Learning Filipino Through Play: A Board Game

It’s now August and it’s Buwan ng Wika. It would have been Mateo’s first Buwan ng Wika school experience but we have this thing called pandemic. So we’ll celebrate at home.

We have inadvertently made English Mateo’s first language, even if I still insist on saying that “Filipino is his mother tongue.” He’s a Filipino and he should learn to speak the language. I wish he could also learn Ilocano even if we (the parents) struggle with it.

Spending his first few years and Singapore and getting exposed to only English language YouTube and Netflix shows made him learn a “foreign” language better than Filipino. Although we speak Filipino at home, English wasn’t truly “foreign” for him.

Now we’re in the Philippines and happily getting a lot better with our own language. I have tried to “teach” him Filipino even back in Singapore, but dropped the “formal” approach and used what works best with kids: learning through play.

One of the games I introduced him is a board game about one’s self. I made it for him in both English and Filipino. He still sometimes resists the Filipino version because while he could read most of what’s written in the English game, he’s struggling with Filipino.

Read more about the board game (with a free download) in this post.

We take it easy

He still has a “twang” (an accent) when he speaks Filipino, but at least he’s learning more words! We still don’t take a “sit down” approach in learning the language and just try to avoid speaking in English.

The thing with this kid, though, is that he can influence us in speaking English more than we can influence him to speak Filipino. So more than half a year in our home country and yet even the cats are talked to in English.

We take it easy, though. He’s willing to learn but we’ll take our time. I’ll leave the formal instruction to his teachers. Good luck to them.

Other Filipino language games soon

Stay tuned as I share about two more games for him to learn Filipino. Make learning language fun.


You can also click on the button below to download the free printable board game. But we also hope you’ll check out our blog post from last year. 🙂


I may or may not have made some mistakes in the board game. Kindly message me for errors so I can correct and update the file.

Also, I tried to make the game inclusive and embrace most types of family units, but it really is difficult to include every scenario in the world. If you have special requests (only a mommy, only a daddy, etc.), message me and I’ll try to accommodate them.

Thank you! 🙂 ❤

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