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Saco una manito (I take out one hand) is a perfect Spanish song or finger play for toddlers and preschoolers. It is also known as Las manitas and is one of the first songs that many Spanish-speaking children learn. In Mexico and Spain, the diminutive of la mano (hand) is la manita. In those countries, the song is sung with la manita instead of la manito.

This Spanish song teaches children the words sacar (to take out), hacer (to make), abrir (to open), and cerrar (to close). The song has simple actions that makes the meaning of all these verbs clear. Combining movement with language is one of the most effective ways for kids to learn. Doing the actions helps children process the sound of the word and the meaning at a deeper level than if they were just singing.

Spanish finger play: Saco una manito

This is a version of Saco una manito spoken as a finger play. The video has the words on the screen and the images make the meaning of the words clear.

 

Spanish song: Saco una manito

There are lots of versions of  Saco una manito as a song.  Here is a version with puppets. This version uses manita instead of manito. The lyrics and a translation follow the videos.

Spanish song lyrics and translation – 1

Saco una manita. La hago bailar, / I take out one hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco la otra manita. La hago bailar, / I take out the other hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco las dos manitas. Las hago bailar, / I take out two hands. I make them dance.
Las cierro, las abro y las vuelvo a guardar. / I close them, I open them, and I put them away again.
Y ahora estas dos manitas juntitas están. / And now these two hands are together.
Se dan un besito y se van a jugar.  / They give each other a kiss and they go play.

I like the version by Adriana Szusterman on her CD Cantando con Adriana Vol. 2. Adriana is from Argentina and is one of the most popular children’s artists in Latin America. You can hear her version of Saco una manito in this video of a preschool class. The song is followed by two other songs about hands –  A mis manos and Si yo pongo – also by Adriana. The Spanish lyrics and a translation of Saco una manito follow the video.

Spanish song lyrics and translation – 2

Saco una manito. La hago bailar, / I take out one hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco otra manito. La hago bailar, / I take out the other hand. I make it dance.
La cierro, la abro y la vuelvo a guardar. / I close it, I open it, and I put it away again.
Saco las dos manitos. Las hago bailar, / I take out two hands. I make them dance.
Las cierro, las abro y las vuelvo a guardar. / I close them, I open them, and I put them away again.

 

CD with Spanish song: Cantando con Adriana Vol 2

Spanish songs for kids

Saco una manito is on the CD Cantando con Adriana Vol. 2 by Adriana Szusterman. The CD also has the songs A mis manos, Si yo pongo, Michu, Michu (about a cat named Michu), and Al agua pato. These are all wonderful songs for Spanish-language learners. For example, Si yo pongo teaches arriba (up) and abajo (down) by associating them with cielo (sky) and suelo (ground). The other songs on the CD are also lots of fun and kids love them (in particular the song El sapo Pepe). Some of the songs are longer, so I do not use them in class, but they are perfect for at home or in the car. The tunes are catchy, and the lyrics to the songs are available online. Music like this is one of the best and easiest ways to expose children to native-speaker Spanish.

You might also be interested in this post: Arriba y Abajo – Song with actions teaches up, down and more Spanish vocabulary or these other Spanish songs for kids.


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