Feliz, feliz en tu dia means “Be happy on your day.” Today is my granddaughter’s 5th birthday. I turned her special day into an afternoon of fun with new Spanish words, songs, and phrases. We celebrated God’s gift of life to Khloe, had lots of fun, and explored a new language along the way.
Teaching Spanish to young children is nearly as easy as soaking up water with a sponge. Their minds are like little learning machines that can easily process a second language, especially when creative games and activities are a part of the fun.
There are many simple ways to introduce Spanish to to children. I used a birthday theme to make today’s hands-on Spanish lesson a memorable one. First, I asked my students, “What do you think of when you hear the words, ‘birthday party'”? They yelled out, “Cake! Balloons! Presents!” We celebrated with a few of the exact things that they yelled out.
I gave the kiddos several balloons in a variety of colors. I turned to my trusty white board and wrote the name of each color in English and in Spanish. The girls did the same on their balloons of corresponding colors including the following:
- green – verde
- pink – rosa
Next, I gave them a simple craft that would would reinforce learning the new color words. They each got four (cuatro) butterflies (Las mariposas) and wrote the name of of the corresponding color word on on each one.
We then moved on to birthday cards for Khloe. While they decorated their cards, cards I taught them the Happy birthday song in Spanish. It is sang in the same tune as the traditional English version. It goes like this:
Feliz cumpleanos a ti, Feliz cumpleanos a ti, Feliz cumpleanos a ____________ (name), Feliz cumpleanos a ti.
Our next project was to have them write name strips to put by their stuff. I wrote, “Me llamo______” on the board and asked them to write the same and then fill in the blank with their own names. “Me llamo,” means “My name is.”
- circle / el circulo
- triangle/ el triangulo
- square / cuadrado
- rectangle / rectangulo
Since this was a part of of our half-day homeschool program, I had to come up with a way to include some math in our day. I gave the girls a simple coloring page and and had them write the name of each shape in Spanish.