It has been a wonderful week sharing summer camp activities along with Julie of Mundo de Pepita. As a last activity to end our sharing, I propose making an origami boat, but first I suggest you teach this repetitive traditional song called “El barquito chiquitico.” There are different versions on YouTube, but this one is short and the animation is fun!
Había una vez un barquito chiquitico Había una vez un barquito chiquitico, Que no podía, que no podía, Que no podía navegar. Pasaron una, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete semanas,
Pasaron una, dos, tres, cuatro, cinco, seis, siete semanas.
Y si esta historia no les parece larga,
Y si esta historia no les parece larga,la volveremos, la volveremos a empezar.
Done singing? Time to make the “barquitos de papel” with your students. This is an opportunity to talk about colors and sizes. The video tutorial below will show you how to make the paper boats step by step.
A successful summer camp has a *play parachute! Parachute time is one of those activities where you can engage children of different ages to play together. I have also never met a child who doesn’t love participating in parachute time. Before using the parachute, explain your rules to the group to make it safe. I keep it simple. My rules are:
1. Don’t go under the parachute without being asked.
2. Don’t go on top of the parachute without being asked.
3. Don’t shake the parachute without being asked.
4. Let go when I say it’s time to do so.
Once in a while you will have a student who decides not to follow, so for safety reasons I might ask the student to observe and then re-join the game when he/she knows he/she is ready to play it safe.
One more thing is that sometimes there are not enough handles in the parachute for the children to hold onto. I let them know in advance that some of them won’t be getting a handle, but there are other parts at the edge of the parachute where they can grab, too.
Here are some fun activities to play while using the parachute:
Number Tag: Make a circle and everyone holds a handle or part of the parachute. Assign numbers to each child. You will need a number caller. His/her job will be to choose who tags who. For example:
Uno y cinco. The number that gets called first has to tag the second number. They will have to run around the parachute and can also go under. Their turn ends when the tagger tags the other child. You decide when to end the game.
Singing Ball: Place a ball in the middle of the parachute. Have the group sing a song in Spanish while shaking the parachute. If the ball falls off the parachute while singing the song, they will have to start all over again. The game ends when they are all able to sing the song while keeping the ball on the parachute.
Counting Ball or Object: Set a goal with the group of how high they want to count in Spanish. Let’s say the group decides that “veinte” is their goal. Place the ball in the middle of the parachute and the children should shake the parachute and start counting in Spanish. Just like the Singing Ball game, the game ends when they are able to say all the numbers while keeping the ball on the parachute.
Salsacaídas: This game is the combination of Salsa music and paracaídas (parachute). Choose a few salsa songs for your group to dance to. “Vivir mi vida” and “La Gozadera” have been hits in my classes and are also long enough for the children to take turns dancing. Children can go in pairs or by themselves. Everyone holds the parachute high and shakes it while playing the songs. Children take turns dancing under the parachute. You decide how long you want the activity to go.
Last, but not least, I have another post with a fun song to use while playing the parachute. Follow this link to read it.
This is a fun game that is played in many Latin American countries. It’s simple, fun, and doesn’t require much preparation. There are different versions of this game. I am sharing with you the one I remember playing with my friends in a (then) small neighborhood outside of Cali, Colombia. You will need a minimum of six participants to play the game. Each team will have three participants. One person is placed in the middle in a squatting position, grasping their hands between their legs. The two other members of the team have to pretend to prepare el “sancocho,” which is a traditional soup in Latin America. They have to pretend they are adding the ingredients to the bowl while saying the lines below:
Para preparar el sancocho, pongo el pollo, pongo la yuca, pongo la papa, pongo la mazorca, lo pongo al fuego.
¡El sancocho ya está listo!
When everyone is done making the sancocho together, the game turns into a competition. You will need to set a finish line for everyone to get to. The team who makes it to the finish line first wins the game. You can continue playing until everyone gets tired of it. I recommend playing the game on a field with grass so nobody gets hurt.
This is a video of a Scout Troop playing a version of “las ollitas” game.
Variation: You can use visuals for the students to use while playing the game.
Second day of sharing! Yay! This activity is for second graders and up! For this activity you will need *inflatable beach balls and permanent markers. This will be a great introduction activity. Distribute the balls to each child. They will have to complete the following sentences:
Have you students make a circle. Place the balls in the middle of the circle. Give your students turns to read one ball each and guess who the student is. The game ends when everyone in class has had a turn to read or guess the name of a student or have been found. Now, time to play with the balls!
Last year, Julie from Mundo de Pepita shared some ideas for summer camps. We decided to keep the tradition alive and here is my first sharing. Bubbles are always fun to add to your summer camp! It’s a great opportunity to learn some opposite words such as sube, baja, grande and pequeño. You can also count the bubbles while popping them. I was able to find *bubbles that stick for a long time so it allows me to play with the language.
This song is a really great opportunity to take your class outside to play with bubbles while singing in Spanish. Introduce the word burbujas in Spanish.
Have the children call out the bubbles along with you: ¡BUUUUUURRRRRBUUUUJAS!
Play the song while children play with the bubbles.
¡Hola! I am Carolina, a Colombian elementary Spanish teacher based in Austin, Texas. Fun for Spanish Teachers is the result of my passion for teaching Spanish to children and my desire to inspire collaboration and creativity in a vibrant teaching and learning community. It’s the perfect stop if you are looking for songs, games, teaching tips, stories, and fun for your classes.