50 fun household materials to use for poetry, spelling and more

50 fun household materials to use for poetry, spelling and more

Looking for some fun ways to play with spelling, poetry and writing in your homeschool? Make some language arts manipulatives! You can find wonderful materials all around the house, absolutely free, and pick up others at dollar stores or thrift stores for next to nothing.

Here are some of our favorites.

(Instructions follow for those with a * and you can find the others on my language arts homeschool Pinterest board)

  1. Bottle caps
  2. Pistachio shells *
  3. Strips of paper
  4. Ping pong balls *
  5. Shells
  6. Rocks
  7. Acorns
  8. Popsicle sticks (use colored ones to separate parts of speech!) *
  9. Paint sample strips *
  10. Corks
  11. Letter dice (from games like Boggle)
  12. Letter tiles (from games like Scrabble or Bananagrams)
  13. Wrapping paper tubes *
  14. Paper plates and card stock strips
  15. Wooden craft shapes
  16. Tiddlywinks
  17. Pumpkin seeds
  18. Index cards
  19. Wooden blocks
  20. Old puzzle pieces
  21. Clothespins
  22. Plastic Easter eggs *
  23. Magnet letters
  24. Plastic lids
  25. Dixie cups
  26. Dragon tears
  27. Large beads
  28. Lego Duplos and Mega Blocks
  29. Old game pieces
  30. Paper shapes
  31. Words cut from magazines or junk mail
  32. Letters cut from magazines or junk mail
  33. Styrofoam cups
  34. Ceramic tiles
  35. Plastic spoons
  36. Foam bathtub letters
  37. Bubble wrap *
  38. Connect Four game
  39. Paint stirrers
  40. Craft foam
  41. Base ten blocks
  42. Styrofoam cups
  43. Shower curtain rings
  44. Foam cubes
  45. Old CDs in a CD case
  46. Nuts and bolts
  47. Paper cootie catchers
  48. Dried lima beans
  49. Bread ties
  50. Felt
  51. Post-it notes

Here are some ways to use them:

Poetry Shells ~

Gather up a bunch of pistachio shells, smooth rocks or other natural objects and use a magic marker to write words on them. Make sure to use adjectives, nouns and verbs. For example…. I, you, we, love, wet, dogs, jumped, lick, stars…. the more words you make the more variety you can get in your poem. Drop the rocks in a bucket, shake, and grab a handful to arrange into each line. Make sure to add some funny words!

Word rolls ~

I simply recycled some wrapping paper tubes that I’d normally have thrown out and fortunately one sat comfortably inside the other…

I began by making a few notes on sound blends and diagraphs that I’d chosen as a focus for learning. Doing this will also highlight how many word options your child can make using one roll.

Blend – When two or more consonants are together and you hear each sound eg. fl, cr sm
Diagraph – Two consonants stand together but make one sound eg. sh, th, ch

Popsicle sticks and playdough ~

I thought ordering the alphabet and using letters to spell words would be fun activities as well. I decided to have one color for vowels and another for consonants. I just used a marker to color the craft sticks in the picture… Seeing the two colors in their words will help them understand the importance of vowels and see patterns in their words.

Ping pong word families ~

I grabbed a pack of ping pong balls I picked up from the dollar store and used a Sharpie to write a letter on each one: a, c, m, o, p and t. Then I placed the six balls in an empty egg carton to hold them in place.

I wanted my 4.5 year old to practice AT and OP words so that he could get more practice differentiating the {a} and {o} sounds so I wrote the words {cat} and {mop} on separate index cards and invited him to join me…

Teaching Adjectives ~

Write a ‘boring’ adjective (walk, cry, good, short, fun, little, fast) on the bottom of a paint strip. Have the child/children look up the word in a thesaurus (if they need too) and write more colorful adjectives above their word.

Bubble Wrap Sight Word Pop ~

I wrote sight words that she is learning right on the individual bubbles. As she read the word, she could pop the bubble.

These are just a few of the wonderful ways to use letter and word manipulatives.

Have fun!

Post Author: A Magical Homeschool

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