Nothing beats a good old-fashioned family game night, no matter what language it’s played in! Here at Pura Vida Moms, we wanted to make sure that everyone could get in on the fun, so we came up with a series of 10 great games that work in any language. (Especially Spanish!)
In my time teaching Spanish, I’ve learned that you can turn just about any popular board game into some valuable Spanish practice by creating a few extra caveats!
Depending on the lesson we were working through at the time, I would challenge my students to use Spanish vocabulary they had just learned as they played classic games like Bingo, Uno, and Guess Who. Spanish game time ended up being a hit, and I started encouraging my own family to play Spanish versions of our own favorite games.
All that to say, you don’t need an authentic Spanish board game to get in some fun, informal Spanish conversation time!
Here are some of my favorite classic card, dice, and board games for bilingual families and Spanish language learners to try:
Let the games begin!
Looking for some screen time activities? Check out this post- Leveraging screen time for your bilingual kids
1.) Tenzi – This riveting dice game is perfect for all ages, not too competitive and great for language learning. Great for practice with Spanish numbers as well as perseverance- you have to keep rolling until you finish regardless of whether or not you win!
2.) Qwirkle- A quick tile-matching game for anywhere from 2-4 players. No board required! Qwirkle relies on visuals, not language, so anyone can play!
3.) Spot-it- Another matching visual game, Spot-it is all about reaction time, and is great for people with a competitive streak! Anywhere from 2-8 players can get involved in this fast-paced game regardless of whether or not they speak the same language.
4.) Bananagrams- The little sister of Scrabble, Bananagrams is a wonderful way to learn Spanish words and experiment with Spanish vocabulary! Although originally designed for English, Bananagrams makes for a wonderful Spanish learning game.
5.) Sushi Go! This speedy pick-and-pass card game has players select the best combination of sushi dishes as the cards are circulated. It’s a little bit like the classic Spoons game, but with cute sushi- inspired picture cards!
6.) Jenga- Always a favorite, this block-stacking game tests your ability to keep an increasingly precarious tower upright. No language skills required!
7.) Uno- I would be remiss not to include a game that’s named after a Spanish number! This exciting color-matching card game is an excellent pick for a big group. (Specifically, a non-competitive group– Uno gets intense!)
8.) Story Cubes- Inventive and amusing, this game requires your creativity! Shake your cubes, order them, and tell a story according to the images on each cube. This is one of the best Spanish games for kids, as it encourages them to invent and narrate an original story in a foreign language!
9.) Spoons- An old-fashioned favorite, this card game requires players to rapidly circulate cards until they have a matching suit. Whoever gets the first match grabs a spoon from the center of the table, and everyone else has to reach in as quickly as they can. The person that hasn’t gotten a spoon in time is eliminated. All you need for this game are spoons, a table, and really good reflexes!
10.) Crayola boxes- This product encourages kids to work in teams to create original games. Teams can make up rules, designs, and objectives for their games. Great for promoting creativity and collaboration!