Children play Frío o caliente in Spanish the same way they play Hot or Cold in English. There are just a few Spanish phrases to learn, and this game can easily be adapted to review Spanish vocabulary. It works well with just two or three children or a larger group. To play Frío o caliente, choose one person who will look for something. That person leaves the room, and the others hide a small object or choose something in the room.
When the person who is guessing returns, the others call out these Spanish phrases:
– Caliente, caliente – you are close.
– ¡Te quemas! (you are burning) – you are very close.
– Tibio, tibio (lukewarm) – you are at a middle distance.
– Frío, frío – you are farther away.
– Te estás congelando (you are freezing) – you are very far away.
You may want to set a time limit of two or three minutes. The game ends when the person finds the object, or time runs out. Someone else leaves the room and the game starts again.
You can practice Spanish vocabulary by using small objects or pictures to play this game. To review animals, for example, assemble a set of toys and pictures of animals. With the whole group, review the Spanish words. Before the guesser leaves the room, she chooses what animal she will look for. When she leaves the room, the group hides it.
When the child who is guessing comes back into the room, she asks where the object is. For example, ¿Dónde está el perro? and the group responds Busca el perro; te ayudamos (Look for the dog; we’ll help you.) The guesser then takes three steps in any direction as the group says caliente or frío (five steps if you are playing in a large space). After three steps, she stops and asks again ¿Dónde está el perro? The group again responds Busca el perro; te ayudamos. The game proceeds this way until she finds the hidden object. Instead of a time limit, you can set a limit of the number of times the person guessing can ask for help. The number will vary depending on the size of the space.
This game also works for practicing the furniture and parts of the house in Spanish. Review the Spanish words for the things in the room before anyone leaves. After one child leaves, the group decides what she will look for. Be sure to mention several things before deciding on one. The idea is to use the Spanish vocabulary. While they are playing, the group will only say caliente, frío and the other game phrases, but once the child who is guessing identifies the object, be sure to use the word several times. You can use simple phrases: ¡La ventana! Fue la ventana. Estaba lejos de la ventana al principio. (The window! It was the window. She was far away from the window at first.)
These are some of the words you might use if you are playing with house vocabulary:
la mesa – table
el sofá – sofa
la ventana – window
la puerta – door
el sillón – arm chair
el libro – book
el florero – vase
la lámpara – lamp
el cuadro – painting
el televisor – television set