Spanish Outdoor Activity- Un Picnic

Mayo brings us weather beautiful enough for a picnic, and a Spanish-speaking, Mexican style picnic at that.  The family picnic is a cultural institution in Mexico, and weekend family picnics are often multi-generational with abuelos (grandparents), tíos (aunts & uncles) and bebés.  Picnic y la familia go together like tacos and salsa.  Try a Mexican style picnic with some Spanish sprinkled in with friends, family, or students.

Teaching Tip & Spanish Material:  Introduce each item from the Mexican picnic with its Spanish name such as la naranja for orange.  Then ask learners to identify it by pointing or touching it.  Vocabulary is taught best with the real item, or a picture of it.  The visual and tactile support of a real orange, for examples, lends so much to the learners.  A delightful, simple bilingual book for foods is Mi Comida.

So here is some familia review:

Spanish Family Members: Pairs

  • abuelos = grandparents
  • papás= parents
  • hijos= children
  • nietos= grandchildren
  • tíos= aunts & uncles
  • primos= cousins

Conversation Fun

¿Quíenes van al picnic? Who is going to the picnic?

Mis abuelos, mis papás, mis tíos y mis primos van al picnic.

¿Qué traes para el picnic? What are you bringing for the picnic

Yo traigo . . . . I m bringing.

Spanish Review for Summer: Picnic



Do your students need to brush up on their Spanish before going back to school?  Or, would your kids love to play and eat outside with a Mexican twist?  A Spanish speaking summer picnic is a great way to review, practice, and even learn new vocabulary.  The picnic is a huge cultural activity in Mexico; kids can get a good dose of cultural exposure too.


Mexico’s Family Picnics

Mexican families love to do things together on the weekends.  Entire families, and sometimes a few generations, are out strolling through neighborhoods, outdoor markets, and parks on weekend afternoons.  Parks are covered with people enjoying the sunny afternoons and clear twilights on colorful blankets with plenty of snacks on hand.  Food venders line the park sidewalks selling exotic Mexican popsicles, paletas, juice or agua fresca, candy, dulces, or more substantial fare like quesadillas or tortas, sandwiches.  The balloon sellers also promenade carrying huge bundles of neon balloons that make oversized, floating bouquets.

Mexicans enjoy the picnic in conversation, eating, listening to music, or reading. Younger children bring their tricycles to ride on the sidewalks or they play soccer and other games.

Bringing the Mexican Picnic to Your Students

Putting on a picnic mexicano requires some planning, organization, and implementation.  The most important elements are  an outdoor location, some activities, food and drinks, supplies, and basic supplies.

Outdoors is key for the picnic, weather permitting.  The backyard or a park will serve.

Organizing Spanish Speaking Activities

Volleyball with countries and capitals: each time a student hit a volley ball he/she calls out a country in Spanish.  The next student to hit the ball has to say its capital in Spanish.

Volleyball with vocabulary categories: each time a student hit a volley ball he/she calls out a vocabulary word from a domain like clothing  in Spanish.  The next student to hit the ball has to say another clothing item  in Spanish.

Simon says in Spanish

Red Light, Green Light in Spanish

Mother May I in  Spanish

Arranging for Mexican Style Snacks

The major part of the picnic mexicano is the food!  Mexicans traditionally prefer healthy snacks, sweets, or somewhat heavier fare like quesadillas or sandwiches.  

Orange slices/naranjas


Sliced and peeled cucumbers with salt/pepino y sal

Sugar cookies/galletas dulces

Tostado chips/tostadas

Orange juice/jugo de naranja


Authentic Mexican candy from a Mexican grocery/dulces

You’re ready to get going on a Spanish speaking summer picnic!  

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