Saturday, May 5, 2012

Oh Noah! Offers Free Spanish Vocabulary Learning Games

Welcome back to Day 5 of Spanish Language Learning Week on MommyMaestra!

As I wind down this week of Spanish learning programs, I wanted to remind parents that there are many online opportunities to expand your child’s Spanish vocabulary or maintain their Spanish-speaking skills.

One of my favorite companies to turn to for educational and fun games is PBS. And it just so happens that this week, the PBS KIDS GO! web series Oh Noah! launched new animated interactive videos and games to introduce kids to Spanish.

As I’ve mentioned, the idea of transmedia – using popular characters over a variety of media to reinforce concepts or vocabulary – is proving to be especially effective at helping kids internalize and retain knowledge. PBS KIDS has perfected this approach with its FREE online games that focus on various subjects.

Their series Oh Noah! (formerly known as Noah Comprende) is launching an incredible number of new interactive videos and games between now and next fall. This week they started with games like "Curtain Up!" a clever interactive that allows children to create their own "play" by choosing backgrounds, props, characters, and even the title and music to accompany it. My kids spent a good bit of an afternoon giggling at their theatrical masterpieces.

Typically, my daughter does not enjoy activities where she is competing against the clock, but she certainly enjoyed playing the "You Catch It" game where she races to catch the correct object she hears/reads as it falls from the sky...

My son, on the other hand, prefers the "Word Race" where he is the driver of a car who must get in the right lane to capture the image that goes with the word he hears, or reads.

Other new games include "Match It" where my kids had to match the written word with the image it matches (sort of like Memory, but the cards are facing up). And "How Do You Say…?" is a game that helps kids learn common expressions in Spanish by matching illustrations to the appropriate phrase. My kids didn’t have time to try this one out yet, because they were having so much fun with the others, and I only allow around 30 – 45 minutes of computer time. But I’ve got it on the list for tomorrow.

It amazes me how quickly my kids learn the meaning of new vocabulary when they play games like these. Learning has to be fun. And PBS has pretty much perfected the art of fun learning.

And as a parent who homeschools, I really appreciate how PBS also offers printables/activities to extend my children’s learning AND lesson plans for teachers. These will be great for keeping the kids busy this summer.

Now, I find games like these to be really beneficial not just for Spanish-language learners, but also for Spanish-speaking children who are learning to read. Parents can easily turn off their speakers and require their children to play the games by reading the words on the screen. It’s a great way to strengthen literacy skills.

But you don’t have to take my word for it, click on any of the links above and let your kids play the games on their own…for free!  

Con mucho cariño…


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