que resistía
fue a llamar a otro elefante.

Dos elefantes se balanceaban…

Arroz con leche:

Arroz con leche
Me quiero casar
Con una viudita
de la capital

Que sepa coser
Que sepa planchar
Que sepa abrir la puerta
Para ir a jugar.

Vaca lechera:

Tengo una vaca lechera,
no es una vaca cualquiera,
me da leche condensada,
ay! que vaca tan salada,
Tolón, tolón
Tolón, tolón

Pin pon:

Pin Pon es un muñeco
muy guapo y de cartón,
se lava su carita
con agua y con jabón

Se desenreda el pelo
con peine de marfil,
y aunque se da estirones
no llora ni hace así

Pin Pon dame la mano
con un fuerte apretón,
que quiero ser tu amigo
Pin Pon Pin Pon Pin Pon

Image credit: San Mateo County Library

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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November 19th, 2013 at 9:33 am

Music To Match Your Mood

Media-songza-iconDo you listen to tunes when you’re working, surfing, or socializing online? iTunes? Pandora? Streaming your favorite radio station? Great tunes can help get you motivated and enrich your time online, but sometimes you need to mix it up a little. If so, I’ve found a few sites that you might want to try.

If you’re looking for some variation in your musical diet, try Pick a playlist by mood or music style, or even by decade and sit back and let the music concierge play you some great tunes. You might choose a playlist of old favorites that make you smile and sing along, hear new indie artists, or listen to film scores or showtunes. Need a holiday music fix? Some Hawaiian tunes? There are playlists for them.

Other times, you might just want some atmospheric background sounds that don’t distract you. For that try The sounds of rain, birds, or running water can help take the edge off and allow you to focus on your work. If I can’t be on the beach, the sound of the sea is a nice alternative.

Are you a walker or runner? Don’t you just love it when the perfect song comes on that keeps you motivated? TempoRun is a $3 app that will look at your music library and sort the songs into categories that match your walk/run speed. Choose your speed and the app plays the tunes that match that tempo so you can concentrate on your workout without having to skip past the slow love songs while you’re in a full out sprint.

Need some help brushing your teeth? Try BrushDJ, an app that plays a song from your library for exactly two minutes so you can be sure that you’re brushing your teeth for the recommended length of time. I’m not sure I need to bring an app along when I brush, but this one can help your little ones learn healthy dental habits.

Happy listening!

You can also find Paula on LinkedInFacebook and Twitter @techsmart319. Feel free to reach out if you have questions.

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October 1st, 2013 at 5:01 am

4 Activities to Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month with your Kids

We’re half-way through Hispanic Heritage Month, which means you still have some time left to do some fun activities while you teach your kids about the culture of the more than 50 million Latinos in the United States.

1) Learn a new song in Spanish: Ideally, you’ll choose a simple children’s song that is easy to learn because of its repetitiveness and length. For some ideas, visit Mama Lisa’s World of Children and International Culture, where you can choose songs by country and you even get an audio file of each of them.

2) Make a traditional Hispanic dish: Latin American food is so varied that there’s something for everyone. Maybe you can do taco night and teach your kids a bit about Mexico or you can make a dessert like flan and talk to your kids about where the recipe came from. In my house, it’d be Puerto Rico, but many Latin American countries make this delicious dessert.

3) Make a cultural craft: From piñatas to maracas, there are many arts & crafts you can do to teach your kids about the Latino culture. You can choose to do a few that are representative of a different country in Latin America and that way you can also teach them a bit about where they came from.

4) Go online: There are several websites that have lots of information related to Hispanic Heritage Month, including activities, games and history, which are an excellent resource for you to share with your kids. Check out

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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September 3rd, 2013 at 5:01 am

5 Traditional Children’s Songs in Spanish

Music is an excellent way of teaching children a second language. Whether you’re raising bilingual kids or you’re interested in them learning a few words in Spanish, here are some traditional songs most children are taught in Spanish-speaking households.

For those of you not familiar with the lyrics or how the song goes, I’ve included the link to the YouTube video so you can watch it together with your kids.

1) Los pollitos dicen

Los pollitos dicen
pío, pío, pío
cuando tienen hambre
cuando tienen frío.

La gallina busca
el maíz y el trigo
les da la comida
y les da abrigo.

Bajo sus dos alas
se están quietecitos.
Hasta el otro día
duermen los pollitos.

2) Pinpón

Pinpón es un muñeco
de trapo y de cartón
Se lava la carita,
con agua y con jabón
Se desenreda el pelo
con peine de marfil
Y aunque se dé tirones
no llora ni hace así “buh”.

Pinpón dame la mano,
te quiero saludar
Hoy quiero ser tu amigo
Pinpón, Pinpón, Pinpón.

3) Arroz con leche

Arroz con leche
Me quiero casar
Con una señorita
De Portugal
Que sepa coser,
Que sepa bordar,
Que sepa abrir la puerta
Para jugar.
Con ésta sí,
Con ésta no,
Con esta señorita
Me caso yo.

4) La gallina turuleca

La gallina turuleca,
ha puesto un huevo,
ha puesto dos,
ha puesto tres.
La gallina turuleca,
ha puesto cuatro,
ha puesto cinco,
ha puesto seis.
La gallina turuleca,
ha puesto siete,
ha puesto ocho,
ha puesto nueve.
¿Dónde está esa gallinita?
Déjala, la pobrecita,
déjala que ponga diez.

5) Aserrín, aserrán

Aserrín, aserrán,
Los maderos de San Juan
Piden pan,
No les dan
Piden queso,
Menos eso,
Piden vino si les dan,
Se marean y se van.

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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February 13th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Hobbies to Get Into


Kids are a full-time job and it’s hard to find time for yourself, but when you do… what do you do with it?  Anytime is a good time to start a hobby… have you always dreamed of being a photographer? Do you love to knit? Are you into jewelry? The best part about hobbies is trying out different ones and finding what you really love. Here are some hobbies you might want to consider:


As children, most of us are introduced to music at school and sometimes at home, but we don’t always continue as we get older. Is there an instrument you’ve always wanted to learn? For me, it’s the guitar. There are tons of online video tutorials and tip sheets for teaching yourself how to play, and many music stores offer deals on gently used instruments. You can also check out where you can take lessons locally. The great thing about learning an instrument is that you can go at your own pace.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve got TONS of pictures, birthday cards, ticket stubs, and other tangible memories lying around the house with no purpose. Why not make these special items into scrapbooks that can be enjoyed by friends, family, vistors and YOU for years to come? Instead of putting your family vacation photos into a boring album, spice it up by creating a scrapbook and including your plane tickets, a few shells from the beach, etc. Local craft stores offer lots of cute scrapbook stickers, embellishments, patterned paper and more. This website is great for beginners… Scrapbooking 101.


You don’t have to be a professional to take or edit pictures. Most of us own a camera or a cell phone that takes pictures, and there are numerous free online photo-editing programs. Start out by learning about your device… the special features, how to use different settings, etc. Then get out there and experiment! Take pictures of everything… your kids, your pets, nature, your house, friends, family, anything! Try artistic angles, colors, lighting and props. Check out online tutorials for both photography and photo editing. You’ll be surprised at how creative and artistic you can be!


If you love jewelry and accessories, try making your own. Your local craft store should have a variety of materials, including different bead and metal types. You’ll need a set of the basic tools and materials, and then you can explore online for tutorials, projects, etc. Many websites offer beginner jewelry projects that are sort of like “recipes” and will give you all the information you need to know from start to finish. Not only can you show off your beautiful pieces but they make great, personalized gifts! Try this beginners jewelry-making site.

Do you have any hobbies? What would you LOVE to get into?

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January 22nd, 2013 at 5:01 am

Help Your Bilingual Children Expand Their Vocabulary

Enriching your bilingual children’s vocabulary is important for a variety of reasons. For starters, it will allow them to read and more complicated books. A wide vocabulary will also help them express themselves orally and verbally using a variety of words that more accurately describe what they’re trying to say.

Here are some fun ways to help enrich your bilingual kids’ vocabulary:

Storytime. If they’re not in preschool yet, storytimes are an excellent place to spend some time with your kids. Many libraries now offer bilingual/Spanish storytimes. These are always fun and I always appreciated the variety of topics that were covered in the books read because they introduced my kids to a lot of new vocabulary words.

Music. The repetitiveness of music is a great way for kids to memorize new words. Not to mention that they have a ton of fun listening and dancing to the music. The best part about this is that it doesn’t have to be only children’s music. There are a lot of great pop options that provide wonderful opportunities for your little ones to learn new words in Spanish.

Introduce new words. Try not to use the same simple words every single time. For example, think of the many words you can say big (gigantic, enormous, large) and start using them in your every day conversation. Make sure once you introduce a new word, you use it constantly.

Dictionaries. There are many options in terms of children’s dictionaries and they’re a lot of fun. Buy a couple and teach your children how to use them from the get go. As they get older, if they come across a word they don’t understand, remind them it’s a great idea to look it up in a dictionary.


Photo by Tim Pierce -

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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January 9th, 2013 at 5:00 am

Make-Your-Own Instruments for Kids


Music is a fun tool for teaching kids rhythm, sound recognition, and other developmental skills. From a very early age, children are exposed to music both at home and in school… some women even like to play music for their unborn babies.

Most baby toys play songs and make sounds to soothe or entertain young children. You don’t have to buy expensive instruments to introduce your kids to music, you can help them make their own! Here are some simple DIY instruments you and your children can make together…then have them put on a concert for you to show off their skills!

For Baby:

Not surprisingly, cookware makes the perfect instrument for babies just learning motor skills. Grab some pots, pans and a wooden spoon and let them have at it! They’ll be making beautiful music before you know it (just make sure to supervise!).  Rattles act as baby maracas… there’s a reason the rattle is one of the most traditional toys for babies. Maybe your kids are budding percussionists!

For Older Kids:


Straw Pan Flute


Tin Can Drums

Check out this amazing video about a group of musicians who create beautiful music from instruments made of recycled materials. How incredible is that?!



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January 8th, 2013 at 5:01 am

A bilingual family’s New Year’s resolutions

It’s been six and a half years since I started raising bilingual children. I’m very happy with the results so far as my 6 1/2-year-old daughter is fluent in both English and Spanish and my 3-year-old son is well on his way. But there are some things I definitely want to change and since it’s the beginning of the year, I figured what better time to do so. I guess you could consider these my bilingual family’s New Year resolutions.

The first thing I want to change has to do with reading — one of the best ways to expose kids to the minority language. My daughter is an avid reader and can read in both languages better than I ever expected her to do so at her age. So I’m not worried about her.

The one I’m really concerned about is my boy. I hate having to admit that if I’ve read him half the books I read his sister by the time she was 3, I might be exaggerating. Life is so different when you have more than one child and it seems like by bedtime there’s never enough time to read. That’s why as of yesterday, I’ve started to read to him during the day. Way before bedtime. That way we’re not rushed and I can read him more than just one book.

The second thing I’m doing is going back to only allowing my kids to play apps in Spanish whenever I let them use my iPad or iPhone. I was pretty lax during the holidays and I let them play on these devices a lot more than usual. I’m cutting down on total use and so I’ve erased most of the apps that are not in Spanish.

Finally, I want to make sure I’m exposing them to as much music in Spanish as possible. My kids LOVE music and they both have CD players in their rooms, but most of their music is in English. Nothing wrong with that. I just plan on adding more Spanish options to the mix.

What are your family’s New Year’s resolutions?

Photo credit: dbrekke

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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December 11th, 2012 at 5:01 am

Latin music choices to celebrate the Holidays

My preschool son has his Christmas show on Friday, so for a few weeks now we’ve been hearing him sing a bunch of holiday songs, including “Joy to the World,” “Santa Claus is coming to town” and “Jingle Bells.” His oldest sister has taught him a few others ones too. While I love all this music, I noticed that they weren’t singing in Spanish at all, so I went through our CD collection as well as the awesome service provided by Pandora and, of course, YouTube, and I re-introduced them to some holiday music in Spanish this past weekend.

If you’d like to expose your kids to Christmas music from other countries, maybe you’ll enjoy going through the following list I’ve put together:

1) Navidad Tropical on Pandora — This station plays a lot of typical Christmas music from the Caribbean, i.e. Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Cuba. Ever since I recently discovered, it has become our favorite!

2) Villancicos de Navidad on YouTube — Villancicos, which are pretty much the Latino equivalent of Christmas carols, remind me so much of my own childhood back home in Peru! YouTube has tons of them and you can find them just by using the keyword Villancicos.

3) Música Navideña para todos on Amazon — This 3 CD set includes a little bit of everything and all the songs are sung by a children’s choir. Beautiful!

4) Así es nuestra Navidad on Amazon — This is a MUST by Puerto Rican music legends Gilberto Santa Rosa and El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico. I’m a bit biased because my husband is from the island, but the truth is that Puerto Ricans really go all out when it comes to Christmas music.

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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October 26th, 2012 at 5:00 am

Some More Halloween Fun with Songs

There doesn’t go a day in our house that isn’t filled with some sort of singing, whether it be jamming out to a song on the radio or singing fun songs from preschool; we LOVE it! Halloween is a great time to sing fun songs about the holiday. Take some of these fun tunes and use the Halloween words that are included. I promise you hours of family fun! In addition to these songs have a Dance Party complete with The Monster Mash, Ghostbusters or even Thriller.


(like the Bear Hunt poem)

We’re going on a monster hunt
We’re going to find a big one!
We’re not scared, but…

What if he’s under the bed?

Better go over it.

Squoosh,squoosh, squoosh.

What is he’s in the closet?

Better close it.

Slam, slam,slam.
What if he’s behind the curtains?

Better open them.

Swish,swish, swish.
What if he’s in the hallway?

Better tiptoe down it.

What if he’s in the garage?

Better stomp through it.

Stomp,stomp, stomp.

Aahh! It’s a monster!
What’s that you said?
You’re big, but you’re friendly, and you want to go to bed?

Now we’re not afraid of monsters, so..
Stomp through the garage,
Walk through the hallway,
Close the curtains,
Open the closet,
Jump into bed,
And turn out the lights!. Click!

~ Author Unknown


(tune: She’ll Be Coming ‘Round the Mountain)

Verse 1
If you’re a monster and you know it, grunt and groan…etc.
Verse 2
If you’re a monster and you know it, stomp your feet…etc.
Verse 3
If you’re a monster and you know it, make a face…etc.
Verse 4
If you’re a monster and you know it, do all 3.

~ Author Unknown



(Tune: Ten Little Indians)

One little, two little, three little monsters,
Big wild eyes and skin with fuzzy furs.
Climbing on the stairs
When no one knows they’re there.
Heigh-ho, monsters are here.
One little, two little, three little trolls,
Playing in the woods
Where fern and moss grow.
Running through the trees
And having lots of fun.
Heigh-ho, monsters are here.

~ Author Unknown



(Tune: You Are My Sunshine)

You are my monster,
My only monster.
You make me happy,
When I am sad.
You never know dear,
How much I love you.
Please do not take
My monster away.

~ Author Unknown

Jack O Lantern

Tune: I’m a little Teapot

I’m a little Jack o lantern
Fat and Fine
They picked me off a pumpkin vine
Halloween is coming don’t you know
just light my candle and watch me glow


Tune: Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star

Halloween has come at last.
Jack-o-lanterns and black cats.
Funny faces round about.
People laugh and people shout.
The moon shines bright and cats meow.
Meow, meow, meow, meow.

Hope you have endless hours of time signing some of these fun Halloween tunes!

Kim Ross also writes at  A Little Bit of This and That ~ The Adventures of a Stay at Home Mom.

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