Mamá pájaro (Mama Bird) is a free printable mini-book, and it is excellent for speaking Spanish with your child. The book is short, with basic Spanish words and simple, common Spanish structures. The story lends itself well to follow-up activities, so it is easy to reinforce what your child is learning.
This mini-book tells the story of a mother bird building a nest, and sitting on her eggs. The eggs hatch and she finds a worm and feeds her babies. The predictable sequence of events is perfect for Spanish language learners. For example, because they know that birds build nests, they understand the word nido. Also, the illustrations are pictures of the vocabulary on each page, so the meaning of the language is clear.
You can print this book in color, or in black and white. If you print it in black and white, your child can color it. Coloring together is a great Spanish language learning activity.
After you have read the book once, this is a wonderful story to act out with objects and paper cut-outs. You can print two copies of the book and use one to cut out the figures you need. (I’ve found that cutting out the eggs and the baby birds really simplifies things. At our house we can come up with a toy bird, a twig, a nest of yarn to add the twig to, and even a worm.)
If you have children who are learning to read and write, they can label the pictures with the key vocabulary in the story. The vocabulary that they can use to label the illustrations includes:
el pájaro – bird
la ramita – twig (The word for branch in Spanish is rama. By learning the word ramita, children will also understand rama.)
el árbol – tree
el nido – nest
los huevos – eggs
el gusano – worm
los bebés – babies
Be sure to use sentences from the books you read when the opportunity arises. At our house right now, you can say Mamá pájaro busca un árbol every time you look out the window!
Here are the words to the story and a translation. Click on the link for the free printable book in Spanish. Scroll down to print the pages and the cover (caratula).
¡Es primavera! / It is spring!
Mamá pajaro toma una ramita. / Mama bird takes a twig.
Mamá pájaro busca un árbol. / Mama bird looks for a tree.
Mamá pájaro construye un nido. / Mama bird builds a nest.
Mamá pájaro se sienta sobre sus huevos. / Mama bird sits on her eggs.
Los huevos se abren. / The eggs hatch.
Mamá pájaro ve un gusano. / Mama bird sees a worm.
Mamá pájaro alimenta a sus bebés. / Mama bird feeds her babies.
I used this collection of mini-books, 25 Bilingual Mini-Books, with my kids when they were growing up, and I still use them with my students. These are in English and Spanish, so I cover the English before I make copies. The illustrations make the Spanish clear, and I avoid mixing the two languages. If you are learning Spanish with your child, having the English might be useful. I think this is a great collection. There is a lot of Spanish language packed into these little books.