In a previous blog post, I have spoken about the importance of learning through play, not just in an educational context, but in relation to enhancing cognitive and social-abilities, and developing lifelong skills. Teaching Arabic to a child on your own can be a daunting and challenging idea. However, by looking for fun and creative ways to do that, Arabic learning can become an engaging activity and quality one-on one parent-child time.
Speaking from personal experience, it has been another way of bringing me closer to my daughter, and I was also surprised by how much I was learning about her too. This was the idea behind calling the blog "Learning Arabic With Angela" and not simply "Learn". As the days progress, you will find that the simple idea of learning something new together can create a strong bond, let alone if Arabic was your mother tongue and now your child can now relate to you in on a different level. Teaching Arabic to your child can be very joyful and rewarding for both of you.
When looking for interesting activities and games to learn the Arabic language, make sure you consider the child's age and unique abilities and preferences. Being their parent means you are the best person to judge that, and means that you can simply alter and shape any ideas to best suit your learning journey together. I will mention a few ideas here to inspire you:
1. Play dough is a cheap and fun resource to utilize. You can practice molding letters or writing their name with play dough.
2. Use Arabic alphabet flashcards with matching animals/objects which to play find or guess the animal or word game. You can find some free downloadable ones on Pinterest, or you can purchase some readily made ones by visiting this link on Amazon. You can use flashcards for different topics, like colors or the weather.
3. Use interesting coloring and writing worksheets. Again, I can't recommend Pinterest enough for finding valuable and free resources, like these. You can check out my Pinterest profile for some ideas.
4. Use visual aids for learning, such as Arabic Alphabet posters. I have posted two different ones, for the sake of variety, on the door and on the fridge.
5. Supplement their learning with auditory material, simply by listening to Arabic songs and rhymes for children.
6. Use Arabic alphabet puzzles to get them familiarized with the letters.
7. You could also play the Arabic alphabet snap game, which teaches the child about the different ways each letter is written in Arabic, when isolated, at the beginning of the word, middle, and end (for more information, check out my previous post regarding this). What I like about these cards, is that you can diversely utilize them. The cards come in four sets of colors, depicting the four positions of the letters in the word (so 28 letters x 4). They also come with a cheat sheet of the four positions for each letter and several game ideas with instructions. You can play the snap game intended for using these cards, up to four players at a time (how to play). You can also play a simple game of finding the four shapes of one letter chosen at a time. So for letter Baa for example, they have to find the four cards of Baa with the different shapes. You can use the cards to compose simple words. You could write a short word and show it to the child, and then ask them to allocate the right shaped letters in the cards and form the word.
8. You can play "Arabic Word hunting" by hiding a certain object, such as "Batta" for duck, and asking the child to look for it.
9. When using new Arabic words or phrases, be overly "dramatic" and use gestures and body language to convey your message. Adding a sense of humor to that is a plus for children.
10. Make use of free Arabic learning games online and download some to supplement your child's learning.
There is no end to the list really. There are many ideas out there. Some parents prefer easily made or accessible resources, while other enjoy crafty DIY projects. I think I'm somewhere along the middle line. I have purchased my own laminator machine and produced some cool flashcards (check out my post about this). The whole point is that my daughter, Angela, now loves Arabic and does not think of it as something she has to learn. Instead, it's fun and natural. I also make sure to reward her little achievements every now and then.
For free Arabic learning and reading resources, check out our Stories and Downloads pages. Don't miss out on any new additions and free resources, subscribe to the blog (click subscribe from the main menu). And stay tuned by Liking our Facebook Page. It's the best way to stay in touch! Please feel free to share any ideas, comments or resources with other readers by leaving a comment below or emailing directly to the blog.