For some kids, spelling comes naturally. For others, spelling is an extremely difficult task that is avoided at all costs. It doesn’t have to be that way. These ten simple tips to practice spelling at home will encourage your child in addition to helping them become better spellers.
Remember the days when you were a kid and you would have a spelling list to memorize each week? Maybe you practiced those words by spelling them out loud to a parent, or maybe you wrote each word ten times.
That’s how we used to practice spelling, but those days are gone. Educators are now using more systematic and authentic methods of spelling practice, and parents are looking for better ways to help their child with spelling at home. You still probably get a spelling list to practice each week, but rote memorization is never effective.
Here are ten simple, yet truly awesome activities, for doing spelling practice at home.
10 Activities for Spelling Practice at Home
- Spelling Memory – Write two sets of spelling words on small index cards and play a game of memory. When a card is turned over, read the word, spell it, and read it again.
- Spelling Swat – Using the same set of flashcards from the activity above, lay out one set on the table or floor so the words can be seen. Use the other set as a draw pile. Draw a card. Read the word, spell it, then find the matching word on the table. Slap the matching word on the table. Read the word, spell it, then read it again.
- Wordo – This is an old game that is played just like Bingo, but with full words instead of letters and numbers. Again, if the word is on the Wordo card, read it, spell it, and read it again.
- Rainbow Writing – Spell each word multiple times using a different color of the rainbow each time.
- Around the Room Spelling Hunt – Using the two sets fo flashcards from the first activity, place one set spelling flashcards around the room and keep the other set for a draw pile. Draw a spelling flashcard, read it, spell it, and read it again, then search for the matching word in the room.
- Stamp It Out – Rather than writing out spelling words multiple times, use alphabet stamps instead. (Or letter manipulatives work well, too). The key here is to practice one word several times in a row.
- Spell by Syllables – For longer words, practice spelling by spelling by syllables. For example, the word elephant would be broken down into el-e-phant, spelling just one syllable at a time.
- Spelling Word Sorts – This is an excellent activity for spelling lists where all the words focus on a single spelling-sound, but different spellings. Sort the words according to how that focus sound is spelled. For example, if the sound is long a spelled -eigh and -ai, then the words sleigh and weight would be put into a different group from snail and aim.
- Word Scramble – This is an oldie, but still an effective way to practice spelling. Use letter manipulatives to spell a word from the spelling list, copying it if need be. Then, scramble the letter up and try to re-spell with word without looking at the spelling list for help.
- Sensory Words – Use a sensory material to write out spelling words. Shaving cream, salt, play dough, and cookie sprinkles are all super fun.
Additional Tips for Spelling Practice at Home
Of course, spelling practice should always be supervised. This will ensure that your child is getting the most out of an activity as well as practicing the word correctly! Set aside some time every evening to do a quick spelling practice. Even if it’s just ten minutes.
If your child is overwhelmed by the number of words to practice, then break the list into chunks and practice only a few at a time. And always keep some easier words to mix with the difficult words. You don’t want your child to feel defeated by making the list too difficult during spelling practice.