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How to make your own vocabulary games

By Janet Castrejón, MA

It can be difficult to find games in foreign languages to purchase but another option is to make them yourself on your computer. Here are some games that you can easily make at home.

Bingo - Make a table in a word processing program on your computer. In each square insert a clip art image of a word that you want your child to learn. In another word processing file, type the names of the objects, one on each line. Print out the bingo card (on card stock if you have it) and the word list. Cut the words into strips to separate them. Draw a strip of paper from the pile and read the word. Your child (or children) marks the named object on their Bingo card by putting a bean or some other small object (penny?) on it.

Memory CardsMemory - Create a table with large cells (rows and columns) in a word processing program. These cells will be the memory cards so they need to be the size of small playing cards. In each cell insert a clip art image or a name of the object from the clip art image. When you are finished creating all of the cards, print them on card stock and cut them up to separate them. You may need to lighten the images in the computer before printing them so that you can't see them from the back side when the card is flipped over. Mix them up and put them all face down. The first player flips over two of the cards. If they are a match of the object and the name of that object, they keep the cards and take another turn. If they are not a match, the next player takes their turn. The player with the most cards at the end wins.

Pictionary - Write words from the foreign language on cards. One player draws a card and attempts to communicate the word to their partner using only drawings.

Charades - Write words from the foreign language on cards. One player draws a card and attempts to communicate the word to their partner using only gestures.

 

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