I love talking about animals with Spanish learners because the kids have so much to say. Picture cards make it easy to do different activities related to animals. Below you’ll find two free sets of Spanish animal cards that you can use for all kinds of games, language practice and creative fun.
Tips for Using Picture Cards
– If the words are new, talk about the cards together before you play so children have a chance to hear them.
– When you play a game, limit the number of new words and include picture cards of familiar vocabulary.
– Use the words for the pictures on the cards as much as possible as you play.
– Do activities where kids hear new words first and then move to games and activities where they produce them.
– Relate the words to each other as you play. You could say, for example, Un caballo corre más rápido que una vaca.
Spanish Farm Animal Cards
This set of cards has 12 common farm animals. There are cards with and without text, sets of different sizes, and also full-page coloring sheets.
In addition, I included syllable cards for these cards because I use them a lot with beginning readers. Students are often familiar with animal vocabulary, so it’s a great place to start to read.
Like most of the other picture cards I use with students, these are black and white. They are less expensive to print, and I can make coloring the cards an additional language activity.
Spanish Wild Animal Cards
I have a less elaborate set of Spanish animal cards for wild animals. I don’t use this card set as often, so I haven’t needed different sizes or the syllables.
Get the free download of wild animal cards.
Activities with Spanish Animal Cards
There are an endless number of activities you can do with picture cards. Here are a few ideas to get you started, and you undoubtedly find more ways to play and learn.
- Draw and color. All the cards are black and white so kids can color them. Kids can also add details and create scenes around the animals.
- Do sorting activities. Sort the animals by two legs or four legs, animals that fly, swim, run, animals you keep in the house or from biggest to smallest. Look at the words and sort by number of syllables, number of letters, or gender.
- Tell stories. Cards are especially useful for pattern stories and cumulative stories. Lay out the cards as you move from one animal to the next.
- Match the cards to stuffed toys, figures or photos.
- Cut out the animals and use them as figures in a scene. You can make paper stands or bend a paperclip and tape it to the back so the animals stand up.
- Cut out the animals and use them as stick puppets.
- Cut out the animals, color them and use them to make a mobile. Talk about them often!
- Spread the full-page Spanish animal cards on the floor and use them to get kids moving. Kids move to the animal you call out. Use different verbs: Salta al caballo. Camina a la gallina.
- Put the cards in alphabetical order.
- Make cards with the first letter of the words. Match the letter to the animal.
- Choose a picture card and then assemble the word from the syllable squares.
- Use the cards as you watch videos and listen to songs. Touch them, put them in order, or hold them up with songs like La granja de mi tío and Vengan a ver mi granja.
Games with Animal Picture Cards
- Play Memory. Print two sets of pictures or match word cards to picture cards.
- Use the cards for board games. Kids can act out the animal, make the sound, say the animal, spell the word, or say the number of syllables. I have cute printable boards you can use here: Printable Spanish Board Games.
- Use the cards for charades. Kids draw a card and act out the animal. If you’re working with young learners, they might also like these animal movement cards.
- Have races and relays. For example, call out a word, kids race to touch the card and repeat the word.
- Have a face-off race. Print two sets of cards. Players face each other and lay out their cards between them in a vertical line. Each player starts at the bottom and they race toward each other saying the words.
- Place cards in a 3-by-3 square. Play tic tac toe by placing markers on the cards and saying the animals. Tic tac toe has many names in Spanish. Tres en raya, tres en línea, and el juego del gato are three of the most common.
- Set out three cards and let children study them for a moment. Have them close their eyes, take away one and ask which is missing. Use more cards with older learners.
- Set out cards like the spaces in a board game. Add a salida and a meta (start and finish). Roll dice to move pieces along the path. Say the name of the card you land on. Add cards for roll again, go back two spaces, etc.
- Play hiding games. Hide the Spanish animal cards and kids can search for them. Let them hide the cards for you. Try it in a dark room with a flashlight. Be sure to use the vocabulary as you find the cards.
Do you have other ways to use picture cards to learn animals or other vocabulary? We’re always looking for new activities to help kids learn Spanish, so please share in the comments.