Did your child get a jigsaw puzzle for Christmas? Does your family do puzzles together? A jigsaw puzzle, or rompecabezas, is an excellent Spanish game for children learning the language. There is very specific vocabulary that you use over and over to talk about doing the puzzle. In addition, you can use the picture on the puzzle to introduce and practice all kinds of vocabulary. Puzzles for kids often have scenes with lots of vocabulary related to a theme such as a farm, a castle or vehicles. You can also make your own puzzles and find printable puzzles online.
Doing Jigsaw Puzzles with Kids Learning Spanish
Before you start a puzzle, talk about the picture on the box with your child. Point to the principal features and use simple sentences to describe the puzzle. For example, for this puzzle of a farm, you could say: Es una granja. El granjero maneja el tractor. Hay muchos animales. Veo vacas, ovejas y dos cerdos. Los patos están en el agua, etc.
As you do the puzzle, comment on the picture. Talk about the pieces you are looking for and the pieces you find. Ask your child about specific pieces and ask her to help you find things in the drawing. You can clarify what you say by pointing to the picture.
In addition to the vocabulary in the picture, use these Spanish words and phrases to talk about doing the puzzle. You can print this puzzle vocabulary for easy reference.
el dibujo – the picture
la pieza – the piece
las piezas – the pieces
el borde / el marco – the edge
una pieza del borde / una pieza del marco – an edge piece
la esquina – the corner
Vamos a voltear las piezas para ver el dibujo – Let’s turn the pieces over so we can see the picture.
Vamos a buscar las piezas del borde (del marco) – Let’s look for the edge pieces.
Estas piezas encajan – These pieces fit together.
No encajan estas piezas. – These pieces don’t fit together.
No encaja esta pieza. – This piece doesn’t fit.
Va aquí. – It goes here.
Busco una pieza que tiene el color rojo. – I’m looking for a piece with red.
Pon / Coloca la pieza aquí. – Put the piece here.
Ponla / Colócala aquí – Put it here.
Pásame el dibujo. – Hand me the picture.
Sigue el dibujo. – Follow the picture.
En el dibujo hay… – In the picture there is (there are)…
Estoy buscando – I’m looking for..
Busca… – Look for…
You may also be interested in this post: Printable Spanish Puzzles – Scrambled Pictures