Games are a fun way to reinforce a new language in a way that is fun to practice, and where the words are used in context so they stick. Here are 2 Spanish games you can use at home:
This activity uses a “Twister” game board to teach some Spanish. To prepare, set out your board, or make your own playing area by placing colored pieces of paper on the ground.
The instructions in Spanish are,
“Pon tu [insert body part – hand foot or head] [insert left or right if needed] en el color [insert color].”
Pon tu mano derecha en el color azul (pohn too mah-noe deh-rech-ah in ell koh-lohr ah-zool)- put your right hand on the color blue
Pon tu pie izquierdo en el color naranja (pohn too pea-aye ess-kwair-doh in ell koh-lohr nah-rah-nya)- put your left foot on the color orange
Here’s a list of words you may need:
Izquierda (ess-kwair-doh) – Left
Derecha (deh-rech-ah) – Right
Mano (mah-no) – Hand
Pie (pea-aye) – Foot
Cabeza (kah-bey-zah) – Head
Rojo (roh-hoe) – Red
Naranja (nah-rah-nya)- Orange
Amarillo (ah-mah-ree-yo) – Yellow
Verde (vehr-day) – Green
Negro (nay-grow) – Black
Blanco (blahn-koh) – White
To play, one person calls out the instructions which the others follow. Each instruction gives a body part (left or right hand, left or right foot, or head) and a color to move that body part to. Each player moves the named body part to the color in the instruction. You can select the body parts and colors with the twister spinner, or assign numbers on a pair of dice (one represents color, one represents body part), or just call out whatever you like.
The last one to fall down wins!
Another fun game to play with children is similar to charades. If you are new to Spanish, make up some flash cards or reference sheets to assist in your guessing.
To play, each person takes a turn pretending to be an animal. The person who correctly guesses the animal and names it in Spanish gets to go next!
Here’s a list of animal names to get you started:
el alce (ell owl-say)- elk, moose
el caballo (el kah-bai-yo)- horse
el camello (el kah-mey-yo)- camel
el canguro (el can-gwair-oh)- kangaroo
la cebra (la say-bra)- zebra
el cerdo (ell sair-doe)- pig
el chimpancé (ell chim-pan-say)- chimpanzee
el ciervo (ell see-air-voh)- deer
el conejo (ell koh-nay-ho)- rabbit
el elefante (ell ell-eh-fahn-tay)- elephant
la foca (la foe-kah)- seal
el gato (ell gah-toe)- cat
el gorila (ell go-rihl-ah)- gorilla
el guepardo (ell gweh-pahr-doe)- cheetah
la jirafa (la jeer-ah-fah)- giraffe
el hipopótamo (ell hip-poe-poe-tah-moe)- hippopotamus
el koala (ell koh-all-ah)- koala
el león (ell lee-ohn)- lion
el león marino (ell lee-ohn mar-ee-no)- sea lion
el leopardo (ell lee-oh-pahr-doe)- leopard
el mono (ell moh-no)- monkey
el oso (ell oh-sew)- bear
el perro (ell pear-oh)- dog
el rinoceronte (ell ree-no-sir-ahn-tay)- rhinoceros
el tigre (ell tee-gray)- tiger
el zorro (ell zohr-roh)- fox
You’ve just had some quality play time with your kids, and squeezed in some Spanish as well!
These games are excerpted with permission from Lightning-fast Spanish for Kids and Families: Learn Spanish, Speak Spanish, Teach Kids Spanish, Quick As A Flash, Even If You Don’t Speak A Word Now.