Is "Kindern" like a short way of saying "the kids?"
No: 'wir spielen mit Kindern' = 'we play with kids' , 'wir spielen mit den Kindern' = 'we play with the kids'.
I thought that "Kinder" was the plural of "Kind." Is it a case thing?
yes, it's 'Kindern' in dative plural.
That's very helpful!
So 'We are playing with some children' should be right, right?
Still don't understand where the 'the' comes from in this translation
Good question. wataya wrote:
'wir spielen mit Kindern' = 'we play with kids', 'wir spielen mit den Kindern' = 'we play with the kids'.
This sounds good, but it's not exactly true in this case. I do not understand why not.
Mit doesn't usually take the dative case, why does it this time? Does Spielen always take dative?
"Mit" is listed in the lesson as a dative preposition, meaning, it requires the dative case