spanish games for kids vocabulary balloons

I think this Spanish vocabulary game is one of my better ideas for working with groups of kids. I call it fiesta de globos. To play, I put pictures or words on balloons, the kids bat them around for about a minute, and then each child holds one. At that point, there are lots of ways to engage the kids with the vocabulary on the balloons. Be sure no one has a latex allergy before you do this activity!

I like this Spanish game because:
– you can play with any number of children.
– all the kids are involved almost all the time.
– it distributes different vocabulary items randomly and quickly.
– you can use any number of vocabulary items.
– you can use it with all kinds of words.
– it is quick and engaging.
– it is active.

To do the activity you need small balloons and permanent markers or sticker pictures of the vocabulary. Have several more balloons than the number of children, so that if a balloon pops it’s not a problem. I also like to have extras because even when kids are randomly picking up a balloon, two sometimes set their sights on the same one. Having a few extra seems to solve that problem.

Draw or write the Spanish vocabulary on the balloons or put a sticker on each one. The balloons in the photo are for practicing feelings: estoy contento, estoy triste, estoy asustado, estoy sorprendido. This is also a good vocabulary activity for numbers, letters and colors (just use the colors of the balloons). You can repeat the vocabulary on the balloons as much as you need to.

After a quick review of the vocabulary we are using, I put the kids in a circle and dump the balloons in the center. They play with the balloons, but cannot hold onto them. You can give instructions to walk through them, try to keep them in the air, bat them to each other or you can just let the kids do what they like. I put on music for about a minute and when the music stops, they all catch or pick up a balloon.

At this point, children can
– answer a question, for example ¿Cómo te sientes? for the balloons in the photo.
– sort themselves into groups or pairs based on the balloon they have
– do an action that is written on the balloon
– read a word that is written on the balloon

Then the kids throw the balloons back into the circle and we start again.

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