Song kids learn Spanish

This is a popular Spanish language song and game based on opposites. Kids play it in lots of Latin American countries and is a great way to learn and practice Spanish vocabulary. The language is simple, but getting the patterns right is not that easy! In my experience, kids are better at this game than adults.

The game begins by singing a verse that names a pair of opposites. Then the leader says a three-word pattern, and the group responds with same pattern using the opposites. Each time you want to add new words into the game, you sing the verse again. You can then make patterns using words from any of the opposite pairs. It is really a very simple Spanish song and you can see how it works and hear the tune in the video links below. These are the words to the song:

Yo conozco un juego / I know game
que se juega así. / that you play like this.
Cuando yo digo blanco, / When I say white,
nosotros decimos negro. / we say black.
Cuando yo digo negro, / When I say black,
nosotros decimos blanco. / we say white.
Este juego va a empezar; / This game is going to start;
no se vayan a equivocar. / don’t make a mistake.

Blanco, blanco, blanco / White, white, white (leader)
Negro, negro, negro / Black, black, black (group)
Blanco, negro, blanco / White, black, white (leader)
Negro, blanco, negro / Black, white, black (group)

Watch this video of Luis Pescetti (my favorite children’s performer!) playing Yo conozco un juego with a group of kids who are very good at the game. He uses blanco-negro, hola-chau, and limpio-sucio. Watching this video, you will get a good idea of how to play and learn the song.

This is a video of a group of teachers learning Yo conozco un juego. They use blanco-negro and then alto-bajo. The first time through, the leader sings Cuando yo digo blanco, ustedes dicen negro (When I say white, you say black), because the other teachers are not singing with her. In the next verse, she changes it to nosotros decimos. If the children are singing along, it makes more sense to say nosotros decimos (we say), so I sing it that way from the beginning.

Of course, you can use any opposites. Try playing with pairs like these: arriba-abajo, alto-bajo, afuera-adentro, largo-corto, día-noche, grande-chico, más-menos, joven-viejo, bonito-feo, ganar-perder.

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