Why It’s Important to Learn German From a Young Age
There are many reasons for learning German for kids or adults alike. You may be wondering “when is the best time for my kids to start learning German?” There are many benefits to children starting to learn German from an early age.
Firstly, children who learn another language before the age of five engage the same part of their brain that they use to learn their mother tongue. This means they can learn a foreign language more quickly and efficiently when they get an early start. Moreover, children are less afraid of making mistakes than adults, which helps them practice more freely and progress faster. If you are interested you can take a look at our article on how to learn German faster.
Language experts say that kids who learn a foreign language are much more likely to learn a native-like pronunciation than older learners. Kids are constantly mimicking what they hear, so they are able to pick up even subtle differences in sounds that adults struggle with. Starting to teach your kids German early will therefore make the process much easier for them!
Better brain development
A study on bilingualism, reported in Nature, has shown that learning a second language helps children’s brains to develop more, with bilingual children showing a substantially larger density of grey matter. This leads to more developed problem-solving, critical thinking, and listening skills, as well as improved memory, concentration, and ability to multitask.
Better academic achievements
Learning a foreign language can be a great way to help your child achieve more in school. Several reports have shown that children who have studied a foreign language do better at reading, writing, and math, and score higher on standardized tests, including all parts of the SAT.
Greater tolerance and cultural sensitivity
Studies on learning languages have shown that when children are exposed to other languages at an early age, they develop much more positive attitudes to the cultures associated with those languages. Learning foreign languages introduces children to new perspectives that they might not otherwise discover. Moreover, once they are older, they will be able to travel to foreign countries much more easily to discover the world and experience different cultures. Your children might even want to take a trip to Germany or Switzerland to learn German!
As you can see, there are many great reasons to start teaching your children German early! Below, you’ll find a list of some easy ways you can start introducing the German language to your kids in a fun and enjoyable way.
Learn German for Kids Online Through the Best Videos
There are countless online resources for learning German and videos are one of them. They are an excellent way to teach kids German — what child doesn’t love spending time on YouTube? Here are some great suggestions for videos that can teach your kids German.
German Games is a video channel aimed at children under the age of 10, but who can already read. The main objective is to teach kids basic German vocabulary divided into categories, with each word being presented in both written and picture form, together with the pronunciation repeated three times. The same German vocabulary is then used in online games also produced by German Games (read more about them below), so it’s a good warm-up activity before you let your child play some German vocabulary games.
Andrea Thionville’s channel has dozens of videos that teach children German through songs, games, and short stories. Her videos help children acquire both German vocabulary and an understanding of basic grammar by using simple sentences to present language in context. Very young learners who don’t know how to read yet will need assistance from their parents.
Rock N Learn German vocabulary
Rock N Learn makes story-like videos that present new German vocabulary categorized into topics. The videos are quite long, but divided into sections, so you can watch part of a video and pause when the topic changes. These videos are essentially a fun, video-style version of learning through flashcards, with vocabulary being repeated at regular intervals to help children memorize it. They have a video on numbers, colors & more, another one on body parts, family and feelings, and a third on food, activities and animals.
Learn to Speak German for Kids With the Best Games
Children should start learning German with the basics. Getting your kids to learn German will be easy with the use of German games! Here are some suggestions for great games, both online and offline, that can get your child begging to practice their German.
German Games has both a video channel to teach German vocabulary (mentioned in the video section above) and lots of online games to practice the same German words, so they are an excellent resource to help your kids learn German in an organized yet dynamic way. Their games webpage has six types of simple games that can entertain your child while they review German vocabulary. They also have lessons with flashcards, pronunciation tracks, and spelling that you can study with your child before you play the games. The topics range from family and colors to food and time.
Hello World has 20 types of games that are available for a wide range of topics to help teach children German vocabulary and grammar. The topics include numbers, foods, body parts, animals, nouns and pronouns, etc. The games are simple enough for most kids to play alone, but very young children will need help from their parents to read the flashcards.
Charades is a favorite game among both kids and adults, and it is an excellent way to get the whole family together to learn, practice, and review new German vocabulary. Play with simple words written on flashcards along with pictures for young children. Each player takes a card and acts out the word written on it until the other players are able to guess what the word is. If you don’t know German yourself, no worries! Just write down a full list of all the vocabulary on the cards that you can consult to call out words and guess the correct one.
German video games
Did you know video games are a great way for kids to learn German? Just buy the German version of the video game, or check if it has German language settings. Imagine how excited your child will be to learn German this way! Once they reach the more advanced level, you could even get them a game that has an online chat option so they can practice conversation in German.
The Top 3 Best Cartoons and Shows for Kids to Learn German
Cartoons are perhaps one of the most fun resources to teach your kids German. They present vocabulary in context, entertain, and are usually also made to teach children important life lessons at the same time. If your child already has a solid foundation in German, check out these cartoons to help them practice and keep progressing:
Caillou in German
Caillou is an excellent show for young children to start learning German. It has lots of practical dialogues in countless everyday situations and the characters speak clearly and slowly. You can find many Caillou episodes on Youtube — although it’s meant for children, it’s also a great way to learn practical beginner German phrases for adults too!
Educational videos with DieMaus
DieMaus makes dialogue-free cartoon stories about a mouse doing all sorts of creative activities and solving the many problems it runs into. The same channel also makes short educational videos explaining how different things work, with a cartoon element in the videos to keep young learners engaged. They are available to watch on Youtube.
This charming and highly entertaining kids show features a blue bear called Captain Blaubär telling stories to his three bear grandchildren about his funny and crazy adventures. It has over 100 episodes, each under 5 minutes long — perfect for some quick German practice! You can watch “Kaptn Blaubär” on Youtube, Amazon, and iTunes.
The Absolute Best Audiobooks for Kids to Learn German
Audiobooks are an efficient method of learning German, especially nowadays. If you or your children want to take your German learning experience a step further, there are many excellent local language courses in Germany.
The Fable Cottage
The Fable Cottage has a dozen classic children’s stories, from Cinderella to Chicken Little. Two of them are free to try, and the others require a paid membership. The stories include a written text, translation, cute images, a slow audio, and a video of the story — everything you need to keep your child engaged and make learning German both fun and easy!
Amira is a beautifully made website with interactive German games, books, and audiobooks, all complemented by adorable pictures to stimulate children’s interest. It was originally developed for native-speaking German schoolchildren, but it is an excellent resource for kids to learn German too. The audiobook section has 20 fun stories with high quality recordings, but you can also check out the books section which includes audio tracks for all the beautifully designed digital books.
Bookbox German is a Youtube Channel with several dozen enchanting German audiobooks. Because the stories all have high-quality videos depicting the stories, they feel almost like watching a cartoon! The narration is clear, slow, and includes German subtitles.
Help Your Children to Learn German Easily With Songs
If cartoons are too advanced for your child, songs may be a great way to teach your kids German. Here are some of the best German songs for your kids to start learning German.
Learn with me – German ABC songs
This YouTube channel is perfect for young children starting to learn the alphabet and the sounds of each letter. There are 88 songs that present either a single letter and its pronunciation, quizzes, or nursery rhymes.
Sesame Street theme song – Der, Die, Das
One of the best songs to teach your kids German is the Sesame Street song, translated in German to “Der, Die, Das”. The lyrics include easy-to-remember rhymes with incredibly useful words, such as the three German articles (der, die, das) and the question words who, how, what (wer, wie, was). The lyrics of the song encourage children to ask questions when they’re curious or not sure about something — another very useful method for learning German for kids!
This channel is also focused on nursery rhymes and cheerful songs. Many of the songs are originally English, so children may recognize the melodies. This is a great way to introduce German to children in a natural way.
Mama Lisa is an incredibly helpful website with songs to teach kids German. It has dozens of German songs, rhymes, lullabies, and nursery rhymes, with audio available on the website or for download to listen in the car or outside. The songs also feature videos as well as sheet music, so your children can even learn to play the songs themselves!
Want a nearly endless supply of German songs for your child? Just head to Spotify and type “German kids songs”. You’ll find countless playlists and songs you can explore to introduce your kids to the sounds of German and help them start learning in a fun way. If you don’t know where to start, check out 99 Luftballons.
Learn German for Kids and Adults With Global General
All of the above are amazing resources for kids to learn German — but is it enough for kids to learn German through just games, songs, and cartoons? You might know from your own experience that tools like these are excellent ways to complement the study of a language, but they are not structured enough to present the language in an organized and easy-to-digest way.
That’s where Global General comes in. This e-learning method developed by GlobalExam will make sure your children build a strong foundation in German, while still maintaining the same fun and dynamic feeling of learning through videos, games, and songs. Global General is also available in four other languages (English, Spanish, French, and Italian) and can be accessed online from anywhere you like. You can learn any of these languages and assess their difficulty level so that you could compare German to French for instance.
Here is how Global General can help your children learn German:
- Fun flashcards to help you train your child’s memory and study new German words easily;
- Simulations for practicing German in real context, using all four skills: reading, listening, speaking, and writing;
- A “did you know” section with cool tips and fun facts to get your children familiar with German culture;
- 5000 detailed corrections to make sure they’re on the right path;
- Personalised feedback from our dedicated language coaches;
- Validation of the acquired competencies after every 5 simulations to keep them motivated;
- 150 hours of unique content;
- 500 audio tracks.
Here’s Why Global General is the Best Way to learn German
Finding resources to help children learn German may be challenging — you need it to be organized and accurate, but also fun and dynamic. We’re delighted to say with confidence that Global General is all of these things and more! With flashcards, audios, and pictures, our e-learning platform will keep your children’s attention and interest, and the bite-sized lessons will keep them progressing at a steady pace. The real-life simulations and practice will ensure they can apply their knowledge outside of the classroom to communicate for their future career, travels, or simply personal growth.
Sign up for Global General today and discover how easy teaching your kids German can be!