We all know that we have a hard time learning, or at least recalling when we're nervous or feel "put on the spot." So when is it easiest? When we're laughing! When do we laugh? When we are HAVING FUN! (and a little ice cream never hurts!)
Games are my number one way to create true engagement without stress (on the part of the teacher or the student!)
Spanish Flash Card Game #1: Spanish Flashcard Fishing Game
For this game, choose three cards your child is already familiar with and place them in a paper sack, pillowcase, or any container that conceals the three cards. As you place them in the bag, name them in Spanish together.
The child must then choose which word he will be "fishing" for. He will call out the word, then reach in the bag without looking. If he gets the card he was hoping for he keeps it. If not, he must throw it back.
When he "catches" the correct card, he must say the word in Spanish to be able to keep the card. Work your way up from three to five cards as he becomes more adept at remembering the words that are in the bag. Choosing the three cards based on a common theme also aids in memory.
Alternate turns until the bag is empty. The person with the most cards wins!
Extra challenge: Choose a specific part of speech to put in the bag. i.e. Using your whiteboard or paper or card stand to create a sentence with a NOUN you fish out. So, on the white board, it says "Necesito" - then when you pull out "el perro", the student can decide to say, "Necesito el perro," or "No necesito el perro."
If you choose adjectives, the white board or flash card stand can say "Necesito el perro...." and then add the adjective at the end as it gets fished out.
Spanish Flash Card Game #2: Spanish Flashcard Charades
This game is similar to teaching vocabulary charades. Happily, you, the parent, actually get to play and guess with abandon!
The first person to say the correct Spanish word wins and then keeps that card. At the end, the player with the most cards wins.
Spanish Flash Card Game #3: Spanish Flashcard Room Sort
Choose 4 items that can be found in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and family room. Mix the 16 cards up in one pile, and have your child lay them out, picture side up. Ask them which ones belong:
en la sala - the living room
en la cocina - the kitchen
en el baño - the bathroom
en el cuarto - in the bedroom
After your child says the Spanish word and divides them up, take each pile (one at a time) to the correct room and set the card by the item. Say the Spanish word three times!
To add more excitement, have him stand in the doorway and time how long it takes him to place the cards and say the word three times for all the cards. Which room could he do the fastest?
El (ehl) , la (lah), los (lohs), and las (lahs)....are not in the pronunciation guide.
Spanish Flash Card Game #4: STORY TIME! Había una vez --- Once upon a time. (ah-bee-ah-ooh-nah-behs)
Choose three cards for each person and lay them out on the table, picture side up. After reviewing the Spanish words, have each person tell a short, silly story using those three words.
To make it more creative, add to each other's stories!
Here's an example: Había una vez una escoba. La escoba was very triste. He needed un amigo. So la silla said he would be la escoba's friend. La silla and la escoba lived together in una mesa, until my mom came to sweep. She took the escoba and la silla was sad. But my mom said they could jugar together until she needed to sweep again. So la escoba, la silla, y la mesa lived happily ever after. El fin.
Spanish Flash Card Game #5: BINGO! (been-goh)
Materials needed: Bingo card, pennies (or any item to cover boxes), coffee can or shoe box, scraps of paper or index cards.
To review any list of vocabulary - colors, numbers, animals, anything - print out a Bingo card. (Right click and select save the image so you can use it again and again, or just print)
COLOR BINGO: Fill in each box with colors (your three year old can easily scribble a color in each box and say the Spanish color three times as he does so). Toss the crayons you used into a shoe box or coffee can and take turns pulling them out to mark the correct spot -
(Our 2 1/2 year old likes to mark an X on the box rather than cover it with pennies - he can only sit for one game at a time,anyway - But our 4 year old likes using tiddly-winks to cover the boxes so he can use his game card over and over)
ANYTHING ELSE BINGO: If your child can draw, have him draw pictures of items from his vocabulary list. Otherwise, use clipart or stickers (Farm Animal Stickers are coming in the Flip Flop Shop!), or draw stick figures yourself as you say the words together three times while you draw.
Next, write the words on scraps of paper and toss them in the coffee can or shoe box - you can read the words as you put them in one at a time as well for another round of review.
Be sure to play with him so the competitive edge drives them to succeed and remember - you can't win unless you can name your winning row in Spanish!
Spanish Flash Card Game #6: Las Bolsas (lahs-bohl-sahs)- Me gusta y no me gusta lesson
Materials needed: two paper sacks, lunch size.
flash cards, pictures, or small items your child likes and dislikes
one sheet of paper.
Set-up: Label the Bags Me gusta and No me Gusta, and write the 6 or 7 items you have to work with in a list on a separate piece of paper (in Spanish!)
Your child will take the flashcards (or small items) while your back is turned (or eyes closed) and then puts the items in the bags according to his or her preferences. Then you guess, from the list you have written already, what items are in which bag. She answers Sí or No as you guess and you get an X or check next to that item on the list (we used a pencil so we could play again without making a new list each time)
The number of Checks you get is your score. Then it's your turn to put the items in the bags. Of course, the entire time, you are to speak Spanish only - and you can introduce (or review)
¿Por qué? (Why?)
Porque es...feo, or Porque es mi favorito. (Because it's...ugly,...)
Porque es rojo y me gusta rojo. Etc.
A fun way to get to know more about the partner and practice asking questions:
¿O sí? ¿Te gusta eso? ¡Interesante! (Really? You like that? Interesting!)