Spanish Together has a wonderful free video about a snowman that is perfect for using with beginning Spanish learners this time of year. Un muñeco de nieve begins by asking ¿Qué es? and then adds the parts to the snowman one by one using tiene (he has): tiene dos ojos, tiene una nariz, tiene una boca, etc. When the snowman is complete with buttons, hat, and scarf, kids get the answer ¡es un muñeco de nieve! (It’s a snowman!).
In addition to the video on YouTube, the audio is available to download from the Spanish Together CD We love Spanish on cdbaby or itunes. This CD has lots of fun music that teaches children Spanish, and Un muñeco de nieve makes a great listening activity for beginning learners. You can use it in combination with the video to provide lots of repetition and exposure to native-speaker Spanish.
Just watching the video and listening kids are learning Spanish. If you want to give engage your child more actively with the language, try the following steps. You do not have to do them all at once. A little at a time is great! If your child gets tired or is distracted, do more on another day. Just begin by watching the video together each time. The entire video/audio is 30 seconds long.
1. View the video together just listening and watching. Spanish video – Un muñeco de nieve
2. Draw a picture of a snowman with your child. You should each draw one. Use the sentences from the video (like Tiene dos ojos.) and point at the picture you are drawing. Point to your child’s picture too, and use the sentences from the video. It does not matter in what order you draw the snowmen, but include all the parts in the video (dos ojos, una nariz, una boca, dos manos, tres botones, una bufanda, un sombrero). Your child does not have to repeat the words, she is learning by listening.
3. Watch the video again. Point to the parts of the snowman that you drew when you hear them and see them. Pause the video to give your child time to point.
5. Listen again and as you hear each word point to that part on the snowman you made. Pause the audio to give your child time to point.
6. Use construction paper (or other materials) to assemble a snowman as you listen to the audio again. Listen to the first step and then pause it as you put on the eyes. Start the audio over and listen to ¿Qué es? Tiene dos ojos, tiene una nariz. Pause the video again. Each time, start the audio over from the beginning so that your child hears what she has done and can listen for what comes next.
7. Reinforce the sentences from the video in other situations. Use them by:
- building a real snowman.
- pointing to pictures of snowmen in picture books and ornaments and decorations.
- pointing to pictures of people dressed for winter in books and catalogs.
- talking about people you see outside (pointing is not polite)
8. With almost all these steps, you can also point to your child and use the verb tienes (you have): Tienes dos ojos. Tienes una nariz. Do this starting with step 2, when you are drawing the snowmen together.
Learning Spanish takes lots of repetition of natural language in contexts that reinforce the meaning of the words. This video and audio are exactly the kind of materials that you can use to help kids learn. You can find another snowman activity here: Learn Spanish with Pictures – A snowman.