7 Reading Games in Spanish for Children
How do kids benefit from playing reading games in Spanish?
Playing reading games encourages kids to use Spanish and think about what they have read.
Engaging reading games in Spanish help keep kids motivated and entertained by the Spanish and bilingual books they read.
The games on this list are easy to play, ideal for early elementary-aged students, and can be adapted to any book. Several are based on classic games you’re likely familiar with. By honing in on a children’s book or story, the game can effectively strengthen your child’s language skills.
Before diving into our list of 7 reading games in Spanish, let’s explore the benefits of playing them, along with some simple strategies!
Why and How to Play Reading Games in Spanish
With games, learning feels more playful! Planning Spanish reading lessons with practical activities that your students enjoy gives them a positive association with learning Spanish. Keeping everyone motivated is a worthy goal for any teacher, whether in a traditional or homeschool classroom.
Although these games are mainly focused on reading, integrating a variety of activities involving listening, reading, writing, and speaking practice into your lessons is essential.
You can play any of the games on the curated list below with familiar vocabulary, and they are also an excellent way to learn and practice new words. If you are going to include new vocabulary, be sure to provide support so the kids will feel encouraged rather than frustrated.
7 Kids’ Reading Games in Spanish
The handful of games I’ve chosen to showcase in my list offer tons of fun ways to give your children extensive exposure to a variety of reading opportunities.
The first two on the list are online games that are perfect for true beginners who need to develop a foundation of basic Spanish vocabulary.
The other five games on this list are played offline using any children’s book in Spanish. A simple way to support readers as you play these games is to make a list of words from the book and use them as a word bank to play the game.
You can write the vocabulary words on cards. Consider adding pictures or drawings to the word cards if your child is not yet reading. Talk about the story using the words before you start and have the words handy when you play.
1. Digital Dialects
Digital Dialects features free vocabulary games that are suitable for kids of all ages. The simple, colorful Spanish games on offer are great for beginners. They assist with word memorization through repetition. For example, Vocabulary builder game 1 and Vocabulary builder game 2 provide 48 words to learn as you begin to acquire more Spanish vocabulary.
The games on SpanishGames.net are free, simple to understand, and quick to play. Offering options for beginner and intermediate learners, the games include Hangman, Four in a Row, Mix and Match, Pong, and many more. They are centered around general themes such as colors, weather, school and use Latin American Spanish.
3. Adivina Las Preguntas
To play this game, one player chooses something from the book or story (a character, setting, or object). The other players list as many questions as possible that relate to that place, object, or person.
This is a terrific way to review question words in Spanish, as it requires kids to determine which questions to ask. They also have to think about the plot of the story.
Using the example of Caperucita Roja (“Little Red Riding Hood”), a player might choose la casa de la abuela (“grandmother’s house”). Possible questions include:
- ¿Dónde está la casa de la abuela?
- ¿Porque va allí Caperucita Roja?
- ¿Quién está en la casa cuando llega Caperucita Roja?
- ¿Cómo sabía el lobo dónde está la casa?
4. En el cuento hay…
This fun memory game is similar to the classic classroom game, “I’m going on a trip and I’m taking…” It works even with just two players, and you can play anywhere using familiar stories.
The first player starts by saying En el cuento hay… and names something from the story. The next player says En el cuento hay… and repeats what the first person said and then adds something new from the story. If someone forgets what comes next, makes a mistake, or cannot think of something to add, that person is out of the game.
For the story Ricitos de Oro (Goldilocks), it might sound like this:
- En el cuento hay una casita.
- En el cuento hay una casita y tres platos de avena.
- En el cuento hay una casita, tres platos de avena y tres sillas de diferentes tamaños.
5. 20 Preguntas
Play 20 Questions using characters, objects, and settings from the book. This classic game is superb for practicing vocabulary, categories, question formation, and logic.
To play, one player thinks of something from the story. The other players must first ask if it is a character, place, or thing. The players then ask yes-no questions to figure out what the first player is thinking of. They can ask a maximum of 20 questions to guess what it is.
Be sure to talk to the students about starting with general questions and then asking about more specific details. It’s best to model this by being the player who guesses the first few times you play. The game is more fun if they learn to ask appropriate questions rather than guess randomly.
6. Veo, veo
Playing Veo, veo (“I Spy”) with the illustrations in a book is a quick, entertaining way to practice a range of vocabulary. For the purpose of playing with pictures from children’s stories, the following script works well:
Player 1 – Veo una cosita.
Player 2 – ¿De qué color es?
Player 1 – Es de color….
Player 2 then guesses which object in the picture player one has in mind.
7. Muñeco de Nieve with Story Vocabulary
This game is played like the traditional game Hangman, except that you build a snowman. Each time a player guesses an incorrect letter, you add something to the snowman (three balls of snow, two arms, parts of the face, hat, scarf, broom, etc).
One player chooses a key word from the story and makes a blank for each letter. The other player guesses letters and tries to guess the word. Be sure to talk to kids about guessing vowels first, about how many vowels they can expect based on the length of the word, and about common letter combinations.
Play Reading Games in Spanish in an Online Class!
It is especially useful for bilingual parents to motivate their children to play Spanish reading games to support their child’s Spanish reading skills and literacy. Fun, engaging reading activities can help kids of any age learn to read in Spanish much faster. They could even play reading games in Spanish with one of our experienced, native-speaking teachers in a free trial class!
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