Buchstabe der Woche: O

This week we’ll be starting our work on the letter O! The words in this unit are:

  • das      Obst                          fruit
  • das      Ohr                            ear
  • die       Oma                          grandma
  • der      Opa                          grandfather
  •             orange                      orange (color)
  • die       Orange                     orange (fruit)
  • der      Orang-Utan               orangutan
  • das      Ornament                 ornament
  •             ost                             east
  • das      Osterei                      Easter egg
  • der      Osterhase                 Easter bunny
  • der      Otter                          otter

I would have liked a little more variety. There are some sets of similar words – Oma & Opa, orange & Orange, Osterei & Osterhase – but sometimes it depends on what objects I can find!

I think I will try to group them by the kind of sound that the O makes.

  1. Oma, Opa
  2. Obst, ost, Osterei, Osterhase, Otter
  3. Ohr, orange, Orange, Orang-Utan, Ornament

Here’s what the cards look like:

This are the all-caps version. You can download the cards below in all-caps or in upper and lower case letters.

I also decided to try creating a backing paper for the cards. Sometimes you can see through the cards, even when I print on cardstock. That doesn’t make for a very good game of memory or go fish! So I created these papers to be printed on the opposite side of the word cards. To be fair, I haven’t tried them myself yet! My print-outs were already laminated. But I’ll try it for sure next time and report back on how it went.

Wortschatz Karten letter backing O-page-001

There has been a lot of activity on the blog recently! But I never hear from my visitors 😦  I would love to hear how you are using the materials! And if you have other ideas, that would be great!

Viel Spaß!

Back to School = Buchstaben!

It’s time for the kiddos to go back to school. At this time of year, I always get inspired to bring more German into their day! So I’m gearing up to begin our letter work. I did a lot of this work with Froggy three years ago. And now it’s Hippo’s turn. I’ll include Froggy as much as possible, but on a higher level, of course. So I am busy printing, laminating, and cutting! Because even though I’ve done a lot of this before, there is always room for improvement!

I’d love to share all these materials with you here. But I have also promised myself to focus more on teaching (and planning & prepping) for my kids and a little less on the blog. So forgive me if the posts are short & sweet!

We start tomorrow with the letter B. Why? Because I want to teach them in groups according to how you say them. The letter B is one of the easiest sounds to say. So that is where we’ll begin.

I’ve been collecting mini objects beginning with each letter of the alphabet. And I’ve created vocabulary cards to go along with each object/word. The words for the letter B are:

  • der Bagger
  • der Ball
  • die Banane
  • der Bär
  • der Baum
  • der Bauer
  • die Birne
  • der Bolzen
  • das Buch
  • der Bus

Because there is room on the cards for 12 images, I also added das Baby and das Boot. But I don’t think we’ll get to those. I thought we would introduce two words per day (for 5 school days in a week). We’ll see, though….

The cards are about 3×3 inches. There are three sets:

  • words only
  • pictures only
  • pictures with words

There are plenty of ways to use the cards! I’ll write more about that later…. (Dinner is almost ready!)

In the meantime, you can download the cards here: Wortschatz Karten B

Viel Spaß! I’d love to know how you use the materials! Please comment below!

Counting Mice

This week in the Pre-K/Kindergarten class, we are focusing on numbers. The children have already been exposed to a few numbers. When we sing the Hello Song, I always say “eins, zwei” when they clap, or pat their legs, or especially when they stomp their feet, so that they don’t get carried away with the actions. It’s also a nice way to reinforce the first two numbers.

Today, we are adding the next three numbers. We will go over the numbers 1 through 5 using the number cards I made last year:

You can download the PDF file here: 1-5-farm-animals-gita

Then we’ll sing a song from our very first lesson this year. Now that I am going in to teach every week, I really want to bring back the songs and books throughout the year to reinforce the lessons for the children. So we’ll sing “Meine Finger, Meine Finger” from Die 30 Besten Spiel- und Bewegungslieder 3. There is no counting in the song, but we will do the different movements five times and count as we do.

I will also do a finger play called Die Mausfamilie. Again, there is no counting, but you use all 5 fingers to represent the family members. I did this finger play in class last year, and the children really enjoyed it.



You can download the PDF here: die-mausfamilie-fingerspiel-w-translation

Finally, we will read the book Mein 1-2-3 Mäuschenbuch by Alexandra Dannenmann.


This book is available from both Amazon.de and Amazon.com.

I’ll send the children home with a coloring page with 5 little mice.


Download the PDF here: zahlen-1-5-mause-gita


Olympic Games: Vocab Cards

I decided to make a set of vocabulary cards to go with the Summer Olympics. I found a cute set of clip-art for making the cards. But they provided me with a somewhat unusual set of words, in my opinion! That is to say, I’m not sure these are the 8 sports I would have selected. But it’s still a nice introduction.

I looked up the official titles of the Olympic sports and thought some were a little long or complicated. So I made the decision to use simpler, more common names, where I could. For example, track & field is known as Leichtathletik, but I used Laufen instead. I realize this word does not begin to cover all the different events in track & field. But since we are still working on very basic vocabulary, I thought this made sense.

Included in the set are cards that have images with words, just images, and just words. You can use these cards to print full-size for vocab posters. Or you can print them 6-to-a-page on heavy cardstock to use for games such as Memory or Go Fish.

I’m also trying something new! I made a set of cards with the images plus jumbled letters. But then some of the words are so long, that the jumble looked way too complicated! So I made one more set with jumbled letter groups. Use these cards for spelling and writing practice. For independent work, children can use the cards with images and words to self-check their work.

Vocabulary words included:

  • das Schwimmen
  • das Bogenschießen
  • das Reiten
  • das Laufen
  • das Gewichtheben
  • das Turnen
  • der Stabhochsprung
  • der Fußball

Download the PDF file here: Olympische Sommerspiele (PDF)

If you’re enjoying this site, I’d love to hear from you! Please let me know how you’re using the materials and if you have any ideas for improvements! Thanks 😉

Travel Games for Germany and the Netherlands

We’ll be heading back to the Netherlands and Germany this summer. We fly in and out of Frankfurt and then have about a 5-hour drive to and from the Netherlands. So in addition to packing things to keep the kiddos busy on the airplane, I have a separate stash of things to keep them busy in the car.

I just finished creating a set of cards that can be used in a variety of ways. You can play Memory, I Spy, Go Fish. Or laminate an entire sheet and mark off the things you see with a dry erase marker (did you know they make washable ones?!) or a small post-it. There are two pages of various items – one for each of the boys (that way there is no competition over who sees what first!). And there is also a one-page set of just vehicles. At the end, there is an additional sheet to help count up a few of the things you might see on a long drive.

2016-07-04 15.37.23

Items included are:

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The vehicles page includes: das Flugzeug, der Bus, der LKW, das Fahrrad, ein gelbes Auto, der Bagger, der Traktor, der Kipper, das Motorrad, der Hubschrauber, das Feuerwehrauto, & der Zug.

I’d love to hear how you use the cards!!

UPDATE- August 2016:

Froggy really enjoyed the game of looking for items on his page. Hippo lost interest after finding just a few. We went with the option of covering the found items with post-its (the 1 7/8″squares worked perfectly):

2016-07-21 16.47.19

UPDATE – July 2017:

We will be taking the scavenger hunt with us again this year! But I also found another, longer hunt – with only German words! – at another blogger’s site. Check out THIS POST for more info!

UPDATE – May 2018: 

I have made a new version of my Road Trip Scavenger Hunt! This one is adjusted more to traveling by train, but it could work well from the car, too! Check out THIS POST to get the new FREE download!

German Date #2: More Space Games

This was the second week in a row that Froggy and I went on a German date after school. We went for frozen yogurt at a place that was pretty empty and chose a nice big table to play a space game. Today it was Weltraum Memo (Space Memory). At first, he tried to back out of it, saying he’d rather go home and watch something. But then I offered fro yo (ehem, I mean “ice cream”) instead of hot chocolate, and he was game (excuse the pun!).

We played two rounds of Weltraum Memo. I had to prompt the German often, but that was okay. He even repeated some whole sentences. (That counts as a full triumph around here!)

2016-05-09 15.35.17

Variation of the game:

Froggy & AP2 came up with a new version of the game, since there are three of each card (one with picture & word, one with picture, one with word). They used the cards with both picture and word as the “control”. Those cards were dealt evenly between the two of them and laid out in front of each player. The remaining cards were turned over, as usual. Players took turns turning over two cards at a time to find a match. But! You could only keep the cards if the set matched one of your own control cards.

For example, if I had “der Mond” and Froggy turned over the match for “der Mond,” he could not keep it. I would have to remember where it was on my turn and collect the match myself.

Another variation would be to turn over all the cards, and in order to collect a match, you would have to find all three matching cards! We haven’t been brave enough to try that one yet 🙂

You can find the cards to download and print on this post.


kleine Raupe

We have loved Eric Carle’s book about the hungry caterpillar for years! I wanted to share it with Froggy’s class last week. So I created some picture cards to introduce the words. For this set, I added cards with words and numbers, too.

Included in this set are:

  • image cards
  • images with numbers, 1-5
  • images with words (fruit in both singular and plural)
  • words only

2016-05-10 19.23.12

Print them full-size for wall posters or to have large images to introduce to a class. Or print them 6-to-a-page for flashcards or a memory or matching game.

If you want to use them for Memory, be sure to use a thicker cardstock, so that the images don’t show through 🙂

I’d love to hear how you use the cards!

Click here to download: kleine Raupe Posters  (PDF file)

In addition to the posters, there is also a coloring page with the caterpillar and the five different fruits, labeled with colors and numbers. Download here: kleine Raupe Essen Farben Zahlen Malvorlage (PDF file)



Space Memory

My 6-year-old is really into space these days! The other day, he found some German Memory cards in my office and wanted to play. He really enjoyed it 🙂  So I decided to make a space-themed German Memory game.

2016-04-24 15.35.39

Space Cards (PDF)

There are three kinds of cards included:

  • Cards with images and words
  • Cards with images only
  • Cards with words only

You can mix and match them however you like!

Space words included are:

  • der Asteroid
  • die Erde
  • das Hubble-Weltraumteleskop
  • der Jupiter
  • der Mars
  • der Merkur
  • der Meteor
  • die Milchstraße
  • der Mond
  • der Neptun
  • der Planet / die Planeten
  • der Pluto
  • der Saturn
  • Schwarzes Loch
  • die Sonne
  • das Sonnensystem
  • die Uranus
  • die Venus

I created the images in full-sized 8 1/2 x 11 sheets, so you can use them for posters. Or just print 4 or 6 to a page to created smaller cards.

Tips for printing:

  • Print on cardstock or on paper that has a pattern on the back side, so that the images don’t show through!
  • I printed the cards 6 to a page, and the size was perfect. Kind of like playing cards.

Viel Spaß!

Update May 16, 2016: I just discovered a mistake on one of the cards, so it is now updated!

Easter Counting

Okay, I’m a little late on these Easter activities. But maybe you can squeeze them in now. Or mark them for next year!

#1: Wie viele Ostereier kannst du finden?

The first activity is a drawing by Lisa (our first au pair from Germany) in which the child counts the Easter eggs. Click the link to download the PDF file:

Wie viele Ostereier kannst du finden – Lisa

It looks like this:

Wie viele Ostereier kannst du finden - Lisa

#2: Malen nach Zahlen: das Osterei

Then there is a simple color by number I created for the school children. It has more to do with number recognition than counting. Click the link to download the PDF file:

Osterei Malen nach Zahlen

Osterei Malen nach Zahlen image

#3: Number flashcards 6 – 10

I also created some large cards for the numbers 6 through 10. (I have 1-5 to go with a farm unit.) You can print them as full 8.5 x 11 or set your printer to print 2 or 4 to a page and then cut them up. I like to laminate the pages, but you could also print them on card stock. Click the link to download the PDF file:

6-10 Ostern

Frohe Ostern!