I before E except after C. Cough, rough, and through don’t rhyme. Balogna is pronounced baloney. It’s a wonder any of us ever learned to spell before spell check on the computer or autocorrect on our phones and tablets.
My middle child always dreaded spelling, because he’s a phonetic speller. If a word wasn’t spelled the way it sounds, he was most likely going to misspell it. More often than not, he would end up in tears before the end of a lesson. Spelling just didn’t make sense. There are so many exceptions to the rules that it just didn’t click.
In order to keep him engaged and learning, I had to be creative! I had to come up with ways for him to continuously practice his spelling words in new ways in order to provide him with the best chance for success.
How to Make Spelling Fun
No matter what spelling program we have used over the years, I always tried to come up with fun ways to review misspelled words. Sometimes, to throw a little grammar in the mix, I asked my kids to use the word correctly in a sentence. You know, though, that there is no fun in that!
So, I came up with a rotating list of fun ways to review the words they missed. Each of these activities could be done while learning new words or reviewing words a student is struggling with.
Most of the time I let my kids pick out their review activity. I do have a rule that they can’t choose the same one two days in a row, though. I think adding a bit of variety helps them ‘see’ the word in their mind easier when a misspelled word is back on their list.
Many kids learn better with hands-on activities. This is especially true of young children. The next two activities are perfect for hands-on spelling review!
If you have an old Scrabble game that you no longer use, this is an idea your kids can tackle. They can use the letter tiles to spell out each word they’re learning or reviewing.
If you don’t have an old Scrabble game, you can purchase a bucket of letter tiles to use. Or, you can print out the letter tiles in my Spelling Review pack.
My daughter, who will be an 8th grader this year, still chooses this method of review quite frequently. I have her choose three different colored pencils or crayons. She then writes each misspelled word using each of the three colors – one on top of the other – creating a rainbow word.
She finds this more fun that just writing the word three times each. The colors add a little creative element to her notebook.
Kids can write their rainbow words:
- in their spelling notebooks
- on the back of their spelling test
- on a whiteboard or chalkboard
- on the RAINBOW WORDS page in today’s printable pack!
Use letter magnets (or tiles with magnets on the back) in the same manner as the activity above. The difference is that your kids can use a cookie sheet, magnetic white board, or the fridge as the backdrop for their spelling practice.
In my spelling pack, you’ll find a page of letter tiles that you can print out for kids to practice their spelling words with. If you have a hands-on learner, they’ll love this!
This activity not only reviews spelling words, but it allows kids to work a little bit on their motor skills.
This activity was a favorite of Emma’s when she was in early elementary school. I would set her up at the table with letter stamps (most of which I grabbed from Target’s Dollar Spot) and stamp pads from my scrapbook stash.
I like this activity because the kids have to think about each letter in sequence as they hunt for the stamp.
You could have them say each letter aloud as they stamp it on their paper. This combines auditory, kinesthetic and visual activities.
In my spelling pack, you’ll find a page for your kids to stamp their spelling words on. There are no lines so that children aren’t concerned about lining up their letters.
Tactile learners love sensory activities. Let them “write” their words on sandpaper using their finger. Or, place a piece of white paper on sandpaper, and let them write the word with a crayon.
Fill a shallow cookie sheet with shaving cream, whipped cream, or even pudding. Let kids use their fingers to ‘write’ each of their spelling words.
The physical act of using their whole arm in addition to the sensation of the ‘cream’ helps the words stick in their memory.
The following activity is one I used a lot with my public school class. This was frequently given as a homework activity for practicing new words.
In my homeschool, however, I use it to review misspelled words. The idea behind this activity is to create a ‘pyramid’ for each misspelled word. It looks a little like this…
The benefit of this activity is that kids have to think about how to spell the word with each new row they write. So, in a sense, they are spelling the word over and over again as they write it out.
In my spelling pack, you’ll find a page you can print out for kids to write their pyramid words on.
Play bingo with the printable I’ve created, and let your kids choose a different activity each week until they’ve covered their bingo board.
In my spelling pack, you’ll find a bingo board that you can print out!
For even more ways to make spelling fun, check out these ideas:
- Spelling with Felt Letters | Life over C’s
- Spelling Practice with LEGOs | 123Homeschool4Me
- Water Color Resist Spelling Words | Creative Family Fun
- Fishing for Spelling Words | Teach Beside Me
- Chocolate Sight Words Writing Tray | Natural Beach Living
- Practicing Sight Words with a Sand Tray | Mama Papa Bubba
- ABC Sidewalk Chalk Game | Buggy and Buddy
- Dart Gun Spelling Practice | 123Homeschool4Me
- Pipe Cleaner Words | Creative Family Fun
- Spelling Games | The Typical Mom
- Little Spelling Box | Teach Me Mommy
- See and Spell with Toy Train Cars | Views from a Step Stool
- Hands-On Spelling with Mini Cups | 123Homeschool4Me
- Make Words with Alphabet Beads | Creative Family Fun
- Sight Words Slime | STEAM Powered Family
- Ribbon Spool Speller Toy | Teach Beside Me