Playing online games in Spanish can be beneficial for kids and adults alike. There are numerous benefits to learning Spanish, like improved test scores for children, or job opportunities for adults. Online games in Spanish provide one of the best ways to learn Spanish, and the best part is, the best (and most beneficial) games are completely free.
First I need to explain how language is originally acquired. As a child, you picked up your first language in about two years simply by being immersed in it. You heard it everywhere you went, and suddenly your brain "solved the puzzle" and figured out the language for itself. Learning your second language should not be any different!
I highly recommend starting with vocal games. I paid for a software program to do this for me because it's a lot more fun, but you can create these games yourself using free word lists online. Simply find a way to score yourself or your kids based on retention of Spanish words. Try to beat your score every time you play.
A game I play with myself, and which my child has been playing now that he's learning Spanish, is finding a Spanish article (news, kid's story, whatever) online, and seeing how well I can translate it without errors. For example, I start with 100 points. If I mistranslate a word, I lose a point. If I leave a word blank without trying to translate, I miss two points. And so on, and so on. This forces my brain to adapt and try to figure out the meaning of words.
I also pull up videos on YouTube and play the exact same game. I listen and try to translate what's going on. Again, I play this kind of game with my kid … and he usually beats me!
Find ways to immerse yourself in Spanish and make it fun. That way you are not following a lesson plan, but you are picking up lots of the language. These are some of my favorite online games in Spanish. Try them out – they work surprisingly well!