Highlights has many printable hidden picture activities on their website. Kids like looking for the hidden pictures, and these can be good Spanish language-learning activities. Check out Highlights for these great activities.
As you repeat the in a hidden picture activity and point to the small clue picture, your child sees the object, hears the word, and has the concept present as she searches for the object in the bigger scene. She associates the image and the language, and she understands and learns the Spanish word.
The key to using these hidden pictures with Spanish-language learners is to be selective and only look for the words that are familiar to your child, or that your child is learning.
Some of the vocabulary is not that common, and you should just eliminate those words. The exception to this is words that are cognates. I include words that are cognates, that is, words that sound the same in both languages. Children quickly learn cognates once they are exposed to them, but they must hear them to know that they are cognates. For example, the word “doughnut” is used in some of the hidden pictures. In Spanish, the word is la dona, and children will quickly learn the word if they hear it used in a context where the meaning is clear. In the case of these hidden picture activities, the clue picture makes the meaning clear.
Ideally, as you do this activity, you would have the big picture and the small pictures that you want to look for, without the English words or the clue pictures that you are not using. There is an option on the screen to hide the text, so it is easy to eliminate the English words.
These scenes used to be printable, with a print button on each screen. That button has been removed, but you can save the image or take a screen shot. If you do that, you can cut out the small pictures. I think that is the best and easiest ways to work with the pictures.
If you know the vocabulary in Spanish, there is no need to write the words in Spanish because your child will associate the word she hears with the object. If you are learning Spanish with your child, or your child reads in Spanish, you may want to glue the pictures on another sheet and label them in Spanish. If you are doing the activity with a class, you can then make copies of the big picture and the active vocabulary.
Before you start looking for the hidden pictures, be sure to talk about the big picture with your child. Point out the people, animals and familiar objects. Use vocabulary that your child knows in complete sentences.
As you look for the hidden objects in the big picture try to use the Spanish words as much as possible. Use sentences like these:
¿Dónde está el/la…..? – Where is the …?
¿Ves el/la…..? – Do you see the…?
Busco el/la … – I am looking for…
¿Es eso el/la…? – Is that the…?
No, no es el/la… – No, it’s not the ….
Sí, ¡allí está el/la…! – Yes, there is the ….!
¡Lo/la encontraste! – You found it!
Lo/la veo. ¡Lo/la encontré! – I see it. I found it!
Hidden Pictures from Highlights
There are many hidden pictures to practice Spanish with children on the Highlights website under the Games tab.
If you cut out the clue pictures, you can use them for other Spanish language activities. For example, your child can draw a scene and glue the pictures into it. Talk about the words as you are drawing with your child and she will associate the pictures with the language. That is how she will understand and learn Spanish.