spanish for children

I have a great time playing toma todo, or pirinola, with children learning Spanish. The phrases are simple and practical, and kids love spinning the top.

My kids grew up playing at home and in Mexico, where the six-sided top is a pirinola.  In some countries it is a perinola.  We get wooden tops in Mexico, but they are available in many Latino markets in the USA too. You can also make your own out of cardboard.  There are links to printable pirinolas below.

Be sure to check out all our Spanish games for kids. You’ll find traditional games, as well as classroom games to practice vocabulary and grammar.

Toma todo can be played with two or more players. Each player needs about ten tokens. We use beans, but kids sometimes play with candy. Any small object will work. Everyone puts one token into a center pile to start, and then one player spins the top. When it falls, she follows the instructions facing up.

These are the traditional instructions:
Toma uno. – Take one (token from the pile).
Pon uno – Put one (in the pile).
Toma dos. – Take two (tokens from the pile).
Pon dos – Put two (in the pile).
Toma todo. – Take it all (the whole pile).
Todos ponen. – Everyone puts a token in the pile.

When toma todo comes up, in order to continue, everyone must put one token in the pile. Play continues until one person has all the tokens.

Printable Toma Todo Pattern

You can also make a pirinola out of cardboard and a pencil. Here is a link to a printable pattern to make the top to play Toma todo.

Toma Todo Spinner Version

You can also play Toma Todo with a spinner. It is easy to make, and gives kids lots of language practice. Go here for our printable spinner Toma Todo Game La Pirinola.

More Phrases for Playing Toma Todo

When you are playing toma todo, you might use these phrases too:
Te toca a ti. – It’s your turn.
Me toca a mí.- It’s my turn.
¡Qué bien! – Great!
¡Ay, no! – Oh, no!

 

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