Encourage Multilingualism with Scavenger Hunts

by Corey · 0 comments

Time to become multilingual explorers!

For this activity, you will need 10-20 cards.  You can purchase some index cards or just make some cards by cutting paper into pieces about the size of index cards.

Write out location hints on the cards for your multilingual child in her languages, such as “This is where you brush your teeth” or “This is where we change the baby’s diaper.”  Place the cards (in the proper order of clues) around the house or outside and have your child go from one location after another based on the hints.  For example, give your child the first card that says something like, “This is where you brush your teeth.”  Then when your child gets to the bathroom sink, there should be a card waiting there that sends them to the next spot and then at the next spot is a card that sends them to the next spot until they go through all of the cards.

For the most fun, make sure the last card goes somewhere special where there is a little surprise: it can be a piece of candy or a book that you’ll read or maybe the car where you’ll take a drive somewhere.  What a wonderful way to get your multilingual child motivated to use her language!

If your multilingual child can read in her languages, have her read the cards herself.  If your child can’t yet read, no worries.  You can read the clue out loud.  Note: if more than one child is playing, make sure the clue isn’t read until all of the children are present.

Our children like to do a scavenger hunt in the evening right before bed.  They put on their pajamas, brush their teeth and are prepared for bed.  Then they hide in one room while my husband or I place the cards around the house.  The final card directs them to a location in their bedroom where we have a note that says “good-night” to each of them or a story that we are going to read that night (in their second language, of course!).

Another idea is to have your scavenger hunt outdoors for your active multilingual children.  This can be a lot of fun since there is more room to run.

It is especially fun when there are a few multilingual kids involved.  And don’t forget to think about a scavenger hunt for birthday parties or other parties when there are children who are also multilingual (or make sure to have cards in all of the languages!).

Have you done multilingual scavenger hunts with your kids?  What was the most fun for you and your multilingual children?

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