Navidad is around the corner, what do you get your young child, niece, nephew or granddaughter? Surprisingly finding toys for young kids that truly teach them Spanish or about their Latino culture, while being fun, are hard to find. Yes, there are Ipads and Iphones with tons of games and apps, but I'm a little old school and believe that kids will eventually end up with electronics anyway, so I prefer that (for now) we limit the Ipad and Iphone to emergencies. Much to my disappointment at this year's Toy Fair and Play Fair the amount of new toys in Spanish were limited and honestly boring, though we had a blast!
So I've searched the biggest online & retail stores and have done the work for you and created a holiday toy list for you that will help you teach your kids Español or Connect with the Latino culture.
*All items are based on my own personal experience and my daughter's play habits, therefore I do not profit from any suggested items.
Bilingual Building Blocks
Recommended Ages: 2+
Available on Amazon.
Great for kids as young as 18 months. My daughter has similar building blocks and we now do letter or figure recognition games. As she grows older we can start word building. It's a classic game that will teach them spacial awareness, improves fine motor skills, enhances logical thinking capability, provides mental stimulation and teaches kids cause and effect. A winner in my book!
Melissa & Doug Spanish Alphabet Sound Puzzle (27 pcs)
Recommended Ages: 3+Toddlers and preschoolers love puzzles. They are great for fine motor skills, gross motor skills, memory, shape recognition, problem solving, and even setting small goals. We have the regular ABC version from Melissa and Doug but now they have one with sound in Español, which is definitely a great one to have. The only downfall of these puzzles is that they don't come in a box so the pieces are very easy to lose, especially with little ones around the house. We keep them in labeled ziplock bags.
VTech Count and Learn Bilingual Turtle
Recommended Ages: 2-5 Years
Available on AmazonI found this turtle, very similar to a toy that my daughter has (which I bought in Mexico), that teaches counting. For me it's the car ride toy. It keeps my daughter entertained for 20-30 minute drives and stays in the back seat. It's important for kids to listen to Spanish on a daily basis if you want them to be bilingual. This certainly helps.
LinguaciousAward-Winning AROUND THE HOME SPANISH Flashcard Game with Audio
Recommended Ages: 2+
Available on Amazon.Flashcards are great but BORING! I stumbled upon these flashcards and see the potential to replace my current ones because these contain a QR code on the back of the flashcard where you can scan and listen to the pronunciation on your phone. It's great if your Español is not that great or as an entertainment element that will make an otherwise boring flashcard much more exciting. Plus they have over 30 suggested games. Not bad.
Disney Pixar Coco Spanish Edition Remember Me Game
Recommended Ages: 4+
Available at Toys R Us.
If you haven't taken your child to see Coco, I strongly recommend it. It's a movie about family, tradition, and love. One of my fondest memories growing up was playing Monopoly every Friday or Saturday night and staying till past midnight, watching my dad cheat his way to victory. Family game night is a great way to stay Connected with your familia, it's also a great family bonding experience. I love this Loteria game, it's similar to Bingo and Toys R Us has created a Spanish edition, woohoo! A great opportunity to get the entire familia playing. Watch out for the cheaters!
First Act Disney Pixar Coco Acoustic Guitar
Recommended Ages: 7+
Available at Toys R Us.
Music is huge in our household. My husband is a professional musician so there is always live music playing. I had my first keyboard when I was 7 and my first guitar when I was 8 or 9 years old (that was my papi's guitar) both of which I still have. Studies have shown that learning an instrument improves memory capacity, refines time management and organizational skills, boosts team skills, teaches perseverance, enhances coordination, betters mathematical ability, improves reading and comprehension skills, and exposes you to cultural history. Wow! This beginner guitar from Coco will get your child started and it is quite beautiful as well.
Disney Elena of Avalor A Day to Remember
Recommended Ages: 3+
Available at Target.
I love the fact that Disney finally has a Latina princess, although I'm not sure they like her being called that. My daughter loves Elena, dressed up as her for Halloween, and loves that she can play the guitar and handle a sword! I have a number of items on the Christmas gift list including an "Elena," which in my 2 year old's mind is a doll. While the doll is reflective of general Hispanic culture, I wish that Disney would do a more aggressive push in creating toys in Español! This particular doll is nice as it ties back to "Day of the Dead," o Dia de los Muertos/Difuntos.
Josefina™ Doll & Book
Recommended Ages: 8+
Available at American Girl.
For the older girl, because this one will be a splurge, is Josefina, one of the American Girl Dolls. It's important for little girls to see dolls reflective of the world we live in, with all skin colors, shapes, and sizes. I remember one of the first dolls my parents gave me was a black baby doll with a blue jumper and tight curly hair. I loved that doll and remember how much I loved her. I want my daughter to grow up the same.
Baby Alive Sweet Tears Baby (Brunette)
Recommended Ages: 3+
Available on Amazon
My daughter loves Doc McStuffins and when I saw this doll I thought it would be a perfect addition to her Doctor kit that she is getting. This doll cries real tears and has 35 phrases in English or Spanish. She works with her accessories. It's a great doll to teach nurturing.
Voice & Sound Talking Cash Register
Recommended Ages 4+
Available on Young Explorers
My daughter and I have recently adopted the "grocery store game." About twice a week she'll pull out her cash register (not this one, this one is way cooler) and I'll be the sales associate, she's the one with the money! She'll walk in with her "helper" dog, load up on groceries, and I'll ring her up, bag her groceries, and we do a money exchange. She loves it! It's great pretend play, she learns about foods en Español, and we count in Spanish too. This one includes alot of pieces and is Tri-lingual (English, Spanish, & French). Also great for boys.
If you have bilingual or Spanish games or toys or that celebrate the Latino culture that you would like to share with other mamás, please leave a message in the comments. Finding good bilingual or Spanish toys is not easy and who has the time to spend countless hours looking for a good toy? If you have any recommendations we will appreciate them!
Want more ideas for bilingual Spanish toys? Check out our previous posts:
If you are a parent interested in raising a bilingual Spanish child connected to their roots see how I can help you with more resources.