El bebé malo

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Speaking of games, I realized that I’ve never posted my classes’ all-time favorite: El bebé malo (bad baby), introduced to me by Bryce Hedstrom (well, his website anyway!). You can read the directions on his website; no need to double write them here!

In my class, we alway hide the smallest doll in my Russian Doll set: it’s about an inch tall and a half-inch in diameter. That means that it fits anywhere! My all-time favorite hiding place was inside a plastic baggie that was hidden inside a student’s mouth: yes, that happened.

This game is probably best played when the teachers on either side of you have free periods, because the counting gets LOUD! Remind your classes to start VERY quietly, and to increase their volume in the most minute increments possible. I always post the numbers on the board so that students can read along with them as we count, since it’s hard to focus on the numbers and the action at the same time.



  1. This is similar to a game in our T.Guide called Loud Hot, Soft Cold (which is a modified version of Hot & Cold)
    Hide a representation of a vocabulary structure, preferably one that is a bit difficult to pronounce. Representations could take the form of an illustration, photo, a prop. Send a volunteer (or ‘the bad baby’ LOL) and then hide the vocab structure. The student enters the room to look for the item, as students chant the structure…super softly and S L O W L Y the further s/he is from the item. The closer s/he gets to it, the louder and faster students should chant. Continue until the volunteer/bad baby has found the item.


  2. Are you reading my mind? I just played this game on Friday after a long “no game” stretch. Kids had so much fun and were eager to listen to my instructions in Spanish because they wanted to participate. You’re right. They need to be kids and it really helps build classroom community.


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