Monday, December 29, 2014

Jump and Learn Game

Here's a fun, active game to play with your kids to help them practice the names of shapes or numbers and colors in Spanish.  It can be played indoors or outdoors with different materials.


OUTDOORS: Chalk, and an area with cement.

INDOORS: Colored construction paper and scissors (you can also use colored play foam sheets, which cost more, but last longer).


OUTDOORS: Draw shapes or letters or numbers with various color chalk.

INDOORS: Cut out shapes in various colors and lay them around the room.  To practice numbers or letter draw a number or letter on each shape.


To play the game, the parent or leader calls out shape or number or letter or color names in Spanish. The children have to run to the correct shape (or shape in the correct color) and stand or jump on it (for indoors, I suggest telling kids to just touch it with their foot, as the paper gets messed up pretty quick). You can mix it up and draw pictures of other vocabulary you want to cover and practice it in the same way.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Learning Colors and Numbers With UNO

I taught my children the colors just by playing UNO with them. Every time I laid down a card I would say the color name. They learned the colors quickly and soon were saying them too. This is also a good game to teach numbers with (though if you say the numbers every time, it's a little confusing when someone gets "UNO".).  You can also incorporate many phrases, like the ones I list below.  Your children will be pick these up in no time if you use them while you play (though you may have to explain what they mean at first. .

Some Phrases to Use While Playing UNO

I need a card. - Necesito una carta.

Do you need a card? – ¿Necesitas una carta?

Your turn! – ¡Te toca!

My turn! –  ¡Me toca!

Pick up a card  – Saca una carta.

Pick up two cards - Saca dos cartas.

Pick up four cards - Saca cuatro cartas.

I already picked up a card. – Ya saqué una carta.

You go first. –  Tú empiezas.   (Or, you can say "Tú sales.")

Are you ready to play? – ¿Estás listo para jugar?

I’m ready. – Estoy listo.

This post includes Amazon Referral Links for which I receive compensation.  All opinions are my own.

Monday, May 5, 2014

About Levels and Ratings

Nearly every post will be tagged with the level of difficulty and age level, to help you find resources best for your child.  You can find the tags at the bottom of the post.  Post with multiple resources at different levels will be tagged with all levels included.

Level of Difficulty
In some cases I may tag/label a post or resource by levels.  These are made up entirely by me and while it's  tempting to call them beginning, intermediate, and advanced, this is really just varying stages of beginning, as I share very few truely "advanced" stage resources here.  This is not based on age.

Level 1 resources and activities can be used with kids that have no prior knowledge of Spanish.  These are things that help introduce concepts and vocabulary for the first time.  They are usually translated, or are so obvious from context that they require no prior knowledge.

Level 2
Level 2 resources and activities are still pretty basic.  Very little prior knowledge is needed.   Videos,  songs, and games which use Spanish without translation, but which a child could understand a lot of  through context or pictures, would be in this level.  

Level 3
Level 3 resources require more prior knowledge.  Videos at this level are usually entirely in Spanish, and may not be able to be entirely understood just through visuals.  Games may be entirely in Spanish with no translation.  These resources may require quite a bit more prior knowledge for a child to use and understand on their own, and may require a Spanish speaking parent or teacher's help.

Age Level
Age level is based loosely on what kids like at various ages, and are ready for. Age Level may assume education level (ie, preschool level items will not require reading, while late elementary, middle school, etc. may).   However, age is not connected to Spanish skill level.  So, there might be some preschool level items which are still at Level 3 as they may require some Spanish vocabulary knowledge, or some high school level stuff at Level 1 (requiring no previous knowledge).



Early Elementary

Late Elementary

Middle School

High School

About Learning Spanish With Kids

I am only fluent in one language--English.  I wish that weren't the case.  I speak Spanish and ASL sign language just well enough to stumble through a very basic conversation with a patient native speaker.  Yet even with my poor amount of skill I've found what I know of these other languages useful.  When the only restaurant we could find open Christmas eve was a Taqueria with a waitress that spoke less English than we spoke Spanish, we got by.  When my dad's roommate at the nursing home was a man that only spoke Spanish, I was able communicate at least a little.  Moments like these show me what a gift a second language is.

And the best time to learn a second language is when you are still I am trying to teach my Children Spanish (and sign) even though I'm still only learning myself.  I'm learning with them, and I want to share what I learn and find helpful in the process here with you.