Spanish Games for Kids: Fun for the Whole Family
These Spanish games for kids will make learning fun for everyone in the family.
There are so many Spanish games for kids, it's hard to choose which are the best for your children. Start with considering your child's needs and your family dynamic. Are you fluent in Spanish? How often are your children coming into contact with a second language?
All those different factors will make some games better for your child than others, according to Tadina Ross, an early elementary Spanish teacher and the creator of Spanish Simply. It's important to remember that not all children will respond to the same thing. Understanding the needs of your bilingual child will make learning a new language fun.
Get started with these eight ideas:
- La Manzana Envenenada
Carolina Gomez-Kramer, a teacher and founder of Fun for Spanish Teachers and 1-2-3 Spanish Together, focuses on cultural values and play-oriented classes. For Gomez-Kramer's "La Manzana Envenenada," you will first need to print and cut out the apples in various colors. Involving the children makes this game even more fun! "Kids really like using their hands in the games," says Gomez-Kramer. The objective is to collect as many apples as possible before becoming "poisoned," repeating phrases in Spanish to ask about each apple.The person with the most apples wins.
- Who Am I?
The objective of "Who Am I?" in Ross's classroom is to practice greeting questions. To play the game, "Everyone has a Post-it on their heads and on a common theme," explains Ross. "And then you ask yes or no questions to figure out who is on your head. So we're just practicing the same vocabulary." The game continues until everyone has correctly guessed their character.
- Rondas on YouTube
Rondas are Spanish songs for children. Search for these sing-along tunes on YouTube, such as "Juguemos en el Bosque." "It's a game that will bring culture, and parents will have something they can hear," says Gomez-Kramer. She recommends this option in particular for children whose parents don't speak Spanish.
- Fun Spanish!
Another option for parents who don't speak Spanish is to download a learning app. Fun Spanish! is for children ages 3 to 10 and helps your little one learn to read, speak and spell with its colorful interface.
- Spanish Playground Learning Games
These games, developed by educator Jennifer Brunk, are recommended by Gomez-Kramer. There are a variety of games available for children from this developer. Spanish Playground Learning Games for Kids Fruit uses video to teach kids ages 6 to 8 new vocabulary and proper pronunciation.
- Noyo Spanish Games
Do you need games for older children? Try the Noyo Spanish Vocab Builder for children 9 to 11. This is an interactive game with over 1,800 words and phrases. This one comes highly recommended by Gomez-Kramer as well.
- Parachute Game in Spanish
This is another interactive game Ross uses in her classroom. "The Parachute Game: Paracaídas" allows children to learn common words for "up" and "down" as well as color names. "You want to make language learning fun. You don't want it to be a chore. You don't want it to be something they get stressed out by," says Ross.
- Quièn se Comió La Empanada de la Abuela?
This game is similar to "Who Stole the Cookie from the Cookie Jar," but with a cultural twist. "Quièn se Comió La Empanada de la Abuela?" reinforces vocabulary about family members. "I try to bring some of the culture to the games," says Gomez-Kramer, who invites parents into her classroom so they can all play. You can find full instructions, fun templates for the role of the "detectives" and more on her blog.
While it may not feel easy to teach children Spanish, remember that your child is picking up the language faster than you realize. Spanish games for kids are especially crucial in reinforcing the language at home while the whole family has fun! According to Ross, if after trying these games, you find yourself struggling, consider blocking off certain times or activities for learning Spanish. For example, make pool time or movie night a Spanish-only zone. This is particularly useful for multilingual families who are balancing more than one language in the home.
For more fun games, check out these Language Games to Support Your Kid's Development.
Susana Marcelo is a professor and writer. In her own home, she struggles to help her children learn Spanish (her first language), Tagalog (her husband's first language) and English.
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