We are having a fun time learning Urdu alphabets these days. I’m teaching my daughter (age 5) and my nephew (age 8) the haroof (alphabets) through their sounds and doing writing practice. Today we completed the first six alphabets and to celebrate reaching “say” we played a treasure hunt game. This game reinforced the recognition of the letters, their sound and the knowledge of the words that start with them.
Our strategy to learn each letter is to learn how to write it and then its sound. To reinforce the sound, we talk about some words that start with the letter. For example for Alif we thought of words that start with the same sound such as Allah, Anda, Anar etc.
It’s Day 3 of Urdu lessons and we have done Alif, Bay, Pay, Tay, Tey and Sey.
Today we played a treasure hunt game before moving onto jeem. I realised that jeem is an entirely new shape and while my 8-year-old nephew found it easy, my 5-year-old daughter was struggling with the jeem shape. So it was time to pause and have some fun to celebrate the learning of the first six alphabets.
The treasure hunt was simple to set up. It’s appropriate for age 4-10 and suited for kids learning the Urdu alphabets.
I wrote each prompt on a piece of paper. It was a letter and the picture of the word that starts with it: Alif Anda (egg), Bay Botal (bottle), Pay Poda (plant), Tay Titli (butterfly), Tay Telephone (both an Urdu and English word) and Say Samar (fruit).
The first prompt is to be handed to the players at the start of the game, while the rest are hidden. The flow of the prompts is the order of the Urdu alphabets. The last prompt was a big smile which meant the game is over!
We set an area for playing the game and I asked the children to leave while I hid all the prompts. To start the game I handed them the first prompt “Alif Anda”. The players had to recognize the letter and then guess the word for the letter by looking at the picture. This was their clue for the second prompt which was under an egg that was hidden in the play area. Jumping from one clue to the next, the kids moved from Alif to Bay, Pay, Tay, Tey, Sey and in the end the smile prompt hidden under the fruit (Samar).
I made the game collaborative and not competitive. The players were given the first clue together and had to look for the next ones as a team. This treasure hunt can be increased as more letters are added and the difficulty level can be increased or decreased depending on the age of the players.
We enjoyed the game and looking forward to more Urdu treasure hunts. The kids had great ideas for clues for each letter and it was lovely to see them exploring their Urdu vocabulary. Let us know your experience if you play this game at home!