Fun Spanish Learning Games for Kids (Preschool & Early Elementary)

Fun Spanish Learning Games for Kids (Preschool & Early Elementary)

Inside: Spanish learning games for kids (preschool and elementary). 

 

I have a ton of Spanish learning games I’ve collected over the years. But I’ve been missing a list just for younger kids! 

Here are games that are easy to explain, not-too-competitive, and require more listening than speaking. These are best for preschool and early elementary, before drawing and writing skills are ready to go. 

Little learners have tiny attention spans. In my experience, they’re even shorter in a foreign language class. So keep it moving along, and end the game if the interest is waning.  Anytime you are working with young kids, I recommend lots of songs, puppets, and movements. If you are looking for preschool, you may want to see my Spanish preschool series

 

Spanish Learning Games for Kids

 

1. Musical Cards

 

This one is similar to musical chairs, and requires a set of cards with images of the target vocabulary. 

If you are studying numbers, for example, hand out number cards to all of the students. (It’s okay if several students have the same number.) Turn on music and allow them to move around. When the music stops, call out a number. Whoever has that number sits down, and play continues until one student (or one number) is left!

(I saw this game discussed in the Facebook Group Teaching Spanish to Children, run by Munde de Pepita. Definitely join if you haven’t already!)

 

2. Where is the button?

 

Again, prep a set of picture cards. (Credit to Susan O’Donnell Bondy for the idea!)

Have the students sit in a circle, and spread the cards out, face up, in the middle of the circle. Tell the students close their eyes, and hide a cut-out of a button (or whatever object you choose) under a card. The students take turns guessing which card it’s under. This sounds like an output-heavy activity (the students have to say the word), but you can provide a ton of input here: A ver, ¿está debajo del queso? ¡No, no está debajo del queso! ¿Dónde está? Or, if someone says el pollo, point to the zanahoria  and ask, ¿Éste? ¡Ay no, no es el pollo!

Susan shared that she has a chant that her students do. In Spanish, it could be something like Boton-cito, boton-cito, ¿dónde está?

 

3. Bingo

 

Bingo is fun for all ages, but doesn’t always work with younger crowds. If your students aren’t able to grasp the concept of 4-in-a-row, simply play to fill the boards, without a winner. They’ll still enjoy playing, and it’s a great listening activity. 

 

4. What’s missing?

 

I’ve played this one for a long time, but I love Julie’s take on this one from Mundo de Pepita. Read her post for a full explanation, but here is the basic explanation of how I play: have a set of objects or pictures in front of the students. Have them close their eyes (or turn away!), and remove one object. They open their eyes, and guess which object is gone. 

You can maximize the language opportunity here by chatting about their guesses. ¿La manzana? ¡Uy, la manzana está aquí! No es la manazana… ¿qué es, clase?

Spanish learning games

 

5. ¿Qué hay en la bolsa?

 

This is another fun guessing game, and best if it’s a real object or toy. I like to call up one student to put their hand in the bag, and feel they object. They can guess what it is, and if the answer isn’t correct another student gets to try guessing. 

For slightly older classes who know some basic like colors, big, small, you could also give them clues about what’s in the bag, and have them take some guesses after each clue. 

 

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Spanish learning games for kids

Cinco Monitos Song Lyrics and Free Printable

Cinco Monitos Song Lyrics and Free Printable

Inside: Lyrics and activities for the song Cinco monitos.

Cinco monitos– Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed– is a fun song for little (or bigger!) Spanish learners. Use it to teach numbers 1-5, and beginning phrases like la cama, no más, la cabeza, and se cayó. 

cinco monitos letras y titeres

 

If you are looking for songs in general, you might like my lists of Nursery Rhymes in Spanish, Spanish Lullabies, or general Songs in Spanish for kids. These Cinco monitos materials are also part of my lesson on numbers for Prek-2nd grade. 

 

Cinco monitos: Lyrics / Letras

 

You’ll find a variety of lyrics for this song. Our personal favorite is the version sung by Toobys, so these lyrics are from that version. (The printable lyrics are available in the download below.)

Cinco monitos saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

Cuatro monitos saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

Tres monitos saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

Dos monitos saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

Un monito saltando en la cama,
Uno cayó al piso y la cabeza se golpeó,
Mamá llamó al doctor y el doctor la consejó,
-¡Ya no más monos saltando en la cama!

 

Here’s the song on YouTube:

 

Cinco monitos: Activities / Actividades

 

This song can be a fun one to act out! Print the five little monkeys finger puppets, or glue the monkeys onto popsicle sticks, and cut out the bed image. 

 

 

cinco monitos actividades

Here are more videos of los Cinco monitos. You’ll see here just how many different ways there are to sing it:

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back to School Spanish Activities: The Ultimate Round-Up of Plans and Ideas

Back to School Spanish Activities: The Ultimate Round-Up of Plans and Ideas

Inside: Back to school Spanish activities and plans.

I don’t know about you, but beginnings make me anxious. Or maybe it’s more like this: the anticipation of beginnings makes me anxious. Even on Sunday nights–in the middle of the school year– I get those butterflies. Once school starts, we jump in and it really is okay! (Especially now that I have a clearer idea of where we’re going and how students take in language.) That week-before is just tricky.

Teaching for ten years now, back-to-school has gotten better. I wish I’d had easy access to ideas from other teachers in those early days, so I’ve gathered these back-to-school Spanish lesson posts into one place. Whether you’re a newbie or a veteran, here you’ll have tons of great ideas at your fingertips! (more…)

50 of the Best Authentic Spanish Books for Kids

50 of the Best Authentic Spanish Books for Kids

Inside: Authentic Spanish books for kids.

While I love our stash of picture books in Spanish and English, I really like finding original Spanish titles. And authentic Spanish books for kids are not always easy to get! It’s taken some digging, but I’ve found quite a few treasures here. As a non-native Spanish speaker, I love knowing these books will expose my kids to that authentic voice and culture I can’t always provide.

Although some books listed here are bilingual, I looked for ones that were written in Spanish first, by a native author. Normally I like to include a little blurb about each title, but we’re still working our way through the list. I didn’t want to wait to share all of these with you!

You’ll notice this list is very Alma Flor Ada-heavy as well. Honestly, I just love her books, and there were many more I could have included. Let me know in the comments what you would add to your list!

For more book lists and suggestions, be sure to see my Spanish children’s books page. 

This post contains affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

 

Authentic Spanish Books for Kids

Poetry/Music

 

¡Pío Peep!: Traditional Spanish Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)

De Colores and Other Latin American Folksongs for Children (Anthology) (Spanish Edition)

Arrorro, Mi Nino

Little Chickies / Los Pollitos (Canticos)

Little Elephants / Elefantitos (Canticos)

Muu, Moo!: Rimas de animales/Animal Nursery Rhymes (Spanish Edition)

Todo es canción: Antología poética (Spanish Edition)

Arroz con leche: canciones y ritmos populares de América Latina Popular Songs and Rhymes From Latin America (English and Spanish Edition)

Pimpon (Coleccion Puertas al Sol)

 

 

 

 

Mama Goose: A Latino Nursery Treasury (English and Spanish Edition)

 

Alphabet Books

 

Abecedario De Los Animales (Spanish Edition)

Mi primer abecedario (Abececuentos) (Spanish Edition)

Olinguito, de La A a la Z!/Olinguito, from A to Z!

El Abecedario De Don Hilario

Gathering the Sun: An Alphabet In Spanish And English (Spanish Edition)

¡Todos a Comer! A Mexican Food Alphabet Book (Bilingual English and Spanish Edition)

 

Authentic Spanish Fiction

 

Una extraña visita (Libros Para Contar / Stories for the Telling) (Spanish Edition)

El Canto Del Mosquito / Song of the Teeny-tiny Mosquito (Libros Para Contar (Little Books)) (Spanish Edition

Viva la tortuga! (Long Live the Turtle) (Spanish Edition)

El papalote / The Kite (Spanish Edition) (Cuentos Para Todo el Ano / Stories The Year Round)

Juan Bobo Goes to Work (Spanish edition): Juan Bobo busca trabajo

Instrucciones para que el hipopotamo duerma solo (Spanish Edition)

Me gustaria tener… (Libros Para Contar / Stories for the Telling) (Spanish Edition

La jaula dorada / The Golden Cage (Spanish Edition) (Cuentos Para Todo el Ao / Stories The Year Round)

El mejor es mi papa (Serie Amarilla) (Spanish Edition)

El Flamboyán Amarillo (Spanish Edition)

Folktales, Classics, & Legends

 

The Lizard and the Sun / La Lagartija y el Sol (Picture Yearling Book) (Spanish Edition)

Cuentos que contaban nuestras abuelas (Tales Our Abuelitas Told): Cuentos populares Hispánicos (Spanish Edition)

Bossy Gallito / El gallo de bodas: (Bilingual) (Spanish Edition)

Ratoncito Perez, Cartero (Puertas al Sol)

Los Zapaticos de Rosa

Chumba la Cachumba

De como dicen que fue hecho el mar (Spanish Edition)

De oro y esmeraldas: mitos, leyendas y cuentos popules de latinoamérica


Paco Yunque (Spanish Edition)

 

 

Authentic Books in Spanish for Kids: Culture & Geography

 

En Alas del Condor (Puertas al Sol)

Ojos del Jaguar (Puertas al Sol)

Authentic Picture Books in Spanish for kids

 

Free Downloadable Authentic Picture Books in Spanish for Kids

¡Qué montón de Tamales! (Spanish Edition)

In My Family/En mi familia

Family Pictures, 15th Anniversary Edition / Cuadros de Familia, Edición Quinceañera

What Can You Do With a Rebozo?/¿Qué puedes hacer con un rebozo? (English and Spanish Edition)

Vuelo del quetzal (Puertas Al Sol / Gateways to the Sun) (Spanish Edition)

La Isla (Spanish Edition) (Picture Puffin Books)

Abuela (Spanish Edition)

Biographies

Conoce a Pablo Neruda / Get to Know Pablo Neruda (Bilingual) (Personajes Del Mundo Hispánico / Historical Figures of the Hispanic World) (Spanish Edition)

Conoce a Gabriela Mistral / Get to Know Gabriela Mistral (Bilingual) (Personajes Del Mundo Hispanico / Characters of the Hispanic World) (Personajes … of the Hispanic World) (Spanish Edition

Don Quijote para siempre (Spanish Edition) (N/A)

ANTI PRINCESAS 1: FRIDA KAHLO PARA CHICAS Y CHICOS

Violeta Parra para chicas y chicos

Viva Frida (Morales, Yuyi)

 

Holidays & Celebrations

 

Celebra Cinco De Mayo Con Un Jarabe Tapatio / Celebrate Cinco De Mayo With the Mexican Hat Dance (Cuentos Para Celebrar) (Spanish Edition

Celebra la Navidad y el Día de los Reyes Magos con Pablo y Carlitos (Cuentos Para Celebrar / Stories To Celebrate) (Spanish Edition

Piñatas and Paper Flowers: Holidays of the Americas in English and Spanish / Piñatas y flores de papel: Fiestas de las Américas en inglés y español (Spanish and English Edition)

What other authentic Spanish children’s books do you love? Let me know in the comments below!

 

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Authentic Books in Spanish for Kids

The Ultimate Free Guide to Learn Spanish Online with Kids

The Ultimate Free Guide to Learn Spanish Online with Kids

Inside: Free resources to learn Spanish online with kids.

 

It’s easier than ever to learn language now, with so many online Spanish resources for kids– for free! The hardest part is just going through all of them and deciding where to start.

No worries though: I’ve collected and sorted through the most popular Spanish resources, so you can find what you need. If I am missing any, let me know! I’ve also got you covered if you want to teach yourself Spanish and need resources for an older crowd.

Learn Spanish Online with Kids

SHOWS FOR SPANISH LEARNERS

 

1. Salsa
This PBS series was designed to teach Spanish through 15 or 30-minute story segments. You can access all the episodes here at Georgia Public Broadcasting.

salsa

 

 

 

2. Oh Noah!
Another PBS series, these episodes are a mix of Spanish and English. Noah goes to live with his grandmother in a neighborhood where most people only speak Spanish. All are available on YouTube.

 
 
 

3. Calico Spanish
Calico Spanish is mentioned again below for their songs, but they have stories and conversations online as well.

 

4. ¡Habla Jorge!

 

 

5. Maguaré

If mom or dad speak some Spanish, and the kids aren’t complete novices, Maguaré is a huge website from Colombia, packed with stories, songs, online books, and more. 

AUTHENTIC SHOWS in SPANISH

 

If you already have Netflix, you can see my Spanish cartoons on Netflix page

 

1. Peppa Pig
There are tons of free Peppa Pig shows on YouTube. They will be difficult for true beginners, but if your kids know a little they will definitely recognize words and phrases. Most of the language is clear, simple, and repetitive, and the action is slow enough that the language is more accessible. (Find the official Spanish channel here.)

 

 
 

2. La vaca hace mu
This series was made for Spanish speaking children, but would be great for learners as well. The language is very repetitive and easy to understand for novices. Each episode features a different animal and tells all about them.

 

 

3. Pocoyó
Pocoyo is another series with many episodes on YouTube in Spanish. This is a popular one among kids and has high comprehensibility as well.

 

4. Caillou
Again, lots of free episodes on YouTube.

 

5. Semillitas
Made for Spanish speakers, but could work for more advanced learners. YouTube channel here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KCQQXfpbPfE
 

LEARN SPANISH ONLINE WITH SONGS

 

Songs are some of the most effective online Spanish resources for kids, especially when their parents aren’t native speakers. (I have started a collection of songs by theme you can access here!)

 

1. Calico Spanish
I really love how these videos have subtitles– perfect for parents trying to learn along with their kids! Find the homepage for the YouTube channel here.

 

 

2. Super Simple Spanish
An excellent resource for Spanish learners. Highly comprehensible, with songs that go beyond simple themes of numbers and colors, with communicative language. See the official YouTube channel

 

 

3. Rockalingua
Rockalingua has many songs for Spanish learners by topic as well.

 

 

4. Toobys
These are designed for younger kids, and have been really popular at our house. Songs from Toobys could be for Spanish learners or native speakers. Find the YouTube channel here.

 

 

5. Leoncito Alado
Made for native speakers, but slow enough to help learners. YouTube channel here.

 

 

5. Basho & Friends
Elementary-aged student students will find Basho & Friends feels less “little kid” but still comprehensible.  YouTube channel here.

 

LEARN SPANISH WITH KIDS ONLINE

ONLINE SPANISH STORIES & POEMS

 

1. A Collection of 50 Spanish Stories from Spanish Playground
A huge list of links to stories in Spanish.

2. Spanish Children’s Stories by The Spanish Experiment
Famous stories read by native speakers.

3. Children’s Short Stories in Spanish by 123 TeachMe

4. Collection of Poemas by Spanish Mama
Some of the most famous rhymes and poems in Spanish.

5. Songs and Rhymes from Mama Lisa’s World

6. Fables Told in Simple Spanish by Spanish Mama
These stories are told in picture format with only beginning vocabulary Some of these would be better for older elementary.

WEBSITES AND BLOGS

 

1. Spanish Playground
There are tons of resources on this site for Spanish learners.

2. Preschool Lessons from Spanish Mama
Designed for parents who speak some Spanish, or for teaching preschool Spanish classes.

3. 20 Spanish Apps and Games for Kids from Kid World Citizen
Great list for learners at home!

4. ÁrbolABC
Literacy activities similar to ABC Mouse, but in Spanish. 

5. Spanish Town
The site is newly designed, with lots of games and activities.

6. Online Free Spanish
Online activities, divided by level. 

 

Learn Spanish Online With Kids

What are your favorites resources to learn Spanish online with kids? Tell me about them in the comments below!

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Learn Spanish Online with Kids

The Best Spanish Cartoons and Shows on Netflix

The Best Spanish Cartoons and Shows on Netflix

Inside: The best Spanish cartoons and shows for kids, on Netflix.

Cartoons can be a great source of Spanish input for little learners. Now, we all know to limit screen time for kids, right?

BUT… videos and shows really can be an incredible resource for authentic and rich language.

I’m not a native Spanish-speaker and can’t provide a totally fluent environment for my kids, by myself. (My husband is fluent, but not at home as much as I am.) So we rely on music, books, and shows to round out the input. Sometimes it’s funny to hear my three-year-old bust out a phrase I know I’ve never used (¡Ay, cielos! from Pooh).

Netflix has a fair amount of cartoons and movies with audio in Spanish, and here are my top picks. They do pull and add shows, so this list may change. Lucky for us, most Netflix original series are available in multiple languages and stay there for good!

 

 

(If you are looking for something for yourself, here’s a giant list of movies in Spanish, and another huge list of Spanish shows on Netflix. I’ve also got you covered with lists of bilingual books for kids, authentic books in Spanish for kids, songs in Spanish, and free online resources to learn Spanish with kids.)

 

I’ve include trailers for our favorite series, but they are mostly only available in English. 

 

Our Favorite Spanish Cartoons on Netflix for Kids:

 

1. Puffin Rock

We love, love, love this show! It’s nature-based, with lovely graphics and sweet story-lines. The audio is very clear and understandable, and would be perfect for learners who understand a fair amount of Spanish, but aren’t fluent yet.

 

2. Llama Llama

The popular children’s series has arrived to Netflix- WITH Spanish audio!

 

3. Peppa Pig

I really like the slow pace and simple storylines. This is an excellent show for kids who aren’t fluent, because the audio is very clear. Even beginners would be able to pick out the phrases they already know. (This show isn’t available in every country. If you can’t find it, you can still access the Peppa Pig Spanish Channel on YouTube, with complete episodes!)

 

4. Pocoyo

This is the best show for absolute beginners, as the phrases tend to be more isolated and easy to catch. Kids love this one! Again, not available in every country, but most episodes can be found on YouTube

 

5. Little Baby Bum

This is a series of popular children’s songs and nursery rhymes available in Spanish. Listening to songs is really one of the most effective ways to learn a language, and would be perfect for little ones.

 

6. Piglet’s Big Movie

Unfortunately, the original Pooh movies have been removed. This one has good audio though, and stay pretty close to the originals. 

 

 

More Shows in Spanish on Netflix for Kids:

 

Below are series we haven’t necessarily seen or watch, but are in Spanish. Let me know if you love any and would recommend them!

1. Masha and the Bear

 

2. 72 Cutest Animals
(a nature show)

 

3. The Hive

 

 

4. Clifford

 

5. Word Party

 

6. Luna Petunia

 

7. Kazoops

 

8. Beat Bugs

9. Popples

10. Cars Toons: Mater’s Tall Tales

11. Pororo

12. Inspector Gadget

13. Curious George

14. Ask the Storybots

15. Lalaloopsy

16. Julie’s Greenroom

17. Justin Time Go!

18. Care Bears and Cousins

19.Veggie Tales in the House

20. Trolls

And movies (some aren’t toddler-appropriate):

1. The Little Prince

2. Tarzan

3. The Fox and the Hound

4. The Wings of Life (nature documentary)

5. Lilo & Stitch

6. Kung Fu Panda

7. Brother Bear

8. Zootopia

9. All the Mickey Mouse movies

10. Disney Short Films

 

Did I miss any of your favorite Spanish cartoons and shows? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

 

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Shows in Spanish on Netflix for Kids

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