7 Themes for Vocabulary Activities in Spanish for Preschool Kids
Are you planning vocabulary activities in Spanish as a Spanish teacher or homeschooling parent?
When vocabulary is introduced by subject or theme, it will stay with your preschooler longer. This is because contextual learning allows students to make personal connections to new information by associating it with their experiences. Thematic teaching is better than having your students memorize scattered and disjointed words.
Read on to learn the top 7 themes to use in your Spanish classroom! I have also found the best activities to go along with each theme! I bet you can’t wait to make your next class amazing!
Why teach by theme? Because you want your students to remember Spanish vocabulary! Students will better remember the Spanish words if they are broken out by subject or theme. Kids learn by seeing, hearing, doing and repeating.
This article discusses how, with thematic teaching and learning,
“Children are thinking for themselves, following the thread of a topic to explore and discover more. When we see how facts and ideas connect with one another across subjects, we are constructing meaning. When we’re able to communicate that meaning, the learning is further reinforced. This is why theme-based learning is so effective.”
In summary, theme-based learning helps learning become more relevant for students.
Top 7 Themes Use for Teaching Vocabulary to Kids
Ready to enrich your classroom or homeschool today!
I’ve done all the research for you on the top vocabulary themes for preschoolers—plus, activity ideas for each theme to make your classroom amazingly fun! This is your one-stop shop for the top vocabulary themes and activities to teach your students.
I hope you are inspired by my suggestions. The best vocabulary activities in Spanish are interactive, fun, goal-oriented and challenging enough to be interesting. Also, incorporating fun activities into your vocabulary lessons reinforces Spanish vocabulary.
1. The Four Seasons
This is a fun and diverse topic as you can discuss all things weather! Preschool teachers touch on this topic every day.
Kids love to look out the window and report the weather conditions and weather changes. Vocabulary activities in Spanish include discussing the calendar, what to wear for each type of weather, and what’s special about each season.
Check out our complete guide on the four seasons in Spanish. This in-depth article is broken out by each season!
Celebrate spring and rain with this adorable paper plate umbrella to make this adorable craft with the kiddos! You will need:
- paper plates
- blue beads
- white yarn
- black marker
- paint or crayons
2. Hibernation and Migration
Kids love discovering that bears sleep for 5-7 months every year! Or that Monarch butterflies travel all the way from Mexico to Canada on their migration journey!
Vocabulary activities in Spanish include discussing winter, how animals prepare for and survive the winter in different ways, hibernation, forests, caves, dens, migration (birds, whales and butterflies) as well as how long winter and hibernation last.
Looking for more animal and habitat vocabulary? Check out Animals in Spanish for Preschoolers!
Read the book Over and Under the Snow to your class to help them visualize winter animals and hibernation.
Build a Bear Cave Activity
Bears hibernate in the winter! Provide each student with a little sleeping bear toy and have them create a cave or den for them.
The students can use paper bags, a small empty box (like a shoe box), or paper plates to create the den. Then they will decorate their individual cave with rocks, fake mosses, leaves, poly-fil or cotton balls for snow, and of course, their sleeping bear.
Have fun with this as there are so many ways to teach about hibernation!
Let’s learn about space! Vocabulary activities in Spanish include talking about planets and their different weather patterns and colors, distance, stars, constellations, galaxies, shapes in space, moon, sun, astronomer, astronauts, clouds, and weather.
Learn About the Solar System in Spanish, is your one stop reference to space-related vocabulary!
The fun doesn’t stop there. Drill down into one specific subject, such as what an astronaut wears in space and why is it important to study space. Did you know that many everyday inventions have been created by NASA!
How do you see space from Earth? Through a telescope! Your preschooler will be delighted to make their own telescope to study the night’s sky. Materials include paper towel rolls, glue, paint, stickers and pictures of constellations or planets. Have fun with this and be sure they report the next day what they saw through their telescope at night!
This theme is great for preschoolers! Kids love learning about these giant creatures! Check out this blog for specific vocabulary referring to dinosaurs!
Vocabulary activities in Spanish include discussing what dinosaurs are, where they lived and for how long, fossils and how they are found, dinosaur digs, reptiles and how they hatch from eggs, what digging items paleontologists use and why.
Hatching Dinosaur Egg Activity
This activity is the best! Kids will go on a dinosaur dig, find their own dinosaur egg, and then crack it open to see what is inside!
First, you will want to make dinosaur eggs for each child in the class and bring them to school. Next, hide them in either a giant sandbox, or another place where the child will have to ‘dig’ and feel around for the egg. Once they find the egg, have a station set up with safety goggles, a hammer and chisel so they can start cracking open their egg to find their real-life baby dinosaur fossil inside!
5. Ice Cream
Children love helado, so why not make a fun preschool activity out of it! Vocabulary activities in Spanish include talking about how ice cream is made, what ingredients make ice cream, favorite flavors, toppings, and ice cream trucks.
Get creative here and have your kids use Spanish to describe how an ice-cream truck driver prepares his truck for his ice cream route, as well as their favorite types of ice cream.
Ice Cream Activity
Make your own ice cream as a class, or buy ice cream and serve it in individual bowls.
Have the kids brainstorm about what goes on top of ice cream. Then bring in a tray with sprinkles, cherries, chocolate chips, gummy worms, caramel, chocolate sauce, and oher toppings!
You can talk about why it’s important to keep ice cream cold, and what happens if it gets too warm. You could even relate the ice cream activity to snowy weather by discussing why ice cream is kept at 32 degrees Fahrenheit/0 degrees Celsius; the same temperature required for snowy weather!
6. Make a Pie
Kids love to bake. It helps them learn about portions, measuring, ingredients—and teaches them to wait for a yummy treat to bake!
Many vocabulary activities in Spanish are associated with pie-making. Talk about preparing a grocery list, grocery shopping, why some items need refrigeration and others don’t. Besure to discuss food preparation using kitchen utensils, pie tins, ingredients, oven safety, temperature, and baking.
Spanish Food and Cooking Words in Spanish for your Preschooler provides you with all the Spanish vocabulary you need to make a torta in Spanish!
Have the classroom as a whole create the dough in one big batch (or have it pre-made in individual size dough balls). Make the pie filling as a class, and have the kids take turns measuring, pouring, and mixing the ingredients.
Pumpkin pie is a good choice because it only requires 1 layer of pie crust (for the bottom), rather than two (for bottom and top layers of the pie). Here is a great recipe for pumpkin pie! Just be sure to adjust the oven time for the pie size you are making.
Kids can use flour and a rolling pin to roll the dough out and lay the bottom pie layer into individual serving size pie tins. Measure the amount of pie filling needed and pour the pumpkin pie mix into each pie tin. Bake the pies at school and don’t forget to add whipping cream on top! Kids will have a yummy treat to share after school with their family!
Let’s travel to Latinoamerica! Vocabulary activities in Spanish include talking about the map, continents, countries, airplane or train travel, luggage, customs, passports, and where your kids want to travel to!
Did you know that most kids in the U.S. don’t know what an open-air market is? Describe what shopping in a market is like and how it is different than a grocery store.
Here’s a free download of Spanish vocabulary words for shopping at the market!
Open-Air Market Activity
Choose a Spanish-speaking country and virtually visit an open-air market there! Read a book about open air markets and talk to the student about what the experience is like. Include all the smells, flavors, colors, and indigenous versus western clothing. Talk about advantages and disadvantages of shopping and vendors in these markets. Are you buying directly from the farmer or artist?
Lastly, have the kids draw a picture of what they learned! They can be creative here by using lots of color, drawing what they envision an open air market to be or one thing they would like to buy from there.
Enhance Your Lesson Plans Further
Want more? Check out 20 Teacher Blogs That Will Enhance Your Lesson Plans for additional ideas! This article also explains how learning Spanish is fun for students when your lesson plans are:
- Interesting and relevant. Put yourself in your student’s shoes and create a plan that’s catchy and interesting. Avoid lists of facts that will bore them.
- Creative. Introduce content in a new way that will stick with your learner.
- Unique and nontraditional. Search for resources that will keep the lesson plans new and fresh.
- Appropriately challenging. Tailor the lessons to your students’ level, balancing happily between difficult and easy.
Free Resources for Your Family and Classroom
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Want more free Spanish lessons, fun content, and easy learning strategies for kids? Check these out!
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I began studying Spanish at age 11 and have been interested in language and culture ever since! While at university, I studied abroad in Spain and Costa Rica and got a B.A. in Environmental Economics with a minor in Spanish. After spending over a decade in corporate America, I now enjoy the simpler things in life. ¡Pura Vida!
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