Simple Spanish Activities = Lots of Conversation Practice

October 1st, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

Sometimes the best teaching and learning activities are the simple ones.  As a teacher, I feel like I am always planning, creating, organizing, and preparing activities and lessons that my students will like and that are effective and engaging for their Spanish language development.  I love when simple activities turn into great conversations, and allow kids to naturally practice communicative skills and learn Spanish while having fun!  Here are some examples of very simple activities that can be used for conversation builders.

1. Simple coloring activities in Spanish:  when practicing colors, I lay out crayons throughout the circle and when kids need a certain color, they have to look for it and ask their friends if they can borrow a color.  The kids really get into using their vocabulary and practicing the question and answers.  Example:  ¿Puedo usar el rojo? ¿Tienes el color morado? No lo tengo.  Si.  Gracias. De nada. etc.   These are words and phrases that they are confident with, so the communication is a great way to practice fluency.

coloring2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Number recognition and counting in Spanish:   an activity as simple as allowing a child to use a pointer and count 1- 20 is a great way to illicit speaking practice.  I have my other students give the counter several commands such as ” busca cinco, or busca veinte, or cuenta hasta 8″.  Both students are having a chance to speak and communicate.  Kids loving taking turns and giving their friends commands to follow.  With older students, we take turn giving math equations out loud and the counter has to find the answer, ” cinco por tres,  veinte menos ocho, etc.”

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3. Play I Spy in Spanish, Veo Veo:  kids love to play I Spy and it is such a simple activity that can be modified in so many different ways.  We simply play it using colors and kids have to spy things around the room.  But another variation is to allow children to look through books and pick a central theme.  For example, using Dora books, we try to find family members, friends, or specific items.  When the child finds it, more conversation is sure follow:  ‘¿ qué hace Dora? ¿por qué está corriendo Boots?  ¿de qué color es la mochila? Etc.

veo veo

Practice Spanish Using Maracas

July 14th, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

 

 

Las Maracas

 

 

 

Objective:  to create rhythms to enhance fluency with Spanish numbers and counting.

 

Maracas are always a hit with kids, as they love to make noise and it is an active method of developing and practicing Spanish numbers and fluency.

 

  • Shake maracas and count out loud the desired number.
  • Create rhythms and count aloud.

    Ex.   Uno, dos, uno, dos, uno, dos

  • Go around the circle and each child has a turn to count and shake maracas.
  • Count backwards 10- 1, or 20-1
  • Give directions and numbers:  Cinco arriba,  10 detrás, etc.
  • Depending on age and ability level of children, count by 2’s, 5’s, 10’s, etc.
  • Create rhythms by shaking maracas and couting aloud.  Have children imitate your rhythms.  Then allow kids to lead the activity and count aloud in Spanish.
    • Ex:  uno, dos, uno, dos, tres, uno, dos….

Maracas are inexpensive items that can be found at www.orientaltrading.com, www.thedollartree.com, and www.partycity.com.    Or you can simply make your own from plastic eggs, toilet paper rolls, etc.  It is fun to be creative and find small objects to fill with beans or beads for your homemade maracas.  

Spanish Camp for Kids- 2014

June 13th, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

Spanish Summer Camp 2014

¡Viva la música!

Children will be creating their own instruments and learning about music, rhythms, and cultural songs from various Spanish speaking countries.  We will make drums, maracas, guitars, and play them in our own band!  Traditional games and activities played at Fiestas will be enjoyed as well!  Parents join us at the end of the last day for a special presentation.

 

Join Bilingual Fun this summer for interactive and fun filled Spanish camp!  Our Spanish summer camps provide an opportunity for children to practice and learn Spanish in a natural environment through music, movement, games, interactive lessons, crafts and more! Bilingual Fun offers Spanish classes and camps which are designed to introduce children to the language through cultural and  age appropriate immersion activities, through fun, play based activities.

 

Healthy snacks will be provided each day.  Campers are encouraged to bring their own water bottle.

 

Camp session will be divided into two age groups:

Preschool- K , and 1st- 5th grade

 

2 locations:

August 5, 6, 7

Farmington Hills- Orchard UMC

 

August 12, 13,14

Plymouth-PraiseBaptistChurch

 

9 am – 12 noon

Tuition: $80/child.  10 % sibiling discount

 

Registration:

Please send an email to info@bilingualfun.com with the subject line Spanish camp.   Let us know which week you are interested in and how many kids you would like to register. We will send you an online payment link and instructions to pay via check.

 

Space is limited, so please contact us today!  We look forward to seeing your kids at Spanish Summer Camp! 

Fun Spanish Games for Children

May 12th, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

Kids Have Fun Learning Spanish with Interactive Games

This month the Bilingual Fun children are working on a Food unit.  There are so many vocabulary words to learn and remember, so we always incorporate movement and kinesthetic activities to keep things fun and to encourage active learning.

Hacer un Sandwich Activity:

We are big fans of Melissa and Doug’s Sandwich Stacker game.  It has large Velcro pieces, with ingredient cards.  There are so many different ways to play the game, and all of the activities include listening, speaking, and movement.  If you don’t have this game, you can simply make large visuals from cardstock or construction paper.  The philosophy of the activities is to have the kids identify la comida and follow patterns.  Here are a few of the fun ways we use this activity to teach Spanish to kids:

1. Put kids in small groups and give them the ingredient cards.  They have to make the sandwich as fast as they can.  When completed they have to tell you the ingedients and if they like it or not.  Some combinations are very silly and the kids think it is funny to have  la mermelada con el queso, etc.

2.  Place bread visuals in the center of the circle.  Hand out ingredients to kids.  They must  say the word and toss the ingredient onto the bread when you call it out in Spanish.  Very fun!  Once the words have been practiced, have different kids be the caller and they have to decide what goes on the sandwich.

3.  Jumping and Speaking:  Place all ingredients on the floor in a line or pattern.  Kids have to jump over each item and say the word before they jump.  Kids love this game and the kinesthetic aspect helps to reinforce the vocabulary each time!

The Sandwich activity works well with La Pizza , La Ensalada, or any other food that has several ingredients.   Children learn best when actively participating and having fun, so give these simple, fun Spanish activities a try at home or with your students!

 

Spanish Summer Camp with Bilingual Fun

April 30th, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

Spanish Summer Camp 2014

¡Viva la música!

Bilingual Fun®

 

Children will be creating their own instruments and learning about music, rhythms, and cultural songs from various Spanish speaking countries.  We will make drums, maracas, guitars, and play them in our own band!  Traditional games and activities played at Fiestas will be enjoyed as well!  Parents join us at the end of the last day for a special presentation.

 

Join Bilingual Fun this summer for interactive and fun filled Spanishcamp!  Our Spanish summer camps provide an opportunity for children to practice and learn Spanish in a natural environment through music, movement, games, interactive lessons, crafts and more! Bilingual Fun offers Spanish classes and camps which are designed to introduce children to the language through cultural and  age appropriate immersion activities, through fun, play based activities.

 

Healthy snacks will be provided each day.  Campers are encouraged to bring their own water bottle.

 

Camp session will be divided into two age groups:

Preschool- K , and 1st- 5th grade

 

2 locations:

August 5, 6, 7

Farmington Hills- Orchard UMC

 

August 12, 13,14

Plymouth-PraiseBaptistChurch

 

 

 

9 am – 12 noon

Tuition: $80/child.  10 % sibiling discount

 

Registration:

Please send us an email with the subject line Spanish camp.   Let us know which week you are interested in and how many kids you would like to register. We will send you an online payment link and instructions to pay via check.

 Space is limited, so please contact us today!  We look forward to seeing your kids at Spanish Summer Camp!  Gracias

Parent Survey- We want to hear from you!

March 13th, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

Bilingual Fun Feedback request

 

Hola amigos,

We are thrilled to have connected with hundreds of families in the Bilingual Fun program in the past several years.  We are always trying to keep things fresh, fun, and most of all effective!  As many of you are current and past Bilingual Fun participants, we would be grateful for your feedback and thoughts.  Please take a sec to fill out our survey below.  All answers will remain anonymous.  Of course if you have additional feedback or requests,  you know you may contact me directly at Jennifer@bilingualfun.com.   We love teaching your children and interacting with your families!   Thank you for letting us be a part of your language learning experience.  Mil gracias por todo! :)

Click here to take survey

Bilingual Learning with Music and Movement

February 25th, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

5 Monitos- 5 Little Monkeys

 

Kids of all ages love the song about the 5 little monkeys swinging the tree, teasing Mr. Alligator…. While teaching this song in Spanish, the kids are able to easily make connections with the movements they know from the English version, as they listen and participate with the Spanish version.     I use the musical version from Dr. Jean’s Ole, Ole, Ole Cd.  Here are the lyrics and movement suggestions for kids learning Spanish.  This is a fun activity to engage the bilingual development through music and movement!

 

5 monitos   ( hold up 5 fingers)

columpiándose en un árbol ( swinging motions with arms)

molestando al caiman (  teasing motions with hands next to ears)

no me puedes agarrar ( wag finger and shake head)

llegó el caiman muy calladito  ( slither arms slowly like an alligator)

y

agarró

al monito fuera del arbolito (  snap hands together like an alligator’s mouth).

Review the song and movements after singing.  Kids will easily be able to respond to the vocabulary and make connections with the movements!

Valentine Spanish Activities

February 6th, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

 

With el Dia de San Valentin approaching, we want to share a few ideas for extending simple holiday activities in Spanish.

Teach Formas y Figuras: los corazones are the highlight of this activity. Simply use colored paper or colored felt. Cut out a variety of different shapes, including many hearts. Have students place them on the feltboard or large paper when you call out the shape, encouraging kids to make a collage. As a reinforcement, ask kids to count los corazones and identify the color of each.

 

Word Scramble: this is a great activity for practicing the alphabet and letter sounds. Teach and reinforce several different words pertaining to Valentine’s Day ( amor, tarjeta, beso, abrazo, te quiero,etc). Scramble the words and have kids work in teams to unscramble and spell correctly.

Los Dulces—Sorting: use conversation hearts ( sold in Spanish at many stores!). Give kids a small pile of hearts and have them make a simple graph of each color. Reinforce with the group, making a class graph discussing student’s favorites. Practice me gusta, no me gusta.

Loteria: use a simple blank template for Bingo and have kids write their own words in the blanks. Use conversation hearts or heart cut outs as cover pieces. Great practice for reinforcing Valentine vocabulary in Spanish.

Kids Learn Spanish at Home with Fun Resources

January 28th, 2014  / Author: Jennifer

Online Spanish Games and Apps for Kids

 

Real life interactions and exposure are important ways to keep your child’s language learning stimulated.  However, supplementing their exposure with various materials and resources are an integral part of their language development.     Kids learn Spanish through games and play based activities. Since many families are inside their homes this winter due to freezing temperatures, I thought I would share a few good sites to help children learn and practice Spanish from home or on the go with bilingual and Spanish apps.

One of our favorites is Oh Noah from PBS Kids. Great audio and simple for kids to follow along on their own.

http://pbskids.org/noah/howdoyousay.html

Online Free Spanish is filled with great activities for kids learning Spanish

http://www.onlinefreespanish.com

Great Bilingual and Spanish Apps
Gus on the Go

http://www.gusonthego.com/

PicPocket Boods

http://www.picpocketbooks.com

Holiday Number Activities in Spanish

December 15th, 2013  / Author: Jennifer

 

Practice Spanish Numbers with Fun Holiday Activities

Here are a few activities that the Bilingual Fun kids have been doing to reinforce numbers, using Holiday themes in Spanish.

 

Gingerbread Dice Game:

1. Simply write numbers all over a gingerbread template.

2. Give kids each a dice and have them take turns rolling.

3.  They must find their number on the gingerbread man, say it in Spanish.  We used magnets, but you can simply have kids cover the number with a sticker, colored pom pom, or do individual activity and have them circle the number. Lots of language objectives can be practiced:  question/answer, listening practice, number identification, etc.

4. With our older students, the kids worked in pairs and had 2 dice.  They practiced multiplication sentences  and had to find the larger numbers. Ejemplo:  cinco por ocho son cuarenta, etc, etc.

Hide the Object

1.  Find a simple Advent Calendar with pockets ( The Dollar Tree has a good selection).

2.  Use holiday themed stickers or foam shapes to hide in the pockets.

3.  Choose a variety to reinforce vocabulary.  We used la estrella, el osito, el regalo, el copo de nieve, etc.

4.  Have kids close their eyes and hide the visuals in the number pockets.  Then kids take turns guessing where it is hidden.

5.  Before each child takes a turn, ask the question as a group, so that all kids are having a chance to produce the language.

6.  Depending on the age of the kids, allow students to hide the visuals and lead the question/answer activity.

This is a very fun activity and the kids love to anticipate where it may be hidden.  Advent Calendars give a good opportunity for children to practice the numbers in Spanish from uno- veinticinco.

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