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Archive for the ‘vocabulary’ tag

March 5th, 2013 at 5:01 am

Favorite board games for bilingual kids

I love board games. I remember that, as a child, I spent countless hours playing monopoly with my older sister. The older my kids get the happier I am about all the board games we’re going to be able to play. And since fun is a huge component of raising bilingual children, I’m even more happy. My son is still too little to be able to play most of the board games we own, but my first grade daughter loves them and asks to play them all the time.

So here’s a list of our favorite board games for bilingual kids:

1) Zingo — This is by far my kids number one board game. In essence, it’s just like playing Bingo but with a twist because the game comes with a little contraption that spits out two tiles at a time which kids have to call out out loud if they match the images on their card. It’s supposed to be for kids 4 and older, but my 3-year-old loves to play and he often wins!

2) Spanish Bananagrams — I recently introduced my 6-year-old daughter to this fun anagram game and she really likes it. In fact, I was surprised how much she liked the challenge of having to come up with words with the tiles she was given and how creative she is too. She thought it was great that it came with letters like ñ, ch and ll.

3) ¿Adivina Quién? — Truth is that you don’t have to get the Spanish version of the very popular board game know as Guess Who? in English. We have it, but only because a friend got it for us when we visited Mexico recently. It’s a great game to practice basic vocabulary words in Spanish while having fun.

4) La lotería — The Mexican version of bingo, this is a super popular game in that country and it’s one of my kids’ favorite too. Great way to learn new vocabulary words and practice old ones.

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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January 22nd, 2013 at 5:01 am

Help Your Bilingual Children Expand Their Vocabulary

Enriching your bilingual children’s vocabulary is important for a variety of reasons. For starters, it will allow them to read and more complicated books. A wide vocabulary will also help them express themselves orally and verbally using a variety of words that more accurately describe what they’re trying to say.

Here are some fun ways to help enrich your bilingual kids’ vocabulary:

Storytime. If they’re not in preschool yet, storytimes are an excellent place to spend some time with your kids. Many libraries now offer bilingual/Spanish storytimes. These are always fun and I always appreciated the variety of topics that were covered in the books read because they introduced my kids to a lot of new vocabulary words.

Music. The repetitiveness of music is a great way for kids to memorize new words. Not to mention that they have a ton of fun listening and dancing to the music. The best part about this is that it doesn’t have to be only children’s music. There are a lot of great pop options that provide wonderful opportunities for your little ones to learn new words in Spanish.

Introduce new words. Try not to use the same simple words every single time. For example, think of the many words you can say big (gigantic, enormous, large) and start using them in your every day conversation. Make sure once you introduce a new word, you use it constantly.

Dictionaries. There are many options in terms of children’s dictionaries and they’re a lot of fun. Buy a couple and teach your children how to use them from the get go. As they get older, if they come across a word they don’t understand, remind them it’s a great idea to look it up in a dictionary.

 

Photo by Tim Pierce - http://www.flickr.com/photos/qwrrty/2100913578

Roxana A. Soto is the co-founder of SpanglishBaby, the go-to site for parents raising bilingual and bicultural children. She’s the co-author of her first book, based on her blog. Roxana is also a staff writer for MamásLatinas.

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