The K5 Learning Blog urges parents to be pro-active in helping their children reach their full academic potential.

How to Make Learning to Spell Fun

Spelling, spelling, spelling. During the school year, our kids grind their way through lists of spelling words. Hunched over sheets of paper with pencil in hand, kids try to stay focused as they write words over and over again to memorize the spelling. There has got to be a better way to keep kids motivated as they learn to spell.


spelling not fun

Next time your child grumbles about the weekly spelling words, try one of these methods to make learning to spell more fun.

Play games

play games to learn to spell

From the simplest games, such as hangman, to more sophisticated apps, there are lots of games that will help students stay motivated whilst learning to spell words. Scrabble is a great example. The game gets your children’s competitive juices flowing as they complete to score the most points from creating words out of a selection of letter tiles.

Build things

Build things to learn to spell

Tactile elements are great for any kind of learning. (Think about how this applies to math, for example.) Wooden blocks, Legos and Play-doh all come to mind. You could write letters on wooden blocks and ask your child to spell words by organizing the letter blocks in the correct order. Legos can be used to create letters and spell words in colorful ways. By rolling out Play-doh in long tubes, kids can form the tubes into letters and spell entire words.  Imagine what you could do with toothpicks, beads and dried pasta?

New ways of writing

new ways of writing to learn to spell

Now we’re getting messy. Try spelling words in glue and sprinkling glitter on top. Let us not stop you there. Write words in ketchup and mustard next time you have hamburgers for dinner. Write the spelling words on your bathroom mirror after you’ve had a steamy bath. Use a stick to write the words in the dirt or in a sandbox. How about creating a hopscotch court with letters to have the kids jump from letter to letter to create the words?

Use visuals

Visuals to learn to spell

Who says a pencil is the best way to learn to spell? Introducing colorful crayons, markers and chalk can be used as a memory aid. You can have some colors represent letters that are misspelled as a colorful reminder of how to improve the spelling. Your kids could lead the way and create a rainbow of colorful words. You can cut out letters from magazines and have your child put the spelling words together in a collage. There’s a whole spectrum of ideas you can use for learning to spell with colors.

Sing it out

Sing to learn to spell

Most kids love to sing, so why not create a spelling song? Rhythm and beats will help your child commit a word to memory. Then rehearse the spelling song. The repetition will help with memorizing the words. Why stop there? You can change voices for different words, from loud to a whisper, from a high pitch to a low pitch, from excited to sad.

Get outside

Get outside to learn to spell

By now we’ve learned that spelling exercises don’t have to be restricted to sitting at a table with pencil in hand. Kids have so much energy and they need to move. So take the spelling words with you outside. Create a spelling scavenger hunt in your back yard, where your kids have to find the letters to spell each word. Use the playground for word games. On the swing you call out the word and for each push your child calls out each letter in that word. On the slide, see if your child can call out all the letters of the word before he or she reaches the bottom. Write the words in chalk on the sidewalk and create a drawing that goes with that word.

The tools to learn to spell are all around us. With a little imagination, we can find ways to introduce spelling in little bursts throughout the day. Is that not the best way to learn? Little and often?