Things to Make
Some waiting-parents like to make cards or a booklet with English and Amharic words along with pictures e.g. have cards for the bedroom have 'teddy', 'pillow', 'bed' etc.
If you have cards then these can be easily blu-tacked to the walls in each room of the house (and each wall of the hotel when you are in Ethiopia).
If you make a book - you could either buy one of those simple books that have one picture for one word, and write next to them the Amharic word, or Both you and your child can look up the words/pictures for what you are trying to say.
One excellent way to practice a new language is to play games.
This version of dominoes is a simple, but fun and effective game that anyone can make at home.
You do not need to make full-colour photograph cards (like the ones shown at the top of this webpage) – simple cards with the English word on one side and the Amharic (or other language) word on the other side are perfectly suitable.
The game can be played by one person, or it can be played with 2 or more people.
To make the game follow these simple instructions:
- Write a simple list of what words you want to learn in Amharic (e.g. hello, what is your name, goodbye to a male, goodbye to a female, etc).
- Begin with some cards (any size, but approximately 6cm x 8cm is good). How many cards you have depends on you – but starting with about 10 to 20 cards is probably good for the first time.
- You can cut out your own cards or buy card paper pre-cut from any stationary store.
- Draw a line down the centre of each card like this
- Start with the first card, on its right-hand-side write the English word for the first word on your list. Alternatively, you could draw or paste a picture of the item (e.g. apple, strawberry, orange).
- On the 2nd card, on its right-hand-side write the English word for the 2nd word on your list. Continue until all the cards have an English word on their right-hand-side. For example:
- Arrange the cards touching end to end in a circle
- Looking at only the 1st and 2nd cards – the English word is written on the right-hand-side of the 1st card … now right the Amharic word on the left-hand-side of the 2nd card. For example:
- Now look at the 2nd and 3rd cards – write the Amharic word on the left-hand-side of the 3rd card. For example:
- Continue like this all the way around the circle… ensuring that the English and Amharic words are ‘next to’ each other in the circle.Once you are sure it is all completed, pick up the cards and mix them all up.
How you play ‘language dominoes'
- Share out the cards among the people playing (you do not all have to have exactly the same number of cards)
- One person starts by laying a card down on the table
- Any person who can “match” the card directly to the left or to the right of this card may put down one of their cards.
- Continue until all the cards are used.
- It should form a circle (or square) just as it did when you were making the cards.
- Perhaps make a number of “sets” of dominoes. For example, you could have one “set” that is for greetings (e.g. hello, goodbye, what is your name, my name is…, etc), another “set” could be for food (e.g. apples, oranges, potatoes, peas, etc), another “set” could be for objects in the house (e.g. chair, table, lounge, bed, etc).
- Alternatively, you could make up ‘flash cards’, where the Amharic word is written on one side and the English word on the back of the card.
- The list is endless for how you can make up games to practice a new language.
Jigsaw Puzzle - Ethiopian Map
This is a suggestion for all those people who would like to learn the regions of Ethiopia, the main cities and the surrounding countries and bodies of water.
It can be made from cardboard or from ply wood. The diagrams shown is a simple example made from ply wood.
To make the plywood version you will need:
- 2 sheets of plywood that are the same size (the example shown is 5 mm thick - which was a little too thin, sized about 30 cm x 40 cm)
- An electronic jig saw or scroll saw or a manual fret-saw or similar with a thin/fine blade
- Sandpaper – medium to fine grades
- Spray paint or wood dyes
- Glue (e.g. liquid nails)
- Tracing paper & carbon paper (or similar)
- Map of Ethiopia (that shows the Ethiopian regions i.e. Afar, Amhara, Oromo, Tigre, etc)
- Sand both of the boards, first with a medium grade sandpaper; continue sandpapering with finer grades of paper until the surfaces are smooth.
- Paint or dye one of pieces of plywood. Set it aside to dry. (you can see in the first picture above that in this example it was painted yellow).
- To begin, find a map of Ethiopia (fairly recent - you want your map to show current country boarders). You want a map that shows the Ethiopian regions (i.e. Afar, Amhara, Oromo, Tigre, etc).
- Use a photocopier to enlarge if you need to. The example above is made on a board approximately 30 cm x 40 cm.
- Use tracing paper to trace the outline of Ethiopia, include the immediately surrounding countries. In a different coloured pen/pencil draw in the boarders for the Ethiopian regions. Note though that if you are using plywood, you do not want to copy the exact boarder lines – as unless you have a very fine/thin blade for the jig saw – the twists and turns in the boarders will be too difficult to cut with the jig saw.
- Tape the carbon paper and tracing paper onto one of the pieces of plywood – trace over the outlines.
- Use your saw to cut along the lines.
- Sand all the cut edges until they are smooth.
- Paint or dye the cut pieces. For example, the bodies of water could be blue, the countries that are not Ethiopia could be one shade of green, and the regions of Ethiopia can be a darker shade of green. Set all the pieces aside to dry.
- Position all the pieces on top of the second piece of plywood. In the example shown, the countries and bodies of water that surround Ethiopia were all glued permanently onto the other piece of plywood. The pieces that are the regions of Ethiopia were not glued down and made up the ‘jig saw’.
- Lastly, thin holes were drilled into each of the regions, and simple ‘name flags’ were made from pieces of card and toothpicks. This added a second layer to the jig saw puzzle where the person needed to remember the names of the countries, bodies of water and regions of Ethiopia. Alternatively, the names of the regions/countries could be written onto the pieces.
- The two chartered cities Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa were too small to cut out as separate regions, although they did have their own ‘name flag’ and a small ring was drawn with permanent pen in the correct place.
Back to Home Page
Sign up for our specials & updates!