Cheering you on in your Spanish-learning journey

Simple Preschool Lesson Plan for Spanish Colors

Simple Preschool Lesson Plan for Spanish Colors

You may have read in my recent post The Truth About Learning Spanish with Kids, that sometimes things seem harder than they really are.  When it comes to learning Spanish with my kids ages 5, 4, and 2 the learning can be fun and simple, and it doesn’t have to be hard.

Since September, I have tried to remind myself of this.  I try to look for opportunities to easily add Spanish into our normal, daily routine.  One trick to doing this, is to make simple activities from supplies around your house that you can leave out and use to engage your kids in Spanish when they are “in the mood.”  Sometimes I will create an activity that will sit there for days before someone naturally gets interested in it.

Today I cut out paper hearts from construction paper–one of each color–and taped them around our house.  I did this during quiet time, so it will be interesting to see what happens when, or if, the kids notice them.

My plan is to use them for a simple game that goes like this:  I yell out a color in Spanish and they run to the heart of that color.  Easy-peasy, right?!  I will probably even use the phrase “Toca el corazón _____,” and then fill in the blank with one of the color words.  If you want to play this game and need pronunciation help, see the chart at the end of this post.

The fun thing about this activity is that I can leave it up all week (for Valentine’s Day), and then I can re-hang the hearts above our kitchen table with the color words written on them.

Then we can continue to learn and practice the colors together all month.

My oldest son knows how to say most of the color words in Spanish, so adding the print to the hearts will help to introduce how to spell/read the colors words in Spanish as well.

I have found that the more I work to have Spanish print, materials, games, and activities at my kids’ disposal the better.  That little effort keeps us all aware of the second language and reminds us to engage in the language more frequently.

You can even play this game without making hearts and simply yell out colors in Spanish and have your kids or students run around the room and touch something of that color.  Remember–keep it simple, keep it fun!  Feliz heart week!

Spanish Pronunciation
touch (the command)
el corazón
ehl kohr-ah-SOHN
the heart
Meet Pin-Pon

Meet Pin-Pon

Before I had my two sweet boys and became a stay-at-home mom, I used to work at a local Early Childhood Center.  I loved that job.  The staff there was so welcoming and supportive; I gained a ton of important knowledge about early childhood development; and my position as an interpreter provided me with so much opportunity to practice my Spanish skills, expand my vocabulary, and deepen my understanding of diversity and culture.  I do not think a day goes by in which I do not use some tid-bit of wisdom, some educational tool, some piece of encouragement, or some child-training tool that I gleaned from my time there–and I would like to share some of that with you!

If you have not heard of Handwriting Without Tears curriculum, I encourage you to check it out today. For teachers and parents alike of pre-K through fifth grade children, they offer resources, tools, and curriculum to help your children or students through learning to write and all that entails.  One of their hand-on tools called “Mat Man” is a song and set of manipulatives to teach body awareness.  This activity is for pre-K children, and helps them to become aware of body parts and how to translate that onto paper.  Just like young children in the grammar stage of learning, those learning Spanish as a foreign language also begin with a foundation of grammar and vocabulary–so many times, pre-K activities work great for learning Spanish.

A few weeks ago at Spanish camp, I tried out a version of the “Mat Man” song I had written with the students.  It was so much fun I wanted to share it with you.  Here is a video of the “Mat Man” song so you can see how and what it teaches in English.  Then below, you can see how I applied the Handwriting Without Tears idea to Spanish.

For our Spanish version, we named the character PinPon from a popular Spanish children’s song.  The song sings about Pin Pon, a little doll made out of cardboard; I had collected cardboard pieces and tubes to build “Pin-Pon” so I thought the name fit perfectly.  Not only were we able to use this song to develop body awareness in Spanish (learning the names of body parts in Spanish), but we also had the opportunity to learn some great Spanish verbs.  Here is a picture of our Pin Pon and the lyrics (with a glossary below):

Pin Pon tiene cabeza, cabeza, cabeza
Pin Pon tiene cabeza…para pensar
Pin Pon tiene ojos, ojos, ojos
Pin Pon tiene ojos…para que pueda ver
Pin Pon tiene nariz, nariz, nariz
Pin Pon tiene nariz…para oler
Pin Pon tiene boca, boca, boca
Pin Pon tiene boca…para comer (y hablar y cantar)
Pin Pon tiene orejas, orejas, orejas
Pin Pon tiene orejas…para oir
[I thought it was clever to use an “O” for each ear: “O” for “oreja”]
Pin Pon tiene cuerpo, cuerpo, cuerpo
Pin Pon tiene cuerpo…para todo adentro
Su corazón, su estómago, sus pulmones
Pin Pon tiene brazos, brazos, brazos
Pin Pon tiene brazos…para abrazar
Pin Pon tiene manos, manos, manos
Pin Pon tiene manos…para escribir (y aplaudir)
Pin Pon tiene piernas, piernas, piernas
Pin Pon tiene piernas…para parar
Pin Pon tiene pies, pies, pies
Pin Pon tiene pies…para caminar (y correr y brincar)

tiene—he has
para—in order to/for
pensar—to think
para que pueda—so that he can
oler—to smell
comer—to eat
hablar—to talk/speak
cantar—to sing
oir—to hear
adentro—inside (of something)
abrazar—to hug
escribir—to write
aplaudir—to clap
parar—to stand
caminar—to walk
correr—to run
brincar—to jump

You can get creative with the materials you use to make “Pin Pon.”  We used paper towel tubes for his arms and legs, toilet paper tubes for his feet.  His eyes are bottle caps; his nose is a duplo; and his hands and mouth are cut from construction paper.  We used foam letter O’s for ears (orejas).  You can add yarn for hair (cabello or pelo in Spanish), or maybe use baby shoes for feet–the possibilites are endless, just grad a Spanish-English dictionary and the sky’s the limit.  Have fun!