Kids’ Activity: Make a Game, Learn a 2nd Language

Tuned In Parents - Activities for kids to learn second language.jpgHere’s a great activity for the kids, especially during school breaks, that combines arts and crafts, a game, and learning a second language! This smart play tip comes from a single mom in L.A.

The activity is a DIY memory matching game for learning colors in a foreign language (and reading and reviewing colors in your child’s first language). And because you and your child (or children) make it together, you may adjust it for her age and language level. Let’s take a look at the little one coloring in the photo below. We’ll call her Rose. Rose is three and in pre-Kindergarten, but she already knows how to read and write her English colors, which is why Rose is making French and Spanish language color cards instead for her DIY memory match game.

Tuned In Parents - DIY language matching game - set up

This is how little Rose makes the memory matching game. (Note: due to her age, her mom helps her — older children can enjoy more autonomy with this activity):

  1. Rose’s mom hands her a French color chart, a mixed handful of crayons, and note cards with French color words. Rose matches the crayons with the cards using the color chart, then begins to color the cards. (She does the same with the Spanish group.)
  2. Rose and her mom use double-sided tape to fix the colored note cards to uniformly cut cardstock (so Rose can’t “cheat” and see the colors through the back when they’re turned over).
  3. They mix all the cards up and align them in rows face-down on the floor and start the game of matching color-to-color, French corresponding with Spanish. (Note: Rose is asked to identify the color in English, too, then read each card she flips over aloud, whether it’s a match or not.)
  4. When she makes a match, they celebrate, and Rose identifies the color in all three languages (with help, if necessary), “Black, negro, noir!” More celebrating! (On the right are Rose’s matches. Rose always wins — wink).

You can even step it up a level to include the first language, second, and third languages to challenge your child and make the game more dynamic — granted your child is older and/or more advanced with foreign languages.

Tuned In Parents - DIY language matching game

With this activity, not only will your child learn her colors in a second and third language, but by creating this game herself and playing it, she will also . . .

  • develop her motor skills,
  • develop her speech-language skills,
  • increase her self-esteem,
  • increase her attention span and memory, and
  • enhance her cognitive abilities on multiple levels, particularly her literacy aptitude!

If you enjoyed this DIY language learning activity tip brought to you by a fellow tuned in parent, then you might also enjoy Activities for Your Child’s Knowledge Bank. And here’s a collection of 25+ indoor activities of all sorts (educational, just for fun, and stress-busting) brought to you by mom bloggers on Parental Journey, featuring our “happy jar”!

Have fun with the kiddos while they still let you!

About Elle C. Mayberry

Elle C. Mayberry is a mom and author, who just released a new children's book with her young daughter. With a passion for parenting and degrees in psychology and "make it workology," she created Tuned In Parents (TiP).

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