6 Outside the Box Ways to Learn Spanish Vocabulary

By Anthony / January 30, 2016

Learning new Spanish vocabulary can be difficult outside of the school setting. It takes a lot of time, dedication, and motivation to memorize new words to be able to have a conversation in Spanish. This is where we at Spanish Hackers can help. We have thought of 6 different, and outside of the box ways to learn Spanish vocabulary. Check them out below!

1. Label Items in Your House

Simply grab a stack of notecards and label away! Decide on what in your home is the most important for your learning and go for it! Every time you look at an item you will see the note card in Spanish and automatically say it to yourself. Over time, every card will be committed to memory.

Suggestion: Start with 10 cards first. It you go and label 100 items in your home you will get overwhelmed. After you learn the first 10, add 10 more. As you master the vocab, remove the note cards so your home doesn’t get too cluttered. Don’t forget to have a little fun with it. When friends come over, see how many words they can learn before they leave.

2. Thirty Words in One Month

Once again with notecards, put a different Spanish vocabulary word on 30 different notecards. One the other side, put the translation on the back for self checking yourself. Everyday, read one notecard, with the goal of mastery in mind. If you are really motivated, and have access to native Spanish speakers, try to use your new “word of the day” in a sentence.

Don’t have time to create vocabulary cards? Why not invest in a desk calendar with a Spanish word of the day?  Check out this link from Amazon to buy one:

3. Learning Food Vocabulary Through a Recipe

This one really challenges you! Find a recipe in Spanish and try and make the dish without the English translation. This means you will really have to be confident in your food, measurement, and cooking vocab. You may want to practice using idea one and two above before tackling this task. I did a quick Google search and found a great site. All the recipes are in Spanish:


4. Learning With Friends

All you need for this activity is a few friends, a rolling die, a piece of paper, and a bunch of Spanish vocabulary. Choose a Spanish word (you can create cards to draw or just randomly pick one). Have the first person roll the die and follow the instruction for the number rolled (each number on the die will be assigned an activity). For example:

  1. Translate the word
  2. Act it out (and have the others players guess the word)
  3. Give a synonym or antonym in Spanish
  4. Draw it (and have other players guess)
  5. Use it in a sentence
  6. Spell it

This game is a great way to practice with friends, especially if they are trying to learn Spanish as well. Grab the bottle of wine and start playing!

5. Learning With Paint Cards

Head on out to the Home Depot or Lowe’s and pick up a bunch of the free paint cards with the varying shades (see picture). Take a marker and write Spanish vocab words on each shade. May I suggest that you keep the vocab within the same topic. This will help keep you organized and learning cohesively. Once you have your words written, stick them in a box. Pull a paint card out of the box and learn/review the words. 

Try to use at least one of the words from your card in a sentence that day.

6. Craft Stick Flash Cards

Breaking out of the mold of notecards, put your Spanish words to learn on craft sticks. In one color, write the word in Spanish. In a different color, write the word in English on the other side. Put all of the sticks in a jar somewhere you walk by everyday. Pull 1-5 sticks out of the jar daily. Know the word? Take the stick out of the jar. Don’t know the word? Put it right back in. 

Each day you will master more and more words. Pretty soon, you will have an empty jar to fill with new words.

Anytime you can learn Spanish in a fun and creative way, it simply enhances your motivation to learn more. Have any ideas for learning new Spanish vocab? Please share it with us! Type your idea in the comment section, we love to learn new ways to help others.

Don’t forget, learning Spanish takes time so don’t rush it. Start small and work your way up. Getting overwhelmed and frustrated will only result in giving up. Keep up the great work and stay positive!

About the author


Coffee drinker, Spanish speaker, habitual traveler, taking life one beautiful day at a time.

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