Spanish for Kids: 5 Best Methods of Learning

Without a doubt learning second or a third language gives you huge advantage on the labor market, when you want to travel, when you want to make new friends and increase your knowledge of the world. It is also a fact that the younger you are the faster you can learn foreign languages. Studies have shown that learning a second language by the age of ten is much easier than later in life. Children who are bilingual tend to have a greater understanding of the English language (or whatever their native tongue is) and a higher rate of comprehension overall.

But learning has to be fun! It is becomes much more important when it concerns children, because kids are not keen about anything that resembles school. So make sure your child is not tired, sick or overworked; if you can make learning Spanish a game, your child will respond much more favorably. Kids learn by repetition in short spurts, so they should practice daily, but for no more than half an hour at a time.

Have a look at some ideas for helping your kid learn Spanish:

  1. Children’s books in Spanish. It is a fantastic way to learn Spanish. The children’s books have lots of images and funny stories. They can easily increase your kids reading comprehension level, which is lower at first. As their Spanish skills develop, they can move on to entertainment magazines or young adult novels.
  2. Learning games. Many of the same Spanish learning games for adults can be used for kids; simply find or make easier versions with children’s themes. Some games include Memory Concentration where you flip over cards to find two matching words, Word Match where you match up a list of words with their corresponding pictures, and Plug-n-Play where you fill in the blanks of a paragraph with a list of the missing words.
  3. Educational video games. There are many websites that provide video games to help kids learn Spanish. You can also buy such games. Kids love video games, so if a lesson looks like such a game, you will have no trouble convincing your child to play and learn! Make sure, however that your kids don’t spend too much time in front of their computer or tv, as staring at a computer screen too long can harm their eyes.
  4. Online, software, DVDs. There are good options both for adults and children. Such interactive lessons are a perfect way to combine audio, video and grammar comprehension.
  5. Spanish-speaking pen pals. Learning a foreign language is much easier and can be much faster when you make new friends and use the new language to communicate with them. Reading a dry lesson in a textbook is one thing, reading a personal letter from a new friend is a whole other thing. Eagerness to understand what is being written by your pen pal will increase your child’s ability, and discovering actual, used colloquialisms will make the language much more special.

As you can see, Spanish for kids is a great option and there are plenty of effective ways to teach your child Spanish. They can be also a good start for you to begin learning this language! 

Use Free Online Games to Increase Your Kids’ Skill Levels

Do you try to restrict your kids’ video games usage because you feel that they have no benefits whatsoever? Parents tend to dislike the many action, fantasy and arcade games available these days. You’ll be surprised to learn that many parents actually make use of a variety of free online games to help their children develop certain skills. It is so easy to get free games online and there is such a large selection of them available that savvy parents put them to good use. The benefits of playing video games include:

1. Problem solving ability: Many adventure games require the player to try out different strategies in order to win. These games can be extremely complicated and they comprise of various characters, all interacting with each other in different ways. Kids who play these games often can really sharpen their analytical and negotiation skills to solve various problems. There also are a whole lot of numerical and word puzzle games of different types.

2. Creativity: The latest free flash games are extremely realistic and interesting. They also excite a child’s imagination and stimulate creativity. Dress-up games are a good example of this category. Even adventure games help build creativity because they require players to customize their characters in unique and interesting ways.

3. Reflexes: Fast paced action games help kids build really great reflexes which can help them in sports. Driving games are also very useful because they help improve your reflexes. Common arcade games such as shooting games are also very helpful.

4. Social skills: Kids can make friends with others while playing video games together. This is very important because many kids have problems making friends and they feel alienated on account of this. Kids who are well-adjusted with their peer group are generally happier and have well-rounded personalities.

5. Learning facts: Many video games help kids learn a lot about subjects like science and history. In fact, they serve as very useful additions to their school books.

Parents should definitely be concerned if their children spend too much time playing video games at the expense of any other activities. While they can help their kids develop a variety of skills by choosing the right online games, kids shouldn’t be allowed to play too many of them. Kids who spend too much time playing video games tend to become introverted and they also have health issues. Like with most parenting issues, a little moderation goes a long way here.

Kid Icarus: Uprising – Review of the Nintendo 3DS Game

Out of all the great games I play each and every year, it seems there is one title per year that becomes an absolute obsessive/borderline frightening time sink, one that I can’t seem to put down until it gets naturally lost in the shuffle of other games, and gradually fades from memory. One that I look forward to every evening, much like a hot cooked meal or a smooth glass of wine. In all honesty, I really, really didn’t expect the reemergence of Nintendo’s long lost hero Kid Icarus to be that game.

Kid Icarus: Uprising is a polished, wonderful revival of this long dormant franchise. Playing through it once provides a rock solid journey of considerable length, but beyond that initial playthrough, this game reveals itself to be completionist heaven. The entire game is designed to encourage replay, and there are so many goals and so much content in this game, it’s overwhelming at first glance. I have been playing well over 100 hours and my completion rate is still only around 93%. And the content isn’t pathetic filler; in fact, it all feels very Smash Bros, which is no surprise given the game was designed by Masahiro Sakurai.

In Kid Icarus: Uprising, you play as the plucky hero Pit, who is once again tasked with taking down the evil Medusa and her underworld minions. Though it’s not Shakespeare, it is an interesting enough story, and comes off like a children’s cartoon mashed up with Greek myth – that is to say, a wonderful idea. But the story is really elevated by genuine smart writing, occasional dramatic moments and very humorous voice acting, not to mention a carefully constructed musical score, complete with reoccurring themes that tie in to the different characters. The production values are high here.

And that level of care and love can be seen in every inch of this product. No detail was spared. Nothing feels lazy. Even one particular stretch of the game (in which I felt things got off the narrative course and dragged a bit) was still designed and executed to a high standard of quality, when compared to many other games. The final battle is absolutely epic, something that many games stumble with. KI: Uprising might have been hard to have found fault in, were it not for the controls.

Ah, the controls. Glaring as they may be, they are not a deal breaker. While the controls are weird and problematic (and yes, they hurt for extended play sessions) you will grow accustomed to them. You move Pit with the analog stick and use the stylus to aim your weapon, shooting with the L trigger, all while support the weight of the 3DS. It’s an unusual set-up, but the game is otherwise excellent, and worth adjusting to the controls. “The Claw” technique used by Monster Hunter fans on PSP never stopped them from logging hundreds of hours, and the same should be said for this game.

Aside from the lack of Circle Pad Pro support for dual analog control (arguably a grand oversight), I don’t really see how they could have implemented much better controls, given the design of KI: Uprising. And the extensive option menus allow for a deep level of customization and optimization, so don’t hesitate to get in there and fix things to what works best for your hands.

Included with every copy of KI: Uprising is a little plastic stand, and I’m shocked anyone gave it the greenlight, for fear of sheer embarrassment. But ridiculousness aside, it actually works – it takes away the portability of your 3DS, but it also takes away the need to awkwardly support your DS while controlling the game. I honestly prefer lying down in bed or on my couch when I play my 3DS, so I ultimately tossed it aside, but if you are willing to sit at your kitchen table or desk, you will have an easier time when using the stand.

So, it all comes down to this: if you think you can deal with the controls, then buy this game. Like now. Or tomorrow. Because this game is an awesome time sink, with a ton of heart and soul.

And multiplayer. Not that the game needed it for longevity, but it’s there and it works admirably, given the limitations. It’s nothing special, a Kid Icarus take on simple deathmatch with a twist, or free for all. But it’s there, to complete what is a beautiful package, that if not for the undeniable control issues, I would have absolutely no problem giving a solid shining ten out of ten, as it is one of the best games (my favorite) to have been released for the 3DS. But nothing in the world is perfect, so take Kid Icarus: Uprising with all of its flaws, and love it for all that it achieves.

© 2012 Stephen Maxwell. All rights reserved.