Free US shipping on all subscriptions!!

8 Bilingual Family Games You'll Love Playing

8 Bilingual Family Games You'll Love Playing

Welcome to Oruguitas, a blog where Lelu founder, Ana Leyva, shares thoughts about raising bilingual kids. Please share and comment below!

Research shows that there are clear and long lasting benefits of learning through play. This is reason enough to develop educational games, but I’m excited to share a few more reasons we decided to include a family game in each Lelu box. Here are 3 important reasons we’ve chosen to incorporate family games into our bilingual support strategy:

  • There is a huge lack of bilingual games on the market. This was a gap we were intentionally hoping to address. And we’re really proud to be bringing quality, best-in-class games into the world to move the needle here! 
  • Languages are relational. They are meant to be shared and we can’t think of a better way to share a language than through a fun family game!
  • Parents will learn a lot, too– and modeling that learning is critical. The next generation of bilingual kids need to see their parents on a lifelong journey with bilingualism. We need to flex those muscles with and for them! 

The bilingual games we've developed over the last year have become family favorites in no time. Many parents have shared that the games alone are worth the cost of the entire subscription box! Indeed, getting a new game delivered directly to your door each month guaranteed may be the best reason to sign up for our monthly program

So, without further ado, here is a spotlight on 8 bilingual family games that are available for your family now:

 

Inventos latinoamericanos 

View the instructional video here

This is our latest release and this game is a BLAST! It’s a fast-paced card game that was inspired by the popular game Spoons. Before we discuss our awesome adaptation, it may be helpful to summarize how traditional Spoons is played. 


In traditional Spoons, you use a standard deck of cards and place one object (traditionally spoons) in the middle of the circle for each player, minus one. Players are eliminated if they aren’t able to grab a spoon after another player has made a group of four cards of the same suit and grabbed one of the spoons themselves. It sounds easy enough, but the tricky thing is keeping an eye on the spoons as you yourself try to strategize and decide what card to pass. You can only ever have four cards in your hand at once plus the card that you’re passing. The starting player pulls cards from the deck and determines whether he or she wants to keep that card and pass one from their hand, or pass the one they pulled. You can only pass one card at a time and you have to do it quickly! You play as many rounds as necessary until one player remains. The last man standing is the winner! 


In our variation, instead of having a standard deck of cards, our cards are made up of sentences highlighting 13 inventions made by Latin American inventors. There are 4 cards for each invention in this format:


Card 1)

Card 2) 

Card 3)

Card 4)

 

Just as in traditional spoons, the goal is to gather all four cards of the “same suit” and complete the full sentence for one invention. Once you do, you grab a spoon from the middle of the circle and say the sentence out loud. The other players must then grab a spoon in order to not be eliminated. 


We are LOVING this game because we’re learning about amazing inventions that have shaped our world! In this COVID age, it’s fun to see that the ever-popular and helpful hand sanitizer was invented by a Latina. Our kids are learning that inventions can come from many different places, and that the best inventions are designed to solve human problems. Our hope is that our kids can start seeing the agency they can employ to make a difference in the world. We’re so excited to see all the things this next generation of inventors brings about!


If you want this game, sign up for Lelu and get it included in your box along with the rest of our monthly Spanish + STEAM content in the Inventores theme for January 2022. 


Loteria Cuerpo Humano

It may come as no surprise that Loteria Cuerpo Humano is our best selling game. It’s an easy-to-play, classic bingo game with human body parts extending far beyond the common head, shoulders, knees and toes. Parents love that instead of tokens, we send the traditional Pinto Bean markers we all grew up with. Among the amazing body parts you’ll learn are:


El Sistema Esquelético

La Barbilla

El Cerebro

La Cadera

Los Riñones

La Lengua

La Espinilla

La Vejiga

Las Cejas


¡Y muchos más! The names of the body parts are intentionally only presented in Spanish to encourage optimal minority language exposure.

You can purchase this game here. We’re currently offering free shipping!

Si / Entonces Programming Card Game

View the instructional video here


This is one of the games I am most proud of. The game is equal parts enjoyable and thoroughly educational. As you play, you’re learning the fundamentals of computer programming and logic statements and a ton of fun vocabulary en español!


Si / Entonces, is a card game where the goal is to win the most RESULTADO cards. This is how the game is played:


First, each player chooses a pair of SI and ENTONCES cards (these are named after the most common programming languages C#, Python, Java, Scratch, and Ruby) and places those 

cards in front of them, starting with SI.  The players then take the other cards and make three face-down piles of cards:CONDICIÓN, RESULTADO, and LÓGICA.


On a turn, the player whose turn it is draws a CONDICIÓN card and reads it out loud as they place it down next to their SI card. 


Then he or she draws a RESULTADO card and reads it out loud as they place it down next to their ENTONCES card.


Then they draw a LÓGICA card (ie. AND, OR, NOT, and repeat ___ times, etc.) and place it accordingly. They draw another CONDICIÓN or RESULTADO card if the logic card requires it and then they read the whole sentence out loud.  


A final statement might be:


 


Every player who falls in the condition, including the one who played the sequence, must do the action (RESULTADO). Then the player whose turn it is chooses whose action they liked best (they can't choose their own)! The selected player keeps the RESULTADO card and it’s the next player's turn. 

The RESULTADO cards are silly things, so fair warning: you should prepare to laugh A LOT! We just love this game because players learn how to make sequences and logic statements, they learn the names for some of the most common programming languages AND learn lots of fun vocabulary in Spanish! It’s a quintessential Spanish + STEAM experience.


This awesome card came includes Si / Entonces card game deck, box and rulebook (with instructions in English and Spanish) and you can purchase it online here.


Las Olimpiadas

View the instructional video here


Las Olimpiadas is a collaborative game that will help you learn the most popular Olympic deportes and the habilidades you need to successfully compete in them! The goal is to successfully compete for your country and bring home as many medals as possible.


We really love collaborative games, especially for younger kids or kids who are still learning how to lose gracefully.  


This game is a card game, but comes with additional components including and Instruction manual (with instructions in Spanish and English), 36 medal tiles, 4 dice, a storage bag, and of course, the deck of Cards (with 36 sports cards and 16 skills cards). 

The 4 dice are different colors because that’s how you will compete: At the beginning of the game you choose a die to represent your team. The other three dice will represent your competitors.


Each player draws a random SKILLS card and places it face-up in front of them. This is your natural skill.


Then, together all the players draw twelve SPORTS cards and place them face-up. These

are the sports the team will compete in.


Once you know the sports, you must decide which players will compete for which sports as only one player will compete in each sport for the team. Each player must be assigned an equal number of sports. Here is where some fun strategy comes in. On the SPORTS cards there are certain skills that give players extra points on their die rolls when they compete. So as a team, they must consider how their natural skills will help them, and discuss and decide who should compete in each sport to maximize their chances of winning.


And more fun strategy: once players know which sports they will compete in, they have time to train and gain another skill. Each player can choose one additional SKILLS card from any of the remaining cards in the deck. This is their trained skill!


Players then take turns competing in their respective sports. To compete in a sport, the player rolls all four dice at once. They note the result and then add any additional points you get for your natural and trained skills to your team’s die roll. Then, they compare the team’s score to the competitor’s dice to determine which place your team came in. The highest number comes in first, the second highest comes in second, etc. If the team comes in first, second, or third

place, they collect a gold, silver, or bronze medal!


This game has so many fun sports highlighted. It was a perfect way to bring the Olympics home in 2021, but it really is a timeless game that folds strategy, math, and Spanish vocab all into a fun collaborative game. This is one you don't want to miss! Purchase it here


¡Elástico! 

View the instructional video here


This is the game you’ll want to get if you want to share not just language, but also cultural experiences because the songs you’ll learn while playing ¡Elástico! are classic Latin American songs that kids learn out on the school playground.


The basic idea for this game is to not miss any of the steps as you jump and sing. 

I love that this game is unique– you’ve got to play it on your feet and it doesn’t require cards or a board. It’s versatile, too, as it’s a game that you can play indoors or outdoors, by yourself or with friends. We added some twists to the traditional game. Our version includes: 1) a multicolored elástico, 2) a booklet with 8 songs, their lyrics, illustrations of all the steps AND access to example videos for each song, and 3) a spinner to help you choose songs.


The traditional songs we’ve included are catchy so you’ll be humming them even when you’re not playing. As always, we encourage agency and inventiveness in case kids want to invent their own songs and routines– and we’ve left some extra space in the booklet for them to do this! My kids came up with some fun routines, and I’m so excited to hear about the ones your kids come up with, too! Get your very own set here


¡Pesca! Versión Veterinaria

View the instructional video here


This is a classic family game! ¡Pesca! is Go-Fish, and this is a standard deck of cards with the fun twist of having animals in addition to the suits. The rules of the game are exactly the same as in the traditional Go-Fish: the goal is to create groups of families by animal type. A family is any four cards of the same animal. The player with the most family groups at the end of the game wins!


This game comes with instructions (in Spanish and English), the deck of Cards and a beautiful card tuck box for storing. Some families have mentioned they’re using them as animal flashcards, so this classic game can definitely have multiple uses as well! Purchase the game here


Viaje Familiar

View the instructional video here


The premise of this awesome game is that you’re taking a family trip throughout Latin America and the Caribbean BUT each family member has a different idea for which cities you should visit. Who will be the first to convince the family to visit all of their favorite places?


In this game, you start by placing all 48 city tiles in the bag and mixing them up. Each player then draws 5 city tiles to start. Each player's goal is to get to all of their cities ASAP but players take turns choosing where they take the family. The starting city is chosen at random, the token is placed on that city on the board, and then the first player is able to place a tile next to the starting tile by using the lines of transportation available from there. In other words, if a player wants to take the family out on a boat, that player must wait until you get to a port city to make that leg of the journey. If the starting city only has access via car or train, the player must select a next city with car or train access. There is a really fun element of suspense here, because you have no idea what tiles the other players have. If you aren’t able to place any of the tiles in your hand during your turn, you must draw more tiles from the bag until you’re able to move the family to another city. 

Because you’re connecting tiles adjacent to the board, it ends up feeling collaborative and fun as each player is part of making the chain of cities. The trip turns out looking beautiful each time, too, as it snakes around. It evokes a domino-like feeling. The player who places all their city tiles first wins, but it ends up feeling like we all won because the journey itself is worth celebrating! 


Our family has absolutely LOVED this game. Not only are we learning about modes of transportation, but it has awakened a desire to actually go and see all these amazing cities and has given us a lot of opportunities to share facts about these many places. I honestly cannot recommend this game enough– it’s an absolute favorite in our home! You can buy Viaje Familiar here


Mago Gruñón (Grumpy Magician)

View the instructional video here


This board game is fun and dynamic! It feels a bit like the game Sorry, but the twist is that rather than just needing to get your Bunny “home” you need to get them home with the right item in hand. The objective is to be the first rabbit to bring the Grumpy Magician the magical items he needs for his show - but he changes his mind regularly and others can steal those items from you along the way!


To start the game, each player chooses one pawn and places it at the corresponding starting point. Then, each player chooses one of the four magic item cards (wand, hat, cards, or key). If you’re playing with two or three players, you place the remaining item(s) on the side of the board and the only way to get these now will be to use the Levitation card while playing the game. The rest of the playing cards are then shuffled and placed on the board, face down. 

 

Movement on the board happens via dice throws and the spaces you land on dictate what actions you take during your turn. If you land on...


  • An empty space -> Nothing happens
  • A space with a card symbol -> Draw a card and play it immediately
  • Another player’s starting space -> Steal one item from their corner. If they don’t have any items in their corner, nothing happens.
  • A space another player is in -> Share their space and steal one of their items if they have any in their corner.

When you draw cards, you may draw a card that changes the “Magician’s Request.” These cards are placed face up on the speech bubble on the board and read it out loud with the grumpiest voice possible. These items change regularly, but if you’re able to get the item requested and get home– you win!


It’s a fun family game that you’ll want to play una y otra vez, again and again! You can purchase this game and the whole Magic themed box here

 

 

 

It is a joy and privilege to get to put these awesome games out in the world! Tell me, which one are you most excited to try? Are there any others you’d like to see us develop? Drop a comment below and let us know!






Comment 1

D on

Yes, there is a lack of bilinugal games! Thank you for filling that niche!!

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published