There are so many good reasons to teach your kids Italian; they will have lots of people to talk to since more than 80 million in the world speak Italian, it is a beautiful language to be able to speak. If your kids learn Italian, then that will give you an excellent excuse to visit Italy and enjoy all the wonderful things that Italy has to offer. So with that in mind, we have collected lots of fun and accessible resources that parents can use to help teach their kids Italian.
The Best DVDs and Language Learning Systems to Teach Kids Italian
An easy way to help kids learn a new language is by watching a native speaker in a fun and straightforward manner on a DVD. Here are a few DVDs and DVD based language learning systems that can teach kids a bit of Italian.
- Italian for Kids: Language Box Set (Vol. I) is the Little Pim DVD series that uses immersion and interaction techniques to create to help kids ages 0-5 learn Italian. Each DVD teaches more than 60 new words and phrases arranged in five-minute episodes.
- Early Lingo Italian is a 6 DVD Series that gives children ages six months to 6 years a solid foundation in a second language through an animated and live-action adventure series. The topics include colors and shapes at the park, numbers, and counting at the farm, opposites at the beach, alphabet at school, at the market, and in the city. With approximately 210 minutes of total running time and over 450 words and phrases, the set will give your child a solid foundation in Italian.
- Italian for Kids – Learning Italian for Children is the Dino Lingo’s DVD based learning system that includes CDs, books, posters, and flashcards for children who are learning Italian. It isn’t cheap ($100+), but it is generally very well-reviewed. You can see a preview of it here.
- Italian for Children: Professor Toto Language Education Kit – Italian Version is a complete immersion DVD set that also includes four animated DVDs, two audio CDs, two activity books, and three reference books. You can view a preview of the DVD here. You can buy the DVDs separately or the kit for around $200.
- Ciao Bambolini is a DVD that teaches children the basic language, art, food, culture, and music of Italy. You can watch a short trailer for it here.
- Bilingual Baby: Teach Baby Italian is a DVD for ages 1 to 5 that introduces over 60 words and phrases by completely immersing your child in Italian. The Bilingual Baby DVDs are reality-based, presenting everyday objects that any child can recognize and are a part of their world, such as puppies, toys, and lots of other children
Free Online Games to Help Teach Italian
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 Italian -English games for kids, but here is a couple that we like:
• Purpose Games has a wide range of simple Italian games that are good for kids.
• Digital Dialects has lots of simple games that will help kids learn Italian basics.
Best Italian Apps for Kids
Apps are fantastic resources for helping kids learn a new language, and they are lots of fun as well. Here are a few Italian apps for kids that we recommend:
- Learn Italian by MindSnacks has nine games designed to teach Italian vocabulary and conversation skills. You can download the first lesson for free, and if you like it, you can upgrade to access all 50 classes and 40+ hours of content.
- Learn Italian Baby FlashCards is a free app that has over 450 high-quality images with text and voiceovers. There are additional real sounds where applicable (such as a lion’s roar or an ambulance siren) 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. They can enable Question Mode to display four images and ask the child to click on the right answer. The complexity of words is perfect for ages 1 to 4. Categories include Food items, Animals, Alphabet, Transportation, Numbers, Colors & Shapes, Clothing, Household items, Body Parts, Outdoor items, Music Instruments/Arts & Learning.
Italian Learning Books for Kids
- Lightning-Fast Italian for Kids and Families: Learn Italian, Speak Italian, Teach Kids Italian is a good option for parents who want to teach their kids Italian but don’t speak Italian themselves. This book shows parents ways to incorporate Italian into everyday activities, so children can learn Italian while doing the things that are common at home.
- Let’s Learn Italian Picture Dictionary introduces beginning language learners to more than 1,550 commonly taught essential Italian 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.
- Italian for Children, Third Edition (Book & CDs) is a fun and effective way for your child to learn the Italian language and culture. This program has a full-color illustrated guidebook that features cartoons, characters, and fun facts. It also has two audio CDs that guide your child through the course and teach language through a combination of Italian-language songs, games, and activities as well as and activity book.
Italian Songs for Kids
Mama Lisa has a great list of Italian songs for kids.
If you have any useful resources to help teach kids, Italian, let us know in the comments below.
photo credit: Città di Modena via photopin c