8 Traditional Hispanic Games to Play at Home or in Class
Kids learn through play, so imagine what traditional Hispanic games will do for their language-learning process!
If you’re looking for games to help children both practice their Spanish and learn about Hispanic culture, you came to the right place!
Keep reading to discover eight traditional Hispanic games. Let’s go!
How are Traditional Hispanic Games Helpful?
The word “Hispanic” refers to Spain and the Spanish-speaking countries in Latin America. And when talking about a Hispanic person, it means they’re Spanish speakers living in the United States, including those of Spanish and Latin American descent.
Now, how can traditional Hispanic games help children? First, they’re perfect for them to learn and practice Spanish vocabulary through objects, drawings, numbers, basic words, and phrases. And second, these kinds of games help students discover what kids in Spanish-speaking cultures do for fun, which gives them a broader vision of the world.
8 Terrific Traditional Hispanic Games
Diversity enriches kids’ lives with more knowledge and experiences. Let’s see how fun these games are!
One of the favorite traditional Hispanic games for both kids and adults, Lotería is the Latin American equivalent of BINGO. Instead of using cards with numbers, the cards have pictures and words.
The person who’s leading the game calls the name of a drawing (for example, la calavera) and those who have it put a small dry bean on top of it. The first one to fill the card (or complete the established pattern) wins.
It’s the perfect game to practice Spanish vocabulary and have a visual of how the word looks (for example, a calavera looks like a skull). Check out these Spanish lotería cards or find them on Amazon.
Materials needed: lotería cards and dry beans
2. Mar y tierra
This is one of the easiest and most traditional Hispanic games to play anytime and anywhere with your kids or students. Ask the kids to line up next to a line on the ground (it can also be imaginary), so that they can jump to both sides of it.
One side is mar (“sea”) and the other tierra (“land”). The person leading the game calls out mar or tierra, and the players jump across the line to the right side. If the players jump to the wrong side, they are out.
Start slowly and gradually increase the speed. Repeat the same word a couple of times to confuse the players. This game helps kids learn to recognize words in Spanish! Super easy and fun!
Materials needed: anything that creates a line (or the kids imagination)
3. Chiviri cuarta
This was one of my favorite traditional Hispanic games when I was a kid! Chiviri cuarta is similar to hide and seek, but to win, the ones who hide have to touch a “base” before the one who’s seeking. So, players decide who’s going to seek and what the base will be (a rock, a wall, a tree, etc.). The seeker should count to 30 at the base and then go try to find the rest of the players.
The task of the hiders is to run to the base before the seeker finds them, touch it and scream ¡chiviri cuarta por mí!
On the other hand, if the seeker finds or sees someone, they have to run to the base and scream ¡chiviri cuarta por (insert name of the person they found)! The hider then loses and has to seek during the next round. The game ends once no one is hiding anymore.
Materials needed: a large space with hiding places
This is another version of hide and seek. This time, only one person hides and the rest seek. Choose someone who hides, and the others count to 30 (or to any number they decide). When they finish, they start seeking separately. Every time someone finds the hider, they have to hide with them without telling anyone. This means the hiding space will have more people every time. The last person who finds the group loses.
Kids in Latin America love these kinds of traditional Spanish games, they awaken a sense of healthy competitiveness in kids—and they’re fun. For you, as a parent or teacher, this is a great opportunity to help your kids practice the numbers in Spanish as they count together!
Materials needed: a [big] place to hide
5. El repollo
This one’s similar to hot potato. First, tell all the players to write down a question (in Spanish) on a piece of paper. Then, wrap all the papers around each other to form a ball that looks like cabbage. Next, the players have to throw the ball to each other and when the person in charge says “stop,” the player who has the cabbage has to peel off a “leaf” and answer the question.
El repollo is one of the greatest traditional Hispanic games for practicing Spanish vocabulary. It is adjustable for every age and Spanish level.
Materials needed: blank sheets of paper and markers (or pens)
6. Veo veo
I bet you’ve heard of “I Spy” in English. Well, this is the Spanish version!
You play it the same way: spot something to describe, say veo veo algo, and describe it. This is the perfect game to practice Spanish language words for colors, sizes, shapes, and more. All you need is another person and your imagination to play!
Materials needed: your imagination!
7. A pares y nones
This game means “evens and odds” in Spanish. You just need a group of people to play it (the more people, the more fun). The idea is to join hands in a circle and march together. If you’d like, sing or play a song while marching.
Then, the person in charge calls out a number, and everyone has to form a group of that number. It’s one of the best and easiest traditional Hispanic games to practice numbers Spanish and have fun at the same time!
Materials needed: just a group of players
8. Pato, pato, ¡ganso!
This was another of my favorite traditional Hispanic games when I was little. The game consists of all the players sitting in a circle.
One player walks behind everyone while touching each person’s head. Every time they touch someone’s head, they must say pato. When they say ganso when touching someone’s head, that person has to get up and both must run around the circle in opposite directions until they reach the empty place (where the person was sitting).
Whoever gets to sit down first keeps the place, and the other must start the game again. See how to play pato, pato, ganso in a video!
Materials needed: a group of players
Learn Spanish through Play and Practice!
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