English Literacy

Rush Hour Game to Learn Numbers and Colors

We just love this game Rush Hour. It is challenging! It is fun! It is portable! It is hard to lose too many pieces! 🙂

Seriously, though, we love it. My son, Lucas (11) recently decided to start a Chinese tutoring class fueled in part by a desire to buy Pokeman cards (which he has yet to purchase – thank goodness) and a new-found pride in his Mandarin-speaking skills. He has rush_hour_gameused this game often during his tutoring sessions because it is a great way to explore numbers, directions and simple vocabulary while still challenging his students. His students range from 5 to 11 and so he needs to find games that will appeal to all ages — and this one is it!

Here are some colors to get you started:


black   noir/noire
white   blanc/blanche
gray     gris/grise
red       rouge
blue     bleu/bleue
yellow jaune
green  vert/verte
orange orange
purple violet
brown marron
pink     rose


black      negro
blue        azul
brown    marrón, pardo
green      verde
grey        gris
orange  anaranjado
pink       rosado
red         rojo
white    blanco
yellow amarillo


whitebái sè 白色
bluelán sè藍色
yellowhuáng sè 黃色
greenlǜ sè 綠色
redhóng sè 紅色
orangejú sè橘色
brownkāfēi sè咖啡色
blackhēi sè黑色
purplezǐ sè 紫色
greyhuī sè  灰色

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Filed Under: Chinese, English Literacy, French, Games to Learn a Second Language, Homeschooling, Playdates, Posts with Videos, Spanish, Uncategorized

Advent House Number Game

Why not make use of your Advent House for something other than waiting for Santa to come? We use this magical little house to explore numbers in a second language in a fun and challenging way!

Not sure where to get an Advent House? Amazon has a ton of great ones!  Check them out here:

Four Game Variations: Print out these number PDF pages below (numbers from 1 – 25) and cut them out. Scatter them in front of your Advent house and set a timer on your Educational game with advent housephone.

  1. Solo Race-  How quickly can your child put the number in the correct door? Try this game several times to see if you can beat your previous score.
  2. Sibling Competition- If your children like to compete against each other, set a timer and race to see who can be the fastest to put the numbers in the correct doors.
  3. Work Together –  Your family can work as a team to put the numbers in the correct doors. How fast are you guys?
  4. Other ideas? Please comment below!

Print Outs of Numbers 1-25: 

Mandarin Numbers

Spanish Numbers

French Numbers

English Numbers

Print Out of Numbers 1-31 (if you are crazy like us and have a Halloween Countdown) 

Mandarin Numbers

Spanish Numbers

French Numbers

English Numbers

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Filed Under: Chinese, English Literacy, French, Games to Learn a Second Language, Homeschooling, Spanish, Uncategorized

Inspirational Letters: Using Cookies for Language Development

Cookie LearningI don’t know about you,  but my kids just LOVE treats. My kids would probably jump through hoops of fire for an Oreo cookie. Why not use treats to inspire language acquisition and reading skills? If your children get a little treat after dinner, why not turn that ritual into an educational activity? Typically, my kids have to “earn” their treats by doing chores around the house, but this week we tried out something new. They “earned” their treat by coming up with words inspired by letter cookies.  They had such a good time and loved brainstorming words that started with the letter of the cookie that they picked out of the box!

If you are teaching your children a second language, have them earn their cookie by brainstorming words in that target language. If you are working on literacy skills with your children, have them come up with words in your native language to earn it. 

How do I do this activity? 

 1. Pick up some alphabet letter cookies. I was surprised to realize how difficult it was to get these at my regular shops. I ended up buying a bunch online and saving myself the hassle of searching each store for them.  I also bought alphabet cookie cutters so in case I run out of cookies in the box, I can just make my own! Here are some yummy options:  

2. Put the cookie letter on the top of a page and write out a numbered list of how many words you want your child to brainstorm. For my daughter who is 5, I only put down 5 words and we brainstormed the list together as she is an emergent reader. She ended up coming up with a lot more once she got the hang of it, but we started off small. For my son who is 7, I put down 5 words in Chinese for him to brainstorm and 10 words in English. 

Cookie Learning

3. You can do this activity either in your target second language (i.e. brainstorm 10 words in Spanish that start with this letter to earn the cookie) or in your native language (i.e. for our family, brainstorm 10 words in English that start with this letter)

4. Once your child comes up with the list, he/she gets to eat up that cookie! My son loved the activity so much he ended up at 10 cookies before mom put the kaibosh on it until the next day!

Happy Learning! 



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Filed Under: English Literacy, Games to Learn a Second Language, Uncategorized