You may have taken Spanish in high school and forgotten it all; you may know a little Spanish from Dora or Sesame street; you may speak a little Spanish from your restaurant days. That is awesome! Keep going! Below is a quick and easy Spanish lesson that you can slip right into your playtime at home with your kidlets, with your students in your preschool class, or even to teach yourself. Thinking like a kid is the best way to learn Spanish and it is spelled F-U-N.
This is the first post in the series Learn Spanish through Play: Cars
Get out your favorite bucket'o cars and dump them out in a wide open space for sorting. They are already on the floor (always the case at my house)? Even better. First off, as the parent or educator, acquaint yourself with these Spanish color words and their pronunciations. Note the emphasis goes on the syllable in italics.
negro (nay-grow): black
blanco (blahn-koh): white
gris (grees): gray
plateado (plah-tah): silver (color)
dorado (dor-ah-doh): gold (color)
café (cah-fay): brown
rosado (roh-sah-doh): pink
morado (more-ah-doh): purple
rojo (roh-hoh): red
anaranjado (ah-nah-rahn-hah-doh): orange
amarillo (ah-mah-ree-yo): yellow
verde (bare-day): green
azul (ah-sool): blue
Many ways exist to sort cars. If you have kidlets, I am sure you have sorted your toy cars thousands of times--and it is still fun! You may want to grab some index cards and have your children write out the name of the Spanish color with a crayon of that color. If they have not mastered writing yet, write it out for them in marker, and they can color a swatch on top with a crayon of the corresponding color. As you are coloring or writing, practice saying the color words together. Never be afraid of making mistakes. Think about babies. If they never tried something new for fear of messing up or looking silly--well, you get the idea.
If you do not have index cards, just set a car of each color in a designated area and talk about the word for that color in Spanish as you set it down. You can even try these phrases:
¿De qué color es? (day kay koh-lore ehs) when asking about one, and
¿De qué colores son? (day kay koh-lore-ehs sewn) when asking about more than one (if they are all the same color).
Once you all feel comfortable with the words and have designated an area for sorting, get to it! Lead the activity with lots of animation and excitement--that way the kidlets will really catch on and pay attention. When you grab a car say, "Hmmm, what color is this one? Oh! Verde!" Or, "Now how do you say this color again in Spanish?" Act like you are stumped and see if your kidlets can think of it: "Do you remember?" When they think of it be sure to show how impressed you are. Fun and affirmation will go a long way with learning a new language--or anything new! Create an atmosphere where kids feel safe to try at something new without worrying about mistakes.
Looking for some videos to help you practice colors in Spanish and pronunciation? Go here to a playlist I have created on my YouTube channel.