10 Ways to Incorporate Spanish into Your Gameschooling
Are you into gameschooling and would like to incorporate Spanish games into your routine?
Are you interested in learning the most popular and efficient games out there to help your kids learn Spanish?
If you answered with a “yes” to those two questions, then you’ve come to the right place. Gameschooling is the practice of playing games as a way of learning or teaching. It makes the whole learning process more interesting and keeps your kids focused and motivated.
In this post, I’m explaining why you should do gameschooling while presenting the benefits of playing games for educational purposes. You’ll learn about the best gameschooling games to learn Spanish, divided by level and with links to the different games when possible.
A good definition of gameschooling is simply the use of games for educational purposes. These games can take place at the school but are also a great tool for kids doing homeschool. But, why would you want to play games when what you want is to learn math, algebra, or language arts, to name just a few subjects?
Well, it happens that playing games are an excellent way to learn. The value of games for educational purposes is widely supported by the research, and the benefits are many and varied.
Benefits of games for educational purposes:
- Increase a child’s memory capacity.
- Motivate the students.
- Develop strategic thinking and problem-solving.
- Good for skill-building.
- Enhance attentional control.
- Great for language gains.
10 Ways to Incorporate Spanish into Your Gameschooling
If games are good for learning, what are the best gameschooling games for your children? Here, I’m telling you 10 of the most popular ones, and I’m including at least two for each of the different levels in the school system curriculum.
The benefits of gameschooling are more obvious at an early age, as any kindergarten teacher will tell you. You can play many games with your children at these ages, but to incorporate Spanish at this age, I recommend the following two:
1. PBS Kids in Spanish
PBS has an excellent online platform with games for kids of any age. At this early stage, all you really want is for your child to play games and have fun. If those games are in Spanish and are centered on different topics such as art or math, even better. You get all that with PBS Kids in Spanish.
2. Memory Game
You have no idea how many times this game has helped me in my Spanish lessons with children of all ages. I’m including it in kindergarten because it’s so easy to play and the kids of this age love it, but you can actually use it for preschool, elementary, or middle school as well.
The memory game is particularly good for learning new vocabulary, just create pairs of the images (or words in more advanced levels) that you want them to learn. For example, make two cards with a big red circle on it, and make sure that every time someone picks it up says the name of the color: “rojo.” After a few rounds, they will all relate the word and sound “rojo” with the big red circle. It also works great to learn the sound of letters in Spanish.
These days, you even have memory game generators online.
Preschool is all about playing games too, but you can start trying games a little bit more structured, like the two card games included on this list.
Do you know how they say that flashcards are boring and not really effective? That’s because they don’t know Linguacious. These flashcards are anything but boring, they have been enhanced with audio, and include many fun games to play with them. You can even get them in the form of books.
I play the classic card game UNO in English with my daughters, to practice their numbers and colors in English, and get new vocabulary with the trick cards. You can do exactly the same with a UNO card set in Spanish! Kids of this age love the colors, the excitement of competing against each other, and they learn Spanish without even noticing it.
At elementary school, your adventures in gameschooling can start to be a little more audacious, and creative. By now, your children should be starting to read, which opens many possibilities.
5. Bingo or Lotería
These two games are basically the same one, bingo is played with numbers, while the lotería is played with images. If you want your kids to practice their basic math in Spanish, play a round or two of bingo. If you want them to learn new vocabulary, try the Mexican lotería. I’ve created my own set of bingo cards and use them for everything, parts of the body, professions, colors, whatever you can think of, you can practice with this game.
The favorite online game of elementary kids all over the world. Kahoot! is an easy-to-use online platform where you can create your own multi-player game, about any topic you want to reinforce. I’ve used it with my 3rd-grade students to practice topics about language arts, algebra, math, geography, and yes, Spanish too. As you can play it on many devices at the same time, the competition becomes really exciting and kids put their best effort to win.
KLOO is probably the best card game to learn Spanish out there in the market right now. KLOO is a successful, award-winning game, available in many different languages, that makes a smart use of cards to teach vocabulary and form sentences in seconds.
Just because middle school students are older, it doesn’t mean they’ve lost the enthusiasm for playing games. Their competitive spirit is higher than ever at this age and if I know anything about teenagers is that they love their video games.
In-fluent is a language learning video game that’s so good that makes you wonder how nobody came with an idea like this before. Leave your teenager inside an artificial 3D environment where they need to collect items, complete tasks, and challenge themselves, and they’ll do it happily for hours. They don’t care if the items to collect are new Spanish words, or if the challenges have anything to do with their Spanish skills.
This online platform offers Spanish lessons created by teachers around the world who share them with everyone. Every lesson includes a set of flashcards, different studying sections, and a couple of simple games that middle school students love to play on their devices. Both games are against the clock and make for great competition between the students.
The classic board game is the perfect tool to practice and learn new vocabulary in Spanish while having a lot of fun with family or with friends. Make your teenagers think of new Spanish words and remember the ones they already know.
Do Gameschooling and Learn Spanish!
Gameschooling is nothing new, good teachers and creative parents have been doing it for decades. What’s new is the number of tools and resources available to do it, so let’s make the most of them and help our children learn Spanish while having a little bit of fun.
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