Spelling is an important part of learning to read and write. One great way to help your kids at home with their spelling is to try some of the best spelling games for kids. Help make their learning journey more interactive, enjoyable, and effective by including fun activities they can do on their own or with you or others. This article first covers how spelling games help kids improve their spelling skills, problem-solving, and memory. We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of the best spelling games for kids and young learners. Help your kids enjoy learning and have some fun with the family!
Learn and experience new things as a family.
Spending quality time with the family is important for child development. One way to help the entire family bond is to have a good selection of activities and experiences to enjoy together. Grab a copy of Adventures From Scratch: Family Edition for your family. This book comes packed with dozens of fun adventures that will be a surprise until you select one and scratch it off. You’ll get plenty of opportunities to see how your kids learn and be able to connect with them outside of your usual routine.
How Spelling Games Help Kids Learn
The best spelling games for kids are extremely beneficial for a multitude of reasons. Adding these into your after-school routine or while enjoying breakfast on weekends will boost their education with some fun. Plus, your involvement will allow you to see how they are doing with their school work and intervene or celebrate whenever it’s appropriate.
It’s fun for everyone!
While they might be educational, the games are fun. That’s the whole design. If one game doesn’t seem to be enjoyable for your kids, try the next one on the list. You can get the whole family involved and add these to game night. Learning should be enjoyable as much as possible, so have fun with it.
New words are easier to learn.
Spelling games allow kids to practice rearranging letters into different combinations. This can make learning new words and discovering new ways to reorganize letters much easier. While playing with letters, it’s likely they will put together many unique words and some that they’ve never actually spelled before.
The games can help boost confidence.
Learning new things can be tough, especially when there’s a struggle to really grasp something. By playing games and making things fun, it helps to reduce some of the pressure. With each win or correct answer, children will gain confidence. The more that kids realize they can accurately spell words and correctly use them, the easier it will get for them.
Patterns in words will stand out.
Language is a fascinating subject. There are vowels, consonants, and letters that have multiple sounds. Playing spelling games can help kids better understand these rules and discover patterns. The games can even help them learn more about words with multiple meanings and other funky rules in the English language.
Games will improve our child’s spelling skills.
This is the most obvious benefit of playing spelling games—it’s the entire purpose of this article. Spelling games are all created with the purpose of helping kids of all ages and learning styles to practice their spelling. The more that kids see words and work on letters and reading, the better their spelling skills will be.
When should spelling games for kids be introduced?
It’s easier to decode words than to encode words. Many education experts suggest holding off on spelling instruction until kids are starting to read. Once children are able to read some of the basic words, you can begin spelling work. It’s also important to know that the bones in a child’s hand are not fully developed until they are six or seven, so handwriting practice and spelling work shouldn’t be too intense until at least 2nd grade.
The Best Spelling Games for Kids
Without further ado, let’s dive into the full list of the best spelling games for kids. These educational games will help motivate your children to practice their spelling and reading skills while having fun! Choose from online spelling games, board games, or even some that require some physical activity to get kids moving. There’s something for every learner.
Hangman is one of the classic word games. All you need is a piece of paper and a pen. One person will think of a word and draw spots for each letter that is in the word. The other player will guess one letter at a time. If the letter guessed is correct, the player can fill it into the correct spot in the word. If the letter is not included in the word, a part of the stick figure is drawn. The guessing player loses if the entire figure is drawn before all of the letters are filled in. If the hangman gallows are a bit morbid for your taste, you can use any simple drawing to play along. Pick something that you can split up into five or six sections.
2. Scrabble Junior
Turn your next family game night into spelling practice with a round of Scrabble Junior. Scrabble Junior is a version of the classic Scrabble game designed specifically for younger children. The game board is more colorful, and the rules are a bit more simplified. One option for this game is to fill in the letter spaces that are printed on the board. Each player takes turns finding all the appropriate letters to spell each word, and by playing with words on the board, children practice spelling and enhance their vocabulary.
Once your kids are ready to advance their spelling and reading, flip the board over and play the advanced Scrabble Junior game. This version is played like the classic Scrabble game where each player receives a collection of letter tiles and has to spell out words using the tiles they have and the tiles already on the board.
3. Flash Card Fun
Flashcards are a great tool for kids learning to spell. Many flashcard games are available online, or you can make your own based on the words your child is learning and practicing. Meet the Phonics is a popular game that has a collection of letter sounds to help kids start to recognize the letters and what sounds they make. This collection of cards has all the different letters and unique situations, like silent e and vowels.
If you decide to create your own game, challenge your child to write out all their spelling words on flashcards one by one. Then you can pick a few cards and challenge them to spell it out loud. It also helps to see the handwriting of each word when studying it.
One of the most popular spelling games is Boggle. This fast-paced dice game involves rolling lettered dice and coming up with as many words as possible with those letters within a set time limit. It’s challenging to move letters around in your mind and put them in the correct order to create unique words. It’s perfect for kids starting around eight years old because it requires a bit higher level of reading and spelling skills to play. This game can be played solo or with others, so it’s a great way to introduce some fun into spelling practice.
5. Spelling Bees
Spelling bees don’t just have to be a school function for large groups. You can host your own spelling bees at home and make them fun. Challenge your kids with their own spelling lists, calling them up one at a time. Have them come up with challenging lists of spelling words to turn on the adults as well. It’s easier to participate when everyone is joining in. It helps build confidence and gives public speaking practice. Plus, if it’s fun, they will likely sign up for the spelling bees organized at school.
Online spelling bees are available if you want your child to participate and practice spelling in front of a group. They can compete with kids all over the country on the same words, and instead of saying them out loud, they will type in the letters in the correct order.
Memory games are popular for kids in the early grades of elementary school. Make your own game by cutting out similar-sized pieces of paper. On each one, write sections of words and then flip them over. Challenge the children to flip over two cards each time and see if they match together to form a word. This is great for 1st graders who are starting to learn to read and put words together.
7. Super Speller
For a fun digital game that helps kids practice spelling skills, check out Super Speller. This adventure game challenges kids to spell words correctly to move between different levels. It’s good for children aged five to eleven. Using comic-style characters and graphics, it’s an interactive game that your kids will love playing. It turns spelling practice into a fun activity. Each successful word spelled helps kids earn points toward becoming a superhero.
Go Fish is a popular card game for younger children, and you can turn it into a really fun spelling game. Instead of numbers, use flashcards with sight words that your child is practicing. Sit down and play the game with your children. It will give you the chance to have some fun together and give them another opportunity to look at the words and practice reading them. You need to be able to accurately identify each word to know if you’re holding the card and be able to ask for them from the others playing.
SpellingCity is an online platform offering various spelling games and activities. It’s popular in the homeschool community, and it can also be a great supplement to the spelling practice at school. Utilize the interactive games and practice tests with customizable word lists. It’s perfect if you have a list of spelling words for your children and want unique ways to practice them. Learning games are tailored for specific grade levels and progress, so they work for all age groups.
10. Letter Hopscotch
Letter hopscotch blends physical activity with spelling practice. It’s the perfect way to get kids outside and practice their alphabet and letter recognition. Use chalk and create a hopscotch course. Add different letters that can spell words and challenge the kids to hop on the necessary letters to spell specific words. It’s a fun way to help kids burn some energy and get better at quick recognition of different letters. Plus, everyone loves playing with sidewalk chalk.
11. Word Search
A Word Search is another classic word puzzle that can help with spelling. You can create one for your child using Excel and setting up a square puzzle. Hide the spelling words in the square along with a collection of random letters and then print it out. Give the kids a highlighter and have them search through the puzzle to locate their spelling words. You can make it more challenging by hiding the words backward or diagonally. It’s helpful for enhancing a child’s pattern recognition skills. Grab each week’s spelling word list and create a fun and challenging Word Search to help them practice.
12. Word Scramble
Word scrambles are similar to word searches, except that children are challenged to unscramble a jumble of letters to spell a word. You can create a worksheet where you mix up the letters in each word, and then your child needs to rewrite the word in the correct order. Make it more difficult by setting a time limit on the game. It helps children practice seeing letters and rearranging them in their heads to make sense.
13. Word on the Street
Word on the Street is a game typically meant for children 12 years and older, but there is also a junior version for younger children. It’s an easy-to-learn and fun word game that helps kids develop their vocabulary skills and encourages teamwork. The game board has 26 letter tiles. Each turn, there’s a category card flipped over, and players take turns moving letters to spell out words that fit within that category to their side of the board. With over 200 different categories, the game can go on for a long time.
14. Roll and Spell
Take advantage of the free printable online to play the game Roll and Spell. It’s a fun way to practice the spelling list. Your child will roll dice and then practice the word using whichever method matches up with the number they rolled. Printables come with all kinds of options, but some examples include practicing writing the word with their opposite hand or writing it in all capital letters. It’s a fun way to get through worksheets, and all you need is a pair of dice and six ideas.
15. Spelling Training
Spelling Training is a great free website that is great for practicing spelling. Add your own words or choose from one of the preloaded lists. Then you can choose from a selection of different spelling activities. Have your child sit down at the computer, and it will read the words aloud and have them fill in the word. The tests are pretty basic, but the site also includes some spelling games for kids using the word lists you choose. Some other games on this list are available for free on the website.
16. Dabble Word Game
One of the best interactive spelling games for kids is Dabble. It’s fast-paced and exciting for a family game night. It’s a game of five words and helps improve vocabulary and spelling. The word puzzle comes with 148-letter tiles, four tile racks, and a two-minute timer. Each player picks 20 tiles, and then the timer begins. Players race to turn their twenty tiles into five separate words on their tile rack. The first player to get five words wins that round. It’s like a version of Scrabble where all players rearrange tiles simultaneously instead of waiting for each other.
Another game with letter tiles is Bananagrams. It comes in many different variations, but the gameplay is similar. Each player gets a certain amount of tiles and lays them face down. When the game starts, everyone flips them over and starts building their own grid. Words can be read horizontally or vertically, but they each have to overlap at least one other word in your grid. The first person to use all their tiles wins. It’s a fun game to practice spelling and strategic thinking. Plus, there are many gameplay variations to keep things fresh each time you play.
18. Crossword Puzzles
Spelling test word lists get a little more robust once kids get to 3rd grade. Crossword puzzles are a fun way to engage children in problem-solving along with their spelling practice. The puzzles offer clues about the words, and each clue has to be correct so the other words can fit into the grid, both horizontally and vertically. Get your children started on a weekly crossword when you read the paper, and make it a fun family activity. Talk through the hints and help your child fall in love with the logic of puzzles.
Upwords is a popular family game that is all about vocabulary and spelling. This board game comes with stackable letter tiles and a rotating game board that allows for easy gameplay. Tiles are handed out like Scrabble, but with this game, it’s all about how high you can stack your tiles. Figure out how to change one or two letters to create new words. It’s the perfect way to get familiar with words that are similar. It can even be played with one player to improve skills.
This online resource has games that can start at kindergarten, or even pre-k. Bingo games can help with rhyming and letter recognition before official spelling instruction begins at school. Swap the usual numbers on a bingo card for words and the caller may read the definition or the spelling. Once kids get a little older, the app has plenty of fun and interactive games to play online. It’s a great supplement for kids when they are away from school to get a little extra practice.
21. Word Ladders
Word ladders are popular tools for teachers who are teaching kids letter patterns, like consonant-vowel-consonant (CVC words.) For example, they might be practicing words that have -at, like cat, that, bat, rat, mat, etc. Word ladders are typically a collection of words that have similar letters or sounds, so kids can practice them all together while recognizing the slight differences between them.
Quiddler is a card game that uses letters instead of numbers. Players take turns spelling out words increasing in size to earn points. It’s a blend of Scrabble and gin rummy. It’s better for kids that are around 12 years old and up, but offers good practice and a challenge to get them thinking quickly about words.
Final Thoughts on Spelling Games for Kids
Fun spelling games can really help boost a child’s skills in language arts. The best spelling games for kids provide plenty of opportunities to practice while having fun and taking advantage of unique methods. Educational games can enhance a child’s overall love of learning and bring the family closer together. From board games to digital apps, there are plenty of options for all ages. As parents and caregivers, introducing these spelling games can pave the way for children to become confident spellers and effective communicators.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best spelling games for kids will provide opportunities to practice spelling lists for school. Try flashcards, word ladders, and word scrambles to help them learn the words.
When the learning process is fun, it helps kids want to learn more. Play reading and spelling games for kids, like Boggle, Upwords, and Scrabble, to practice more with them.
For a fun family game night, take advantage of the best spelling games for kids that are fun for everyone. Bananagrams, Scrabble, and Quiddler are great for the whole family.
Introduce more ways to practice reading and writing at home with educational games for kids. Digital platforms like ABCya and Spelling Training can help provide interactive games to learn.
Family time is critical, even when things get busy. Plan a family game night or choose from one of the dozen options in the Adventures from Scratch book that provides fun ideas for family bonding.