These Spanish nursery rhymes can develop your child's literacy skills, putting him one step closer to learning another language.

Priscilla Gragg

Your kid already loves nursery rhymes, but did you know they’re a great early literacy tool? Classic children’s songs are perfect for learning a new language because they use phonics and repetition, says Susie Jaramillo, creator of Canticos, a collection of bilingual books, free apps, and sing-along animated shorts that are now streaming on NickJr.com/canticos. Here, Jaramillo’s favorite Spanish-language rhymes and the bonus lessons they provide.

Los Pollitos

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

Why You Should Try It: This nursery rhyme is especially sweet if your child has a new sibling. “It’s about being a nurturing person and understanding why babies cry,” Jaramillo says. “The pollitos are the babies, and they cry when they’re hungry and when they’re cold, but Mami is always there.”

Elefantitos

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

Why You Should Try It: The song offers a fun way to practice counting, no matter the child’s ability. “So if she’s really young, maybe you count only to five,” Jaramillo suggests. “But if she’s older, you can challenge her to continue the song: ‘Can you do it up to diez elefantes se balanceaban?’”

Pin Pon

“Pin Pon es un muñeco muy guapo y de cartón, se lava la carita con agua y con jabón.”

Why You Should Try It: Pin Pon, the handsome doll, teaches children about personal-care routines: brushing your teeth, washing your face, and combing your hair. And because Pin Pon is made of cardboard, he may even encourage kids to create their own imaginary friend, Jaramillo says.

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