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 used 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:
brown marrón, pardo
There is no better way to learn anything than by having fun! This is why I created these Battleship Games with simplified Chinese characters for my son to play.
My 9-year-old daughter loves writing and learning and writing Chinese characters. She is quite the little artist and so for her, they are more like small works of art. For Lucas, my 11-year-old, learning Chinese characters is more arduous. The repetition and the memorization that my daughter enjoys, it just plain old boring for him.
However, with this game — especially with this title 🙂 — he loves it!
The game is set up just like the Battleship that you remember from your childhood. You get 5 boats and you need “sink” your opponent’s boats. You have a grid as your playing area and you call out coordinates from the x-axis and y-axis to see if you have landed on your opponent’s ship. However, with the game I have made, the coordinates are marked with simplified Mandarin characters instead. You and your child call out two Chinese characters (one from the x-asis and one from the y-axis) and see if you have a hit!
The reason why this mom loves the game is that by the end of playing, my kids know all of the characters on this game board REALLY well since they have had to say them over and over again in their hunt for boats to sink.
Here is a link to free downloadable games for you to use with your family:
I used to teach 10th and 12th grade English in New Jersey. When the students wrote about Jane Eyre, their writing was less than fabulous. However, when they wrote to actual companies about something that they wanted to change or to an author that they loved, their writing was amazing. There was a direct correlation of their level of interest in the topic and their writing ability!
I feel as if the same thing is happening with my son’s blossoming interest in studying Chinese. He now thinks that learning Chinese is useful and valuable. A skill. Before this year, Chinese was just something that we did in the home, but did not have a translatable purpose.
Lucas’ desire to build his Pokeman card collection has inspired his interest to tutor in Mandarin! He came up with the idea himself and wrote the website himself!
Perhaps your kiddos can use their second language skills to teach other kids! If your child is just starting out, perhaps have your child teach a younger sibling or a younger neighborhood kid for a few dollars or a bump in his/her allowance — or just for fun!
I know that for Lucas, it has been inspiring to realize that his Chinese is a skill that is valuable and fun! He loves his new tutoring business and I love his enthusiasm!
Playing games is the best way for children to learn a second language! Children have fun while using vocabulary in a meaningful way. Some of the simplest games provide a wonderful opportunity to explore simple language in a second language!
Why use these games to teach a second language?
Simple games enable children of almost all levels of second language abilities to play along. If a child only knows colors in a second language, he can play Candy Land or Twister. If a child has just started learning numbers in a second language, Chutes and Ladders is a great game to reinforce numbers.
Check out these wonderfully fun, but simple games available on Amazon:
In our house, we have “Mandarin Hour” once a day– or at least we try for an hour, but sometimes it ends up being “Mandarin 15 minutes” instead and that is ok. The idea is that the children speak only in Mandarin for an allotted time each day. They can choose the activity (blocks, legos, games), but they need to speak only in Mandarin Chinese for that time.
In the video below, I chose the game Candy Land to illustrate how a child with more advanced speaking skills, my older son Lucas, can teach his younger sister. Lousha, colors in Mandarin Chinese.
I have written the pinyin and the simplified character on each of the cards so that my children see the writing as they play to get familiarized with the written forms of Chinese.
The following video captures and unscripted and unrehearsed video of my children playing Candy Land: