Monday, October 29, 2018
Learning Shapes in Spanish - Pumpkin Activities
I used to think that I needed to be able to do an entire activity in Spanish, or I shouldn't do it at all. Doing this Spanish shapes pumpkin activity the other day with my 4yo (that I didn't prep or plan ahead for) helped me to remember that little consistent steps are better than inconsistent big steps.
Learning shapes in Spanish is a type of lesson that can feel very approachable for families beginning Spanish. First, because it can be really easy on the parent (or teacher) to talk and learn about shapes spontaneously, and two, it's a fairly simple concept to grasp, so beginning learners can comprehend and experience minimal frustration. My kids stay engaged in our Spanish lessons if we are having fun and they are understanding what I'm saying.
Last week we learned about shapes in Spanish with PUMKINS!! It turned out to be an easy and fun activity, so I'm sharing it with you here. You can pull this activity off if you have orange paper, or an orange crayon or marker! Of course you can add more supplies and embellishments than that, I just love to remind parents we can keep activities extremely simple and still have effective learning taking place.
I made a quick shape template to help us cut out nice shapes from our orange paper. You can download one for yourself at the end of this post.
Next we cut out yellow triángulos for the eyes, and toothless grins for the mouths. If you are drawing your pumpkins, you can leave white spaces for eyes and mouths, or use a black or yellow marker or crayon. Use whatever you have on hand and don't worry about it! Preschoolers love spending time with you and having fun...they are not worried about finished products. :)
Here's how ours turned out. As you can see here we had an opportunity to talk about all these shapes, plus the colors orange, yellow, and green (can you tell some of the stems are green?).
I put mine in a pumpkin patch (calabazar) by folding a dark green paper in half to cut three slits. Then I glued that around the edges to another piece of green paper. Now the pumpkins can be taken in and out to be played with.
My 4yo decided to put his calabazas in a haunted house (una casa embrujada). So then we also got to talk about the colors black and gray! To be clear, we did most of this activity in English, and then used the Spanish words for the colors and shapes when we could. We also used the word calabaza instead of saying pumpkin. Baby steps, right?
I always want to try to help you and your family as much as I can so Spanish learning can feel easy and fun in your own home! I've put together a little vocabulary guide of Spanish shape words, and phrases you can use to learn those shape words. The title is also linked to a playlist I created on YouTube with some of our favorite shape songs. You can also download the shape template if you need (which could be used for other shape learning activities besides this pumpkin one).
One last thing. I wrote a mini-story about the different-shaped pumpkins that you could draw your pumpkins on if you prefer. It might be easier for parents who don't speak Spanish to use this, then you can talk about the pumpkins in full sentences without relying on your own Spanish knowledge. There is a pronunciation guide in the back to help you read the story aloud.
Let me know if you try this activity at home!! You can tag me with your photos on Instagram (I'm @fortheloveofspanish), or post them to my Facebook page. It makes my day to see you all learning Spanish alongside us!!