21 Games & Activities to Sneakily Improve Spelling

Looking for some fun ways to help improve your child’s spelling without boring curricula or spelling tests? There are so many fun ways to help improve spelling! Here are a few of our favorites.

The word search generator added slob to this one — Do you suppose it’s trying to tell me something? 😉
  1. Make up fun, personalized word searches on sites like Puzzlemaker (it’s free). Add all kinds of words your child will appreciate like favorite shows, topics, things you love about them, whatever. (Examples for my kids were fairies, Minecraft, awesome, Pokemon, unicorn and magic).
  2. Set your child up on Free Rice, where they can guess the correctly spelled words and earn rice that’s donated to hungry people. The site keeps track of how many bowls they donate, which many kids love to track.
  3. Turn on the closed captioning on the TV. Kids will see words and casually pick up spelling. This is a great way to help kids improve their reading too!
  4. Get a label maker. We picked up a used label maker at a thrift store and our son Alex had so much fun making labels for everything! He’d ask the spelling of words he didn’t know, and he learned so many new spellings from his labeling fun. You can get fancy or basic — kids love them all.
  5. Make homemade letter tiles or word tiles out of things like small rocks or shells and then challenge your child to spell things with them or write poems and stories with whole words.
  6. Play Wordle at the New York Times each day. Our youngest likes to check in with an online friend each morning and they do it together.
  7. Dictate lists. Kids are generally happy to write down grocery lists and other lists, and you can spell out words that are unfamiliar. You don’t have to make them try to guess spellings, which can cause anxiety to kids who feel like “bad spellers” — just spell it for them and they’ll learn by spelling it right.
  8. Play online spelling games on sites like PBS Kids.
  9. Print out crossword puzzles or get them crossword puzzle books. Look for ones with themes they like, such as favorite animals, movies and characters. You can also make your own on lots of sites for free.
  10. Start a shared journal. Have a “mom and me” (or dad, grandma, etc.) journal where you can write back and forth to each other each day. Don’t feel the need to correct any spelling your child does in it. Just write back and they’ll slowly learn correct spelling by seeing it.
  11. Text back and forth. Likewise, texting each other can slowly improve spelling as kids see the correct spelling in messages again and again. Spell check and suggestions can also help them learn correct spellings.
  12. Make fun homemade spelling manipulatives. Here is a big assortment of fun ones.
  13. Watch old PBS shows like Word Girl and Between the Lions that teach spelling in fun ways.
  14. Play Hangman.
  15. Keep a jar of letter cubes and tiles for fun play. We keep all the old pieces from games like Boggle and Scrabble in a jar on the piano for the kids to play with and create words with. You can do things like pull out 10 cubes and see how many words you can make, or see how long you can take turns making new words by changing just one letter. If you can’t find enough extra letter cubes, you can also use square alphabet beads.
  16. Get whiteboards, chalkboards and other fun surfaces for kids to write on. They will happily write lists, stories, silly announcements, and so on.
  17. Use alphabet foam letters in the bath. Younger kids have fun spelling all kinds of words on the bathtub wall.
  18. Make free printable spelling games like this one.
  19. Get alphabet magnets for the fridge. Kids have fun leaving messages with them and you can leave some too!
  20. Check out lots of fun library books. Kids will naturally start to recognize how words are spelled through reading comic books, favorite book series, cartoon books, kids’ magazines, picture books and all kinds of other fun print resources.
  21. Play word building games like Bananagrams or Scrabble (affiliate links). To make it less stressful for young kids and those who are still working on their spelling, play cooperatively instead of against each other.

These are just a few great ways to help your child happily improve their spelling. If you have any others to add, please share them in the comments! Have fun!

Post Author: A Magical Homeschool

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *