Updated: Jul 14, 2022
Summer is here, which means it’s time to get your kids outside and enjoying some fun games and activities. But instead of just taking your usual trip to the beach or the park, why not incorporate some Spanish-language activities while you're there? Whether you want to practice basic phrases and vocabulary or learn some new verbs, these games and activities are the perfect way to do some language learning no matter where your summer takes you. In this post, we'll share 5 fun, easy, familiar activities to do this summer that will help your kids practice Spanish:
The great thing about all of these activities is that you can easily incorporate Spanish words and phrases! You can customize it for your family, too--using more or less Spanish or using phrases and words specific to the dialect of a particular country. The kids will love this because the target language makes these familiar activities feel new and different, and they'll get better at Spanish without even realizing it! So, let's get to it...
1. Scavenger Hunt
Most kids love a good Scavenger Hunt! The best thing about a scavenger hunt is that you can make it as easy or as hard as you like, and all you really need is paper, pencil, and a good eye for finding things. And, you can do a scavenger hunt anywhere--the park, the beach, at a picnic, on a road trip--all the typical summer hang out spots!
Here are some other ways to make this game fun:
Name each item using the target language.
Tailor the game to the age of your kids by adding or removing the number of things to be found.
If you have kids of varying ages, the older kids can create the list of items and the younger kids can find them.
For older kids, you can add a time limit for how long they get to look.
Make a list on paper using simple drawings, or you can use one of our free Buscar y Encontrar (Seek & Find) printables for your hunt.
2. Memory Matching Game
The Memory Matching Game is an old time favorite of many families, with many different variations. In general, you start by laying out all the cards face down before you begin, usually in three or four rows of 3 or 4 cards each (depending on how many cards you're using). The idea is to flip two cards at a time to see if they match. If not, flip them back over. If so, that player gets to keep the cards. We love to play Memory on a rainy day or on a super hot and humid summer day, when outside makes us melt!
Here are some tips to customize it for your family:
Younger kids can use 6-9 cards.
Older kids can use 12-16 (or more!), depending on the age.
Name each image (in Spanish) as it's revealed.
Use memory cards, playing cards, or other picture/word cards that you already have OR use our Palabras de Verano vocabulary cards. (Be sure to print out two sets to play the Memory Game.)
We LOVE sidewalk chalk at Angelitos! It's super cheap and takes zero prep. Sidewalk chalk is a great item to keep on hand when you're out and about during the summer. It takes up very little space, and because it washes off the sidewalk or pavement with the rain, you don't have to worry about any clean up. (Other than maybe wiping off chalky hands with a baby wipe. 😉)
Of course, you can simply let the kiddos loose on the pavement with their chalk and their imagination--we do this often--but in case you wanted to add a little educational variety every once and awhile, here are some ideas:
Use chalk to practice name writing, letter formation, or to draw pictures.
Name easy-to-draw objects or shapes in the target language, and have your child draw with chalk (i.e. pez, pulpo, cuadrado , etc.).
Draw the alphabet with chalk, then say a letter in the target language and have your child try and hit that letter with a water balloon (or squirt it with water). You can do the same using numbers, shapes, or words.
Do a silly version of a "directed drawing" by giving instructions on what to draw, and having your child draw it, step-by-step. Example: "Draw un circulo grande. Now add tres ojos. Next, draw dos brasos y dos piernas..."
4. Simon Says/Simón Dice
Little kids LOVE this game, because they get to be in charge! We love this game because it provides endless entertainment for them. However, we do suggest letting the kiddos know that they each get a set amount of Simón Dice commands, then it'll be the next person's turn.
Here are some more ideas to make the game a little different:
Give instructions all or partially in Spanish. (ex: salta tres veces OR salta three times)
Take turns being Simón; kids LOVE having the chance to tell their grown up what to do!
Make up your own Simón Dice commands to practice naming body parts in Spanish. (ex: Touch your cabeza; put your mano on your rodilla), or use our Dado de Acción to play and practice action verbs such as PARASE, APLAUDE, CAMINA, etc.)
5. Dessert & a Movie
What kid doesn't love these two things?! Especially if they get to have some input on the movie or get to help with the dessert. This is a great activity to incorporate into one of your Spanish Saturdays (more about that in our blog post about bilingual parenting), on a rainy day, or when the heat demands you stay inside in the A/C! 🌞
Here are some ideas to get you started:
Choose one or two favorite family movies, and watch them in Spanish. The more familiar the movie, the better!
Have your kids help make an easy dessert to enjoy during the movie (cookies, brownies, etc.).
As you cook with your kiddos, say numbers and ingredients in Spanish whenever possible (ex. "Now we'll add dos huevos, and stir").
Sometimes the best way to learn a new language is by doing something fun, and these activities are perfect for that! This will help you build some bilingual literacy too, which is always awesome. It's also a great opportunity to bond with your kids, and the end result is that you end up spending quality time together, which is always a win for the family. Share with your family and friends!