Share a Snack, with Spanish On the Side!

10 September 2018
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10 September 2018, Comments: 0

Share a Snack, and Teach Some Language!

Snack time is my favorite time for working with small groups of kids. By far!

If you teach young kids Spanish, please try using snack as a way of engaging in new language.  It rocks!

Here’s why:

  1.  You have their attention.
  2.  Their bodies have (for many) stopped ricocheting and they’re engaging in a fine motor activity (little fingers sort gold fish, raisins, apple slices, etc.)
  3.  All their senses are engaged  — texture, flavor, fragrance, color — and if you add songs you’ve got all 5 senses!
  4. You can enlist choice during a time that they’re motivated to engage.  Juice or water?  Teddy bear cookies or fishy crackers? And now they have a REASON to speak.


So how do you do this?

  1. First gain parents/caregivers permission. Are there allergies?
  2. Find a time in your daily routine to include a regularly scheduled snack time.
  3. Based on dietary restrictions, choose a variety of food to strategically present that will lend themselves to conversation.  (I liked to start by making a “phone call” on a banana that I’d then slice and share.)


A tip about food options:

Treat the process with great care.  Use sterilized cutting boards, knives & containers (fresh out of the dishwasher, or carefully scrubbed) to avoid any cross-contamination of allergens.

Choose two options that contrast nicely in color, shape, taste, texture, etc.

Some examples:

Teddy bear cookies vs. fishy crackers (los osos/ los peces)

Show how they walk/swim as kids are eating.
¿El oso camina o nada? (manipulate the snack to do these actions).  ¿El pez camina o nada?

Red apples vs. green apples (rojo / verde)

Count the number of green slices vs. red slices in the group.  As they are eaten, the number goes down!

¿Cuál quieres? / Which do you want?
¿Cuántas manzanas verdes hay?/ How many green apples?
¿Cuántas manzanas rojoas hay? / How many red apples?
¿Cuál es mas dulce?/ Which is sweeter?
¿Cuál prefieres? /Which do you prefer?
Bring a little cinnamon/sugar to sprinkle from a salt shaker.

Dried cranberries vs. raisins (rojo / negro)

Count the different colored raisins, have them sort them.
¿Cuántas pasas rojas?/ How many cranberries?
¿Cuántas pasas negras? / How many raisins?
¿Cuál prefieres? / Which you you prefer?

Raw broccoli vs. snap peas (families will LOVE you!)
(broccoli / el brécol — los arbolitos / little trees)
(snap peas / los chícharos — los barquitos / little boats)

Bring an image of a tree, and another of a boat.  Teach them the words.
Play with the food, take the peas out of the pod to make a boat.
Make the boat ride around and tie up next to the tree. Or the tree ride in the boat!
¿Te gusta? / Do you like?
Me gusta. / I  like.
No me gusta. / I don’t like

I hope you’re getting the idea…food brings us together, we feel good when we eat, we settle down when we’re eating.  It makes for a perfect opportunity to share some time, laughs….and some new Spanish words!

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