Marathi parents living outside of India are often saddened because their child refuses to speak in Marathi with them. This usually happens because children of immigrant parents often think of their mother-tongue as a foreign language. When these parents share this problem with others, they are immediately advised to speak solely in Marathi with their children or have “Marathi time” everyday. While these are great options, most parents are already trying this! So what else can parents do? One of the best ways people remember new words and concepts is by playing games. The good news? We have some fun games for you to try out with your children to help them enjoy learning Marathi!
Instruct a blindfolded person in Marathi
In this game, you and your child can take turns to blindfold each other and give instructions to move around — in Marathi. Do not expect your child to start speaking right away. You should continue to give instructions in Marathi like “Mee eethey aahey.” This game will help your child to remember words and eventually start giving instructions in Marathi too.
Act out short sentences in Marathi
While playing Dumb charades, instead of movies, you can write short sentences on small notes and take turns to enact them. Pick sentences that have an associated activity, like “Mala chaha hava aahe”, “Aaj khup thandi aahe”, and “Mala udya sakali lavkar uthav”. By listening to and enacting such sentences, children are more likely to retain them.
Movie Title Translation
Translate movie titles to Marathi
If your child already has decent Marathi vocabulary, you can ask them to guess English movie names from their Marathi translations. For example: Garathlela 2 – Frozen 2, Sinha Raja – Lion King, etc. It is a silly game but a lot of fun!
Give clues in Marathi to find objects
You can hide small things such as your children’s toys, your phone, shoes, etc. in various places and give clues in Marathi to your child to find them. Clues can be as simple or complex as you want. For example: “Tujhya babanchya/aaichya/bhavachya kapatatlya davya bajula thevla aahe” or “Bed khaalee bagh”, “Shelf var aahey ka?” etc.
Remember as many Marathi words as possible
Many of us might have played this game when we were kids. You will need to sit with your child and decide a category. Each of you will take turns to say things in that category, but by repeating everything the other one has said. For example: If the category is fruits, you can start by saying aamba. Then your child will have to say aamba, followed by a new fruit like draksha. Then you will say aamba, draksha, and a new fruit. The game will continue till one person runs out of things in the category or repeats a thing in the category. This game will help build your child’s vocabulary. Plus you can make sure that if your child messes up by using an english word for a thing in the category, you can say the Marathi word for the same during your turn so that they recollect it.
Kon, Kadhi, Koothey, Kaay
Name, time, place, object
This is another silly yet fun game. You will need a piece of paper divided in four parts or columns namely who (kon), when(kadhi), where(koothey), what (kaay). You will start by writing a name under kon for eg. Om/Om chi aaee and pass the paper to the next person. Then the next person will write a time under when for eg. Sakalee and pass it on to the next. Then the next person will write a place under where for eg. Kitchen madhey and pass it on. Then the next person will have to write an action under kaay for eg: zhoptoh. This will complete one sentence (Om sakalee kitchen madhey zhoptoh). You can make sentences as silly as you want as long as it is grammatically correct. This game will help your child in sentence formation.
These Marathi games for children will ensure that your child crosses the stage of receptive bilingualism to actually start speaking Marathi. You will have to be patient and understand that for your child, Marathi is still a foreign language but the process of learning will be more fun and relaxed. You can always sign up for a free demo session with Speak Marathi where we not only play such games Marathi games with children but also teach them conversational Marathi in a fun way.