So, you’ve decided to teach your kids Portuguese (superb decision!).
Where do you start in your quest to gather resources?
Teaching your kids a second language is a great idea - many studies have shown that children are more capable of picking up a second language than adults.
In the most scientific explanation I can manage, it’s something to do with their uninhibited brains that makes it easier for them to learn foreign languages.
Portuguese is a terrific language to learn, and an excellent way to introduce your kids to the big wide world. With over 250 million speakers, there’s so much culture in the Portuguese-speaking world that can enrich your kids’ minds and open their eyes to different cultures.
But you’ll no doubt need help if you’re teaching your kids Portuguese, whether it’s from books or audio files or worksheets.
Scouring the internet for resources can be time-consuming and often futile.
Portuguese books for kids
Books are an invaluable teaching resource.
I find the best kids books include a good amount of pictures, as this stimulates long-term memory and supports visual learning.
Here are a few publishers and online bookshops that offer a wide range of children’s books to help you teach your kids Portuguese.
Affiliated with the publishers ABC Multicultural, Tudo! publish a range of children’s books written by various Portuguese-speaking authors from around the world.
Founded by Ana Cristina Gluck, who also writes some of the books, the stories are written using simple and clear Portuguese.
They are intended for kids learning Portuguese, rather than native Portuguese children, so they’re perfect to read to your little ones.
Being a bilingual mother herself, Ana Cristina Gluck founded Tudo! as a way to improve the selection of resources out there for other parents like her.
This means the books they publish are all authentic, appropriate, and ideal for kids learning Portuguese.
Here are some of the best books from Tudo!:
Alfabeto - Ana Cristina Gluck
This is a great book for babies and small children who are just starting to learn their first words.
Research shows that children are able to pick up language sounds (called ‘phonemes’) more quickly the younger they are, and Alfabeto gives children that opportunity to practice Portuguese sounds.
Animais - Ana Cristina Gluck
A book in the same series as Alfabeto, animais teaches kids the names of 50 different animals in Portuguese.
The pictures are a great way to engage your little ones!
Minha família: Uma família americana e brasileira - Ana Cristina Gluck
One of Tudo!‘s bestsellers, this book places a glowing emphasis on diversity and multiculturalism, telling the story of a part-Brazilian family who live in the USA.
Chove lá fora, e agora? - Gisele Sarmento
With short rhyming verses on each colorful page, this book uses simple language to convey an important message - it teaches kids the importance of rain for our planet.
Miúda is a publishing company that specializes in children’s books in Portuguese.
Based in the UK but offering worldwide shipping, Miúda offers a wide range of books for kids that are just beginning to grasp the Portuguese language, and also for children who feel a little more confident in their language.
Each book states online the recommended age, so you can find one that best suits your child!
They publish authentic and engaging stories that go beyond teaching children simple words and phrases.
They also offer books that are translations of English classics, so you can use both the Portuguese and English versions simultaneously when teaching your children.
These are a selection of the best books from Miúda:
5 Minutos de Paz - Jill Murphy
This is a Portuguese translation of Jill Murphy’s English classic Five Minutes’ Peace, and is a great story to read to your children before bed.
A Lhama e o Cisne - Gloria Kirinus
This book has an amusing narrative - the llama and the swan live separately, holding no interest for one another.
But then the illustrator accidentally swaps their names, and they must work together despite their language barriers to reclaim their identities.
With beautiful illustrations, this book is great for reading to your kids!
Daqui Ali - Isabel Minhós Martins & Yara Kono
Packed with wonderfully abstract illustrations and bright colors, this book is perfect for giving your young children a unique sensory experience.
The drawings steal the show, but this doesn’t detract from the quality of the text.
Although it’s simple, it’s still fun and engaging.
Linguacious is a small publishing company that produces high quality books for children learning Portuguese.
While their range of books isn’t as extensive as other publishers, their commitment to providing all the necessary resources is wonderful.
Each book has an accompanying audio file that can be downloaded via their website, so your kids can follow the pictures along with a native speaker’s voice.
The Little Polyglot Adventures series from Linguacious is great for teaching your kids vocab, because the pictures make the story easy to follow - even more so with the audio files!
Aside from books, Linguacious also produces games.
One of their most popular, and most innovative, is their flashcard game, which has received glowing reviews from parents.
Kids adore the flashcards, and there are a number of games you can play with them to help teach your children vocab.
They even come with QR codes, which you can scan to hear correct pronunciation of each word!
Portuguese apps for kids
Aside from books, apps offer a great way to engage your children using modern technology.
Apps use activities, games, and sounds to enhance the learning experience for kids.
Here are the best apps for kids to learn Portuguese.
Dinolingo is the language-learning app for children that comes from the hugely popular adult language-learning app Duolingo.
The fun and interesting range of dinosaur characters that your children can interact with provides that entertainment factor to keep your children engaged and playing along.
Dinolingo offers different activities so your child will always be able to find something they like.
Some children might prefer to learn Portuguese by listening to music, others may prefer to play games.
Dinolingo offers a large number of different types of resources in one app.
The interface is very easy to use, too, so you won’t have to be constantly supervising your kids if you’re a busy parent.
Dinolingo’s self-learning approaches mean kids can actually teach themselves Portuguese and learn at their own pace.
Dinolingo makes screen time educational without taking away the fun!
Droplets is an app that’s designed for older kids, aged 7 and up.
It’s basically the lighter version of Drops, a popular language-learning platform for adults.
The interface is simple and easy to use, meaning your kids can learn Portuguese with ease.
It’s best used to complement an existing knowledge of Portuguese, so it’s a perfect resource for when your children grow out of picture books.
The app allows them to feel more grown-up as well, because it gives your kids the freedom and autonomy to learn a new language by themselves.
Droplets offers a range of activities, such as word games and drawing games, which are fun, interactive, and engaging.
What’s more, there are no ads, and in-app purchases can be restricted.
As parents, you can set a secondary password that’s required whenever your child wants to make an in-app purchase, so you can rest assured knowing that your child’s activity is monitored.
The earlier you can start learning Portuguese, the better, which is why you should teach your kids Portuguese from a young age.
The resources mentioned in this article span a range of ages and categories, so you can find one that works best for your child and your teaching methods.
I find that for younger children and babies, books are the best resource for learning Portuguese. By associating words and stories with pictures, your child can pick up a second language much easier than if they were simply listening to it.
The publishers and online bookshops listed above offer authentic books for affordable prices.
If your kids are slightly older, apps (or online Portuguese courses) can be a great way to keep them engaged in learning a foreign language.
They’re great for consolidating knowledge that your child might already have from reading books, and provide an entertainment factor that keeps children interested.
I wish you all the best in your teaching endeavors and your Portuguese parenting in general!
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