Learning Latvian: the Best Resources for Kids

Speaking a small language has its perks but, as most Latvian parents living abroad will agree, finding books and other resources is not among them. Fortunately for us, the Internet can make learning Latvian a little easier and a lot more fun.

Read on for a collection of useful webpages, mobile apps, book stores that deliver internationally as well as some book tips for budding readers.

Interested also in another languages? Check out the collaborative collection of resources in 15 languages on Bilingual Kidspot!

Online resources

  • Lasāmkoks – a tool by the Latvian National Library that offers a digital library split by age group – from preschool kids to grown-ups.
  • Runājošās pasakas – this project is a talking book with three stories in three languages – Latvian, English and Russian – that can both be read and listened to. Each comes with a picture dictionary and a set of 10 interactive tasks.
  • Pasakas – a great page offering a large collection of fairy tales (also in audio format), animated movies, songs, colouring pages, games and more.
  • LSM Bērnistaba – aimed at preschoolers, this webpage made by the Public Broadcasting of Latvia (Latvijas Sabiedriskie Mediji) offers interactive games, videos, colouring activities, and audio stories.
  • Mazputniņš – a homepage for kids, parents and teachers that has grown from a magazine issued by Latvians living in the US and Canada. It features stories and poems, various games, colouring and activity pages.
  • Džimba – a page with games, activity pages, and educational videos on the topic of children’s safety.
  • Māci un mācies – a comprehensive resource that offers tools and materials for language learning, as well as lists games, animated movies, dictionaries, and more.
  • Short interactive games can be found at KIDI, Mana spēļu kaste, and RMM.

Useful apps

  • Pasakas – a collection of 100 beloved audio fairtyales in Latvian, spoken by famous voices like Andrejs Volmārs, Baiba Sipeniece-Gavare, Elmārs Tannis, Aija Kinca and others. Android | iPhone
  • LMT Audio pasakas – a collection of 30 winter fairytales and 30 fairytales from across the world spoken by the actors of Latvian Radio Theatre. Android | iPhone
  • Pasaku kino – around 100 animated movies from the Dauka Animated Film Studio including classics like Zaķīšu pirtiņaKaķīša dzirnaviņas and Sprīdītis. Android | iPhone
  • Ābece – a fun tool for learning the Latvian alphabet suited for preschoolers as well as adults. Android | iPhone
  • Latviešu ābece – an alternative tool, complementary to a book by the same title, that includes stories, songs and sayings to help learn the letters. Android | iPhone
  • Lociņš – a useful app for practicing one of the trickiest topics of Latvian grammar – the declension of nound. Android | iPhone
  • Gudrinieks – an interactive tool for learning numbers and basic maths skills designed for preschoolers as well as first and second graders.  iPhone
  • Kas Kas Ko – a fun trivia game with over 1000 questions in six categories, developed by teachers from the Australian Latvian community. Android | iPhone

Book stores

Liels un mazs | the publishing house for children’s literature whose speciality are innovative original books and illustrations as well as excellent translations. International delivery within 1-2 weeks.

Jānis Roze | a wide collection of original and translated books as well as e-books, games and toys, CDs and animated movies. International delivery via Latvijas Pasts or FedEx.

Valters un Rapa | a good selection of the newest children’s literature in Latvian. International delivery is available, price is individually calculated after reservation of the order.

Zvaigzne ABC | books, e-books and multimedia by the publishing house Zvaigzne, including a comprehensive selection of school books for various ages and subjects. International delivery is available.

Madris | | a smaller publishing house that offers both original and translated children’s stories, activity books, and more.

Great story books

  • Zelta pasakas and Brīnumzemes pasakas are two recently published large collections of stories by the Latvian writer and illustrator Margarita Stāraste that have been enjoyed by generations of kids.
  • Krāsainās pasakas by Imants Ziedonis, a beautiful new edition of a children’s classic.
  • Pasakas par ziediem by Anna Sakse, another classic story book.
  • Bikibuks picture poem book series that encompasses almost 100 small books, in each a Latvian artist has illustrated a Latvian poem.
  • Lupatiņi books, animated videos and music CDs, quirky and absolutely adorable.
  • Joka pēc alfabēts, a great book for learning the Latvian alphabet that comes with a DVD and a poster.
  • Ucipuci meklē mājas not only tells a sweet story about a forgotten toy owl but also teaches what to do if you get lost and includes a puppet theatre.
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Do you know any kid-friendly resources for learning Latvian that should be included in this list? Please share in the comments!

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