¿Habla Español?: Spanish Classes for Kids

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Your LinkedIn profile may say that you’re bilingual thanks to those two-years of high school German that you took at least a decade ago, but let’s protect our kids from the tragedies of having to pad their resumes a little longer, shall we? Being bilingual is cool – there’s no doubt about it – and for kids, learning a new language is second nature. But, we can’t all rely on Dora the Explorer to teach our kids Spanish – those cute little catchy phrases will only get them so far – so thankfully, there are some excelente places for kids in Seattle to take Spanish classes. Classes are booking now for new sessions – and we’ve even including where you can get a margarita nearby while they are working on their verb agreements!

Polly-Glot Tots
A Red Tricycle reader favorite for language classes per our Totally Awesome Awards of 2011, Polly-Glot Tots offers Spanish class sessions regularly throughout the year, with locations in both Seattle and the Eastside, making it easy to find one that won’t make you feel like you’re driving all the way to the Mexican border for class. The classes are all taught by native-Spanish speaking instructors and are immersion-style learning, which means your niños are going to be talking circles around you in no time. Polly-Glots also hosts weekly language story times for all ages and there is always free coffee (um, hello!).

Ages: Beginning at one-year old, through school-aged kids

Location: Various locations around Seattle, depending on the session. Past class locations include the North Kirkland Community Center, Twirl Café on Queen Anne and the Phinney Neighborhood Center

Online: Check out class sessions, locations and register online at pollyglottots.com

Margarita Hot Spot: If your kiddo is taking classes at Twirl on Queen Anne, pop next door to Mezcaleria Oaxaca (2123 Queen Anne Avenue North, Seattle) for a traditional margarita or sangria. In Phinney, the “Mommy Margarita,” as it’s been dubbed by mamas in the neighborhood, can be found for just $3 at Pecado Beuno (4307 Fremont Avenue North, Seattle).

Seattle Languages International
For older kids who are looking to move into Spanish classes that are a bit more intensive, check out what Seattle Languages International has to offer! The sessions are designed for both beginners and intermediate students and have more of a classroom feel, rather than a play time feel, which older kids will enjoy. But despite the older age group, these classes are still a ton of fun and at 2-3 hours per session, it won’t be long before your kids are telling you that they don’t want to clean up their room in Spanish… maybe it’s better that way?

Ages: Group class sessions begin at age eight. Private sessions available for younger children and families.

Location: Right behind University Village in Union Bay Plaza (4530 Union Bay Place Northeast, Suite 210, Seattle)

Online: Read more about class offerings and schedules at seattlelanguages.com

Margarita Hot Spot: With University Village just a hop, skip and jump away, pop over to Sonrisa Modern Mex – they have awesome happy hour specials. Sit in the bar, where the bartenders will happily whip you a “mommy needs a break” margarita, made exactly how you like it.

Sponge School
We have some serious amor for Sponge School’s language classes (Don’t criticize our Spanish sentence structure, please! Only two-years of high school Spanish, remember?). Sponge is such a special place to teach your kids a love of Spanish and new languages in general – the instructors are passionate about teaching languages, kind, and just plain fun too! Plus, there is a variety of classes to choose from at Sponge, including sessions that include caregivers for the youngest learners and sessions that are a bit more structured for the school-aged crowd.

Ages: Sponge offers classes for children as young as newborns!

Location: Three locations available in Seattle (3107 South Day Street), Bellevue (13219 Northeast 20th Street) and at The Nest in Woodinville (17530 132nd Ave NE Suite B)

Online: Visit their website for detailed information about classes, view schedules and registration at spongeschool.com

Margarita Hot Spot: In Seattle, they are located in the Mt. Baker area, making the patio at BluWater Bistro in Leschi (102 Lakeside Avenue, Seattle) a quick spot to fuel up while your kiddos are in class. At their new location in The Nest, siblings of students in the Sponge classes can take advantage of the “stay and play” program.

Zoom Language Center
Between their classes, private tutoring sessions and preschool, Zoom Language Center is focused 100 percent on immersing your kids in the world of speaking Spanish. Zoom is all Spanish, all the time (although, you don’t have to fill out your registration forms in Spanish – whew!) and they have an engaging curriculum that keeps kids begging to come back. All classes and sessions are age appropriate and as children get older, the class sessions get longer, digging them deeper into becoming bilingual. But be warned – you’re going to need to learn some Spanish yourself to figure out exactly what your kiddo is requesting for breakfast! We suggest downloading a translating app – STAT!

 Ages: Classes begin at 12-months-old and continue through age 10

Location: Between Ballard and Phinney Ridge at 1116 Northwest 54th Street, Seattle

Online: Check out both preschool and class offerings and complete registration forms online at zoomlanguage.com

Margarita Hot Spot: Not that you’ll want to leave Zoom, but we insist you make a run into nearby Ballard for a yummy margarita at Señor Moose Café (5242 Leary Avenue Northwest, Seattle). Just don’t forget to leave time to fight Ballard Bridge traffic on your way back to class for pick up!

Are your kids bilingual or are they currently enrolled in a language school? Let us know below!

— Katie Kavulla

Photo via the Facebook pages of Polly-Glots, Zoom Language Center and Sponge School.