How to Use Classic Board Games to Learn Spanish

July 7, 2011

How to Use Classic Board Games to Learn Spanish

If you’re anything like me, you probably spent a good portion of your childhood playing classic board games like Scrabble, Monopoly, Candyland, and countless others. Even if you haven’t played one of these games in forever, I bet you’d still remember all the rules if you sat down and played them today.

That’s why using classic board games to learn Spanish is such a great idea. You don’t have to bother with learning the ins and outs of a board game you’ve never played before. Since you already know all the rules (Hey! Where’s my $200 in Monopoly money for passing Go!), you can focus your energy on learning lots of new Spanish words while you play these classics.

Let me show you the best board games to learn Spanish. I can promise you’ll be laughing and having a great time while improving your vocabulary and comprehension.


The Spanish version of Scrabble – and for that matter all the Spanish-version games I’ll be showing you – will require at least a basic understanding of the language. With that in mind, Scrabble is a great place to start. Even if you have a limited vocabulary, you can still enjoy the game by mixing Spanish and English words.


I don’t know about you, but the first thing that pops into my head when it comes to the game Operation is BUZZZZZZ!!!

But the reason I love the Spanish version of Operation is because it’s a fun way to learn the names of various body parts. And if you play this game anything like me, you’ll need to learn some Spanish commands to shout at the other players. My favorite (to unnerve my opponents) is “No la riegues!” (Don’t blow it!).

Guess Who?

Guess Who? is great practice for piecing together questions and comprehending the answers. Oh yeah, it’s also awesome for vocabulary focused on physical descriptions. The game is also an easy way to learn verbs that are paired with physical descriptions (er, estar, llevar, and tener). Forget just learning to say “hat” in Spanish; now you’ll know how to say ¿Está llevando un sombrero rojo? (Are you wearing a red hat?)

Apples to Apples

If you’ve ever played Apple to Apples with friends, you know how incredibly fun and engaging the game is. Manzanas con Manzanas – the Spanish version – is the game of comparisons and analogies that will really help you learn new vocabulary. Sometimes you’ll even have to stand up and defend your answers, so get your phrases ready. “Sé que estoy derecho!” (I know I’m right!)

Never Be Bored With Board Games

These games are all perfect for increasing your vocabulary, language retention, and improving your overall Spanish-speaking abilities. When it comes to most of the board games you enjoy playing, there’s pretty much a Spanish version out there for you to enjoy. So why not use board game nights to do a little bit of extra learning?

Oh, and don’t forget that you don’t have to go out and buy ALL of these games in the Spanish Edition. You can just as easily play the English versions in Spanish.

Do you play board games to learn Spanish? Let me know which games you play and how it helps you learn the language by leaving a comment below!

photo by: Michelle

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