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Learn Spanish with Eight Animals on the Town

Updated on September 15, 2013

Teach Spanish with Stuffed Animals

Have you considered teaching your children Spanish? The task can seem daunting but I was pleasantly surprised when I began teaching my own children Spanish. Every day more and more books are published to help you teach your child Spanish. One of the ways that I found to be most successful was by reading picture books that included words in Spanish in the context of a fun, well illustrated picture book.

In the book, Eight Animals on the Town<, the mouse, cat, dog, bird, frog, horse, cow, and pig dine on a fest of foods that they had purchased at the market. Then they head out for the baile (Dance) where they dance all night to lively Spanish music.

By ingeniously incorporating Spanish words into the rhyming text, kids will easily learn new Spanish animal names, numbers, and foods.

Photo Credit: Girl with Stuffed Aniamsl by sigsegv

Used under creative commons

Language Arts

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Teach a few words in Spanish - Teach Spanish with Picture Books that include Spanish Words

Teach Spanish through reading stories, writing interesting tales, creating bilingual poetry, performing plays in Spanish and talking about what you have learned while including more and more words and sentences in Spanish. Soon you will see that not only are you able to teach your children Spanish but you are having fun and learning more Spanish yourself.

Lights, Camera, Action!...Teach Spanish - Puppet Show to Teach Spanish

Here are some delightful puppets to use for retelling the story of Eight Animals on the Town. Be sure to use as many words as possible in Spanish. You can begin to teach some simple phrases and sentences as you retell the story.

Folkmanis Baby Bird Puppet
Folkmanis Baby Bird Puppet

Teach the Spanish word, ave with a bird puppet.

The Puppet Company CarPets Ginger Cat Hand Puppet
The Puppet Company CarPets Ginger Cat Hand Puppet

Teach the Spanish word, gato, with a cat puppet.

Aurora Plush Scruff Dog Velcro Playtime Puppet - 12"
Aurora Plush Scruff Dog Velcro Playtime Puppet - 12"

Teach the Spanish word, perro, with a dog puppet.

Folkmanis Leopard Frog Hand Puppet
Folkmanis Leopard Frog Hand Puppet

Teach the Spanish word, rana, with a frog puppet.


Eight Animals on the Town Puppets Teach Spanish - Children Love to Learn Spanish while Putting on on a Play

The wonderful thing about puppets is that they encourage children who might otherwise be too shy to speak words in Spanish to speak through the voice of the animals.

Try having the animals teach words and phrases in Spanish as well. I taught my children, "Me gusta caballos. Me gusta cerdos. Me gusta vacas." I like horses. I like pigs. I like cows. with animal puppets. Once they knew these phrases pretty well I added the word "bastante" meaning a lot to the end of each phrase. But slowly increasing the number of words in their Spanish vocabulary it was fun and they just naturally took to learning this second language.

Melissa & Doug Horse Puppet (Full-Body)
Melissa & Doug Horse Puppet (Full-Body)

Teach the Spanish word, Caballo, with a horse puppet.

Folkmanis Puppet Large Pig
Folkmanis Puppet Large Pig

Teach the Spanish word, Cerdo, with a pig puppet.



Counting Animals in Spanish Game - Eight Animals on the Town Count in Spanish

Use dice to decide how many of each animal and a deck of cards that you have made with pictures of the various animals from the story that your children have drawn on them to decide which animals they are talking about.

Children roll the die and pick up a card. Then they tell their partner in Spanish how many of which animal they have without showing their partner. Their partner then asks them in English to be sure that they have understood.

Tengo cinco gatos.

Do you have five cats?

We use file folders to hide the dice and cards from our partners.

Note: Some children like to quickly draw the kind and number of animals being described. Some children benefit from writing out the sentences in Spanish.


Restuarante Espanola - Teaching the Science of the Cooking Process in Spanish

Set up a Spanish Restaurant for experimenting with making food from Spanish speaking countries.

It is very important for children to experiment with cooking so that they gain an intuitive knowledge of how to cook using the Scientific Method. Be sure that children record their methods, control and results as well as share these findings with the rest of the class.

In the kitchen, children can experiment with making rice in a rice cooker, beans in a slow cooker, and tortillas in a toaster oven. Salads and salsas can be made from vegetables growing in the class garden. Fresh fruit drinks can be made using a blender.

NOTE: Be sure to teach how to safely use a knife, knife sharpener, how to handle hot foods with hot mitts and hot pads or trivets. Require that the group work together to clean up the area when finished. This is a center that may need a parent volunteer to oversee, but look for a helper who understands that learning comes from experimenting.

Bilingual Recipes

Rice Cooker


Toaster Oven

Slow Cooker

Note: By labeling each of the items in the kitchen with waterproof markers, children soon become familiar with these words in Spanish.

BLACK+DECKER RC3303 1.5-Cup Dry/3-Cup Cooked Compact Rice Cooker, White
BLACK+DECKER RC3303 1.5-Cup Dry/3-Cup Cooked Compact Rice Cooker, White

Experiment with cooking Spanish Rice. What happens if you add more water? What happens if you add cold water?


Social Studies

Unscramble the Spanish Speaking Countries - Teach Spanish Speaking Country Names

While putting together puzzles of Latin American Countries, you can teach your children simple phrases such as:

Donde quieres ir? (Where would you like to go?)

Quiero ir a .............. (I'd like to go to ..................)

Cut apart a map of Spanish speaking countries and laminate the pieces. Children can reassemble the map. Try to find a map written in Spanish for more advanced learners.


Teaching Spanish through Art - Eight Animals on the Town Learn Spanish through Art

The captivating folk art illustrations may inspire some to experiment with painting animals in a similar style.

You might like to disassemble a copy of the book, Eight Animals on the Town, laminate the pages and post them near the Easel. A large clip can be used to hold an illustration that the child is would like to imitate.

Set up an easel with various colors of paint and invite children to paint pictures of the animals from Eight Animals on the Town.

Physical Education

Baile! Time to Dance! - Teach Spanish while Dancing to Latin American Music...

Put on some lively Latin American music, dress up as animals from Animals on the Town and work up a sweat.

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    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Love dancing and the ideas to teach Spanish different very easy to retain what they have

    • profile image

      ElaineK 5 years ago

      Love these ideas!

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 6 years ago

      I loved reading "Say Hola to Spanish" and "Oh, No, Gotta Go" to my kids. I'm not sure how much Spanish they actually retained from it, but I love the idea of having bilingual books to expose kids to another language. The only difficulty, of course, is that the reader needs to know how to pronounce the words! Fortunately, my Spanish is rusty but still passable. :-)

    • profile image

      WhitePineLane 7 years ago

      So many fun ideas for teaching Spanish! I love the idea of the ocho animales, and the puppets. Kids would have a blast with that!

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

      You always have such a way to make teaching fun.