How to teach children European Portuguese

How to teach children European Portuguese

European portuguese children's books, story book, stories

1 Get fairy tales and storybooks in European Portuguese on Amazon or from your local library

Children love shared reading time and regardless of language acquisition they will always remember the time they spent with you reading books.Try to find books with good illustrations. Look at the pictures with your child, point to things they already know in European Portuguese.

As you come across new words ask the child what they think it is. If it is illustrated, have them point it out on the page.Use different voices for different characters.If your child has a favorite European Portuguese story encourage him/her to play different characters making up the words from memory. Help your child to use his/her imagination to change the story or change the ending.

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2 Use puppets or turn your child’s favorite plush toy into a puppet that talks in European Portuguese

Kids love puppets and puppet play is great for motor skills. You can tell much loved stories through puppet play, either using the whole body or make a puppet theatre from a box and use hand or finger puppets. Finger puppets are also fun when singing songs.


3 Go to the zoo and call the name of the animals together in European Portuguese

If you have any, look at some animal books together, then go to the zoo for the day. Ask your child the names of the animals he/she has learned and point out the new ones. This is a great place to add in adjectives and colours. When you come home, encourage your child to draw pictures of what he/she saw and talk about them together using European Portuguese.


4 Play hide and seek by counting in European Portuguese

Hide and seek is a great game for practicing numbers. You could start with 1 to 10 and gradually increase. When your child knows them well you could count down backwards. When ‘seeking’ your child it’s a good opportunity to repeat words without it sounding repetitive.

portuguese,learn,language,board game

5 Play board games in European Portuguese e.g.: snakes and ladders, board games, family games

Dice games are always good for counting and also simple addition. Board games played with the whole family can be a time for relaxed learning. Just playing a simple board game such as snakes and ladders teaches a young child so much more than just language. They also learn rules of play, understanding goals and of course, that family games equal FUN!

portuguese flash card, learn, language

6 Play games by using flashcard games e.g.: Go fish, memory game

Flashcards are one of your most valuable resources in teaching language to young children. With multiples of the same cards you can play well-known games such as Go Fish or the ‘memory game’.

Very small children may struggle to hold too many cards, so play games that have the child match one card to another. Match a sound with a picture, or two cards that have the same sound, or two pictures that match, any way you choose.

Lay cards out on the floor or table and have your child touch the card as you call out words/sounds. Encourage your child to be the caller and you touch the cards. Keep it playful and fun.



7 Have a progress chart that tracks the words and phrases your child mastered

A simple progress chart teaches your child clear goals and kids love stickers. Let your child know when he/she is approaching a goal, make a big deal of reaching the goals, be excited to getting the stickers out. Praise him/her for their achievement with a ‘great job’, a hug or a ‘high five’ (or all three).


8 Listen to children’s songs in European Portuguese together or reward your child for memorizing a short one

Listen to children’s songs in the 2nd language whenever and wherever you can. Keep CDs in the car or put a CD on quietly in the background when you are doing something else. Add actions to the songs, this helps kids remember the words. If it suits your child’s personality, encourage them to ‘perform’ songs for you. You could have a special ‘song night’.

Here is a playlist of European Portuguese children’s songs


9 Listen to pop songs in European Portuguese together or reward your child for memorizing a short one

Teach your child some catchy pop songs that you both like. Something with suitable lyrics and a good chorus are easiest to remember. Sing it around the house as you do other things, when your child tries to join in, model the language and encourage them to sing with you.


10 Find cartoons in the 2nd language on Youtube or Amazon

Cartoons are a great way to engage kids in the 2nd language. Kids can figure out the story visually without worrying about not understanding every word. It’s easy to buy DVDs from Amazon in almost any language or, alternatively, look for them on YouTube. Let your child guide you to which cartoons they like best. Watch them together and you will know which language to reinforce.


11 Have an annual/monthly goal check list

Make a checklist of goals or ideas of where you want to be with the language learning over a year. Break it down into monthly mini-goals.

It will be help you stay focused on where you are going and also a great way to look back and see how far you and your child have come.


12 Create youtube playlists or find playlists suitable for your child’s level

YouTube is a super resource. You can create playlists of European Portuguese teaching videos, these days people post from all over the world.

They might be short tutorials, or craft ideas you can incorporate into your language learning, or children’s songs you can sing together. Look for playlists already put together by others with the same goal.


13 Join online support groups (forums, facebook pages, twitter lists, multicultural blog groups etc.)

Join some online groups to exchange ideas and information. Support is invaluable too. Teaching European Portuguese can hit some hurdles, it is important to be able to connect with people who are having the same difficulties or have successfully navigated these hurdles. Facebook and Twitter are great for immediate connections. Online chat groups or forums can give you a sense of community and common goals.

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14 Visit the website of Portugal’s ministry of culture

Have a look at the website and find interesting information about Portugal. Read about traditional food, dances and costumes. Look at statistics such as population. Find some fun facts about the climate, holidays and customs. Talk about them with your child and follow their lead on which parts they are interested in. You can also get all this information and more here

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15 Go to public libraries and check all the available resources in European Portuguese

Libraries are an excellent resource. If they don’t have things things in European Portuguese ask the librarian if it is possible to order them. Also check out the noticeboard and see if there are any kids groups speaking European Portuguese in the area. You might make some new friends too.


16 Make use of language learning DVDs for kids

Language DVDs come handy , especially fro busy parents, as they repeat useful words and phrases in a fun and interesting way Check them out, Look for something that is specifically for kids, that uses games and songs and has well-structured levels.


17 Play CDs when driving your child to school

Always play CDs in European Portuguese when you are in the car. It could be songs or a kids’ language learning CD, whatever your child likes. Do it consistently so your child comes to expect the 2nd language in the car.


18 Play streaming radio in the background at home or make use of Spotify, Lastfm, etc.

Nowadays, there are a lot of resources that help you play streaming radio through personal electronic devices and laptops, etc. All you need is tuning into one of the local radio stations and have the radio or the song list play in the background all day long. Even if your child does not understand what has been spoken or the lyrics of the songs he/she will get used to the new sounds and intonation patterns. Portuguese/alp_book_European Portuguese_05_12.jpg

19 Make use of worksheets for beginners

There are a great many websites offering worksheets for beginners. Many are free and some you can pay monthly or a yearly fee. Kids love worksheets. Some may be simple coloring sheets (kids LOVE coloring), or sheets that help fine motor skills through pencil manipulation. Buy some stickers and put one on each sheet your child completes.


20 Make use of Flashcards

There is no end to the fun to be had from playing games with flashcards even if you child is still too young to play a game that has structure and rules. You can make your own ‘games’ call out a card, have your child touch it/pick it up. ‘Hide’ the cards around the room and have your child find them and say what they are etc.

You can also put the flashcards up around the room. Change them each week in categories (animals/flowers/ fruit/etc. Look at them and say them often with your child. Ask them, “What’s this? / What’s that?”

Put them on your fridge with magnets or let your child do this.You call out the words and have them put them on.


21 Get a picture dictionary to get started

A Children’s picture dictionary is a wonderful resource. Follow your child’s curiosity with it. Let him/her choose what he/she wants to know on any given day. Ask him/her more information about the words they do know. “What color is it?” “ Is it big or small? “ “Where does it live?” “What does it do?”


22 Consider getting an alphabet book

Introduce your child to the shapes of letters with a simple alphabet book. This is especially useful if the European Portuguese alphabet is different to that of the 1st language. For young learners, get a very simple, ‘starter’ book, also great for fine motor skills and pencil control.


23 Think about kinesthetic learning (learning by doing). Coloring books, sketchbooks or DVDs that children watch and dance are great!

The research is in that kids learn best by doing (don’t we all?).

Anything that gets kids moving their bodies or their hands helps them to learn. Watch DVDs together, make up dances, put on ‘shows’, even dress up. Encourage your child’s inner artist with a sketchbook. Color, paint, draw, and talk about the colors and your child’s pictures in the 2nd language. Coloring in pictures is a very relaxing activity (you should do it too!) Kids tend to be very relaxed when they are coloring, a good time to make some general chitchat in European Portuguese.

Mix paints and talk in European Portuguese about how colors are made.


24 Consider getting a reading pen

The very latest translation tool. A ‘reading pen’ scans and translates. The translated text appears on a small screen on the pen and can also provide audio pronunciation of words or full sentences.


25 Find some talking or singing plush toys

There are so many talking toys on the market these days. Try one that says greetings in European Portuguese (or multiple languages) or one that sings traditional songs/nursery rhymes from Portugal.

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26 Make use of culture books prepared for little kids

Ready made ‘culture books’ are great for learning about different countries. Read them together, ask questions and encourage your child to ask lots of questions too. After reading one, you could make a simple one together using pictures from magazines, or encourage your child to draw pictures too. Gather information together at the library or from the internet.

27 Decorate your child’s room with learning posters (colors, numbers) or pictures from Portugal (flag, the cities, etc.)

Get some large colorful posters to decorate your child’s room or the learning space you use. Point things out and ask questions, swap roles and have your child ask the questions too, this also helps model the pronunciation. Ask which is your child’s favorite poster and why?

Follow their lead on the things that interest them.


28 Follow a simple syllabus prepared for kids

Use the simple syllabus prepared in your language learning system or make one yourself. Let your child know what it is so he/she can see what they will be doing. Children tend to do better when they know what is coming and what is expected of them.

29 Use stickers as rewards (stickers that say congratulations, wonderful, etc. in the 2nd language)

Kids love stickers! Use them liberally. Take praising your child as an opportunity to use the 2nd language. If you can find stickers with words of praise in the 2nd language use those and repeat the words a lot. Use a couple of words at first and add more as your child knows them.

30 Get some printed items related to the 2nd language: T-shirts, mugs, children’s silverware, etc.

If you have the opportunity to visit the 2nd language country buy goods with the language on. T-shirts, mugs and pens are useful as well as educational. Look for postcards, posters or bumper stickers with popular expressions on. Post these around your house.


31 Arrange play dates or playgroups with other parents who want to teach their children European Portuguese.

Try to find other parents encouraging their children to learn European Portuguese, arrange to play together, go on picnics to the park or take a trip to a zoo or aquarium, great places to practice the language. Making new friends is of great benefit to you too!



32 Video chat with friends and relatives who have a child that speaks European Portuguese

Encourage video chat with other children you know, that speak European Portuguese. It’s easy using Skype or Google Hangouts or something similar. Be nearby to help the conversation along. Be encouraging and resist the temptation to correct your child’s mistakes.



33 Invite Grandma and Grandpa (who can speak European Portuguese) to stay over

Spending time with grandparents is valuable to all parties anyway but spending time with grandparents who speak European Portuguese is great for strengthening bonds and hearing natural language. Your child will come to associate European Portuguese with feelings of love and security.


34 Hire a short-term or full time nanny or caregiver that speaks European Portuguese

If it is possible, consider hiring a nanny/caregiver/babysitter who speaks European Portuguese. Even a few hours per week would make a difference (and give you a little free time!).

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35 Cook European Portuguese recipes together with your child

Kids always want to be a ‘little helper’ in the kitchen. Cook some simple dishes from Portugal together. Us the 2nd language for instructions, wash, cut, wipe, mix…. Name the ingredients in a natural way as you cook. Here are some European Portuguese recipes

36 Go to community centers, cultural centers and temples with your child

Local places of interest are stimulating for your child and cultural centers often have exhibitions or music/dance performances. Look out for anything from Portugal. Community centers are a great place to meet people, look at notice boards for anything from people interested or connected in some way to, European Portuguese. You could even offer to do something yourself, give a talk about the country or a traditional dance etc.

37 Visit European Portuguese supermarkets and European Portuguese restaurants with your child

Go around a European Portuguese supermarket and point out the foods from Portugal. If your child is unfamiliar with them, ask questions. “How do you think it tastes?” “ Do you think this is hard/soft/crunchy/sweet/etc.?” If possible eat in ethnic restaurants. Talk about the food, how it is prepared, where it comes from.


38 Have a word of the day activity

Pick a ‘word of the day’, you or your child could choose it, or have your child pick it at random from a pile of word cards. If the word is a noun, look for it around the house and when you go outside. Talk about where it might be found. If it is a verb, find ways to do the action either really or mime it, see if you can spot other people doing it? Or use adverbs and spend some time doing everything in the manner of the adverb, slowly/quickly/happily/etc.

39 Play European Portuguese online language games (memory, click&tell, etc.) with your child

There are plenty of free online interactive language games for children. Find one that appeals to your child and encourage them to do a little every day. You can check out 3 different kinds of free European Portuguese online language learning games here



40 Try Skype lessons for children (may not be advised for infants and toddlers)

Many teachers are offering language lessons via Skype. Ask around and see if anyone can recommend a teacher to you. Sit in on the lesson too so you know what language to reinforce between lessons.



41 Read bedtime stories in European Portuguese to your child

Books, books, books. Kids love books and stories. Read stories in European Portuguese before bed. Often when kids have heard a favorite story many times they know the words. Encourage your child to help tell the story.

42 Play European Portuguese children’s games

Many children’s games are the same the world over, play kids games your child already knows in their 1st language but play it in the 2nd language. Paper, rock, scissors has many variations; play it in the 2nd language. Hopscotch, skipping games, clapping games etc. can all be played in any language. For more ideas have a look at the games in the different ‘countries and cultures’ at Dino Lingo (to the right of this post).

43 Get comic books & children’s magazines from Portugal

Ask if a friend or relative overseas can send you comics or children’s magazines in European Portuguese. Children’s magazines usually have lots of fun facts in them that you can talk about and further research. They also have quizzes and puzzles that are lots of fun to do.

44 Go to a national parade of the target culture

You could try to find where there is a large community of people from the target culture. They will no doubt have special events to celebrate the holidays of their country of origin. Take your child to their parades and festivals.


45 Have a personalized notebook specially used for learning the2nd language(Don’t forget to use it to have your child draw whatever you say in the 2nd language

Let your child choose the notebook at the shop and decorate it anyway they want to make it special. Say words in European Portuguese and have them draw pictures, or even write the word or the first letter, depending on what level they are at. Go back over the pictures every few days. Talk about the pictures and praise your child’s drawing skills.

46 Do local crafts

If you are a native speaker of European Portuguese think about the crafts you did as a child and do them with your child (think also about how happy you were doing this activity with your own mother/father or your friends). Don’t worry if you have forgotten how, look on the Internet to refresh your memory. Perhaps you could send something your child makes to grandparents or relatives overseas.

47 Use chatting apps (WhatsApp, Line, etc.) to talk with friends and family who have same-aged children

Chatting apps are mobile and easy to use. Chat with friends in the 2nd who have children about the same age. Encourage your child to chat with them and their kids too. Ask their kids about themselves, their day etc. and encourage your child to talk about themselves.


48 Sing lullabies in the 2nd language to put your baby asleep

Lullabies are so soothing for baby and parent. Sing some European Portuguese lullabies to help your baby sleep. You can buy wind-up crib music at a baby store. Play the music and sing in the European Portuguese. Establish is as a routine and enjoy the time holding your baby and knowing you are soothing him/her.


49 Consider homeschooling by getting an online curriculum

More and more people are turning to homeschooling these days and there are plenty of resources online. Do some research and find something that suits you and your child. Depending on the school hours where you live, it may be possible for your child to attend the local school and follow a homeschooling curriculum.


50 Send your child to a summer camp where he/she can study European Portuguese in a short time.

Summer camp is a great experience for children. It is often their first extended time away from home and a chance to make lots of new friends and try a variety of activities for the first time. ‘Language’ camps for kids usually incorporate study with lots of games/crafts/activities related to the 2nd language culture. Look online or on the notice board in community centers and other public buildings.


European Portuguese Children’s books

European portuguese children's books


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European Portuguese Songs for Children – European Portuguese Culture for kids


1. Indo Eu a Caminho de Viseu

Indo eu Indo eu a Caminho de Viseu

Encontrei o meu amor ai Jesus que lá vou eu

Ora Zus Truz Truz ora Zás Trás Trás

Ora chega chega chega Ora arreda lá pa trás

Indo Eu Indo Eu a Caminho de Viseu

Escorreguei torci um pé, ai que tanto me doeu

Ora Zus Truz Truz ora Zás Trás Trás

Ora chega chega chega Ora arreda lá pa trás

Vindo eu vindo eu da cidade de Viseu

Deixei lá o meu amor o que bem me aborreceu

Ora Zus Truz Truz ora Zás Trás Trás

Ora chega chega chega Ora arreda lá pa trás

2. Alecrim Dourado

Alecrim Alecrim dourado que nasce no monte sem ser semeado

Ai meu amor quem te disse a ti que a flor do campo era o Alecrim

Alecrim Alecrim aos molhos por causa de ti choram os meus olhos

Ai meu amor quem te disse a ti que a flor do campo era o Alecrim

3. Ai Ai Ai Minha Machadinha

Ah ah ah minha machadinha

Quem te pôs a mão sabendo que és minha

Sabendo que és minha também eu sou tua

Salta machadinha pró meio da rua

Pró meio da rua não hei-de eu saltar

Eu hei-de ir à roda escolher o meu par

O meu par já eu sei quem é

É um rapazinho chamado José

Chamado José chamado João

É o rapazinho do meu curacao

4. Malhão

Oh Malhão Malhão que vida é a tua

Comer e beber oh trim tim tim passear na rua

Oh Malhão Malhão Oh malhão vem ver

As ondas do mar oh trim tim tim aonde vão ter

Oh Malhão Malhão Oh Malhão do Norte

Quando o Mar está bravo faz a onda azul

Oh Malhão Malhão Oh Malhão do Porto

Quem morreu morreu oh trim tim tim quem morreu está morto

5. A Barata diz que tem

A barata diz que tem sapatinhos de veludo

É mentira da barata o pé dela é que é peludo

Ahahah Eheheh O Pé dela é que é peludo

A barata diz que tem uma cama de marfim

É mentira da barata ela dorme é no Jardim

Ahahah Eheheh Ela dorme é no jardim

A barata diz que tem sapatinhos de fivela

É mentira da barata os sapatos não são dela

Ahahah Eheheh Os sapatos não são dela

6. Doidas andam as Galinhas

Doidas doidas doidas andam as galinhas

Para por o ovo lá no buraquinho

Raspam raspam raspam para alisar a terra

Picam picam picam para fazer o ninho

Arrebita a crista o galo vaidoso

Cocorocócó canta refilão

E todo emproado com ar majestoso

É o comandante deste batalhão

7. O Balão do João

O Balão do João sobe sobe pelo ar

Está feliz o petiz a cantarolar

Mas o vento a soprar leva o balão pelo ar

Fica então o João a choramingar

8. O meu Chapéu tem tres Bicos

O meu chapéu tem três bicos

Tem três bicos o meu chapéu

Se não tivesse três bicos

O chapéu não era meu

9. Papagaio Loiro

Papagaio Loiro de bico dourado

Leva-me esta carta ao meu namorado

Ele não é frade nem homem casado

É rapaz solteiro lindo como um cravo

10. As Pombinhas da Catrina

As pombinhas da catrina andarão de mão em mão

Foram ter à quinta nova ao Pombal de S.João

Ao Pombal de S.João à quinta da Roseirinha

Minha mãe mandou-me à fonte e eu parti a cantarinha

Oh minha mãe não me bata que eu sou muito pequenina

Bato-te pá outra vez quando fores mais crescidinha

11. Atirei o Pau ao Gato

Atirei o pau ao gato mas o gato não morreu

Mas a Chica assustou-se com o berro que o gato deu


12. Na Loja do Mestre André

Foi na loja do Mestre André que eu comprei um Pifarito

Tiro liro liro um Pifarito

Ai Olé Ai Olé Foi na loja do Mestre André

Um Pianinho – Plim Plim Plim um Pianinho

Tiro liro liro um Pifarito

Ai Olé Ai Olé Foi na loja do Mestre André

Um Tamborzinho – Tum Tum Tum um Tamborzinho

Plim Plim Plim um Pianinho

Tiro liro liro um Pifarito

Ai Olé Ai Olé Foi na loja do Mestre André

Uma Campainha – Tlim Tlim Tlim uma campainha

Tum Tum Tum um Tamborzinho

Plim Plim Plim um Pianinho

Tiro liro liro um Pifarito

Ai Olé Ai Olé Foi na loja do Mestre André

Uma Rabequinha – Chiri Biri Biri uma Rabequinha

Tlim Tlim Tlim uma campainha

Tum Tum Tum um Tamborzinho

Plim Plim Plim um Pianinho

Tiro liro liro um Pifarito

Ai Olé Ai Olé Foi na loja do Mestre André

Um Rabecão – Chiri Biri Bão um Rabecão

Chiri Biri Biri uma Rabequinha

Tlim Tlim Tlim uma campainha

Tum Tum Tum um Tamborzinho

Plim Plim Plim um Pianinho

Tiro liro liro um Pifarito

Ai Olé Ai Olé Foi na loja do Mestre André

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Portuguese Travel Destinations – Portuguese Culture for kids

Portugal may seem very small for a country, but with over a thousand years of history, it has many interesting places to visit and discover the past or just enjoy the landscape. All of its major cities are quite different from each other because of the geography, climate and cultural influences in them.

The southern edge of the country is called Algarve and faces the Mediterranean Sea, making the beaches very warm. The dunes and cliffs are so beautiful, they’re filled with tourists from all over the world during the summer. The houses there are very unique, white with blue stripes in their walls and gorgeous chimneys that looks like lacework. This style comes from the Moorish occupation in the south of the country in the Middle Ages.

Near the capital, visiting Sintra means the experience of a lifetime. The Castelo da Pena (Castle of Pena) looks like a real life fairytale castle, with high towers and pastel walls. It sits atop a forested hill and overlooks Sintra and the capital of the country, Lisboa.

Lisboa, or Lisbon, is the biggest city in the country, right by the coast where the Tejo river meets the Atlantic Ocean. The city was rebuilt after an earthquake in the 1800’s so all buildings downtown were made to match, and the old, winding cobbled streets are quite charming. It’s also full of cultural exhibits and museums, like the Antique Art Museum with many paintings you might have seen in books already, monasteries and monuments to discovery to admire and explore.

In the center of the country, there’s something very unique. Near Coimbra, a city built around its University, there are the ruins of a roman city called Conimbriga. They’re so well preserved, you can see the beautiful mosaics and fountains that Romans built, and learn a lot about how they lived in their houses and public spaces like baths and town squares.

To the north, there’s the second biggest city, Porto. Being one of the oldest settlements in the country, it has many beautiful things to see and learn from. It still has walls from the first medieval settlement that were finished in 1370, more than 600 years ago! From there on, you can visit examples of all major architectural styles that happened in Europe, mostly by visiting the beautiful cathedral and many churches and museums.

Asides from the many lovely cities to visit, the rest of the country has beautiful, diverse landscapes that go from desert to rocky mountains, through lush pine forests. There are great camping sites everywhere and lots of sports to play, for the more adventurous tourists!

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Portuguese Common Words and Phrases – Portuguese Culture for kids

One of the best ways to make learning Portuguese fun and useful is to have conversations, even if they are simple. Saying hello, introducing yourself and asking things are easy sentences that get you far – learning new words and making new friends, as most Portuguese people are very happy to find foreigners taking interest in their culture!

Here are some greetings to start your conversation:



-Bom dia!

-Good day!

-Como está?

-How are you?

-Boa tarde.

-Good afternoon.

-Boa noite!

-Good evening! (great whether you’re meeting someone or wishing them a good night)

By introducing yourself, you’ll make friends easily:

-Como te chamas?

-What’s your name?

-Eu chamo-me John.

-My name is John.

-Quantos anos tens?

-How old are you?

-Eu tenho sete anos.

-I’m seven years old.

Some polite things to say are:

-Por favor.



-Thank you. (If you’re a boy, say obrigado and if you’re a girl, say obrigada)

-Com licença!

-Excuse me!

-Peço desculpa.

-I’m sorry.

And some questions you might ask:

-Pode dizer-me as horas?

-Can you tell me what time it is?

-Onde é a casa de banho?

-Where is the bathroom?

-Eu gostaria de ir à praia.

-I’d like to go to the beach.

-Pode-me trazer um garfo, por favor?

-Can you bring me a fork, please?

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Portuguese Children’s Songs – Portuguese Culture for kids

Learning to sing traditional Portuguese children’s songs is a great way to have fun whole learning how to pronounce words. This is because most of them are written around playing with vowel sounds, making the verses light and easy to remember, even if some words don’t make much sense. They’re just fun syllables to teach how vowels work together.

Here are some examples of songs every kid in Portugal knows and loves to sing:

A saia da Carolina

A saia da Carolina

Tem um lagarto pintado

Carol’s skirt

Carol’s skirt

Has a painted lizzard

Sim Carolina ó-ió-ai

Sim Carolina ó-ai meu bem!

Yes Carol o-io-ai

Yes Carol o-my dear!

Tem cuidado ó Carolina

Que o lagarto dá ao rabo,

Be careful Carol

That lizzard wags its tail,

Sim Carolina ó-ió-ai

Sim Carolina ó-ai meu bem!

Yes Carol o-io-ai

Yes Carol o-my dear!

A Barata diz que tem

A Barata diz que tem

Um sapato de veludo!

The Roach says she has

The Roach says she has

A shoe made of velvet!

É mentira da Barata,

Ela tem o pé peludo.

Ha-ha-ha! He-he-he!

Ela tem o pé peludo!

It’s a lie from the Roach,

She just has a fuzzy foot.

Ha-ha.ha! He-he-he!

She just has a fuzzy foot!

Jardim da Celeste

Fui ao jardim da Celeste

Giroflé, giroflá!

Celeste’s Garden

I went to Celeste’s garden

Giroflé, giroflá!

E o que foste lá fazer?

Giroflé, flé, flá!

And what did you do there?

Giroflé, flé, flá!

Fui lá buscar uma rosa

Giroflé, giroflá!

I went there to get a rose

Giroflé, giroflá!

Para quem é essa rosa?

Giroflé, flé, flá!

É para a menina (Ana)

Giroflé, giroflá!

É para a menina (Ana)

Giroflé, flé, flá!

And who is that rose for?

Giroflé, flé, flá!

It’s for Little Miss (Ana)

Giroflé, giroflá!

It’s for Little Miss (Ana)

Giroflé, flé, flá!

In this song, the children are in a circle and name is the person who’s going to sing next, so it’s a fun game as well.

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Portuguese Alphabet – Portuguese Culture for kids

The Portuguese alphabet nowadays doesn’t look very different from the English alphabet anymore. It has 26 letters, but only 23 of them are used in Portuguese words. The other three, which are k, w and y, are there since 1990 so that foreign words can be spelled in their original way. Some of these foreign words (called borrowed words) are for example, kilobyte and wallaby. On their own, they are read as kappa, duplo v (double v) or dáblio and I grego (epsilon).

These are the Portuguese capital letters (or majuscule forms):

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

And these are the small letters (or miniscule forms):

a  b  c  d  e  f  g  h  i  j  k  l  m  n  o  p  q  r  s  t  u  v  w  x  y  z

This is what they sound like in Portuguese:

a, be, ce, de, e, efe, ge, aga, i, jota, ele, eme, ene, o, pe, que, erre, esse, te, u, ve, dabliu, xis, i grego, ze

As you can see, the Portuguese alphabet has also only five vowels – a, e, i, o and u – so all the accents you notice in written Portuguese are very useful to add more sounds to spoken words. The accents can be acute (´), grave (`) or circumflex (^). They make vowels sound very different; acute opens the sound of the word even more, grave lets you know when a preposition was added to a word, and circumflex gives a vowel a bit of a nasal sound. Another unusual character is the ç, or cedilla, that is used to make a c sound more like an s without changing how the other letters in the word are said.

Brazilian Portuguese for kids, DVDs, songs, books, flashcards, alphabet poster, alphabet book

European Portuguese (Portugal) for kids, DVDs, songs, books, flashcards, alphabet poster, alphabet book

This may be looking a little complicated to remember, but know Portuguese children learn their abc’s just like you, with a song (just like the English one) to help them remember the order of all letters! All you have to do is change the way you say them.

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Common Portuguese Names – Portuguese Culture for kids

Most Portuguese first names are very simple and come from characters in the Bible, like Maria (Mary) or João (John). Some sounds found in names will be very different from English, like the tilde in Sebastião (Sebastian) while others will be almost the same as in English, such as David, which only changes a bit in the way it’s said.

You’ll notice quickly that most boy’s names end with an “o” and most girl’s names end with an “a”. Of course this doesn’t always happen, since combinations of two names are frequent too, such as a girl called Maria-João or a boy called Maria-José.

Full Portuguese family names can seem very long for Americans, as parents will often give their children two first names and a name from their mother and father’s family, so that they carry a bit of heritage from all their loved ones.

Some common girl’s names:











Some common boy’s names:











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Portuguese Holidays – Portuguese Culture for kids

Portugal celebrates a lot of holidays throughout the year, and most of them have roots in Christian celebrations, while others are all about the seasons and some historical events. The traditions people follow are different from those in the United States, but most fall on the same days, like Christmas and Easter.

Christmas time in Portugal is very special! Families cook many traditional dishes with produce from their region, like pumpkin and carrot dumplings sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon. On the night of the 24th of December, everyone gets together and eats codfish, a very popular fish in Portugal, and the family opens the presents after dessert. Some families go to Rooster’s Mass at midnight and on the 25th, eat special leftover dishes and keep their decorations up until the 6th, or King’s Day.

Shortly after, Portugal has Carnaval! It’s not always on the same day of the month, because it happens on a Tuesday, 47 days before Easter (same time as Mardi Gras). Think of Carnaval as a last time to have fun before the solemn time of Easter – and Portuguese people have a lot of that in store. In villages you can still see the traditional costumes of “Entrudo” as Carnaval is known there, where young men dress in colorful fringe outfits and go prank their girlfriends at home, who in turn, get to throw eggs and flour at them. There are also parades where everyone can participate with topsy-turvy costumes or traditional masks. In more recent times, children get to wear whatever costume they like, so it’s a time to fulfill fantasies and dreams, and take those costumes to school parades and dances.

Easter time is much quieter. Families cook up and buy all sorts of sweets, like angel cake, sugar almonds and chocolate eggs, and lay out flowers at their doors to let the procession know they wish to have their house blessed. When the procession passes, the priest and acolytes (they’re the priest’s helpers) go in and commune with the family, have a bite of the many good things at the table, and bless the home with holy water. It’s a great time for families to get together at their older relative’s homes and have all the cousins play together!

During the summer, popular saint holidays are maybe the most specific to Portugal, and a lot of fun. Each city has a patron saint, so not all of them happen on the same day. In Porto for example, on the 24th of June, S João is celebrated with a lot of activities. In preparation for the party, everyone buys “mangerico” (basil) pots with little flags containing popular rhymes. Children make paper lanterns that are set on fire and float through the sky at dusk while their parents start a barbeque of sardines, pork and bell peppers. After everyone has eaten, the family heads downtown to watch the fireworks at midnight and gets to hit strangers in the head with soft plastic hammers or long stemmed garlic leaves. It’s very unique and a lot of fun for all ages!

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Portuguese History – Portuguese Culture for kids

The country of Portugal is very old and has many exciting episodes in its history. It all started in 1143 when D. Afonso Henriques inherited the kingdom of Portugal from his parents, but wanted to keep it independent while his mother wanted to join Portugal with her kingdom of León.  D. Afonso managed to claim independence and gain some more land for Portugal, and that’s how the country was founded. Later on the other kingdoms in our peninsula formed Spain and now both countries enjoy a great relationship.

Maybe the most exciting period in Portuguese history is when the era of Discoveries started, which brought a lot of knowledge to Europe and helped make the world a little smaller. In 1425, D. Henrique (Henry the Navigator) sailed to Ceuta, in North Africa, and conquered it, stating many trips by ship that charted a lot of lands and cultures the Europeans didn’t know about yet. They found many places in the African continent, India, Japan and later on, even Brazil. Along the way, they earned many riches and learned a lot about sailing and other technologies, like reading directions from the stars, mathematics, cooking, and better ways to make all sorts of things.

Nowadays, Portugal is a Democracy, implemented in 1820. Unfortunately, elections were stopped for 50 years by a dictator called Salazar (he didn’t want anyone else being President), but it all ended very well with a revolution where no one had to fight, in 1975! That happened on the 25th of April and what the Portuguese call the “flower revolution” because a florist in Lisbon gave the revolutionaries carnations to wear, something that is still celebrated every year.

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European Portuguese Games – Portuguese for kids

Traditional Portuguese games are a great way to have fun with very little supplies! Grandparents have been passing on awesome activities to their grandchildren for generations. The best thing about them, and why they stayed so popular, is that they need very little, if anything at all, to be played. When toys weren’t available to all kids, this made sure everyone got to have a good time no matter how much money they had!

One of those games is “Sameiras” (Bottle-caps) where, much like marbles, you draw a circle and flick a bottle-cap into the circle to try and get your friend’s caps out of the circle while yours remain, and see who ends with the last one. A game called “Malha” has been around for an even longer time – there are documents talking about it from 1644, more than 300 years ago! It’s very simple and fun. Each player gets two metal discs or even rocks, and has to try and throw down a stake in the ground, or get the disc to land really close to it.  The player with the best score wins; three points for tossing the pin down, and one point for being the closest.

Other games don’t even need any supplies at all. A game many girls like to play is “Bom Barqueiro” (The Good Ferrier) where two children (the ferriers) hold hands and each picks a secret word for him/herself and all others form a line with their hands on their friend’s shoulders. Each kid in the line passes, saying a verse, and the last one is “trapped” between the ferrier’s arms, who will ask which secret word the kid will pick.

The verses are:

-Bom Barqueiro, Bom barqueiro,

Deixai-me passar!

Tenho muitos filhinhos

Para acabar de criar.

Good Ferrier, good Ferrier,

Let me pass!

I have many little children

That I must still raise.

-Passarás, passarás,

Mas algum ficará,

Se não for o da frente,

Há de ser o de trás!

-You shall pass, you shall pass,

But someone will stay,

If not the one ahead,

Then the one behind!

Picking a word will mean the kid will go behind the ferrier who had that secret word, and the line goes through until all children have a ferrier. Then they draw a line between them and see which team can pull the other over the line!

Also, there are many games for which you know the rules already! Hopscotch for example, is a game all Portuguese children know how to play, and there it’s called “Macaca” (monkey), with a little bit of chalk and a stone to throw at the jumping spot. Simon Says simply turns to “O Rei Manda” (The King Orders), and “Apanhadas” (catch) is a success in the schoolyard.

Of all games, maybe the one the whole country is in love with, young and old, is Futebol (soccer). There are many professional teams who play with eleven athletes each in big stadiums, but not much is needed to capture the spirit of the game. Portuguese kids make their goalposts out of anything that can mark the floor, and have teams of any size with goalies to see who can score the most by kicking their ball past the goalie!

Learn European Portuguese for kids DVDs, books, flashcards, online games

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