Friday, September 20, 2013

9 Fun Ways To Practice Spelling Words

My daughter is in the first grade this year and already has a weekly spelling test! I can't believe how difficult the words have gotten after just a couple of weeks! We try to practice the words daily, but simply having her write them down is pretty boring. Here are several fun ideas I came up with to help her practice.  Now my daughter feels like she's actually having fun and playing when she's really studying! I'm so proud to report she hasn't scored lower than 100% on a spelling test yet!

1. Glitter!

I filled a flat, rectangular plastic container with glitter and let my daughter write her letters in it. Glitter is so much prettier than sand and you can choose any color! It only took a couple ounces of glitter to fill the bottom - you don't need very much. We use the bottom tip of a permanent marker as our writing utensil. 

2. Cup Stacking!

Get an inexpensive package of plastic cups and write large letters on them with permanent markers. I went through my daughter's weekly list of words to determine which letters I for sure need, and if I need any doubles. Now have your child stack the letters and spell their words! For added fun, let them knock down their spelling tower after each correct word. Click HERE for instructions on how to make your own bean bags!

3. Painting With Water!

We used our Aquadoodle mat to paint out her spelling words one day, but you can also paint with water on regular paper... or your driveway, or a concrete wall, or your garage door! Just use a regular paint brush and plain water.

4. Play Doh!

Use a set of letter cookie cutters to spell words in Play Doh. I got my letters as part of a set of 100 cookie cutter from Wal-Mart for cheap! You can create each individual word, or make lots of letters and use them to spell words on a separate sheet of paper.

5. Make A Spelling "Puzzle"!

I love these little foam puzzles and so do my kids! You can buy them at the Dollar Tree for...what else? A dollar. They come in a set of 9 and are all interlocking. My kids love to build shapes and roads with them. NOW we spell words with them, too! Use a permanent marker to write letters on the backs. I made lower case letters this time and added an underline to avoid confusion. 

6.  Spell With Sticks!

Write letters on the end of craft sticks and have your child use them to spell out words. We tuck our sticks into our count down calendar because it has great pockets. You can also just lay your sticks out on the table, or poke them into another pocket such as an apron. OR stick them into a clump of Play Doh so they'll stick up!

7.  Find The Letter!

Here is a chart I made out of a 12" x 12" sheet of card stock.  Write the whole alphabet on it, in large letters.  Now cut off the end of a toilet paper or paper towel tube.  Have your child use this to circle each letter in the word they're spelling! This feels a little reminiscent of a Ouija Board, but there's nothing scary about passing that spelling test!

8. Play School!

My daughter loves to play school, especially when I'm the student and she gets to be the teacher! One tactic I use is to raise my hand and ask her how to spell a word. Of course it happens to be on her spelling list! She loves writing on her chalkboard and she really loves "teaching" me!

9. Tablet!

This last idea is so simple but I felt like a genius when I thought of it. Have your child practice writing their spelling words on a Magna Doodle type board or even a tablet. It's easy to erase when they mess up or are ready for the next word. It still feels like playing because it's not a plain piece of paper and a pencil... and you can grab it on the go without having a hard surface to write on or worry about losing a pencil in bed, on the couch, in the car... or where ever!