I use picture cards for all kinds of games and activities. This PDF has the following sets for 12 animals:
12 small picture cards – 4 per page
12 small picture cards with text – 4 per page
12 word cards – 4 per page
12 large picture cards with text – 2 per page
12 full-page coloring sheets
Syllable squares for 12 words
You can use them as a set, or you can print as many copies as you need of one page. You can make a set of fish, for example, for color activities or a set of cats for counting. You can download the PDF here: Spanish Animals – Picture Cards
If you’re looking for more specific vocabulary activities, check out all our Spanish vocabulary games grouped by theme.
25 Activities with Spanish Animal Picture Cards
1. 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. Play hiding games. Hide the cards and kids can search for them. Let them hide the cards for you. Try it in a dark room with a flashlight.
5. Match the cards to stuffed toys, figures or photos.
6. Cut out the animals and use them as figures in a scene. You can makes paper stands or bend a paper clip and tape it to the back so the animals stand up.
7. Cut out the animals and use them as stick puppets.
8. Play Memory. Print two sets of pictures or match word cards to picture cards.
9. Cut out the animals, color them and use them to make a mobile.
10. 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.
11. Fish for the animals. Attach a paper clip to the cards. Making a fishing pole with string and a magnet.
12. Use the cards for charades. Kids draw a card and act out the animal.
13. Spread the full-size pictures on the floor for action games. Kids move to the animal you call out. Use different verbs: Salta al caballo. Camina a la gallina.
14. Put the cards in alphabetical order.
15. Make cards with the first letter of the words. Match the letter to the animal.
16. Have races and relays. For example, call out a word, kids race to touch the card and repeat the word.
17. Draw a picture card and then assemble the word from the syllable squares.
18. 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.
19. Place cards face down. Players play piedra, papel o tijera (rock, scissors, paper) and the winner gets to draw a card. If she can say what it is, she keeps it. If she cannot, it goes back on the table. The player with the most cards wins. Here is a post on playing rock, scissors, paper in Spanish.
20. Place cards in a 3-by-3 square. Play tic tac toe by placing markers on the cards. 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.
21. 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.
22. Toss bean bags to try to hit the cards. Be sure to use the animals words as much as you can.
23. Set out out three cards and let children study them for a moment. Have them close their eyes, take away one and ask which is missing.
24. 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.
25. Teach the animal sounds in Spanish. You can also teach the verbs.
caballo (horse): jiiiiiii; relinchar
cabra (goat): bee bee; balar
cerdo (pig): oinc-oinc; grunir
gallina (hen): coc co co coc; cacarear
gallo (rooster): kikirikí; cantar
gato (cat): miau; maullar
oveja (sheep): bee, mee; balar
pato (duck): cuac cuac; graznar
perro (dog): guau guau; ladrar
vaca (cow): mu, muuu; mugir
pájaro (bird) – pío, pío; piar
Tips for using picture cards in Spanish
– 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 vocabulary the children know.
– 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.