Spanish game for children

School is almost over and I have been playing some of the games that we played at the beginning of the year. This is a very simple Spanish game, and a favorite with my youngest students. I call it ¿Dónde está el pájaro? At the beginning of the year, the most challenging part of this game for the littlest ones is passing the bird around the circle. They have grown up so much!

This is a guessing game and it is easy to adapt to different size groups and levels. To play this game children sit in a circle. One child who is going to guess stands apart and hides her eyes. The kids pass a toy bird around the circle while they sing and when the song ends whoever is holding the bird hides it. The person who is guessing has three chances to guess ¿Dónde está el pájaro? by naming the student who has it. If she guesses correctly, the person who had the bird guesses next.  If she does not guess in three tries, I choose someone to guess. With older kids, you can play with variations where you pass more than one object around the circle at the same time. You can use different colored birds for example, and when it is time to guess you can specify ¿Dónde está el pájaro rojo?

The song is to the tune of Row, Row, Row Your Boat:

¿Dónde está el pájaro?
¿Dónde, dónde está?
¿Dónde está el pájaro?
¿Dónde, dónde está?

This tune works with any three-syllable word with the stress on the first syllable (palabra esdrújula de tres sílabas) or a four-syllable word with stress on the second syllable (palabra esdrújula de cuarto sílabas). These are not the most common words in Spanish, but for a house unit, you can play with pictures of lámpara and teléfono. The other words that fit the tune are the shapes – círculo, triángulo, rectángulo, pentágono, óvalo.

This simple song is also a good one to use for a hiding game with a few players or just two people. One person hides the bird in a room or a designated place outside. When it is hidden, sing the song together as the players begin to search. When someone finds the bird, you can sing:

Aquí está el pájaro.
Aquí, aquí está.
Aquí está el pájaro.
Aquí, aquí está.

I sometimes use this simple Spanish game to fill a few minutes at the end of class when there is not enough time to start a new activity. It is basic, but it teaches ¿Dónde está? very effectively and the kids love it.

You might also be interested in this post: Activity with por favor, gracias to teach children Spanish

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