I’ve got someone I’d like introduce to parents, home educators, and teachers of children interested in learning Japanese. Say konnichiwa こんにちは to Dr. Lingua.
One of the challenges I’ve had when finding Japanese learning resources for my kids was finding interactive kana (hiragana and katakana) games that were well designed, in terms of both aesthetics and functionality. The resources at Dr.Lingua.com pass the test for both.
These games were created by a game designer and father from Australia for his two young children who study Japanese at school. His children enjoyed the game so much they got their teachers to share the games with other students, and even others schools in Australia. And after playing the games myself and sharing them with my kids, I can see why they’re such a hit.
The first game we tried it out was Kana Grid.
Kana grid works best on tablets and computers.
Here’s brief explanation of the game per the website:
“The user is shown a screen listing games ‘focus’ in a familiar script – starting with a / あ / ア, and a grid of hiragana or katakana kanas, six matching the ‘focus’. Once the player has selected the six matching kana, the round ends, and the game moves onto the next kana. Each game has either 5 or 3 rounds consisting of kanas from a row of the hiragana/katakana chart.” (source Dr.Lingua.com)
The little puffer fish dudes on the right-hand side indicate the number of kana hidden in the grid so you know how many you’ll have to find. For each one you get, a puffer fish puffs up. Incorrect results in a slide whistle sound effect (much better than having to endure a horrible buzzer every time your child makes a mistake, amiright?) and a sad face on or plump little lucky cat friend.
In the above image, the game is Romaji mode (just a regular letter ‘a’), but you can also select hiragana and katakana modes — a super helpful feature to target specific learning areas.
The other game we tried was: Kana Bento.
Kana Bento can run on mobiles, tablets, and computers. It can played in a few different modes. Again, I seriously love being able to have both options from a single resource. I cannot stress what an awesome help it is for teaching and learning.
You can pick a romaji chart with hiragana or katakana.
You can also pick all hiragana, all katakana, or all romaji. Or just mix it however you’d like.
There is a timer at the bottom to track the completion time, but it’s also easy to ignore if you or your child just want to practice your kana recollection skills without it.
*I was not paid for this post. All opinions are my own.*