counting game in Spanish

This is a game that involves odd and even numbers, guessing, and counting in Spanish. It is called Pares o nones (evens or odds) or Par o impar.  The phrase pares o nones is most often used in gambling. I teach número impar for odd number.

To play, give each child about 12 small objects in a bag or cup.  Beans work well, but you can use anything that a child can easily hold in her fist.

The children sit in a circle. Every other child takes a few of the beans in a closed fist and holds her hand out to the child on her right. In Spanish she asks ¿Par o impar? (even or odd).  The second child guesses par if she thinks it is an even number and impar if she thinks it is an odd number. The children can guess with the single Spanish words, or you can teach the Spanish sentences Creo que es un número par (I think it is an even number) and Creo que es un número impar (I think it is an odd number).

The first child opens her fist and counts aloud in Spanish the number of beans. If the second player has guessed correctly, she gets those beans.  If she has guessed incorrectly, she counts out, in Spanish,  the same number of beans from her bag and gives them to the first player.

The player who was guessing then takes a few beans and holds them out the player on her right and play continues around the circle in pairs. If the group is large, as the players run out of beans, you can give them new beans to start a new circle.  The winner is the child who finally has all of the beans from the first circle.

These are some Spanish sentences you might use as you play this game:

¿Cuántos hay?  Hay cinco. – How many are there?  There are five.

El dos es un número par.  – Two is an even number.

El siete es un número impar.  – Seven is an odd number.

Cúentalos.  – Count them.

Dame cuatro por favor.  – Give me four please.


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