While Summer is around the corner, parents don’t always want to look for vacation notebooks or struggle to get their children to read, or beg them to please spend ten minutes a week on a smart app…
Good news! I suggest that you look at things from another angle; there are many entertaining ways to learn while having fun and thus develop the vocabulary, spelling and oral expression of our bilingual child.
Here is my list of favorite games to help stimulate the development of oral language for the little ones but also to learn and develop the language of the older ones through the improvement of their syntax and the enrichment of their vocabulary.
La Tour des Consignes (Placote) This game was designed for babies and toddlers from 12 months to 2 and a half years old. While chewing, throwing, stacking or crushing game, this is perfect for developing toddlers’ basic vocabulary (eg body parts) as well as understanding simple instructions.
Roule et Joue (Think fun) With its large fabric dice, this game has everything to please children aged 18 months and over. Roll the big plush cube, select a card of the corresponding color and perform the indicated activity – “Make a happy face”, “Roar like a lion”…
On the learning experience side, your child will discover the vocabulary of colors, body parts, animals, and numbers, but also understand simple instructions just like with the previous game.
Le Casse-Phrases (Placote) Designed for children aged 2 and a half to 4 and a half, this game helps children make complete sentences with a subject, a verb and an object. The presentation in the form of puzzles gives them visual support and helps them to consider all the “pieces” of the sentence so that they can complete them as they go.
This game is particularly interesting because it is not easy to get your child to move from isolated words to constructed and complex sentences.
Le Train des Phrases (Placote) Designed for children aged 3 to 5, the game aims to develop their ability to lengthen their sentences when they express themselves. Thus the place and time wheels allow children to add an adjective to the sentences illustrated on the picture cards. The sentences thus obtained are sometimes realistic, sometimes wacky, which adds a fun aspect to the game.
Time’s up (from 8 years old) – Time’s Up is simple, it’s fun, and a perfect game for the whole family! Make guess the cards by describing them freely, with a single word, and by acting them out!
Why play? Develop the organization of the lexicon, explain unknown words to your child, and enrich his vocabulary…. In short, develop all facets of oral expression in a fun way.
In its classic version, the goal is to find the names of characters, fictitious (Tintin) or real, actors, singers, athletes, politicians, writers, directors, popular characters, etc. We play it as a team.
Time’s up kids! (from 4 years old). The game is focusing on children who have not yet practiced reading, so the cards are illustrated in a very pretty and effective way. The drawings represent objects, animals etc. The new rule is cooperative, and takes place in two rounds:
- first round, the goal is to describe objects verbally,
- second round, objects are mimed.
In addition to its very playful side, the game has an educational aspect, because having to put precise words to the description of an object without being able to name it, is often a challenge for our bilingual children. I also like the cooperative rule that unites all the children around the same goal.
Qui donne sa langue au chat (by bri-bri from 4 years old): This board game was designed by speech therapists especially to stimulate the language of children. You will thus be able to develop your child’s vocabulary, but also and above all, her ability to answer simple and complex questions “who, with what, where, when, how and why”.
Thus, the players advance along the course and must answer questions including a question-word or must carry out fun mimics.
Laoupala, a vocabulary and reflection game (from 9 years old) – Laoupala’s goal is to find an object around you that will randomly fulfill characteristics mentioned on the cards. Players should not move from their seat and scan the room as quickly as possible while thinking about the criteria to find an object, a plant, an animal, a person who fulfills the greatest number of the given characteristics. For example, they must find, in a limited time, the object that does not leak, measures less than 30 cm, fits in the pocket, will not look the same in 10 years, contains blue or yellow, and does not hold on your head for a minute!
Tabou – Board game where the goal is to make your team guess the word indicated at the top of the card without using the five Taboo words indicated on the card. Otherwise, the team will buzz you and win! There is a parent/child version. In this new Tabou, discover cards for children and cards for adults to play together or compete as a family! from 8 years old for the child/parent version.
Vocabulon junior (6-12 years old) – Four young adventurers (Lisa Lagon, Suzie Safari, Jeannot Techno, and Benji Capvert) embark on a journey to form their magic word which will be the sesame to enter their home. Along the way, each player must solve puzzles to earn each letters of their magic word. An exciting adventure in the world of words. Each adventurer sets out to conquer the letters of his password! By answering puzzles, the player earns letter cards. But she will need a bit of cunning and strategy to find her way… The first to compose his password wins!
Why select this game – Each child chooses their level (from CP to college) so that young and older can play together with equal opportunities. Children learn the spelling and the meaning of 1500 essential words taken from the LAROUSSE dictionary for young people.
Brainstorm Junior – Just like the original Brainstorm!, the goal of Brainstorm Junior for children aged 6 to 12, is to find a list of words relating to a theme in a given time. So, you take a card and read the theme written on it. It could be “Ten superheroes…” or “French singers”. The other team has one minute to find ten answers… Careful because it has to be the ten mentioned on the card, not random answers!
Here, in the junior version, the questions can be adapted by the facilitator according to the age of the players, which allows joyful games with a good range of ages.
In a general and simpler way, playing in French with your child will help him/her develop his/her language skills. Whether you play the animal lotto, the dinette, or assembling legos… it is already helping children making to progress by offering them a new usage of the language in a given situation.
Some shops if you have the chance to visit France this summer
In Lyon – Archi Chouette and Bonhomme de Bois
In Marseille – Arthur mon Heros – 110, Cours Julien – 13006 MARSEILLE
In Avignon – La Diagonale du Fou
In Bordeaux – Jeux Descartes
In Paris – Situveuxjouer