Hispanic Heritage Month games celebrate culture and language in authentic ways.

Hispanic Heritage Month is an opportunity for all children to learn more about the culture of Spanish-speaking countries. Students who are fortunate enough to study Spanish learn about these countries and cultures in class, but not all children have that opportunity. Everyone can play these 5 Hispanic Heritage Month games. Kids may learn a few words, but they don’t have to speak Spanish to have fun playing.

I’m happy to be participating in Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month celebration. Member blogs are sharing Hispanic Heritage Month games and activities all month long. There is also a fabulous giveaway of music, books, crafts and more – all related to Hispanic Heritage Month. See the schedule and enter the at the end of this post.

Why These Hispanic Heritage Month Games?

First, these Hispanic Heritage Month games are traditional. They have been played for generations and are an important part of the culture. In addition, there are some simple Spanish words in all the games, but children don’t have to speak Spanish to play. At most, they need to learn to say one simple phrase. These games are also fun for children of different ages and at different language levels. Finally, the games involve little or no cost.

La Pirinola

This traditional game is played with a wooden top called a pirinola in Mexico. It is called a perinola in some countries. The six-sided top has with instructions on each side. I included the pirinola in my list of Hispanic Heritage Month games because in addition to being fun to play, kids will pick up a couple of very useful Spanish verbs. The phrases on the top are simple and you can list them on the board with their translations.

You can make your own pirinola from cardstock or light cardboard and a pencil. The pencil goes through the center. There is a link to a download of a printable pirinola below. The traditional wooden tops are also available in many Latino markets in the U.S. and you can purchase them from Amazon.

Download a printable pirinola that spins on a pencil.

The game can be played with two or more players. Each player needs about ten tokens. We use beans, but kids sometimes play with candy. Everyone puts one token into a center pile to start, and then one player spins the top. When it falls, the player follows the instructions facing up.

These are the instructions on the pirinola:
Toma uno. – Take one (token from the pile).
Pon uno – Put one (in the pile).
Toma dos. – Take two (tokens from the pile).
Pon dos – Put two (in the pile).
Toma todo. – Take it all (the whole pile).
Todos ponen. – Everyone puts a token in the pile.

When toma todo comes up, the player takes all the tokens, so for the game to continue, everyone must put one token in the pile. Play continues until one person has all the tokens.

Mar y tierra

This is a very simple game, and it can be played inside or outside. Kids jump from one side of a line (mar) to the other (tierra). To play, kids line up beside a line on the ground, so that they can jump sideways over the line. One side of the line is mar and the other side is tierra. One person who has been chosen to call first calls out mar and tierra as the players jump across the line (or in place) to be on the correct side. You can see videos of the game here.

I included Mar y tierra in my list of Hispanic Heritage Month games because kids can play this authentic game by learning to recognize only two words. Before you play, practice saying the words together as a group as you jump side to side.

1, 2, 3 Calabaza

1, 2, 3 Calabaza is a playground game kids play in Mexico. In South America, this game is 1, 2, 3 Momia es. It is 1, 2, 3 Escondite Inglés in Spain and in English it is Red Light, Green Light. 1, 2, 3 Calabaza makes my list of Hispanic Heritage Month games because it is active, fun and the only language kids need to learn is 1, 2, 3 Calabaza.

To play, one player (the leader) faces a wall or a tree (the base) with the rest of the group behind her at a distance. The group tries to move forward while the leader’s back is to them. The leader says Uno, dos, tres, calabaza (Un, dos, tres momia es), spins around, and tries to catch someone moving. Everyone must stand perfectly still, like a pumpkin (or a mummy) while the leader is watching and if someone moves, that person must return to the starting line. The first person to reach the base takes the leader’s place. You can see a video of kids playing 1,2,3 Calabaza here.

A pares y nones

Pares y nones means evens and odds (numbers). This traditional game is played with groups in Mexico. Everyone joins hands in a circle and walks singing the song. Then, the leader (teacher) calls out a number and everyone hurries to form a group of that number.  This game makes my list of Hispanic Heritage Month Games because it is fun and uses low numbers that most children know or are happy learning.

This video shows the game with groups of different ages, so you can get a good idea of how it works. These are words to the song you can hear it in the video, but you can play the game singing any short song. I was working at a summer camp in Mexico and we played singing Limón partido. If you are playing with children who do not speak Spanish, you can sing a simple counting song like 10 deditos.

A pares y nones / Evens and odds
vamos a jugar. / We are going to play.
El que quede solo / Whoever is left alone,
solo quedará. / will stay alone.

Lotería

Lotería is the Mexican equivalent of Bingo. You play the same way, using a traditional set of cards with pictures and words, instead of numbers. Lotería makes my list of Hispanic Heritage Month games because most of the words are common vocabulary and the pictures are Mexican icons. Players see the picture and the written word, so children who don’t speak Spanish can play too. It is a great way to learn Spanish vocabulary! In Mexico, lotería is often played with dry beans for markers.
You can print traditional lotería cards free online. You can also purchase them from Amazon.

These Hispanic Heritage Month games are one way to bring culture, and a little language, into your home or classroom. Wherever you are celebrating, Hispanic Heritage Month games, music and books can inspire children to continue to learn about these cultures and about the Spanish language.

Hispanic Heritage Month Series 2016 | Multicultural Kid BlogsWe are excited to be celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month 2016 with Multicultural Kid Blogs. This is our FIFTH annual Hispanic Heritage Month series and giveaway. Through the month (September 15 – October 15), you’ll find great resources to share Hispanic Heritage with kids, plus you can enter to win in our great giveaway and link up your own posts on Hispanic Heritage!

September 14
Hanna Cheda on Multicultural Kid Blogs: How to Pass on Hispanic Heritage as an Expat

September 15
Spanish Mama: Los Pollitos Dicen Printable Puppets

September 16
Hispanic Mama: Children’s Shows that Kids in Latin America Grew Up With

September 19
Spanish Playground

September 20
Tiny Tapping Toes

September 21
Kid World Citizen on Multicultural Kid Blogs

September 22
Spanish Mama

September 23
All Done Monkey

September 26
Crafty Moms Share

September 27
Discovering the World Through My Son’s Eyes

September 28
La Clase de Sra. DuFault

September 29
Embracing Diversity

September 30
Mama Tortuga

October 3
Hispanic Mama on Multicultural Kid Blogs

October 4
La Clase de Sra. DuFault

October 5
Pura Vida Moms

October 7
Spanglish House

October 10
Mundo Lanugo

October 11
Kid World Citizen

October 12
MommyMaestra

October 13
inspired by familia

October 14
El Mundo de Pepita on Multicultural Kid Blogs

Don’t miss all of the great posts from previous years as well: 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month 2016 Giveaway!

Giveaway begins September 14 and goes through October 14, 2016.

Enter below for a chance to win one of these amazing prize packages! Some prizes have shipping restrictions. In the event that a winner lives outside the designated shipping area, that prize will then become part of the following prize package. For more information, read our full giveaway rules.

Grand Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Grand Prize

-Month of free access to online Spanish home learning program from Calico Spanish
-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
-Spark important conversations about diversity, inclusivity and acceptance with award-winning Barefoot Books! Collection includes Barefoot Books World Atlas, The Barefoot Book of Children, Children of the World Memory Game, The Great Race, Mama Panya’s Pancakes, Off We Go to Mexico, Up and Down the Andes, We all Went on Safari, We’re Sailing Down the Nile, We’re Sailing to Galapagos US & Canada Shipping Only
Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
A Child’s Life in the Andes e-book plus music CD from Daria Music
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

1st Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

First Prize

-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
Olinguito, from A to Z! (bilingual) by Lulu Delacre, Rafi and Rosi by Lulu Delacre, Mamá the Alien (bilingual) y René Colato Laínez and illustrated by Laura Lacámara, Marisol MacDonald and the Monster (bilingual) by Monica Brown from Lee & Low Books US Shipping Only
-Ecuador Themed International Cooking Box from Global Gastronauts US Shipping Only
Ora de Despertar Ladino Children’s Music CD from Sarah Aroeste Hard copy if US winner; digital if international winner
T-shirt of choice from Mundo Lanugo US Shipping Only
Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

2nd Prize | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Second Prize

-If You Were Me and Lived in… series, Peru, Mexico, Brazil, and Portugal books from Carole P. Roman US Shipping Only
Aquí Allá CD from Lucky Diaz and the Family Jam Band US Shipping Only
-Animales CD from 123 Andrés US Shipping Only
-Best of the Bowl CD from Hot Peas ‘N Butter US Shipping Only
Juana and Lucas by Juana Medina (hard cover), El fútbol me hace feliz by Maribeth Boelts and illustrated by Lauren Castillo (paperback), Blankie/Mantita by Leslie Patricelli (board book) from Candlewick Press US & Canada Shipping Only
-Hola Hello CD with lyrics in digital format from Mariana Iranzi
-T-shirt of choice (or equal value $18) from Ellie Elote US Shipping Only
-Scarves, coin purse and painted wood bracelets from Nicaragua, and a map puzzle of Central America from Spanish Playground US Shipping Only
Culture Chest with the theme “Dancing in September” for Hispanic Heritage Month. Includes bilingual books Tito Puente, Mambo King and Me llamo Celia Cruz, both by Monica Brown and Rafael Lopez US Shipping Only
Spanish Alphabet Print (US Shipping Only) and single-use promo code for Spanish for kids language app from Gus on the Go
Latin GRAMMY-winning album Los Animales from Mister G US Shipping Only

Bonus Prize

Piñata de Laly | Multicultural Kid Blogs Hispanic Heritage Month Giveaway

Piñata from Piñatas de Laly Europe Shipping Only

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Photos for Spanish Class Activities
Spanish Comics for Language Learners

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