Playing games in Spanish is the best option to practice the language in a fun way and immerse in the Spanish culture at the same time. Whether you are planning to go to a Spanish speaking country or have some fun in the Spanish language classroom, learning Spanish games will help you develop reading and writing skills while raising cultural awareness.
Even though the most popular board games have been developed in the english language, Spain and Argentina -for instance- don’t fall short of fun games. Spain has its own deck of cards which are called la baraja española. Argentina has adapted to its culture a great variety of classic board games to have fun in the Spanish language.
So as to gain some intercultural knowledge, it is of paramount importance to get to know about la baraja española. It contains between 40 to 48 cartas or naipes which literally means cards. There are 4 different palos de la baraja española or suits in the Spanish deck of cards: Espadas or Swords, Oros or Golds, Bastos or Batons and Copas or Cups. Each palo has 9 numbered cards and 3 figures: La sota or the Jack, el caballo or the horse and el rey or the king. What makes la baraja española so unique is its artwork which is an indicative of the Spanish culture of the time it was invented (15th century).
As regards board games or juegos de mesa, they are recreational and interactive games which are perfect to put into practice your language skills. To get started you need un tablero which means a board, un dado or a dice and fichas or tiles.
There are many games you just need papel y lapiz or paper and pencil, una tiza or a chalk to write down the yard floor, espacio para correr or a wide open area to run around, imaginación or imagination, habilidades de escucha or listening skills, saber muchas palabras or a wide range of vocabulary items and astucia or cunning.
Table of Contents
|1. I Spy, Scattergories, Hopscotch Spanish Games For Children||2. Spanish Cards Games.. Rummy, Broom, Trick etc..|
|3. Spanish Board Games including Monopoly, Game of Goose|
There are an array of games for kids to use their imagination, practice the Spanish language and have plenty of fun. These 5 games are from Latin America and Spain. They all incorporate linguistic skills, listening comprehension, physical activity, writing and spelling skills.
Choose an object from your surroundings and get everyone to guess which it is by asking yes/no questions.
Tutii, Fruttii (Argentina), Basta (Mexico), Stop (Colombia)
It is a vocabulary game. Every participante or participant draws a board on a sheet of paper with the following categories: Nombre (name), animales (animals), cosas (things), fruta o verdura (fruit or vegetables), color (colour), país (country). Next, un jugador or player says the alphabet very fast and another player stops him/her by saying Basta which can literally be translated as enough but it means stop. The letter selected is the one for that round. You need to write as fast as you can words for each category that begins with that letter. Once a player has completed all the categories must say Basta or Tutti Frutti to finish the round and score.
A good way to practice numbers in Spanish while having physical activity.
El teléfono descompuesto
A person tells a phrase or a sentence to another one as a secret. This person continues doing so trying to remember the original sentence. The last person in the round has to say the sentence aloud to compare it with the original version. If there are mistakes, all layers lose.
|The broken phone|
Color, colorcito (Spain)
You need to play it with large groups in an open area. One person says “Color, colorcito” and then names a color. The rest of the group has to run and find something that is the colour that was chosen. It is the perfect game to be played with little kids to practice the colours.
|Colour little colour|
Chinchón (Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico) You need to discard all your cards by matching them in melds: in suit or 3 to 4 cards of the same value. Truco The most popular Argentine card game. It is similar to poker since you need to know how and when to lie. This game requires lots of rounds to learn how to play. Escoba de 15 (Spain and Argentina) You need naipes españoles leaving aside cards number 8, 9 and 10. Players have to match a card from their hand with one on the table. They must make a sum of 15. Siete y medio It is a classic Spanish card game which consists of collecting cards that total seven and a half.
Card games in the Spanish culture are played with naipes españoles or playing cards. Depending on the game you need 40 or 48 naipes. To get started you need to decide who is going to repartir las cartas which literally means the person in charge of dealing the cards. El repartidor or the dealer mezcla las cartas or shuffle the cards. Then, the person next to you on your right es mano which literally means to be hand but it is translated as being the first one in playing the ronda or round. If someone doesn’t know whose turn it is, you simply answer es tu turno or it’s your turn. It is important to anotar los puntos or write down the score. Game 6 Similar to Rummy or Gin Rummy Game 7 Trick Game 8 Broom of 15 Game 9 Seven and a half
Chinchón (Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Mexico)
You need to discard all your cards by matching them in melds: in suit or 3 to 4 cards of the same value.
The most popular Argentine card game. It is similar to poker since you need to know how and when to lie. This game requires lots of rounds to learn how to play.
Escoba de 15 (Spain and Argentina)
You need naipes españoles leaving aside cards number 8, 9 and 10. Players have to match a card from their hand with one on the table. They must make a sum of 15.
Siete y medio
It is a classic Spanish card game which consists of collecting cards that total seven and a half.
Spanish board games are the perfect strategy to learn the language while having fun. Rules aren’t difficult to learn since most of these games are english language variants. What’s important, you will learn the language in a new context while immersing in the culture.
It is an Argentine board game which reflects the traditional ranching in Argentina.
El juego de la Oca
It is a simple game which involves a board with 63 spaces. The player who reaches space 63 is the winner. There are special spaces such as a goose, a bridge, an inn, a maze, among others that are shortcuts and obstacles.
|Game of Goose|
You just need to know Spanish words such as peones (game pieces), rojo (red), negro (black), coronada (crowned) so as to practice colours and key vocaulary.
T.E.G (Tecnica y Estrategia de Guerra)
It is a board and card game. It is an Argentine strategy wargame. The objective is to conquer the world or defeat an opponent.
|T.E.G (War techniques and strategies)|
|Playing board games or card games in Spanish raise your Spanish cultural knowledge, enlarge your vocabulary bank, explain rules and develop your writing and listening skills. Card games can be really educational when learning Spanish as a foreign language. Besides, you won’t need to learn new expressions by heart, by playing games you’ll be practicing the language without even noticing it.|