Learning Spanish is not all about textbooks, dictionaries and language apps. In fact, there are some activities that you can use to reinforce your command of the language while you have fun. For example, using some of the best games to learn Spanish will allow you to practice what you already know and learn new stuff while having a fun time with your friends.
As a Spanish teacher and language learner, I love using different games for language learning. For that reason, in this article, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best games to learn Spanish that I’ve used during my career. I’ll talk about each game as well as how it can help you practice your Spanish.
Beware that games are just a complementary tool to reinforce or learn new stuff. So make sure you keep up with your grammar and your conversational skills! By the end of this, you’ll know 7 different games that you can use to have fun with your friends while you learn Spanish.
1. Spanish Scrabble
If you have played Scrabble before, you may already know that this game is perfect for showing off your mastery and grasp of vocabulary. By playing Scrabble in Spanish not only will you practice your vocabulary, but you will also have the chance to learn new words that your friends know.
Something that I really love about Scrabble is that it actually helps you improve your word-derivation skills. In less fancy words: if you pay attention, you can start to see patterns (suffixes and prefixes) that will help you form words in Spanish.
For example, words that end with -ir, -er- and -ar are usually verbs and you should pay attention to these words if you want to be able to name different actions in Spanish. The suffix -ería allows us to talk about shops such as carnicería, panadería and taquería (butcher’s shop, bakery, and taco shop, respectively).
Am I too nerdy because I like to see these patterns when playing? Probably! But this nerdy technique helped me improve my English vocabulary and also helped some of my Spanish students.
If you don’t have a strong vocabulary or you’re struggling to form words with the Scrabble tiles you got, you can use this cool tool to get some ideas of the possible words that you can form. I’m just saying that if I had found this tool before, I would have been the undisputed champion at my house! Jokes aside, you can get great ideas with this tool.
Remember that the goal is to learn new vocabulary so don’t hesitate to use this tool as well as a dictionary. If you don’t have the Spanish version of Scrabble (remember we have different letters ll, ch, ñ), you can get yours here.
2. Spanish Taboo
Another fun game to learn Spanish is the Spanish version of Taboo. In order to play this game, you will need a few people to form teams, so make sure you invite your friends. So how can Taboo help you with Spanish?
If you haven’t played Taboo before, here goes a quick explanation. You will be given a card with a main word that you need to describe to your team so they can guess it. That doesn’t sound very difficult, but you will also have some taboo words that you cannot use in your description.
As you may imagine, these ‘taboo words’ are super common descriptive words that you would normally use to describe that main keyword. This is actually great for learning Spanish because you are forced to think harder and either to find a new word or use a more complex sentence to be able to describe your word. Check this example of these girls playing Taboo.
In addition to this, you can learn new vocabulary based on the related terms shown in the card (the taboo words) or by listening to your friends’ descriptions. Since you don’t get to use gestures or drawings, this game forces you to talk and learn Spanish.
I love to play Taboo with big groups or with friends that are a little bit more active (unfortunately, not all people like Scrabble), so if this is your case, this game will be a great option to have a game night while you learn some Spanish.
Here, you can check the current price of Taboo. To be honest, it has been a little bit difficult to find a Spanish version in a non-Spanish-speaking country. So I hope you can find it in stock.
As a child and teenager, Basta or Stop, was one of my favorite games of all times. Young Spanish speakers use this game as a way to practice their spelling and vocabulary acquisition. As you may imagine, for Spanish learners this game is perfect for practicing and learning new words.
One of the main advantages of this game is that you can select the categories that you are interested in practicing. However, for learning Spanish I recommend that you start with the following ones (you can change them later if you want):
- Action (Verb)
- Things (Nouns)
- Nationality (helps you practice adjectives of nationality)
- Fruits & Vegetables
So, in order to play Basta, you need at least one more person (I was lame enough to play alone, but beating myself wasn’t that fun). You or your partner need to choose a letter from the alphabet and based on it, you need to fill the corresponding columns with words that start with that letter. Check this example below:
Whoever finishes first, says Basta and people need to stop writing. If you didn’t fill the column, you will get 0 points. If nobody has the word you wrote down, you get 100 points, but if someone else has it, you get 50.
This is a simple game that can help you practice your vocabulary, but trust me when you have time pressure it gets exciting. In addition to practicing the words that you already know, you get to learn the words that your friends used.
If my instructions weren’t clear, here is a video where you will get a better description and an example of how to play this game.
4. Kloo’s Race to Madrid
By far this is the best game to learn Spanish that I have seen. Kloo’s Race to Madrid was actually designed to help Spanish beginners form sentences faster and learn basic vocabulary that we use on a daily basis. As with many board games, it’s recommended that you play it with other people.
So how does this game help you learn Spanish? Each player will be provided with 7 cards. Each card has a different color with a different type of word:
- Red cards: verbs and pronouns.
- Blue cards: nouns and articles.
- Yellow cards: adjectives.
- Green cards: connectors.
- Purple cards: expressions.
In addition to this, each card has a colored arrow that indicates the color of the card that you need to use to form a sentence. This is meant to help you understand phrase structure in Spanish which can be a challenging topic for a lot of people.
The longer your sentence is, the more points you will get. In order to help you learn vocabulary, at the bottom of each card you will find the translation of a word (not of the main word that you have, but other).
If you are able to translate your sentence, you’ll get extra points that will help you move forward in the game. The rest is simple: the person that reaches the finish line wins. This game is made in Castilian Spanish, but it can still help understanding how to form sentences in Spanish.
I found this game recently and I’m telling you I wish I had found it before so I could use it in my group class. I’m pretty sure it would have made things easier for lots of students.
If you’re interested, you can get it on Amazon. If my instructions were a bit confusing, here are some videos that could help you:
5. Adivina Quién
Adivina quién is a game that beginners can use to practice and learn Spanish. Even though this game is meant for kids, I used it in my Spanish classes so people can practice simple vocabulary and structures that you are going to be using in your Spanish conversations.
Some of the things that you can practice or learn with this game include:
- Asking questions
- Use the verb ser, llevar, tener, usar
- Learn vocabulary to describe physical characteristics
- Use vocabulary to describe accessories and clothing
The classic Guess Who? cards are very simple and it’s good for starting to get comfortable with the Spanish structures that you need. If you go through all the characters and the game starts to get boring, you can change the default cards and replace them with your favorite celebrities or movie characters.
Hangman or ahorcado in Spanish is a very simple and popular game that you can use to learn new vocabulary. One of the advantages of this game is that since you just need to guess the spelling, you are not required to know lots of words like you might need in other games.
Even though you could play it with your friends, you can also play this game to learn Spanish on your own. Here you can play ahorcado online. Something that I like about this site is their games are related to different topics (restaurant, school, people, etc).
So if you want to learn or practice specific vocabulary, this is your place to go. Additionally, they have topics for both beginners and intermediate students. One small disadvantage is that they don’t provide a translation for the Spanish word that you’re getting.
As a result, if you don’t know the meaning of a word, you will need to find it yourself. Aside from that, this online game is very cool if you want a more interactive game to practice your Spanish.
7. What Do You Meme en Español
A quick heads-up: due to its content, this game is only for adults. As you may have guessed from the name, this Spanish game is about memes. Actually, it’s about creating memes based on an image and the text provided in your cards.
Just like normal memes, the text in these cards has lots of informal and slang expressions, as a result, this game is more suitable for intermediate and advanced learners. When learning a language, understanding the humor can be a bit tricky because you need to get very familiar with local words and expressions.
So What Do You Meme en Español allows you to do this. In this game, each player gets 7 cards with text. In each round, the group will have a meme image and your goal is to create a good match with one of your cards and the image provided.
In other words, you need to create the funniest meme possible meaning that the text and the image have to really make sense together. Since you will be in touch with slang vocabulary, this could help you improve your casual conversations.
This game is that the vocabulary is more suitable for Mexican Spanish. A drawback to this game I found is that some cards could improve the wording and the spelling. So if you’re playing with Spanish speakers, ask them to let you know when they see a mistake so you don’t repeat it.
If you want to chill with your friends and have some good laughs, this game is a lot of fun and a great excuse to learn Spanish. If you’re interested in it, you can check its current price here.
Learning Spanish doesn’t have to be dry or boring and therefore it doesn’t need to be limited to using books and grammar rules. Since having fun can help you relax and be more receptive to new words, in this article, I’ve compiled a list of the 7 best games to learn Spanish.
All of these are meant to help you build a stronger vocabulary and develop some techniques that you can use to improve your command of the language. I personally used most of them in my classes or with friends and we loved them.
Hopefully, now you have some good options to practice Spanish while you learn! ¡Que te diviertas!