The Diccionario Multimedia is from the Portal de Educación – Junta de Castillo y León. It has common Spanish vocabulary for kids arranged by categories and represented by pictures. When children click on a picture, they hear the word pronounced in Spanish. There are also two games where they can practice the words that they have learned.
Using the Diccionario Multimedia is good pronunciation practice, because children listen and repeat as they learn new Spanish words. When they are familiar with the words, they can try to name the pictures, then click and repeat to check themselves. Start by selecting just one category, so that the words have something in common (it is possible to select up to three categories at a time). By selecting one category, you will see all of the words in that group. Once children know the words, it is fun to mix categories to see what pictures come up. A maximum of 12 pictures will load at a time.
The words in this dictionary are common Spanish vocabulary for kids, but this is a more natural and effective learning tool if you use the words in sentences. Talk about the pictures you see. You can use simple sentences that reinforce the category or describe the picture. It is fine to use the same structures over and over. Repetition is important for children learning Spanish!
For example, with the birthday category, after you hear the word you can say something like: Globos – Sí, hay globos en una fiesta. Pastel – Hay pastel en una fiesta también. Amigos – Hay amigos en una fiesta, como tu amiga Jessica.
With the action category, you can leave the verb in the infinitive (base form) by using sentences with gustar or impersonal expressions like: Dormir- Me gusta dormir. Es importante dormir. Beber – Me gusta beber agua. Cocinar – No me gusta cocinar.
The words for animals and other objects can be used with common adjectives like grande, pequeño, bonito and color words: Caballo – El caballo es grande. Tortuga – La tortuga es pequeña.
The Diccionario Mulitmedia has audio in Spanish, French and English. Click on the red and yellow flower for Spanish (the colors of the Spanish flag). You can change languages at anytime, and this is helpful if you are not exactly sure what the picture represents. Just click on the red and blue flower (the colors of the British flag) to check what the word means. You will hear it pronounced with a British accent.
When you arrive at this site, a talking book gives instructions. The sound quality for the instructions is not very good, but it is excellent for the dictionary and games. You can advance the instructions with the red arrow and choose the language. On the next screen there is a side bar with categories represented by pictures. Click to select a category, and pictures for words in that category will appear. When you change categories, be sure to unselect the first one, or pictures from both categories will appear. That can be fun, but it is easier to learn and remember words that have something in common. Randomly mixing pictures of wild animals and Christmas does not help kids make logical connections.
Click this link to practice Spanish vocabulary for kids with the Diccionario Multimedia.
Spanish vocabulary by categories
The categories are represented by a picture in the sidebar menu, but they are not labeled. There are up to 12 words in each group and some of the categories have just a few words. These are the categories in order. They are represented by the word in parenthesis.
The vocabulary in the Diccionario Multimedia is standard and used throughout the Spanish-speaking world. Only a few words, such as patatas (potatoes), zumo (juice), jersey (sweater) ordenador (computer) are more commonly used in Spain.
- acciones / actions (person drinking)
- animales de la granja / farm animals (chicken)
- animales domésticos / domestic animals
- animales salvajes / wild animals (lion)
- bebidas / drinks (lemonade)
- caricaturas / cartoon characters (clown)
- colores / colors (red paint)
- comida / food (spaghetti)
- cumpleaños / birthday (birthday cake)
- deportes / sports (soccer player)
- tiempo / weather (tree with sun)
- escuela / school (pencil)
- estaciones / seasons (grass and flowers)
- familia / family (man and woman)
- frutas / fruit (green apple)
- Halloween (pumpkin)
- juguetes / toys (bear)
- lugares / places in the community (building)
- días de la semana / days of the week (assignment book. In my opinion, it is not at all clear which drawing represents which day of the week. There are marks going down a page in an assignment book. I do not think these drawings provide enough context to learn these words.)
- meses / months of the year (wall calender. The months are labeled in the drawings in English. That is the only way to know which month is represented by each drawing)
- muebles / furniture (table)
- instrumentos musicales / instruments (drum)
- Navidad / Christmas (tree)
- números / numbers 1-10 (1,2,3,4,5)
- números / numbers by 10 (10, 100)
- números / numbers (11-20)
- partes de la casa / parts of a house (house)
- partes del cuerpo / parts of the body (ear)
- ropa / clothes (red dress)
- sentimientos / feelings (In my opinion, the emotions that these faces are supposed to represent are not clear. They are supposed to show hambiento, sediento, malo, bueno, triste, and loco, but the differences are minor.)
- vehículos / vehicles (blue car)
- verduras / vegetables (lettuce)
Games to practice Spanish vocabulary
This site has two games, ¿Cómo se dice? and ¿Cómo se escribe?
To get to the games, click on the green flowers in the lower middle of the screen.
Choose the number of players. You can choose 1 or 2.
Choose the language. Click the red and yellow flower for Spanish.
Choose the game. ¿Cómo se dice…? (How do you say..?) or ¿Cómo se escribe..? (How do you write?)
Choose how many categories – una cualquiera (any category), una categoria (one category), varias categorias (several categories)
Choose the number of questions. You can choose 1, 5, 10 or 20.
If you have chosen several categories, you select the three categories you want.
¿Cómo se dice…? (How do you say..?)
To play this game, click on stereo to hear the Spanish word. Then click on the correct image. Use the arrow to advance.
¿Cómo se escribe..? (How do you write?)
This game shows a picture, and you click on the correct word. Click on the arrow to advance. There is no audio with this game, but it is useful for beginning readers to recognize the written form of words they know. If they have learned the words using the dictionary and ¿Cómo se dice?, this game is a good follow-up for children who are reading in Spanish.