Fun and games with words

Having fun while you are learning must be one of the best ways to keep the motivation going. The same applies for when you are helping your son on his way to become bilingual. You can easily introduce new words when you are playing with your little boy. Today I want to remind you of some of the ways to do so.

Creating stories
Children have a vivid imagination, so it is easy come up with your own stories together with your son. You can start the story with the classic “Once upon a time there was a …” and he will pick it up. If you want to bring in some specific vocabulary, steer the story in that direction when it is your turn to add to it.

‘I spy’ with a magazine
We know how useful the ‘I spy’ game can be during long journeys, but you can as well do it anywhere with the help of a magazine. Open a page with some pictures and start guessing. Ideal for distraction in any waiting room!

Hand puppets
I have always been very fond of hand puppets. They are so versatile and can be used for any type of discussion or story. They can even be used to practice a language that you do not normally speak with your son, as the puppet takes on a personality of its own.

Words that rhyme
Take it in turns to come up with words that rhyme. I suggest that you choose the starting word so it doesn’t get too difficult (what rhymes with ‘banana’?). Tip: English words ending in -ing are great for small children as there is an infinite amount of variations. Try to find some similar endings in your language!

Word map
This is an association game that you can play with your son when he has learnt to write. Start by writing a word in the middle of a paper, then branch out with words that you associate with it. Once you are finished you can put together a story with the words.

Hope you have fun!

May the peace and power be with you.

Yours,
Rita

© Rita Rosenback 2013

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8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    My husband won’t let me read to my son in Ukrainian (I talk to him in English exclusively, and Daddy uses German), saying that he’ll pick up the language from his grandparents, and I might get the little guy confused 🙁 But the boy sees his granparents only a few times a year…. Now I know what I’ll do: I’ll get a hand puppet that will read Ukrainian books to my boy!!! Thank you sooooo much!!!! :)))))

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Hi Christine – I understand your dilemma, glad that I could be of help! I was in a similar position where I wanted to pass on both Finnish and Swedish to my elder daughter. I did it by speaking Finnish for the first five years with her, then switched to Swedish. Beware though, the switch isn’t easy! You can read about it here: http://multilingualparenting.com/2013/05/08/pricken-the-swedish-speaking-kitten/ All the best to you and your family!

      Reply
  2. Avatar

    My husband won’t let me read to my son in Ukrainian (I talk to him in English exclusively, and Daddy uses German), saying that he’ll pick up the language from his grandparents, and I might get the little guy confused 🙁 But the boy sees his granparents only a few times a year…. Now I know what I’ll do: I’ll get a hand puppet that will read Ukrainian books to my boy!!! Thank you sooooo much!!!! 🙂 ))))

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Somehow my reply to you got lost, sorry – glad you found some inspiration in my blog! Have you tried the hand puppet yet?

      Reply
  3. Avatar

    Rita, this post is one of my favorites! It speaks to me especially when I have a 5 yr. old that I too, am teaching Spanish and need to make it fun! I have yet to try the “I spy” game but it is in our “to do” list for learning Spanish. 🙂 Thank you for submitting this post to last month’s multilingual carnival! http://discoveringtheworldthroughmysonseyes.blogspot.com/2013/10/raising-multilingual-children-blogging.html

    Reply
    • Avatar

      Glad you liked my post! Having fun is such a good motivator – both for us parents and the kids 🙂

      Reply

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