Raising A Bilingual Child

Exposing your child to another language has never been easier, even for those of us who only speak one language at home. Language playgroups and classes are popping up everywhere, but finding the right class for your child can be daunting if you don’t know where to look. Below is a list of some highly recommended programs in the New York area from parents who have used these programs first hand (me included), one of which also offers free classes at the local library! If you know of another great program though, please pass it along so I can add it to the list!

Bilingual Birdies – A language playgroup that exposes kids to language through song. Bilingual Birdies teaches Spanish, Mandarin, French and Hebrew and have group classes throughout Manhattan. They also give FREE Spanish and Mandarin classes at the local library in Manhattan, The Bronx and Staten Island. If that doesn’t work for you, Bilingual Birdies will also come to your home for private lessons.

Hola Spanish Play Group – A Spanish language playgroup that teaches kids Spanish through music and art. Their classes begin for children as young as 8 months old and go up to age Five. This group is beloved by many New York moms and has classes throughout Manhattan. They also offer discounts to parents of multiples so ask when you call!

Reade Street Prep – Reade Street Prep has Spanish and Mandarin programs for preschoolers and toddlers. Unlike the programs above, this one is a drop-off program, which means that parents and caregivers cannot participate. So if you’re a parent in need of a break, this may be your opportunity. Classes are small with a maximum of 10 students. Each class also has two teachers. Reade Street Prep is a music and art program, but also incorporate gross motor play, which makes learning more fun. After music and art, the kids get to ride around on bikes on jump on a trampoline on the lower level of the building.


  1. For French programs there is La Petite Ecole in Tribeca

  2. How very true!
    Born in France and now living in the US, I wanted to make sure my kids would speak my first language too. So my husband (an American) and I used the one parent/one language method. Some people often ask, “So how does it work at the dinner table?” and I answer, “It just does. The kids switch languages automatically depending on who they’re addressing.” Of course it helps that my husband also understands French, he doesn’t feel left out when I have a conversation with the kids.
    Great article :-)

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