This post is going to be aimed at younger children at the point where they are just starting to learn English. A lot of these games will be entertaining but start to introduce basic vocabulary. As a parent or a babysitter, these games would be a great way to get the children to start picking up English.
Game 1: Treasure Hunt
This game is a classic for kids and can be adapted to incorporate teaching English. Get some treats or healthy snacks and hide them around the house. Then you can write clues that are in English to help them find the treasure. For example, you could hide something in the cutlery drawer and the clue could be ´fork´. Keep it simple if the children are younger but if there is an older child present you could also write a more complex clue like ´A place I keep my food cold´ and then the child would hopefully figure out it means Fridge. This game might be especially good around Easter time so they can hunt for eggs.
Game 2: Simon Says
This is a game that would be best played with at least a couple of children. The babysitter or parent can be Simon. Then if ´Simon says put your hand on your head´ then they need to know the part of the body and then touch their head. But if they say ´put your hand on your head´ your hands don’t move. So this game relies on them listening out for ´Simon said´ as well as knowing the different parts of the body. They lose a point if they touch the wrong body part or if they move when the Simon doesn´t say Simon says.
Game 3: Snap
Everyone knows the game snap so, at least the game would be easy to explain. You would have to make your own cards for this game but it would be very quick and easy. Cut up 40-50 pieces of card all the same size and write for example ´Apple´ on one piece and ´Manzana´ one the other and do this with different food, or you can choose any topic you would like. Then use these cards to play snap so they are thinking about the words in both Spanish and English. If you have two children they can play against each other.
Game 4: Memory Game
Here you can reuse the cards you made for snap, in game 3, so you can play something a little different without any extra effort. Place all the cards face down in an orderly manner. Then each player picks up two cards and if they match they keep the pair. Each player takes a turn until all the cards are gone. If you get a pair you get to go again. This game relies on both memory of the location of the card as well as being able to recognise the word in English and Spanish.
Game 5: What’s in the box?
What´s in the box relies on using touch to identify what the item is. Get an old cardboard box and cut a hole in it so the children can fit their hand in. Then place an item into the box and the child gets a point if they can say the item in English. Depending on the age of the child you can change the item to be harder or easier.
Game 6: Charades and Pictionary
You can get the creative juices flowing with these two games. If the children are arty or like a bit of a performance then these games will be good. Make the drawing or charade easier when working with younger children and try to get them to guess the word in English.
Game 7: Bingo
For this game you will need to do some preparation because you will need to make some bingo cards, but it will definitely be worth it as a new way to practise English. Make a 5 by 5 grid and write objects in English in the boxes. Then call out the names of matching objects but in their 1st language, Spanish. Then as they hear the word in Spanish they can cross it off their list in English. Whoever is first to get 4 in a row will be the winner. You could also play this game more traditionally and have numbers if that´s what the children need to practice. You could give them some encouragement by having a prize for the winner.
Game 8: Find me a Colour
This is a very simple game that will get children moving around and learning colours. Simply say ´Find me something that is blue´ and they have to run to a blue item. Get them running around the room back and forth between different coloured items. It helps the children remember the colours since they have somethings visual to associate it with.
So I hope these 8 games are useful for introducing English and be sure to let us know which games the children enjoyed the most. For more ideas of creative way to start teaching children English just look at our other blog post. Also, if this inspires to you teach your children English then it might be worth looking into get an English speaking babysitter. For more information contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org