This online activity from Chateau Meddybemps is a great tool for teaching Spanish prepositions. There are four animals in a scene with a few objects. Children can drag and drop the animals anywhere in the scene including into a doghouse. As they play with the scene, they can practice using Spanish prepositions like entre (between), adentro (inside) and afuera (outside). They can stack the animals up to practice encima de (on top of) and debajo de (under) and also put one animal in front of another to practice delante de (in front of) and detrás de (behind).
The graphics in this activity are very well done and you can easily manipulate them to create lots of scenes that clearly and accurately demonstrate Spanish prepositions. The animals are different colors too, so you can also talk about colors as you play this game with Spanish language learners.
There are lots of ways to use this game with children learning Spanish. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- Before introducing the Spanish prepositions, talk about the animals and the objects by pointing to them and moving them around. Let your child move the animals. Say each one as she moves it.
These are the animals and the objects in the activity:
el perro – dog
el gato – cat
el pájaro – bird
la casita para perro – doghouse
el plato para agua – water dish
la nube – cloud
Children learn Spanish prepositions easily, but it is important to introduce the vocabulary in small sets. Begin with two words like adentro (inside) and afuera (outside), or delante de (in front of) and detrás de (behind). When your child is comfortable with that vocabulary, add two new words and continue to use the others too.
- Talk about the picture and move the animals to illustrate the words you are focusing on. Let your child play with the animals and put them wherever she wants. As she moves the animals, use the prepositions to comment on their position relative to the objects and other animals.
- Let your child tell you where to put the animals. Use one preposition at a time and ask which animal to put in a certain position. ¿Pongo el gato encima de la casita o el pájaro encima de la casita? Show the options with the animals as you ask. Your child can answer with one word. Where you put the animal will clarify and reinforce the meaning of what you asked.
- Open the game in two windows and put them side by side so that you can see them both at one time (or use two computers). One person moves an animal and the second person moves the same animal to the same place to make a matching picture. Take turns changing the picture. Talk about what you are doing, and what your child is doing, each time.
- When your child is confident with the Spanish prepositions you are focusing on, move the animals and ask questions with choices: ¿El gato está delante del perro o detrás del perro?
- When your child understands several prepositions, make a scene and describe where all the animals are.
These are some of the prepositions you can use with this activity and the kinds of sentences you can use as you talk about the picture.
El perro está adentro de la casita.
El perro y el gato están adentro de la casita.
Ahora el perro está afuera de la casita. (also, Ahora el perro está fuera de la casita. The use of afuera / fuera is regional).
Los pájaros están en la nube.
El gato está en la casita.
El gato está entre el pájaro y la casita.
encima de (on top of)
El gato está encima del perro.
debajo de (under)
El perro está debajo del gato.
delante de / enfrente de (in front of)
El pájaro está delante del plato para agua. (El pájaro está enfrente del plato para agua).
detrás de (behind)
El gato está detrás de la casita para perro.
sobre (over/on top of)
El pájaro está sobre la nube.
a la derecha de (to the right of)
El gato está a la derecha del perro.
a la izquierda de (to the left of)
El pájaro está a la izquierda del perro.