games-to-learn-spanish

Let’s Play! 9 Awesome Games to Learn Spanish Vocabulary Online

It may not be roller-coaster-at-a-theme-park kind of entertainment, but learning Spanish is fun.

It has to be fun if you really want to continue studying.

You might be thinking about all those Spanish grammar posts, and you’re wondering if I’ve gone crazy. Worry no more, my friend. I haven’t!

Just as grammar is a necessity to truly become fluent in a language, so is having fun. Games are just the way to do that!

Thanks to online games, you can reinforce grammar skills, review for your next Spanish test or take your learning to the next level. There are an infinite amount of possibilities for learning Spanish (or any other language) while playing!

While you’ll need a variety of games that cover various elements of the Spanish language, this particular post will focus on games for learning and reviewing vocabulary—a must for every learner.

Why Learn Spanish Vocabulary with Games?

Although you might not think it, you likely have 10 or 15 minutes of free time during the day, and that’s all you’ll need to add a couple of new words to your ever-increasing word bank! With these nine games, you can review specific vocabulary topics, practice translation while under pressure and learn new advanced terms you’ll be able to incorporate in your daily conversations.

In order to find the best games for you, I’ve scoured the internet and, of course, played the games myself. I won’t hide the fact that I had so much fun that I plan to continue playing these games in the future. (Note: Some of these games require the Adobe Flash Player plugin.)

Don’t worry if some of the games aren’t for you. You’ll see that some are for complete beginners, others for advanced students and a couple of them are for people who want to take all their knowledge to the next level by pushing themselves a little harder. Pick and choose the ones that seem to interest you and just enjoy!

Each of them will help you in a very specific way and, when it comes to learning, all of us have the right to let our inner child go out and have a good time.

So let’s let them have fun, shall we?

Let’s Play! 9 Awesome Online Games to Learn Spanish

Word Toss

Word Toss is the perfect game for beginners who want to learn new words in Spanish while being a little silly. It’s similar in concept to the Advanced Vocabulary Builder below, but it’s been created specifically for the little ones (but don’t let that deter you!).

Start by choosing one of the categories available and click “Start.” You’ll then be asked to choose if you want to play from English to Spanish or from Spanish to English.

Your task will be to read the word in the lower part of the screen and explode the balloon with the correct translation. If the word is correct, a new set of words will appear. Be careful, though! If you choose the wrong balloon, your points will go down and you’ll get one strike! Get three of them and your game will be over, so choose wisely!

From a learning point of view, this game is perfect to be played by children or children at heart. Users will be able to learn or review vocabulary in a fun and easy way, while enjoying the colorful interface and the user-friendly site.

Cycle Race

Cycle Race is a great Flash game for those who like the rush of competing against the clock.

When you click “Play Now,” a new small window will open. It’ll ask you to choose your racer as well as the difficulty level of the questions, then the race will begin.

Your racer will begin cycling, competing against another racer. On the lower part of the screen, you’ll be given questions and you’ll have to choose the correct answer.

The questions are mainly related to basic, everyday vocabulary like numbers, days of the week, months of the year and colors. The more correct answers you give (and the quicker you do it), the faster your racer will go. Your mission is to answer quickly and accurately, so you can win the race at the end!

Although the questions are pretty basic and there isn’t a lot of new vocabulary, this is a great way to review basic words or learn easy Spanish words at the beginning of your Spanish adventure.

Fast Hands

Fast Hands is a fun way to learn or review new vocabulary while under pressure.

Although this game was originally created for beginning Spanish students, after playing a couple of times I believe any learner can make good use of it. Beginning students can choose the slow version, while more advanced students can go for the fast one.

Once you’ve chosen your game mode, you’ll be presented with a lot of different categories. When you hover your mouse over each of them, you’ll see the list of words that it contains. This would be the perfect moment to write the words down and get to know them. You can look them up in the dictionary or, if you know them already, just write down the word and translation next to it.

When you’re comfortable with the words, just click on the category and the game will start. After hearing the word read in Spanish, you’ll have to choose the corresponding picture. If you make a mistake or let the time go down, some of the options will start disappearing, until you’ll eventually be left with just one, the correct one.

Watch out for the time. It doesn’t start again when you give a correct answer! It’ll continue to go down, going up just a little every time you give a correct answer, until you have no time left or choose all the correct pictures.

This is a great game to add a little pressure to the learning process. Learners will try to improve their best scores and beat their friends. The fast pace also allows them to think quickly, which will definitely come in handy while taking a test or talking to native speakers (we know that can be stressful, too!).

Word Search + Hangman

Don Quijote is an awesome site for Spanish learners and people who want to know more about the language and culture. It has courses, learning resources, a culture section and a list of schools and summer camps where you can learn Spanish around the world.

It also includes two games that’ll definitely help beginners practice their spelling and improving their vocabulary: the classic word search and the hangman.

The rules for both games are pretty simple and straightforward. In the word search game, you’ll have to find the words you’ve been given. They’ve been divided into categories, so that you can concentrate on a group of words at a time. I recommend you write down the words you find and add their translation in order to create your own vocabulary list.

The hangman game has also been divided into categories. Your task will be to guess the hidden word by choosing letters you think are contained in it. Watch out because each mistake will get you one step closer to revealing the hangman and losing the game!

Both games are recommended for beginners, either children or adults, who want to learn and review vocabulary in an easy and fun way. The fact that they’re divided into different categories makes them even more useful, because the learner can concentrate on a different topic every time!

The Numbers Game

This game from Spanish Uno is by far the best and most entertaining number game I’ve been able to find on the internet. It’s the perfect way to learn and/or review Spanish numbers up to six digits! If you’re a little kid in spirit like me, you’ll spend hours having fun with this game.

The first thing you have to do is choose the range of digits you want to practice. You have the option to practice from one to six digits and a mix of them.

Once you’ve chosen your range of digits, a Spanish saleswoman and a series of products will appear on screen. You choose the product you’d like to buy, and the saleswoman will tell you the price in Spanish. Your task will be to enter the correct price in the box situated on the lower right corner of the screen. If you want a little help, you can select the option “show clue” and you’ll be able to read what the woman is saying. You’ll have 30 seconds to enter the correct price.

What makes this game awesome is that you can practice even more by bargaining with the saleswoman. If you enter the correct price, you’ll have the option of buying the product for that price or bargaining until you get a new price. You’ll have to enter the price you propose, and the saleswoman will say it out loud for you. She’ll then tell you if she accepts the new price or not, and you can proceed to buy the product or give a new price.

I know this game is child-oriented, but I’ve tried it with some of my adult students and they really enjoy it. Once they understand that the aim of the game is to learn how to say the numbers in Spanish, they have no problem at all (and some of them use it on a daily basis now)!

The Dialogue Game

The Dialogue Game is a great Flash game for intermediate and advanced students who want to practice their dialogue skills and review what they’ve learned.

When you enter the game, you’ll first have to choose between two categories. This is great because you can concentrate on reviewing a specific grammar area, or you can choose your dialogues by your topic of interest.

Once you’ve chosen the grammar area or the topic you want to practice, you’ll see a list of different available dialogues. Read the titles and choose the one you want to start with. When you click on a dialogue, you’ll be able to read the transcript first in order to familiarize yourself with it. After that, click “Play” in order to listen to the dialogue as you read along one second time.

When you’re ready, click on “Start Playing” and a new page will load. You’ll then hear two people have a conversation (which you’ll be able to listen to as many times as you want), and you’ll be given some questions (or prompts), and you’ll have to choose the correct one. If your answer is wrong, you’ll be shown the correct one. Click on it so that the dialogue will proceed. The exercise ends once you’ve completed the dialogue.

Advanced Vocabulary Builder

Digital Dialects offers a lot of ways to learn Spanish, but for me the most interesting section is the Advanced Vocabulary Builder. This isn’t a website for people who just want to learn the basics of the Spanish language. Digital Dialects pushes you and will make your neurons work at full speed.

When you open the “Advanced Spanish” section, you’ll see there are four categories: vocabulary builder one and two, animals, birds, insects and verbs (in the infinitive). Each category will give you a long list of new words to learn. Read and study them carefully. Write them down, copy them on a Word document…do whatever you need to remember them. The new vocabulary isn’t easy. You’ll learn words only an advanced user of Spanish will need to use, so don’t be too harsh on yourself at the beginning!

Once you’ve learned the list of words, click on “Play Game” and you’ll be directed to a new page where you’ll have to put your knowledge to the test. Words will appear on the upper side of the screen, and you’ll have to choose the right translation by pressing the correct red arrow. If you think you’ve made a mistake, just click on “Change.” At the end of the round, you’ll be told if your answers are correct or not before you go to the next round.

When it comes to grammar, the best part of this page is that it tells you whether the words are masculine or feminine, so you won’t have to look them up in a dictionary. When you’ve learned all the words, my advice is to try to build sentences with them. Use them in your conversations with your friends, too. All in all, try to use them as often as you can so that you don’t forget them!

Spanish Scrabble

Scrabble is possibly my all-time favorite word game. I have it in seven different languages, and there isn’t a single house party where I don’t bring it.

I guess most of you know what Scrabble is and how challenging and entertaining it can be. I bet you also know this isn’t a game for beginners if they aren’t playing in their mother tongue. But if you think you have enough Spanish vocabulary to give it a go, don’t miss the opportunity to enjoy one of the best word games in history.

While you won’t be able to play Scrabble on this site, we’ve got some resources to help you out. This website contains the letters of the Spanish version of the game. Click on the picture in order to be able to save it, and finally print and cut the letters. The kind of paper you use and the way to make the letters usable is up to you. I recommend using photo paper or gluing the letters into some corrugated carton.

Once you have your letters ready, the only thing you have to do is play!

The website also contains dozens of links related to Scrabble in Spanish, for example Scrabble associations and clubs, championships and even downloadable and online Scrabble-based games! Enjoy!

Of course, if cutting and pasting isn’t your style, you can also find the Scrabble Spanish edition board game on Amazon.

 

I hope you like these games, and I especially hope you like expanding your vocabulary even more!

Have fun and enjoy your journey. Grammar is extremely important, but taking a break from time to time to engage in some good old-fashioned fun is essential, too.

Happy learning!

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