Spanish game for children

My children played this game in Spanish all the time with their friends in Mexico. They call it Basta, but it has lots of names: Tutti frutti, ¡Mercadito!, Stop, Lápiz quieto, Animales con E, Alto el fuego, Ensalada rusa. It is a category game in Spanish – the original, non-commercial version of Scattergories.

To play this traditional children’s game in Spanish, everyone makes a game board with categories. Common categories include nombre, cosa, animal, fruta o verdura, color, país o ciudad and apellido. Categories can be anything though, including pop culture references like marca, música, famosos/as. When I play with children learning Spanish, I usually include verbo or acción as a category. This is what my simple game board looks like. You can download the printable version below and another that is more specific. Of course, kids can easily make their own, too.

Spanish game for kids

This Spanish language game is so common and popular, that online you can find lists of colors for every letter of the alphabet, and of fruits and vegetables that start with i, q, o, r, k, t, ñ, x, y, z, w. Repeated answers are worth fewer points, so kids who play a lot memorize unusual fruits like rambután.

There are lots of ways to play Basta. This is how we play, but you can adapt it for different ages and language levels.

How to play the Spanish language game Basta

To play, players select a letter this way: one person says the alphabet very quickly and someone else stops her by saying basta. Whatever letter the person is saying when she hears basta is the letter for that round. Of course, you can also make a set of letters and draw one or choose a letter using any random method.

Everyone writes the letter in the space on the left, and then tries to think of a word for each category that begins with that letter. Play stops when one of the players says basta para mí, basta para todos (or tutti frutti, alto el fuego, stop, etc.). Any player can stop the round this way whenever she likes. You can also use a timer, but that eliminates part of the strategy.

To score the round, players read their answers aloud. For an answer that no one else has, a player gets 10 points. For an answer that someone else also has, a player gets 5 points. For no answer or an answer that other players do not accept, a player gets 0 points.

The game can last for as many rounds as the players like. At the end, players total their scores.

PDFs for the Spanish language game Basta

Spanish game board 1 (easier, more general categories)
Spanish game board 2 (more specific categories)

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