5 Super Fun Outdoor Language Learning Activities For Kids!
The weather’s slowly starting to warm up and the first signs of Spring will be appearing soon, so why not take your language learning lessons outside? Not only is this a great way to make the most of the warmer months, it also gives your little ones the chance to get some fresh air and move around, as well as shaking up the way they learn to keep things exciting. It’s definitely better than sitting indoors all day!
If you think it’s time to take your classroom at home outdoors, check out our One Third Stories teams top 5 fun outdoor language games you can enjoy this spring.
1) Simon Says
Simon Says is a classic game that everyone loves, and it’s super easy to turn it into a game for language learning! All you have to do is switch up the instructions from English to your child’s second language. If your youngster is a fairly practiced bilingual, you can do the entire game in another language, and if they’re a beginner you can just change key phrases. For example, you could say ‘Simon says, touch the arbre’, which means ‘tree’ in French! It’s a great way to improve their listening skills and they’ll love playing it just with you or with their friends, too.
2) Water Balloon Fight
When it comes to outdoor games, water balloon fights are definitely a winner for us! It’s a chance to let your kids run around, get rid of a ton of energy, and enjoy getting messy; what’s better than that?!
Try turning your water balloon fights into fun language learning activities this year with our easy game, which works really well with a group of kids.
All you have to do is label each balloon with either a word in English or in your children’s second language. You can write it directly on the balloon, or create a pile of little cards to pick from. Then, before you start, have each child try to ‘win’ their balloons by correctly translating the word. For each one they get right, they get a balloon! Once all the balloons are won, let the fight begin…
3) Stuck in the Mud
Stuck in the Mud has been a playground classic for years! Kids love it, and its simple enough for all ages to enjoy. The idea is easy to pick up; it’s basically like ‘tag’ or ‘it’, where you have one person who runs around and tries to tag the others. But, instead of this changing who’s ‘it’ when they get caught, this game causes the other players to become stuck, standing still where they are. In the normal games, another player has to un-stick them so they can continue playing.
However, in our language learning version, they need to either translate a word that another player – or you – gives them in either English or their second language, or they have to think of a word in that language that fits in with the theme chosen for the game. For example, the theme could be animals, so the youngster that’s stuck could say ‘caballo’, which is horse in Spanish!
4) I Spy
I Spy is a really simple game that can be played with just you and your child, making it easy to incorporate into day to day life. From walks in the woods to drives in the car, you can play I Spy no matter where you are or what you’re doing! Simply choose your letter, and have your child guess objects in their second language. It’s super easy but a really effective way of improving their vocabulary and speaking skills.
5) Treasure Hunt
What child doesn’t love a good old-fashioned treasure hunt? This makes a great language learning game for kids of all ages and can be played either with just your child or with a group – it’s awesome for parties!
All you have to do is write up a bunch of clues that lead your child on a hunt. You can write the clues entirely in the foreign language, or use key phrases like in Simon Says. For example, you could have one clue leading to the next that reads ‘Head to the cuisine, and look in the frigo!’, which means ‘Head to the kitchen, and look in the fridge!’ in French.
Your little one will need to follow all the clues until they find the treasure, which makes a great incentive for their language learning! This is a great game to test their vocabulary and also help with their reading skills.
If you’re trying to teach your child a second language and want to make sure they actually enjoy it, why not check out One Third Stories language books for kids in French and Spanish? They come in handy subscription boxes, making it easy to stay on track with your language learning journey, and our accompanying activities and blogs give you plenty of other methods to help teach your child!