From what I have read from various people on the web about bringing up bilingual children it seems that one very important aspect is to make sure the child enjoys what they are doing and has fun while picking up the two languages. This also chimes with the way I try to teach English as a foreign language to my students. While I don’t always play games with my students they at least need to enjoy the experience and not just see the whole thing as boring work.
I think I played my first word game with my son last night, and he certainly seemed to enjoy it. It was just the two of us messing around together and he suddenly stopped and said ‘mamãe’ (‘mommy’). I said ‘no’ and shook my head because she was at work. He immediately repeated ‘mamãe’ and I immediately said ‘no’. He again said ‘mamãe’ and I told him ‘no’. This went on for about a minute or so, but by the end he was smiling as he said ‘mamãe’ as if he knew what I was going to say and was expecting it.
I know that this isn’t exactly Scrabble or anything, but it gave me a great sense of achievement and I hope it gave my son a fun time and a great experience. I am already looking forward to more.