Spanish Animals for Preschoolers
Learning about animals is a very exciting time for your preschooler. Suddenly, the world opens up with fascinating creatures who live in magical places like the jungle or forest. While teaching Spanish to your young learner, you most likely already plan to teach them about animals, but it’s a great opportunity to talk about habitat, too! In our Spanish Animals guide, you can explore sets of animal vocabulary as you introduce five different hábitats: farm, jungle, forest, ocean, and home.
Our master list features 31 different animals with a pronunciation guide. You may choose to teach them all at once or divide them by their habitat and expand your child’s context of understanding. Sharing the sounds that animals make is also super fun, which you can find in this article about Spanish onomatopoeia.
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Farm – La Granja
|Chicken (rooster/hen)||El pollo (gallo/gallina)|
Jungle – La Selva
Forest – El Bosque
Introducing the idea of different habitats for specific groups of animals will facilitate your child’s ability to mentally organize and memorize new vocabulary. The 5 main habitats for this animal guide are:
1. La granja (farm)
2. La selva (jungle)
3. El bosque (woods/forest)
4. El océano (ocean)
5. La casa (house)
What can you do to teach the habitats for each animal set?
Sorting is an essential activity for preschoolers. It is a pre-math skill that allows children to make sense of their world through organization. While teaching your child where the animals live, you can use our exclusive Homeschool Spanish Academy Animal Sorts to inspire hands-on sorting. Laminate the pages for durability, then cut out the individual animals. Lay out the habitat pages and figure out together where each animal lives!
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This simple question and answer game “Where does it live?” in Spanish will teach the question word ¿Dónde? and how to use the 3rd person singular* conjugation of vivir:
Parent: ¿Dónde vive el elefante? (Where does the elephant live?)
Child: El elefante vive en la selva. (The elephant lives in the jungle)
Parent: ¿Dónde vive el gato? (Where does the cat live?)
Child: El gato vive en la casa. (The cat lives in the house)
*You can extend this lesson to include plurals by asking, “¿Dónde viven los elefantes?” (Los elefantes viven en la selva.)
Get creative with lots of hands-on crafts, animal-related Spanish stories, and visits to see real animals! You can incorporate many other skills into your child’s Spanish animal lessons, such as math, reading, and grammar. Expand their lesson with additional themes like opposite words and color awareness.
- Read the books Cositas del Monito by Rebecca Bielawski, ¿Dónde quieres vivir? by Arnhilda Badia, Vamos al Zoológico by Gladys Rosa-Mendoza, and Selvas by Richard C. Vogt
- Make Paper Plate Animal Masks – using paper plates, paints, and other materials listed here, make animal masks and role-play how these animals act.
- Make Paper Bag Animal Puppets – use rectangular brown paper bags that you turn upside down to create animal puppets who interact with each other. Find craft templates here.
- Shadow Drawings – you will need to buy small to large animal figurines for this activity. Using sunlight or a lamp, position one animal figurine on a piece of white paper so that its shadow is cast over most of the paper. Have your little one trace the shadow and finish drawing the animal as they see it.
- Farm or Zoo visit! Take a road trip to a nearby farm or petting zoo. Ask your child, “¿Qué tipo de animal es esto?” (What kind of animal is this?) as they reply, “Es una oveja” or “Es una vaca.”
- Play Charades – Using the Animal Flashcards, have your child pick a card and then act out what the animal does. Your child can ask you, “Qué tipo de animal soy yo?” (What kind of animal am I?) and you say, “Eres un pájaro!” (You’re a bird!)
Adventures with Animals
By using this animal guide, you now have plenty of fun and exciting ideas for teaching your little one about animals in Spanish. As we always say – sign up for a free online class so your child can practice their new skills with a native Spanish speaker! They can talk about which kinds of animals live in Guatemala, where the teacher lives.
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