5 Ways for Kids to Practice Spanish During the Summer

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Even though the last thing kids want to do during the summer is "study," it's vital to keep practicing Spanish when away from the classroom. Since kids learn better when engaged, it's really important to make it fun! In order to help you do just this, here are 5 easy ways to practice Spanish this summer (or any time)!


Vocabulary Scavenger Hunt

First, try a scavenger hunt! Kids always love these, and getting outside and moving is always a bonus! In fact, there are lots of different ways you can do this, and it can work with most vocabulary lists. To begin, come up with a list of words you'd like to use. Be sure to be realistic when you choose the objects (you don't want to include items that kids will never be able to find)! For example, for young kids try a very general scavenger hunt where you just have them search for things of a certain color. Spanish Mama gives some great examples of these, along with printable checklists, in this great post! For older kids, or ones who are more advanced in Spanish, you can come up with a list of common objects for which they have learned the Spanish words. Think of things that can be found outdoors, such as flowers, leaves, etc. Also, it's fine to include a few objects that you know will be in your house if you don't have enough items on your list. Finally, be sure to encourage kids to say the Spanish word for each object as they find it, and when they come back to show you the items have them say each item's Spanish name as they present it.


Boom Cards

Next, although we want kids to get off screens if possible, let's face it, that's a near-impossible task. So if they are going to be using their devices, they may as well be learning, right? One of my favorite ways to practice vocabulary is with Boom Cards. If you aren't familiar with Boom Cards, be sure to check out my post explaining just how to use them! Here is an example of my Boom deck featuring food vocabulary:


Boom Cards are fantastic because they allow kids to practice word recognition, listening skills, spelling, and more! Since there are so many choices of vocabulary words this is a great option for kids of all ages. So if you're looking for a fun, educational way to spend a rainy day this is a perfect choice!

Have a Picnic

Next, who doesn't love a picnic? Learning the words for foods in Spanish is a very common lesson, so what better way to practice than with real food? If you or your kids need a refresher in Spanish food vocabulary, be sure to check out the Boom Cards I posted about in idea #2. Once you have a general understanding of the vocabulary, first use it to put together your picnic. First, have your child(ren) decide what to bring. Discuss possible options in Spanish such as pollo (chicken), bocadillo (sandwich), fruta (fruit), etc. Then when the big items are decided you can get more specific (what kind of sandwich or fruit? What's for dessert?) and use a lot more vocabulary. Next, when you have decided upon your menu and have put it together, you can either sit outside and eat it or go for a nice walk to a park and enjoy it there. As you walk, have your kids point out things they know the words for in Spanish. Finally, while you enjoy your picnic be sure to say the words for each food in Spanish again, as well as words for any utensils, plates, etc. that your children have learned. Most of all, have fun and enjoy being outside together!

Play Outdoor Games

Next, try playing some games that kids already know but add a twist - Spanish! For example, kids of all ages love Simon Says (or, in Spanish, "Simón Dice" (See-Moan Dee-Say)). This is a great game because, in addition to getting kids moving, it allows kids to practice both nouns and verbs. Perhaps you want to practice Spanish words for parts of the body. First, explain that the game works just like Simon Says: if Simón Dice, then do the command, but if he/she does not, then don't do it. If anyone does the command when Simón NO Dice, that person is out. However, if you are just doing this with your own kids for practice it may not make sense to actually make anyone be out, so you can just decide how you'd like to play. Here are a few examples:

  • "Simón dice que toques tu cabeza" (Simon Says touch your head)
  • "Simón dice saltar arriba y abajo" (Simon Says jump up and down)
  • "Simón dice encontrar algo verde" (Simon Says find something green)
You can also get kids moving (and learning!) with a game of "vocabulary tag". First, pick a category such as animals, food, or colors. Then kids play like regular tag, but when they are about to be tagged, they can go down on one knee and shout an item that falls into the category. For example, if the category is "animales," and I was about to be tagged, I would fall to one knee and shout “elefante!” I would then be safe and the person who was “it” would have to try and tag another player instead. What other games do you think this would work with? I'd love to hear your ideas in a comment!

Charades

Finally, some good old-fashioned charades is a fabulous way to practice Spanish vocabulary. First, you will need a stack of index cards. On each card, write a Spanish word or very simple phrase (depending on what level your kids are at). Just be sure the words and phrases are relatively easy to 'act out' without using any words. For example, 'to eat' could be demonstrated by the child making a chewing motion with his or her mouth. However, the word 'lunch' would be much harder to present. In general, verbs and verb phrases work well while many nouns and some adjectives can be difficult. Therefore, this game works best when practicing verbs (so might work best with older kids). If you have enough kids you can do this in teams, otherwise, it is fun to play one against the other and keep score.

Conclusion

While kids may groan at the thought of practicing Spanish over the summer, it is truly important that they do so they are not playing catch-up in the fall. Thus, instead of fighting with your kiddos, try one of these fun activities! Hopefully, they will get outside and actually enjoy reviewing Spanish! Do you have any other ways to make practicing vocabulary less boring? Please leave a comment as I would love to hear them. Thanks and Happy Summer!

💗Marcy



by Marcy | Fabulous Classroom

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