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Play and Learn Spanish (Book + Audio CD)

Play and Learn Spanish (Book + Audio CD)
Author/Publisher: Ana Lomba and Marcela Summerville
Emphasis: spanish for kids Audio CD
List Price: $15.95

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description
Over 50 fun songs, games and everyday activities to get started in Spanish!

From taking a bath to going shopping, books in the Play and Learn Language series turn everyday routines into fun language-learning activities for parents and children.

Packed with lively four-colour illustrations, each package features fun songs, games, and activities, key word illustrations, engaging comic strips, sidebars with fun cultural information and English translations for all activities.

From the Back Cover

The fun, easy, and natural way to get kids started in learning Spanish


Young children have an amazing capacity for picking up new languages, and . every parent is a natural-born language teacher. Now Play and Learn Spanish introduces a unique approach to getting kids started in Spanish that is as fun as it is easy.

. .

Instead of drills and boring grammar exercises, you get loads of fun games, activities, and songs that let you seamlessly integrate the Spanish language into your everyday life. From taking a bath to going shopping, making lunch to driving in the car, Play and Learn Spanish turns daily routines into fun learning adventures for you and your child to enjoy together. No need to set aside extra time in your busy schedule--with this program, you learn as you live. And you�ll be amazed at how quickly you see results.

. .

Play and Learn Spanish is packed with lively color illustrations and features:



  • Songs, games, and activities that make language learning natural and fun.
  • Key-word illustrations to help with the retention of important words and phrases.
  • Whimsical comic strips that put Spanish in a real-world context.
  • Sidebars with fun cultural information about everyday life in Spanish-speaking countries.
  • English translations for all activities.
  • A sixty-minute audio CD containing all of the book's songs, games, and expressions.

. .

With Play and Learn Spanish, it won�t be long before you hear your child say he or she wants to give you un beso muy grande de buenas noches (a big good-night kiss).


Product Details

  • Reading level: Ages 4-8
  • Hardcover: 60 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (November 23, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071441484
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071441483
  • Product Dimensions: 10.5 x 8 x 0.5 inches
  • Average Customer Review:

    4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great Product
Fantastic product, especially if you have had some introductory Spanish language classes in the past. However, it is very useful without any prior education since a beginner can learn the language in a more natural manner (but will need additional materials, such as a dictionary). The songs are a great means for adults to easily acquire new vocabulary, too.

Incidentally, for those reviewers who have written that it is not for a beginner, I do not think that it is possible to create ANY single product that can teach some level of proficiency to a new learner of a foreign language. Take an introductory Spanish class at your local junior college or university - you won't regret it, and you'll be able to teach yourself anything after you know the basics! Until then, this is the best means of truly developing spoken foreign language skills, not simply individual nouns such as "dog", "cat", etc. Additionally, you have the added bonus of the CD so that one knows the correct pronunciation - VERY important.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Excellent resource for families
The authors take listeners through a day's activities in Spanish. With their two very distinct accents (Spain and Argentina), Marcela and Ana entertain children through mealtimes, playtime, and bedtime. They explore language within the context of real-life activities.

As a preschool Spanish instructor, I find this text very useful and often recommend it to parents as an excellent resource. It's great for the car, and appeals to little princesses, pirates, tigers, and children with all kinds of creative energy and linguistic talent. Enjoy!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Great book
My daughter loves this book. She enjoys looking at all the pictures and having me tell her what they are. She is enjoying learning more spanish


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - This Book is Fantastic A++++++ Learning Tool
Spanish is not our native language, but we believe our children need to be bilingual. Last October I bought "Play and Learn Spanish" because I liked that it had every day situations to practice and the came with a CD for pronunciation. After bringing it home and using it, WOW it is INCREDIBLE.

After a week, my children and I were singing the songs - not perfectly, but pretty close. We have now been listening to the CD and reading the book for 3+ months. My five year old daughter and I are having small conversations in Spanish together. I can't tell you how incredibly special this is. We have since purchased "Hop Skip and Sing Spanish, "Goldilocks" and "Little Red Riding Hood". All Ana Lomba's materials are of equal exemplary standards.

I hope she will continue to produce more books and CDs, we will buy them all!

Thank you for creating such incredible tools for the non-speaking Spanish population.

P.S. This is now my signature gift to all my friends who would like to learn Spanish.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - THE BEST!!
WOW. This is an awesome program and an awesome deal.

If you are like me, tired of wasting money on dictionaries, grammar books, travel guides, contrived music programs....

You will not regret buying this. Not only is it inexpensive, and usable for all ages, you will have usable spanish vocabulary immediately.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Practical Phrases For Real Life
I'm using this book to help expose my son to Spanish at a young age. It's full of very useful phrases that you just don't learn in Spanish class in high school or college. I have not listened to the cd much, but hope to get more use of it down the road. I would recommend this book for anyone wanting to learn common phrases that you really can use with your children. It's probably best for someone who has had a few years of Spanish study.


Rating: 1 out of 5 stars - Not for beginners or young children
It's touted as the fun way to get kids started, but it's a book on tape without even signals after each page. The dialogue was too fast and there's no explanation or instruction, just spanish dialogue printed next to English translation. If your child isn't a fluent reader, forget it.
It'd be good for an older child or adult already learning Spanish who wanted to work on pronunication.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - For the daily caregiver
This is an excellent tool but it is not the most useful if you are NOT the basic caregiver of the student. It is set up to wake the child, wash him, have breakfast, get dressed, etc. all done with Spanish songs and expressions, as you would do as the parent in English. But as a teacher, you would have to "act out" these scenarios- if you are not the one who oversees his daily activities. I am teaching my grandsons. It was fun for them to pretend they were waking up or dressing to go outside in the hot/cold weather, but it was not frequently repeated (and therefore reinforced) because I am not part of these routines. Accordingly, this is most useful for a parent who wants to introduce Spanish smoothly into a child's daily life, raising them "as if" bilingual.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - Not what I expected
The "songs" are not really songs. It is more like a book on tape. The students can't sing along. It would be nice to have to read to a child one-on-one, but not for group singing and playing.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great Parent Resource
I already speak Spanish fluently, but if you don't and you want to teach your children how to speak Spanish well, this is a wonderful guide. I teach Spanish to preschoolers and use this book as the 'textbook' that goes home with every child (ages 3-6). There is a CD where the authors speak Spanish so that parents can practice & learn in order to teach. I also highly recommend their philosophy of Easy Immersion. I agree 100% with their approach - it is exactly how I teach my children and students Spanish - by speaking to them in Spanish in lots of different situations (play, meal time, bath time, etc.) There is only one way to learn a language, and that is to USE IT IN REAL LIFE SITUATIONS! A great resource.


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Book and CD
The book is good, it provides basic conversational Spanish. I expected the CD to be different, it is good in the sense that a child that already knows how to read can read the dialog in the book as the CD plays, but for my younger daughters that don't know how to read yet, the CD is not very helpful.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - Play and Learn Spanish
The book is useful for kids only if the parents are very good at Spanish.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Spanish language gold mine!
This book is the best book for helping one pick up the Spanish language. It beats everything, especially the boring textbooks I had in high school Spanish class. Thanks to a year abroad in Barcelona, Spain, I now speak Spanish fluently.

Their method for picking up Spanish is perfect. They call it "easy immersion": "using simple language constructions to describe obvious situations: 'I'm drawing a circle,' you may say while actually drawing a circle" (p. 1). This is how we picked up our first language. There are over 50 pages of Spanish dialogues (with English translations) that model real-life sentences and phrases that parents and children actually exchange. This is real language, not some made up dialogue about a few characters you care nothing about. Their recommendation: "Start with the expressions or vocabulary words that you think will be most appealing to your child and then build by using the expressions in other situations as well" (p. 2). If you added a new phrase/sentence of 3-5 words a week to your repertoire, then in a year you will have picked up over 150 to 250 words. That's pretty good, especially when you consider that about 85% of everyday spoken Spanish is made up of around 1000 words! (That's a research bit from a book by Mark Davies, A Frequency Dictionary of Spanish).

The CD included with the book has over a dozen great songs that kids will enjoy listening to, dancing to and singing with. Also on the CD is all of the Spanish dialogue from the 50+ pages. That is a great asset, because listening to Spanish is the best way to improve one's pronunciation of Spanish, not "listening and repeating." (If you want more info on the best way to learn--actually pick up--a language, read Stephen Krashen's works on second language acquisition.)

Also, a word of caution about picking up a language: we naturally go through a "silent period" when we are first introduced to a language. Children typically don't begin speaking a few words in their native language until 9-12 months old. Your child will begin imitating what you've been saying in Spanish when s/he has internalized it fully and is ready to speak. The only way to speed up a child speaking sooner in Spanish is for her/him to hear more and more Spanish that they understand.

If you only buy one book to help you and/or your child to pick up Spanish, buy THIS book! You will be so glad you did!


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Great Resource for the Bilingual Classroom
I have used Play and Learn Spanish to help my son improve his spanish speaking skills and also to help me teach basic vocabulary to the preschoolers I work with in a dual immersion Spanish/English classroom. The book gives examples of conversation for various stages of the day, including waking up, breakfast, getting dressed, etc. The songs and accompanying cd are also good. I would recommend this to other early childhood teachers and parents who would like to increase their child's spanish vocabulary


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Spain Spanish
No doubt it's noted but was missed by me: Ana & Co. utilize the Spanish of Spain, meaning very different vocabulary and pronunciation (the constant th=theta makes my kids giggle and ask "what's that??") from the words and sounds most of the continent of America is accustomed to.
Ana's voice is wonderful, deep and resonant, but the adult she has pretending to be a child with her on the cd sounds just that, a grown-up faking toddler-speak; which ends up quite annoying for some of us.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - The best book for starting your kids on Spanish
The best way to teach your children Spanish is to speak it to them. And if you don't speak Spanish? Most Spanish books for kids teach individual words, which doesn't get you very far. I have yet to find a book or cd for preschool/elementary children that teaches anything beyond animals, numbers, greetings, colors, days of the week... Adult programs are similarly useless when teaching children. How often do you ask your child, "The plane to Puerto Vallarta leaves at 3pm".

Play and Learn Spanish gives you phrases you can use with your child right now. Phrases about waking up, getting dressed, cleaning up toys, eating a meal. With it you can create mini-immersion episodes in your life where you can use Spanish with your kids, even if you are not a Spanish speaker.

My kids love the cd, especially the songs. The book looks like any other kids' book, but it has a lot of information in it. I think it would be easy to be overwhelmed by all the new phrases and vocabulary. However, taken one section at a time, it is manageable. The book and cd are very well put together as both a practical tool for parents and a lap book for parents and kids to use together. I especially recommend this book for homeschoolers.
I also recommend Hop, Skip, and Sing Spanish. The content is completely different and just as wonderful.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Play and Learn is the single best resource I have purchased
This book and CD has changed the way I think about teaching the Spanish language at home. The language presentation allows you to enter the child's world in the Spanish language in a simple yet meaningful way. By using a natural context within themes that are important and real to the child, the language comes alive. This is not the traditional drill or list method of teaching (which I have found does not work with young children), but rather a way to allow children to acquire the language in a natural way.

My son loves playing and living in Spanish. He is starting to really take off in his langauge production. This is not the type of book you can give or read to a child but rather a book that can become part of your daily routine, play, and life. You must be willing to act, play, and practice with your child, but the rewards are endless. My son now loves to speak Spanish and has gained a confidence that he never had with the language. He especially loves the "Apurate" fire truck song and will often be heard singing "la luna la luna salio' de paseo. . ."

Ana and Marcela's material is based on sound and accurate research yet is fun, interactive, and accessible to parents. I strongly recommend their products to anyone who really wants to engage their child in the Spanish language.

Senora O (Spanish teacher)


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - A gentle introduction
As a non-Spanish speaker (French is my second language), I was looking for a gentle way to introduce Spanish to my 6yo daughter. In many ways, Play and Learn Spanish works for this.

The cd is of excellent quality and the use of amusing songs engages my child. The pronunciation of the verbal tracks are clear, not too fast, but of a reasonable conversational speed.

The various "conversations" that could be used in daily life are useful and we are slowly incorporating them into our practice. There are a few things that I'd like to have scripted - the book includes nothing about pets, though there are things about farm animals. A few other phrases have come up for which we don't have the vocabularly or sentence structures from the book.

However, there are a LOT of useful word constructions, which we could expand upon with the help of an English/Spanish dictionary.

This is not a book if you want to know the "why" behind the language - there are no explanations of verb tenses and forms.

However, it is a gentle introduction to the use of Spanish in an informal home setting, where the practice can be integrated into daily life. This allows for a "natural" immersion into the language, which makes it less stilted and easier to introduce, especially to a child.


Rating: 3 out of 5 stars - its ok
I was disapointed that the CD & the Book don't match up very well. The lessons aren't even in the same order & some of the songs are missing words in the book.

The CD doesn't seem like it was meant to go with the book at all, nor does the CD help with learning words. It would only be benificial if your child knows the majority of the words already.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great for adults too
I'm in the process of adopting a Spanish speaking 2 year old boy. So, I need to learn "are you hungry?" and "where are your shoes" rather than "where is the taxi?" and "here is my passport"

This book and CD are great ! Reading and listening to all the silly stories are fun (and comical if you are a parent).

I'm looking forward to Play and Learn Spanish Part 2



Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Great for interactive learning.
This product mixes learning with songs and games. Learning words to a song is a fast way to learn. It's also a great way for parents to be involved with their children.


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - Great for beginners
I have tried other learn Spanish tapes in the past and gave up early. This one is easy and keeps me motivated. I just pop in the CD and listen on the way to work. I was able to put some of the easy phrases and common words to work on my recent Mexico vacation. I feel confident that if I keep practicing I will do much better on my next trip. The lessons teach grammar by example so the learning is internalized. There is immediate gratification when you find you have completely learned a lesson. My car captive 7 year old son has even learned with me in spite of his complaints "No, not the Spanish Tape!" Jennifer


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars - Good for ages 7 and up...
This is a WONDERFUL reference for my Spanish classes - it gives much more usable phrases than the average children's or school textbook. Being bilingual, but not a native Spanish speaker, I can see a grand difference in what texts say and what people actually say, and this book is right on the money to teach your child what he'll actually hear in a conversation.

I love the full color pages and all the tips along the way. I do think it's a bit overwhelming - each page has so many phrases and new words to use, and not a lot of phonetic spelling for the more timid parent that may not be familiar with pronunciation (but it does come with a CD - I just never have listened to it yet.) *I'm adding this part after a while - we are using the CD now in my classes, and the pronunciation is very clear. I liked it - basically, though, it's vocabulary phrases being acted out - the lady's voice is nice, but her voice is also the child's voice - I actually didn't pick up on it, but my five year old said, "Why is the lady sounding like a kid?" So I still use the CD, but I preface it with, let's listen and see what you can pick up! Rather than pretending that it's an actual mom and child. Still, lots and lots of worth as lessons go!

My children don't care to look at the pages much (they're all under five), and I break the lessons up quite a bit from the way they're presented in the book for the younger classes, when I use this book. However, for my students ages 7 and up, they DO enjoy looking through the book and finding phrases to say and use in daily life. For a younger student, of course I recommend Flip Flop Spanish, which is more set up as a complete curriculum rather than a reference. Elementary aged students, though, I would expect to flourish from using this book with an enthusiastic teacher.
Sra. Gose
Teacher & Author
Flip Flop Spanish: Ages 6-9: Level 1 (Book + Audio CD)
Spanish Fun Activity Calendar


Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - It's one of our favorites!
This is a TERRIFIC cd!

It covers 28 scenarios:

Good morning
Ready for the day
Let's Go Outside
Let's Cook
In the Kitchen
Bath Time
Good Night
Let's Be Firemen
Let's Imagine (pirates, princesses)
In the Car
Playing Sports
Going Places
Let's Go to the Park
Let's go to Fun Places
Let's go to the Museum
Visiting Family
I Don't Feel Well
Happy Birthday
Let's Go to the Beach
In the Spring
In the Summer
In the Fall
In the Winter

In each scenario there's a dialogue between a mother and child using everyday vocabulary. For instance in the dialogue about getting dressed (Ready for the Day):

Time to get dressed!
Let's look in the closet.
Let's see - pants, skirts, shirts, t-shirts...
What do you want to put on?
Do you want the red skirt?
Very good. Put in your arm.
Put in your other arm.
Put in your head. All done!
Wow, how nice you look!

There are about 20+ songs interspersed between the dialogues. There's a really cute one about putting things away that we use often. ;) Also, there are cultural notes, little cartoons, suggestions for teaching your child Spanish and main vocabulary words with illustrations. (English translations only in the book, but not on the cd which I like - except for a brief intro.)

What I really like is that instead of just going over words on their own, with this book, one can learn to put them to use - really using the language.

I'm currently teaching my sons (3,6) Spanish and this is by far one of their favorite cds. I'm looking forward to more Spanish-language materials from Sra. Lomba.


Rating: 2 out of 5 stars - maybe my girl is too young...
My daughter 2 year old listened to other spanish cds and likes her spanish dvd but she didn't like this cd at all.



Rating: 5 out of 5 stars - "Perfecto" for teachers and parents ... Ħbravo!
Well, not only is this a GREAT teaching resource, but Ana's website is also a wealth of information and links for the parent and/or teacher looking for resources to teach preschoolers (and young children) Spanish as a second language. A little over a year ago I started my own program teaching Spanish to young children and this is a main resource I use to plan thematic curriculum. For parents who are concerned about their Spanish skills, the included CD makes it an even better bargain! Gracias por todo! Ana is now focusing on publishing 2nd language materials and resources for children. I can't wait to see what she comes out with next.


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