Some people are just naturally gifted language learners. They hear a word a few times and bam!-it’s engrained in their memories. They see something written and viola!-they can pronounce it. They can easily pick up grammar rules, idioms and tada! language nuances.

I am no such person.

Rather, I need to hear something oh, a gazillion times and see it written to really learn it, but the bigger problem isn’t my need to study. It’s my refusal to do so.

Luckily, there are ways around studying Italian that don’t include pens, notebooks or grammar books. In fact, all you need is a computer … and well, look at you-you are already off to a great start, aren’t you?

I’ve mentioned before that I like to improve my Italian vocabulary by listening to music. But now that I have a son, I am being introduced to new and wonderfully easy-to-follow songs that are ridiculously cute and insanely addictive.

Here are three Italian children’s songs I like to sing along to, with a link to the lyrics to help you learn the words.


Il Pulcino Ballerino

I love this song and I just want to put that little boy in my pocket and take him to Texas with me. Actually … I kinda did. This is also Max’s favorite Italian kid’s song so I plopped it on my iPod, took it home with me and showed my family how my little pulcino could also be a world-class ballerino. I have it on video … maybe I’ll share it one day.

Il Coccodrillo Come Fa?

This is one of the cutest songs I’ve ever heard – in any language, especially when (in the version I have at home), the little boy asks what sound a crocodile makes and all the little kids behind him say … BOH!?! I could listen to this one over and over and over. Yes, I’m worse than a kid.

44 Gatti

Ok, this one is still too fast for me, but I love the big ball of pride that rises in my chest if, and when, I’m able to keep up. Plus a little math homework never hurt anyone, right?

Do you know any Italian children’s songs? If so, please list them in the comments!

Are you heading to Calabria? Click here to see how I can help you plan your trip.

Photo: Splash Scuola

8 Responses
  1. Gail Brown

    These songs are great, Cherrye! As a language learner, I too need to see and hear things at least a gazillion times before they stick, and I also like to learn through lyrics. I recently joined the world of smartphone owners and happily discovered that I can download YouTube music videos with SUBTITLES to my iPhone! So now I can listen to Tiziano Ferro and read the lyrics at the same time while waiting at the dentist’s office. Happy day! A quick search of YouTube led me to the Babysanity (gotta love the name) channel where many of the Italian children’s songs are subtitled:
    Wow! I had been thinking about teaching Italian songs to my 9 month old grand-daughter, but first I had to find them and learn them. So thanks for doing some of the work for me by bringing these to my attention! Now I will be able to prendere due piccioni con una fava: improve my Italian and have fun singing with Ella.

  2. Valentina LOVES Il Coccodrillo! We have to watch it at least 3 times a day. The version I have saved on YouTube has the lyrics so, I learned it pretty quickly. In fact, I had to (re)teach my MIL and hubby!

    ps.. Thanks to Gail for Babysanity’s YouTube channel. I know what Valentina and I will be doing tomorrow!

  3. Tricia

    I love Una Casa Molto Carina ( ) and my girls (9 & 5) love Ci vuole un fiore ( ) – that was one of the first ones they could understand & sing along.

    We also like Canzoni per Bambini I & II by Centro Raccontami ( ) We’re Americans who’ve been living in northern Italy for 2 years and my 5-yr-old taught her little Italian classmates the days of the week with one of their songs. Very catchy 😉

  4. Paola

    I love Cocco e Drilli from Lo Zecchino d’oro crica 1974 – I did a post on it here
    it takes a while for the video to load but it is so worth it 🙂 I used to sing this song over and over when I was little and was THRILLED to find it on youtube when Simone was born. Now we sing it together. I also love I Due Leocorni which I am pretty sure is also an Irish Drinking song when translated into English – LOL!!! Simone and I do the movements all the time – will have to get it on video. 🙂

  5. Lindsey

    Do you ever watch Albero Azzurro? Lots of free episodes on iTunes and there’s a song in every one…

  6. I guess I am with you I not only have to hear and see but also use the words I have heard to keep them in memory. My wife on the other hand has no problem but then again English isn’t her first language so she is use to having to learn another and takes pride in doing so.

Leave a Reply