Free German Lessons for Children

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Young kids between the ages of 3 and 8 learn German as a foreign language much faster than older children. In fact, children under 6 years of age learn a second language as easily as their mother tongue. This is because children at this age are highly motivated and enthusiastic about learning a language. They learn the language through songs, nursery rhymes, engaging games, cartoons and stories. Children are not worried about wrong grammar or pronunciation. They quickly pick up an accent of another language and their grammatical skills develop subconsciously. Therefore, they acquire another language naturally without any foreign accent or typical foreigner mistakes. In addition, learning a second language early in life promotes brain development and general learning skills, boosts self-confidence and helps kids develop interest in other cultures.

If your kid has a gift for languages, it can easily learn a German song, nursery rhyme or the whole sentences from a German cartoon just by watching these on YouTube. Therefore, German lessons for kids come in the form of addictive cartoons, games and puzzles rather than formal lessons. Below is a review of some of the best free resources on the world-wide-web that will help your kid pick up a German language naturally:

Interactive Games for Kids Learning German

  • is a children’s portal for learning languages through games and songs. It contains more than 600 free German games to teach the kids basic words such as numbers, names of foods, body parts, animals, etc. and some little grammar. Children can play most of the games alone just by clicking on the objects on the screen and listening to the sounds and words. But, in order to read the flashcards, young kids will require assistance from their parents.
  • is a collection of educational games for children. There are dozens of games organized into such categories as animals, numbers, colours, family or grammar. Parents are supposed to read the tutorials to help their children play the games and complete the test after each course. However, the games are quite self-explanatory and many children will be able to play them with no explanation needed just by hovering a cursor over the images and listening to the words and then answering yes/no questions with mouse clicks.
  • is a “gaming” website offering five games available in 21 languages that will teach your kid about 1,500 words in any chosen language. The players can sign in to record their progress and to have their scores compared against each other. However, just to play the games no registration is necessary. All five games are matching games where children have to click on images after hearing and reading the word or assemble the letters of the word represented in a picture. Thus, like most other learning materials presented on this webpage, these games are suitable only for children who can already read.
  • is an aged website for learning languages through games and graphics. As a result of its age, some games no longer work in modern web browsers. German is one of several dozen languages taught at the site. The focus is mainly on developing vocabulary. This collection of flashcards, picture dictionaries, simple matching games and spelling quizzes is ideal for beginners and intermediate learners of German. Though easy to use for small kids, most of the content is suitable only for school-age children as they must be able to read the words.
  • Learn German with Mumbro & Zinell is an interactive educational game developed by PlanetSchule, which is a joint project of two regional German TV broadcasters – SWR Fernsehen and WDR Fernsehen. The game is completely free and can be played directly online on the website of PlanetSchule (visit the link above) or on mobile devices (scroll down this webpage for links to apps for androids and iPhones). While playing the game, children find themselves in four different environments – farm, market place, school and circus – where they learn new German vocabulary, phrases and grammar in a playful way as they follow the adventures of the funny characters Mumbro and Zinell. Each of the four chapters contains nine exercises to train listening comprehension, reading and writing skills and their difficulty level automatically adjusts itself to match the child’s knowledge level. The game is part of a larger media package, which also contains ten movies and supporting materials (you can find videos and links to supporting materials at the bottom of this page). Although this game was not developed specifically for German learners but rather for native German kids of primary school age (6-8 years), the language is very simple and illustrations are self-explanatory which makes it suitable also for children learning German as a second language.

German YouTube Channels for Kids

  • German Games is a channel for kids under 10 but it helps when children can already read. The main aim is to teach children the basic German vocabulary. Lessons are short and focus on teaching individual words from a certain category such as colours, body parts or animals, and simple sentences.
  • Learn with me – ABC 123 International – this youtube channel is ideal for young kids, including pre-school children. In about 60 German songs children will learn alphabet and basic German words for each letter of the alphabet.
  • HooplaKidz Deutsch – also uses a method of teaching German through cheerful songs and nursery rhymes. For kids this is the most natural way of learning a language. You can recognize many of the songs’ melodies and lyrics as being actually originally English. Therefore, some children will already know the English versions of these songs.
  • Andrea Thionville – an easy way of teaching kids basic German vocabulary and phrases through children’s songs, games and short stories. German grammar is explained through building simple sentences. Although this youtube channel offers German beginner lessons primarily designed for children, it is also suitable for teenagers and adults. Learners must be able to read English subtitles, so younger kids will need assistance of their parents.
  • BookBox German uses animated stories with German (as well as English) subtitles to teach the kids the German language. This approach is known as SLS (the same language subtitling), which is said to make reading subconscious and fun. However, children must be old enough to be able to read the subtitles.

Mobile Apps for Children Learning German

Nowadays, there is no German-learning app for children that would be completely free of charge. They typically offer a couple of free lessons while the remainder is available through in-app purchase. However, the whole package seldom costs more than five euros. The aim of these apps is to help kids who have absolutely no knowledge of the German language to learn basic German words and simple phrases in an entertaining way. The most popular and the best rated children’s apps include Learn German by MindSnacks, Fun German by Studycat and LinguPinguin – English German.

  • Learn German by MindSnacks uses nine engaging games to teach children (over four years of age) essential vocabulary (more than 1,000 words) and basic phrases in a playful way. Every game is designed to teach a specific aspect of the language, whereas over time, it adapts to the kids individual performance. That is, the game selectively repeats words, phrases and grammatical structures that the kid previously struggled with. The full package (50 lessons) costs five dollars. The application runs on iPhones, iPads and Macs but, unfortunately, there is no version for android devices.
  • Fun German by Studycat relies on a similar concept as the one above, that is, using amusing games to teach kids aged 3-8 the core vocabulary and phrases (ca 155 words). It contains ten courses with a total of 60 lessons. In each lesson, the words are presented in different contexts to promote learning and retention. Payment is on a subscription basis (15 dollars per month or 60 dollars per year), which makes this app much more expensive than its competitors. However, it runs on all kinds of devices including androids.
  • LinguPinguin – English German is an app for children under five years of age to teach them the German expressions for colors, animals, body parts, clothes, food, transportation means, flat and other basic objects through the combination of image and sound. Children tap on the image that springs to life and releases the sound of the word describing it. To check on the progress there is a quiz at the end. The cost is just two dollars but the app is only available for Apple devices.

Children’s Cartoons, Movies and Songs

  • Goethe Institute has developed a platform entirely dedicated to teaching German to children of all ages and all German-speaking ability levels. The platform contains nearly two dozens of different resources that address all aspects of language development. You will find there children’s songs, fairy tales, games, animated short movies, book recommendations as well as rather traditional German lessons tailored specifically for kids. In addition to using these materials online, you can download the videos and transcripts for offline use. Everything is available for free use. This platform also offers materials and recommendation for German-language teachers.
  • For young children, watching cartoons and animated movies is an effortless and enjoyable way of building vocabulary. They usually do not mind watching their favorite movies over and over again, subconsciously decoding the meaning of unknown words and absorbing them into their vocabulary. The most popular German children’s cartoons that you can all find on YouTube include ‘Die Biene Maja’, ‘Peppa Wutz’, ‘JoNaLu’, ‘Leo Lausemaus’, ‘Janoschs Traumstunde’, ‘Bali Deutsch Kinderserie’, ‘Wickie und die starken Männer’, ‘Pettersson und Findus’, ‘Bibi Blocksberg’ and ‘In einem Land vor unserer Zeit’ to name but a few. Another good source of free children’s cartoon series, movies, games and creative ideas is, a public TV channel for kids over 3 years of age.

German Learning Materials for Older Kids and Teenagers

The above selection includes the best German language teaching resources freely accessible online that have been primarily designed for pre-school and young school children. Older kids and teenagers, depending on their German language skill level, may also enjoy some of the German lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners as well as YouTube channels and mobile apps for teaching German to adult learners that are listed throughout other sections of this website. Lessons on YouTube and mobile apps can be particularly appealing to your child.

German Learning Children FAQs

What is the right age to learn German?

The best age to start learning German or any other second language is around the age of 3-4. This is approximately the time when children learn pronunciation and start developing important vocabulary and communication skills in their native language. Since still at very young age, children absorb German in the same natural way they do their mother tongue.

Can a 12 year old learn German?

Yes sure, a 12 year old is still young enough to learn German naturally if living in a German-speaking environment and will soon speak like a native. Likewise, twelve years of age is early enough to learn German as a second language with relatively little effort when living in a non-German-speaking country.

Should my child learn French or German?

If you live in Europe, especially continental Europe, or want to move there, German might be the better choice as more than 100 million people in Europe speak German as their native language. Besides that, if you want to spare your child of having to learn complex German grammar later in life, let it learn German early enough so that it can absorb grammar naturally while growing up and learning to speak. However, your preferences might be totally different if you were planning to spend most of your life in Africa, North America or some other parts of the world where knowledge of French is more practical.

How can I help my child learn German?

Small children acquire a foreign language the same way they learn their mother tongue through engaging games, cartoons, stories, songs and while playing with other kids. Therefore, find your kid a German kindergarten or a German-speaking baby sitter and enable it to play German games and apps, watch German TV, videos, cartoons, listen to German music and let somebody (yourself or a babysitter) read your kid the German children’s books. This way your child will absorb the German language absolutely naturally even though living in a non-German speaking country.

When can newly arrived children in Germany go to primary school?

All children over the age of 6 must attend school in Germany. The exact timing for when foreign children who have just arrived in Germany get included in regular classes at school depends on their German language skills. This is usually decided by the school management after consultations with the city education council. If due to lack of German language skills they are not fit for the school, they will be offered special preparatory classes to integrate them into the regular school program.

Can my child go to German kindergarten right after moving to Germany?

Yes, it can. The good news is that public kindergartens and kitas in Germany are inexpensive and open to all kids living in Germany aged 3-6 (though waiting lists can be quite long). That means your child will not need any knowledge of German to get admitted. It can go to German-language kindergarten or kita straight away and learn German in a natural environment whereas at home it will continue speaking its native language. That way your child will be growing up bilingually, learning German effortlessly like a native.