This summer, with support from the 2018 YALSA/Dollar General Summer Reading Learning Resources Grant, the Dover Public Library hosted two ¡Vamos a Jugar! (Let’s Play!) events featuring bilingual and vocabulary-building board games. From bilingual Bingo to You’ve Been Sentenced, I selected a wide variety of games to challenge and entertain Dover teens. Now that the teens and I have tested our collection, we can give you our top picks.
KLOO’s Learn to Speak Spanish and Race to Madrid
KLOO’s Learn to Speak Spanish is a card game that teaches players Spanish with color coded cards. The Race to Madrid board and pieces turn the card game into a journey to the finish line, eliminating the need for a score sheet. While this is the most inventive, educational game on my list, the teens were not as interested as I had hoped. On a different day or with a different crowd, I think we could have a lot of fun expanding the game, making our own boards, and learning more Spanish together.
Fitz It is a card game that plays a little bit like Scrabble and a little bit like a riddle. The Fitz It deck contains over 250 cards with various phrases. The games begins with one randomly selected card in the middle of the table. Players then add to the grid with their own cards, but they have to say a noun that fits the description of all the cards in the row or column. A little difficult to explain, this game is a fun challenge once the initial concept clicks.
El Lince, or The Lynx, is a game of finding the right picture before your opponents can. Recommended for ages four and up, this game was a hit with the teens in my summer group who enjoyed the competition of this simple game.
Basic Spanish Bingo features easy Spanish vocabulary on a Bingo board. Easy to play and with a familiar gameplay, teens had fun with this game at both Let’s Play! events.
Our Number One Game
Word Slam is a fun guessing game that splits players into two teams. Each team has a storyteller, and each storyteller has a set of over a hundred word cards with which to get their team to guess the right word or phrase first. A little like charades, this game was a teen favorite. It also makes teens use their creativity, solve problems, and work together to reach a common goal.
Dabble: a race to make a set of words with random tiles
Juego de Palabras: a race to build Spanish words with reading rods
The teens and I enjoyed playing these fun and challenging games, and we would recommend any of them for your next gaming event at your library.
For more information on our top picks or any of our other bilingual events this summer, please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Liz Strauss is the Teen/Outreach Services Manager at the Dover Public Library.