Out here on the West coast, kids who know the way around Hola!, Adios! and Gracias! are stepping out ahead of the pack. Lucky for folks living in the diversity rich area of San Francisco, learning a cool new language is as easy as uno, dos, tres. Blast a little cultural fun into the same old music lesson or art class to get the kids soaking up the Spanish language. It’s the perfect combo, just like beans and rice.

San Francisco

Language in Action
This program now operates two, soon to be three preschools classes in San Francisco and one in Corte Madera. ¡HolaKids! is a full immersion program, every single activity is conducted in Spanish. Not ready to commit to a full time program? The Noe Valley, Laurel Hill and Corte Madera locations offer after-school enrichment classes too.

¡HolaKids! General Office
912 Cole Street #200,
San Francisco, Ca
Phone: 415-310-1335
Online: languageinaction.com

¡HolaKids! Laurel Hill Campus
Phone: 415-828-3923

¡HolaKids! Cow Hollow Campus
Phone: 415-440-1541

¡HolaKids! Corte Madera Campus
Phone: 415-927-1605

3,2,1, Spanish!
This center offers a wide variety of programs, everything from pre-school to afterschool enrichment. If none of the classes work with the families schedule, try out the weekend drop-off childcare program. The kids get a few hours of cultural fun and the parents get some time off.

3,2,1, Spanish! Learning Center
321 Judah Street
San Francisco, Ca
Hours: Mon – Fri: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm, Sat: 9:30 am – 12:30 pm & 3:00 pm – 8:30 pm, Sun: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm
Phone: 650-740-2731
Online: 321spanish.com

Marin County

Spanish Playgroup for Toddlers
Come sing songs, listen to music, engage in creative movement and read books together – all in Spanish! Geared for 2 – 4 year olds, this is a super fun way to meet other families speaking Spanish at home and a chance to expose the kiddo to a second language. No Spanish experience required but adults in attendance are encouraged to dredge up any knowledge and put it to the test.

Did you know? These classes are conducted by fellow moms!

Spanish Playgroup
Fairfax Community Center
16 Park Road
Fairfax, Ca
Date: Thursdays Feb 7th – March 28th
Cost: $10 Drop in or $70 for 8 week session
Time: 4:00 pm – 4:45 pm
Online: fairfaxfocas.com

Spanish Art
Spanish Art is an arts and crafts class for kids age 4 – 9 years taught in Spanish. Kids engage in fun, creative, hands-on cultural projects from drawing cartoons to making puppets and explore the vocabulary of “art” such as self- portrait, accumulation, mosaic, printing and more. Beginners are welcome but head’s up! All activities are directed in Spanish.

Spanish Art
Fairfax Community Center
16 Park Road
Fairfax, Ca
Date: Wed: Feb 6th, 2013 – Mar 27th, 2013
Time: 3:30 am – 4:30 pm,
Cost: $130 for 8 week session (includes all materials and supplies)
Online: fairfaxfocas.com

Music Lingua
This program uses music, movement, storytelling, drama to help youngsters absorb other languages. During each class the teacher, parents and children will sing songs in Spanish followed by hands-on activities. Every 10 week session has a unique theme, like “Life in the Ocean,” and “African Safari.” Kids will totally dig the take-home materials and will be singing along with the customized collections of songs in no time.

Music Lingua
San Rafael Community Center
618 B Street
San Rafael, Ca
Date: Mon, Mar 4th, 2013 – May 13th, 2013
Time: 10:00 am – 11:00 am
Cost: $200 per family (1 parent and up to  2 siblings)
Phone: 415-485-3333
Online: musiclingua.com

South Bay

Let’s Play in Spanish!
Created by a Bay Area resident, Let’s Play in Spanish has brought joy and laughter to thousands of kids. The teachers love to introduce a new language and culture with the help of songs, games and puppets. The mommy and me class is especially popular and an after school drop-in class is a brand new option.

Did you know? There is an early discount price for Summer Camp sign ups.

Campbell Community Center
1 West Campbell Avenue, K-61
Campbell, Ca
Phone: 408-370-3399

Mountain View
2483 Old Middlefield Way
Mountain View, Ca
Phone: 408-370-3399

Online: letsplayinspanish.com

Universe of Colors
At this learning center, the small class sizes allows each little person gain some confidence in a warm and exciting environment. Check out the Mommy and Me class or the newly added salsa dance class!

Did you know? There is no drop-in option available.

San Mateo
302 8th Avenue
San Mateo, Ca
Hours: Mon – Fri: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Phone: 650-401-8368

887 Ralston Avenue
Belmont, Ca
Hours: 9:00 am – 6:00 pm
Phone: 650-620-9224

Online: universeofcolors.org/spanish

East Bay

Musica with Mariela
Part of the Habitot Children’s Museum’s Fun Class for Young Children Series, join teacher Mariela for music time complete with rhymes, maracas and a great Latin beat.

Habitot Children’s Museum
2065 Kittredge Street
Berkeley, Ca
Date: Mon, Jan 14th, – Mar 29th, 2013
Hours: 10:00 am –10:30 am
Cost: Drop-in $7 per child, $50/8 class pass
Phone: 510-647-1111
Online: habitot.org/museum/activities

Viva el Espanol
Offering cool classes for the whole family, including Saturday Spanish, there is something for every kid at Viva el Espanol. Youngsters might especially get a thrill out of the cooking projects, all conducted in Spanish. This fall there will be 2 hour drop in pre-school classes offered as well.

Did you know? There are special events with drop-in rates, like the recent Mexican metal-working and ornament-making workshop!

Lafayette Main Campus
3451 Golden Gate Way
Lafayette, Ca
Phone: 925-962-9177

Pleasanton Campus
Valley Community Church
4455 Del Valle Parkway
Pleasanton, Ca

Online: vivaelespanol.org

Lango Kids
Designed to start with babies as early at 6 months, the Lango Kids curriculum revolves around PLAY! The teachers bring a little of their own experience and culture to the classes, along with “The Lango Kids,” the multi-cultural cast of characters who add a unique flavor the the classes. Get ready for singing, spinning and adventures galore! Classes are available all over the East Bay.

Did you know? Lango Kids has it’s very own set of songs just perfect for wiggling hips.

Lango Kids
See Website for locations, schedule and contact info
Online: langokids.com

How do you introduce your kids to the Spanish language? We want to know!

— Gabrielle Cullen

photo credit: Music Lingua facebook page, Lango Kids facebook page, Let’s Play in Spanish facebook page,