Bilingual Children’s Trivial Pursuit

by Corey · 0 comments

Do you know the game Trivial Pursuit?  How about getting your bilingual children using your language with their very own Trivial Pursuit game?  What fun!

It is a great game for children who can read and write (you can put them to work preparing the game) but children who are not yet able to read and write can play as well – you can read the questions to them.

The key for playing this game is that everyone must stick to the language.  You can add some kind of penalty when someone uses a word in another language if you want, but it is not necessary (especially if it upsets your children and takes away the fun).

What You Will Need:

  • Index cards or a large pieces of paper, each cut into 6 smaller pieces
  • Pen


  • If your children can write, have them write some questions in the target language on the index cards for the rest of the family to answer.  The person who writes the question must also know the answer to it.
  • You and your spouse should write some questions as well!
  • If your children can not write, then they can dictate the questions to you so that you can write them out in the target language on the index cards.  Make sure they dictate the questions to you in the target language.
  • The questions can be ones that only you know the answer to!  This is a fun way to share information about ourselves – our likes and dislikes, experiences and events from our past, family members who live far away or are no longer alive, and more!
  • If you want to make sure that the person who wrote the question doesn’t pull out their own question, you can color code the cards!

Here are some examples of questions that might be fun:

  • Who is the person married to your uncle?
  • Where do we live?
  • What time do we usually go to bed?
  • What is your brother’s favorite color?
  • Where did your father and I meet?

Play the Game:

  • Once all of the cards have been created, mix up the cards and have one family member pick out a card.  That person should read the card out loud in the target language. He/she should then try and answer the question (remember that it must be answered in the target language).
  • Alternately, each person can pull out a card and ask someone else the question.
  • If the person answers the question correctly, then 5 points are given.  If the person can not answer the question correctly, then no points are given.
  • If the person answers the question correctly but doesn’t use the target language, then 1 point is deducted for each word or sentence not in the target language.  (You can decide as a family how to determine if points are deducted.)
  • The winner is the one with the most points at the end.

Are Points Necessary?

  • If keeping track of points is stressful for your child, then you can avoid the points all together and just have fun!  A gentle reminder to use the target language may be enough.
  • There is no need to make this game one in which someone wins and others lose.  The key is to have fun together as a family with your very own Trivial Pursuit game in your language!

Have you ever played this game with your bilingual children?  Or something similar?  Did your children enjoy them?  Which games were most fun for your children?

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