For some children, spelling can be a real struggle. It can be really frustrating for both parent and child, especially if the parent or other siblings are “natural spellers” who’ve never experienced the same difficulties. I’ve put together 5 ways to make spelling more fun that has worked in our house. Hopefully, they’ll help you out too!
You read that right. It’s a lot more entertaining to sing the word opera-style while blubbing your lips, like a robot, or whatever else floats your boat and it sticks in your head a lot longer too. Start by having the child sing it while looking at the words you are working on that day. Later in the day, or the week, you can come back and perform them again, this time without reading them as you go. By the end of the week, they’ll have it nailed and you’ll have spent a whole lot of time laughing.
Spell in the tub.
Foam letters, washable bath paints, the letter magnets from your fridge (come on, we all have those plastic letters somewhere around!) can spell a whole lot of entertainment if you turn your back, call out a challenge word from the list, and let them tell you when they’re ready for you to see. Bonus fun seems to involve letting them wear a swimsuit into the tub – I have never figured out why this is true, but it’s always a winner.
It’s a classic for a reason. If you have multiple children learning spelling words, give each of them a paper bag or jar with their sibling’s words for that week and let them draw one to challenge the other with. Sounds effects and gleeful drawing of the little hanging man are gory but memorable. If that makes you cringe, play “clown face” or “monster face” or “alien” and have them draw a new feature on the face each time someone misses a letter. As long as they’re playing fairly they can cover a whole week of spelling vocabulary together no matter what the age differences.
Make cootie catchers.
If you don’t remember how to do this, google it. Then make a cootie catcher with the correct spelling inside and definitions on the last flap. Put whatever you want on the outer flaps….numbers, colors, whatever. Play with your child while waiting in the doctor’s office, or let them play together in the back seat as you drive to lessons or co-op. It takes 5 minutes to make a new one up each week and children love this game. Store old ones in a box and pull them out from time to time to help refresh their memories.
Draw a line in the sand. Or the snow.
Let them use toes, fingers, sticks, or whatever else they’ve found on your hike outside (in the snow, you could fill a spray gun with water and food coloring and let them write it that way too.) This is a great one for perfectionists because it’s easily erased and you can always move on to a clean patch of sand or snow.
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