German is an excellent language for kids to learn since English is a Germanic language, so some words are similar to English, which can make it one of the more accessible languages for kids to pick up. It is also a good language for kids because it is the most widely spoken first language in the EU and Germany has the fourth most robust economy (based on GDP) in the world, so having some knowledge of German may be a beneficial job skill for your kids later in life.
It might seem like a big undertaking to teach your kids a new language, but there are lots of products available that can help parents. We have found some amazing online videos, DVDs, books, apps, and online games that will help children learn to speak German in a fun way.
The Best German Language Learning Programs and Websites for Kids
- Petra Lingua is an online language course that is designed for children between the ages of 3 and 10 years that uses a multimedia approach of text, audio and video, pictures, and interactive exercises.
- Blinde-kuh is a German search engine that only brings up kid-friendly information.
- Kindernetz has a lot of German videos for kids.
- Lingonetz is an interactive website that helps children from ages 6 to 12 learn the German language.
- Tivi has German TV shows from a German children’s station.
- Chillola is a free foreign language website for children. Kids learn German through games and activities.
- Dino Lingo’s German for Kids is a DVD based learning system that includes CDs, books, posters, and flashcards for children who are learning German. It isn’t cheap ($100+), but it is generally very well-reviewed. You can see a preview of it here.
- Zoom School Picture Dictionary is a useful online resource for helping kids learn German.
- Duolingo is a newer site and app that is a lot of fun to use, especially for kids. The site uses a lot of the same ideas as video games to help kids learn a new language.
The Best DVDs to Teach Kids German
There are a few good DVDs for kids under 5, but not much for older kids. If you are looking for a DVD for an older child who would like to learn German, you could try Watch & Learn German with Professor Toto or German for Kids: Learn German Beginner by Language Tree. The reviews for both DVDs are a little mixed, so we don’t want to recommend them, but check them out to see if they are your kind of thing (they might be available at your local library). The DVDs that are a good option for kids ages 0-5 to help them learn German are:
- Early Lingo Colors and Shapes at The Park DVD (Part 1 German) or a 6-DVD Box Set. If you are looking for a total immersion DVD, Early Lingo is a good choice. This DVD for children ages six months to 6 years has cartoon characters Jojo and Lulu learning all about colors and shapes and words for things found in the park in German. The single episode DVD is around 32 minutes of running time and has over 90 German words and phrases. You can watch a preview for it here.
- German for Kids: Language Box Set (Vol. I) Another decent DVD for the under 5’s is the Little Pim German series. Each episode uses an animated panda bear and real kids and teaches simple words and phrases for everyday activities. This DVD set introduces over 180 words and phrases for daily activities. You can watch a preview of it here.
- Bilingual Baby: Teach Baby German has over 60 words and phrases about everyday objects that children can recognize and are a part of their world, such as puppies, toys, etc.
Free Online Games to Help Teach German
An easy way to expose children to a new language in a fun way is through online games. There isn’t a vast selection of German -English games for kids, but one that is worth checking out is Digital Dialects. It has lots of simple games that will help kids learn German basics.
Best German Apps for Kids
- Kinderapp is an app designed for toddlers to help them learn their first words. This app has a German language option on it, so it would be helpful for very young kids who are just beginning to speak. Kids get to know essential objects from their immediate environment at home, in an interactive and fun way.
- Learn German – Baby FlashCards is a flashcard app for kids ages 1-4. It has over 450 images with text and voiceovers. There are additional real sounds where applicable to enhance visual and auditory learning and memory simultaneously. Parents have the option to turn voiceovers off during parent-child learning sessions and turn voiceovers on when the child is self-learning.
- Learn German by MindSnacks has nine games designed to teach German vocabulary and conversation skills. You can download the first lesson for free, and if you like it, you can upgrade to access all 50 lessons and 40+ hours of content.
- Smart Speller German Learning has 80 pictures in 7 categories (numbers and colors, fruit & veg, vehicles, farm animals, shapes, body parts). The game is played by tapping a moving object and then completing a word puzzle. The word selection features basic and most common words from each category.
- Learn German Kids helps kids learn essential German words in a child-friendly way. There are six categories, including the alphabet, colors, numbers, months, days, and fruits.
German Learning Books for Kids
- Let’s Learn German Picture Dictionary by Marlene Goodman introduces beginning language learners to more than 1,550 commonly taught essential German words displayed in 30 two-page spreads that illustrate the meanings of words. The images focus on scenes familiar to children aged three through eight, such as home life, the classroom, city life, sports, the zoo, etc. This picture Dictionary also includes an index and glossary of all the illustrated words in the book.
- German for Children with Two Audio CDs by Catherine Bruzzone has a full-color illustrated guidebook that features cartoons, characters, and fun facts. It also includes two audio CDs that guide your child through the course and teach language through a combination of German-language songs, games, and activities.
- Lightning-Fast German for Kids and Families by Carolyn Woods is a good option for parents who want to teach their kids German but don’t speak German themselves. This book shows parents ways to incorporate German into everyday activities, so children can learn German while doing the things that are common at home.
- 52 Weeks of Family German Eileen Mc Aree is a book that is similar to Lightning-Fast German for Kids and Families in that it is a family approach to getting kids speaking German. This book has 52 small, weekly lessons that will get you and your family speaking and understanding German right away. All of the weekly activities are integrated into modern family life. Games and fun activities are included to help you with your language learning journey.
Free Online German Lessons for Kids
If you have any fantastic resources that you have used to help your kids learn German, let us know in the comments below!