Day 153: 75 Ways to Practice Spelling Words

Posted on Nov 7, 2012 in Kids | 0 comments

Sometimes I avoid the pins that say “100 ways to…” or “The 10 best…” just because they are often a repackaging of ideas that have been around forever and someone is just putting them together in a new post and trying to get traffic to their blog.  I know, I’m a cynic, but I also never believe any of those gorgeous photos that make their way around Facebook and Pinterest.  Anything can be faked these days, folks! (Did you see the “storm” photo that was supposed to be Sandy bearing down on New York?  Oh, brother.) 

Back to the subject at hand! 75 ways to practice spelling words.  This was really a great post!  Not only did I see new ideas, but I LOVED the section on gross motor skills while practicing spelling.  Bryce has new words every week (18-20 of them) and he usually aces his spelling tests, but I know eventually they will get hard enough that we have to do more than a cursory review of the words.  He also has tested well under “normal” in gross motor skills for his age, so this is a sneaky way to work on some great cross body skills and get homework done at the same time!  

If your child hates the typical, “write your words 5 times” practice, then this is the post for you! I’m looking forward to trying several of these with my kids over the years! Please note: these are not my ideas or my photos.  I copied directly from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas just for ease of reading.  Check out her site for more details and links.  I had to laugh, since I’m definitely NOT a mom to Posh Lil Divas :)

1. Play Dough Words - use play dough to form letters to spell out each word.

2. Pipe Cleaner Words - use pipe cleaners and bend and form to make letters used to write out the words.


3. Yarn Words - supply some yarn and scissors and let kids snip and create letters to spell out the words.

4. Puffy Paint Words - mix up a batch of puffy paint, write words and pop them in microwave to watch them puff up. :)

5. Stamp It! - use alphabet stamps and ink pads to stamp out words or let child use fingerprints to write words if you don’t have letter stamps.


6. Paint It! - use a paintbrush and paint to spell words.

7. Finger Paint - let them get messy and have some sensory fun and finger paint  to spell their words

8. Reverse Chalk Writing (aka Water Writing) - an easy and fun twist on writing words on the chalkboard. Use chalk to cover the chalkboard and have your child use a paintbrush dipped in water to write their words over it. The Lil Divas love this reverse chalk writing.

9. Type It! - if your kiddos are anything like my Lil Divas they love getting computer time, so let them type their spelling words on the computer/ipad/lap top.


10.  Rainbow Words - spell words using different colored markers or crayons for each letter.

11. Salt/Sand/Flour Tray - spell words using finger or paintbrush (great sensory experience too). Put colored construction paper under the salt, sand or flour to make the letters really pop.


12. Trace - have fun and let kids trace their words on your back or palm. Have them focus on properly forming each letter so you can feel it being drawn.

13.  Sidewalk Chalk (or Paint) - go outside and spell your words using sidewalk chalk. Just taking the spelling practice outside makes it more fun for kids.

14. Shaving Cream - This is another fun sensory experience. Make a thin layer of shaving cream on a tray and use a paintbrush or better yet a fingertip to spell out the words. Have some napkins on hand.

15. Trace in the Air - watch as children trace the letters in the air to spell each word.

16. Alphabet Blocks - use ABC blocks to spell words

17. Letter Beads - use alphabet letter beads and pipe cleaners to build words

18. Letter Tiles - spell words using letter tiles


19. Alphabet Stickers - build words using ABC stickers

20. Small/Medium/Large Words - How boring is it to write words 3 or 5 times each? I used to hate doing it as a kid myself so I understand the Oldest Diva not being thrilled about doing it. How about jazzing it up by having them write the word using the smallest letters they can possibly write (this one is a fave), then doing it normal sized and finally jumbo sized. It makes tedious writing practice so much more fun.

21. Build a Word with Legos - using some tape write the letters needed for each word ahead of time on some legos. Mix them up and then call out a word and have child(ren) build it using the appropriate legos and you will end up with some spelling word towers. Now that’s a fun way to spell.

22. Crayon Bits - use your broken crayons to make letters and spell the target words.


23. Q-Tip Writing - Use q-tips and paint to dot letters to spell the word or write the word using the q-tip as a paint brush.

24. Magnet Letters - Take a cookie sheet or head for the fridge, add some magnetic letters and spell out the words.


25. Glue & Glitter - Write out spelling words in glue and sprinkle some glitter on top. Glitter makes everything fun, doesn’t it?

26. Wikki Stix - What a fun bendable material and perfect to use in building letters to spell words.

27. Alphabet Rocks - If you have a set of painted ABC rocks these can be a fun way to build and spell words.

28. Marble Words - The Lil Divas enjoy using our flat bottom decorative marbles to form the letters needed to spell words. You could also use small rocks, decorative gems or whatever you have handy.

29. Coffee Filters & Markers - let your child write the words using markers on coffee filters. Once you are all done, hand them a spray bottle of water and let them turn their spelling practice into art!

30. Hidden Spelling Words - on a white piece of paper let your child write out the spelling words using a white crayon. Once all words have been written use watercolors and paint to make hidden words appear.


31. Paint (or Hair Gel) Bags - Pour paint into a ziplock freezer bag and seal. Use fingertips to write words on bag. To erase, simply squish bag and you are ready for the next word.

32. Alpha-Bit Spelling - Use Alpha-Bit cereal, alphabet pasta or even alphabet cookies to spell words – this can even double as a snack when done reviewing if you use the cereal or cookies.

33. Print Words - Use newspaper or magazine print to cut out fun letters. Have child make words using clipped letters.

34. Novelty Erasers - use small erasers to spell words. I always stock up on seasonal erasers to use for math, etc and they actually work great for spelling too.

35. Q-Tip or Toothpick Letters - use q-tips or toothpicks to build letters and make spelling words.

36. Flower Words - draw a flower for each word, 1 petal for each letter of the word.

37. Other Hand - if you are right handed write your words using your left hand, if you are left handed write words using your right hand.

38. Alphabet Cookie Cutters - use ABC cookie cutters to make words. For extra fun, go ahead and make some word cookies.

39. Window Writing - use Crayola Window Markers and write words on windows or sliding glass doors. They wash off easily and writing on windows or doors is so much more fun than boring old paper.

40. Clothespin Words - Write letters on clothespins and have child pin letters to make words. They can pin onto hanging string (think clothes line) or even an index card.

41. Snap Cube Words - Those colorful snap cubes aren’t just for math. Use them to build letters and form spelling words.


42. Flashlight Words - set up an Alphabet chart, turn out the lights and use a flashlight to shine on each letter (one letter at a time) to spell words.

43. Craft Stick Spelling - write the necessary letters on craft sticks, mix them up and have child build words using the appropriate sticks.

44. Scrabble Spelling - use scrabble pieces to build words. For some sneaky math fun have child total the amount for each word.

45.  Tub Spelling - use foam letters in the tub and stick onto the wall to make words.

46. Shower Spelling - Yes, more spelling fun in the tub. This time spread some shaving cream on your shower door or tiled wall over the tub and let your child(ren) finger write words.

47. Bathtub Paint - Still feeling adventurous about the tub? Use bathtub paint and write or paint words onto your shower door, tub or tiled wall. It washes out!

48. Cheez-it Spelling - use ABC Cheez-it crackers to spell words. Then enjoy a yummy snack.

49. Cereal Words - using circle shaped cereal like Cheerios or Froot Loops build letters to form spelling words. Then have a sweet, crunchy snack.

50. Penny or Coin Spelling - use pennies or other small coins to make letters and spell out words.

51. Lima Beans - Another fun manipulative to use are lima beans. Write letters on beans, mix them up and put them in a pile for the children. Call out spelling words and have child search for the appropriate beans to spell each word.




Oral Practice - sure you can just practice spelling your words out loud but wouldn’t it be more fun to……..

52. Sing - Use whatever song or beat you like but a simple B-I-N-G-O like song & some clapping works wonders especially on that first day of practicing words. It really helps kids begin to remember those words.


53. Rap - Yes rap! This is so much fun and a great way to – S to the P to the E to the Double L, spells SPELL! Let them have fun with it and get creative. We always end up in fits of giggles and it really doesn’t feel like homework.

54. Partner Spell - take turns adding a letter to spell each word. For example, for the word FUN – child starts by saying the letter F, parents adds letter U and child then completes word by adding the letter N. This requires focus and listening and is a great exercise for elementary aged learners.

In the classroom this gets really fun and challenging when you have lots of kids playing because they have to be paying close attention to what everyone is saying before them. If they miss their letter, they have to sit out the rest of the round. We used to add a fun word at the end of the words too depending on the season like apple, pumpkin, witch, turkey, heart, etc. The person who said that word was also automatically out and had to sit. It was a fun way to play with a large group of kids. *

55. Cheerleader Chant - Give me an S, give me a P, give me an E, give me an L, give me a L – what’s that spell? SPELL!


56. Record - use a tape recorder to record child(ren) orally spelling words.

57. Make a Video - use the household video camera or even your phone to take some quick video of your child spelling the target words.

58. Microphone - Spell words into a microphone. There is just something fun about hearing yourself loud and magnified so have fun with it and practice those spelling words too.


Gross Motor Practice - we like to make spelling practice fun by getting active while practicing our words. This gets the Oldest Diva moving and playing while studying, which she really enjoys.

59. Jump Rope while orally spelling the words.

60. Hula Hoop and spell words out loud.

61 Hopscotch Spelling - Write letters outside in chalk or play indoors with large letter cards on floor. Hop from letter to letter to spell words.

62. Bounce a Ball - bounce a ball as you spell words – 1 bounce per letter.


63. Balloon Bop - keep a balloon up in the air while spelling your word. This one gets lots of giggles.

64. Swat & Spell - put letter cards on the floor and using a flyswatter, swat the letters in the order necessary to spell words.

65. Froggy Spelling - leap like a frog and spell words – 1 letter for each leap.

66. Jumpin’ Jack - do jumping jacks as you spell words – 1 jump per letter

67. Hop & Spell - hop on one foot as you spell words, this is a great exercise in balance especially with longer words.

Games and Online Fun - you can use flashcards or you can take your spelling practice to a whole new level by playing games and even having some online fun.

68. Have child spell and write 2 sets of words onto flashcards and then play a Memory Game with them.

69. Which is Correct? Write words on dry erase board and include misspelled words. Have child identify the correctly spelled words.


70. Wordsearch - you can visit sites like PuzzleMaker , plug in your child’s spelling list and create a word search that you can print. Then have your child search for the correctly spelled spelling words and circle them. Let them use different colored highlighters for some added visual fun.

71. Mystery Letters - write words with missing letters. Child must figure out which mystery letters are missing in order to complete words .

72. Word Puzzle Scavenger Hunt - Write words onto construction paper and cut apart letters. Put letters in plastic eggs or other such container and hide around room.  Have child find words you’ve hidden and put words together correctly like a word puzzle.


73. Puzzle Words - How about using old puzzle pieces to practice spelling words? I love this idea from No Time for Flashcards.

74. Spelling BINGO - Make or print a few blank BINGO cards to use with spelling practice. Kids love to play BINGO. Write spelling words in boxes and randomly call out (or use flashcards) words. Child should cover appropriate words when called. To make things extra challenging, write words spelled incorrectly in a few spaces as well so child has to discriminate between the correctly spelled words and the incorrect ones.

75. Unscramble - use magnet letters or letter tiles for each word, scramble them up and have child put letters in correct order to spell words.



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