Here is a fun, active game you can play to help kids learn their numbers in Spanish. It uses a traditional children’s song that teaches the numbers 1-10 and lends itself easily to acting out. While this Spanish counting game is aimed at preschoolers, my 2nd grader had a lot of fun with it as well. It is requires very little prep and is easily adjusted to different set ups, so feel free to get creative with it!
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Spanish Counting Game: Diez Perritos
Diez Perritos (Ten Puppies) is a traditional children’s song most well-known in Mexico. It is easy to find it on YouTube. Here is a version my kids enjoyed:
You can also read the full lyrics, including several variations.
We used the book Ten Little Puppies/Diez perritos, which has lovely illustrations and an English translation. If you are a piano player, you can also find the written music for the song at the back! If you have a small group, kids can read along as you play, or you can use it to reinforce the vocabulary later.
To play this Spanish counting game, you just need some sort of props to act as the ten puppies. We used stuffed animals like these cute assorted dogs. For a large group, you could also give each child their own set of little dog toys like these Adopt a Puppy Figures, or how cute are these Japanese dog erasers??
Before you start, you may want to go over any new vocabulary they will encounter, especially those that are critical to understanding what each dog is doing.
Related Post: 3 Easy Ways to Use Music to Teach Preschool Spanish
Then you simply go through the song and have the children use the props to act out the story, in which one by one the puppies leave, each in a different way. If you are using large stuffed animals like we did, just have the children take turns. If you are using the small toy dogs, each child could have their own set to use. Encourage them to be as dramatic as they want! They can jump when one dog escapes with un brinco (a jump) and shiver when one goes away to the nieve (snow), for example.
Also, encourage them to hold up their fingers each time you sing a number. I like the version in the Ten Little Puppies/Diez perritos book because it uses extra repetition of the numbers in each verse. More advanced learners could learn more of the lyrics, while beginners will probably just learn the numbers and the general idea of each verse.
This Spanish counting game is a great “circle time” activity or fun way to cap off a lesson on numbers.
Here are more Spanish counting games you don’t want to miss:
From Sra Casado Teaches Bilinguals: 3 Awesome Dice Games for Kids
From Hispanic Mama: Fun Activities and Resources to Teach Numbers in Spanish
From Ladydeelg: Free Printables: Numbers in Spanish 1-10