We read to kids a lot, and we want to engage then with the stories and language in books. I’ve found it’s handy to have a list of book activities in Spanish that you can do with any book. Here are some of our favorite easy ways to engage kids with picture books.
The book activities below can be done with focused, high-frequency vocabulary and language kids draw from the book itself. There are big benefits to engaging kids with words and stories even if they are not writing complicated responses.
Of course, you can expand these activities for native speakers and include more language appropriate to your reader’s skills. Try different ideas and come back to the ones kids like.
If you’re reading aloud to your child at home, be sure to check out these 10 Best Strategies for Reading to Kids in Spanish.
We also have lots of free reading activities on our Spanish Reading for Kids resource page.
Talking About Books
Talking about stories is one of the easiest ways to engage kids with Spanish reading. You can do many of the activities below orally as you’re reading with kids. You can always follow up with a drawing or writing component.
50 Book Activities in Spanish
Read the title of the book and talk about what you see in the cover illustration.
Take a picture walk by looking at the pictures in a book before you read it. This prepares children for reading the story and teaches them to use the pictures as cues. A picture walk also gives kids a feel for the story and sparks their interest.
What Do You Like?
Say something you liked about the book.
Say something you didn’t like about the book.
Choose your favorite sentence in the book.
Draw a picture of your favorite sentence from the book.
Choose your favorite illustration in the book.
Choose three words from your book that you like the most. Draw a picture of each word.
Read a dialogue you like from the story together.
Act out a short scene you like from the story.
Print and keep this book-inspired gratitude journal. When you read a book, find something in the story that you have and like in your life. Record the key word and draw a picture.
Super Easy Book Activities in Spanish
Try one of these 15 Super Easy Activities for Kids Reading in Spanish.
Spanish Book Activities to Talk About Characters
Talk about what a character is thinking or saying. Use sticky notes to add bubbles with your ideas to the illustrations. One key word is great for novice learners.
Talk about whether something a character does is una buena idea o una mala idea. Add a thumbs up or a thumbs down for emphasis! Kids with more language can explain how they would have handled things differently than the character.
Name words you would use to describe a character.
Talk about if you would like to have the main character as a friend. Why or not?
Identify characters by characteristics. ¿Quién es el más fuerte? ¿Quién es el más valiente?
Play a guessing game. Act out one of the characters doing something in the book and guess the character.
Draw a character from the book at different times in their life. ¿Cómo era de bebé? ¿Cómo será de viejo/vieja?
Name the important places in the story. Draw a map and label the places.
Find an important word in the book and draw a picture to represent the word.
Put three sentences from the story on cards and put them in order.
Find something in the illustrations or story that reminds you of your life.
Find an important object in the story and draw a picture of it. Label the picture.
Picture Book Games
Try one of these 5 Reading Games to Play with Spanish Picture Books
Put important words from the story on cards. Make two cards for each word and play memory.
Choose a long word from the book and see how many other words you can make using those letters.
Put important words on cards and draw pictures of them on other cards. Match the words to pictures or play memory.
I personally don’t like word searches, but there are kids that love them. If your child is one of those kids, you can choose words from the book and make a word search. Put the words into squares on this printable word search template and fill in random letters around them. Let your child make a one for you.
Activities for Specific Books
In addition to the general activities above, you can do crafts and play games related to specific stories.
Spanish Playground has activities for individual picture books in Spanish on our Spanish Books for Kids page.
If you’re reading a book that is also available in English, do a search with the English title. There is a good chance there are fun ideas online and often you can adapt the activities to Spanish. For example, Bugy and Budy has a list of craft ideas for popular picture books.
If your child likes crafts, consider a project that relates to the story. Crafts related to characters, animals, seasons and setting give you an opportunity to talk about the story again.
Do you have a favorite way to engage your kids with stories? We would love to add to this list, so please share your ideas in comments.