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Spelling is a pretty important part of a well-rounded language arts curriculum. Being able to spell well is one part of expressing ideas clearly. A quality spelling curriculum is helpful, but sometimes hands-on spelling activities can make it a little more fun.
My kids have always responded well to hands-on educational activities. It not only breaks up the monotony of the day, but also boosts retention. Which would you remember more – writing a list of spelling words or playing a spelling game with your brother?
Play-based learning provides a layered learning experience that is hard to get with textbooks.
Add a few of these spelling activities to your lesson plans and watch your child’s spelling ability improve.
Hands-On Spelling Activities
Spell words with food
I don’t know about your kids, but mine are instantly engaged anytime there is food. It just captures their attention immediately. Thankfully, there are a few ways to include food in spelling activities:
- Alphabet cookies (I can usually find these at Dollar Tree.)
- Alphabet crackers
- Alphabet pasta
The set up is super simple! Just put out a dish of your favorite alphabet food and a list of spelling words. I always allowed my children to eat the cookies or crackers after correctly building the spelling word.
Put letters in a sensory bin
Finding letters in a sensory bin and then building words is a great way to practice spelling through hands-on activity.
My sensory bin filler was almost always uncooked rice, but uncooked pasta or beans are also an economical choice. I hid alphabet magnets in the bin. All of that can be found in most Dollar stores.
Roll out letters with play dough
Play dough is a great hands-on manipulative. It is so versatile! Children can roll out play dough ‘worms’ and form letters. Put the letters together to create words.
Alphabet stamps are a simple way to practice spelling words. You can take it one step further by asking children to use one color ink pad for consonants and another color for vowels.
I like this alphabet stamp set because it includes both uppercase and lowercase letters.
Alphabet cookie cutters and play dough (or cookie dough!)
Alphabet cookie cutters are an additional way to practice spelling with play dough. Simply flatten the play dough and then press the cookie cutters down to spell the words.
You can do the same thing with cookie dough! Making alphabet cookies and spelling the words on your spelling list is a tasty way to make spelling fun.
A salt tray is a way to include a sensory activity in language arts. It is frequently used by young children to practice forming letters and numbers, but it works equally well for spelling.
Scrabble Alphabet Scoop
Scrabble Alphabet Scoop was one of our very first spelling game. Each player randomly selects one card with three words. Each player will use their scoop to quickly remove the letters needed from alphabet soup pot. The goal is to be the first person with a correctly spelled word.
The game comes with word cards, but it is easy to swap those out for index cards containing spelling words.
Make alphabet bead jewelry
Crafty kids may enjoy using alphabet beads to make bracelets and necklaces. My daughter enjoyed stringing the beads to spell the words, but didn’t want to wear the jewelry so we just put the beads back in the container after she was finished spelling.
This printable board game is a delicious way to practice spelling words. The spelling word cards are from All About Spelling levels 1 – 7, but this game is useful even if you use a different spelling curriculum.
Write in shaving cream
Writing words in shaving cream was always one of the favorite spelling activities in my homeschool and classroom.
Spread a nice sized dollop of inexpensive shaving cream on a tray and ask your child to use their ‘pencil’ finger to write the spelling words.
Bonus – this is also a great way to practice handwriting.
Practice spelling words with this free downloadable board game. Move forward by spelling words correctly. The first player to reach the treasure chest wins.
Spell words with Scrabble tiles
Scrabble tiles do not need to be used in an official Scrabble game (although that is a great way to practice spelling too!). The tiles can be used to spell words any time. They can be hidden in a sensory bin or simply placed in a basket.
Add in a little math practice by asking children to add up the points for each spelling word.
Words that do not follow the rules are so frustrating! They can also be tough to remember. Boost memory by identifying the rule breakers and throwing them in jail.
How do you include spelling activities in your homeschool?
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