How can you make learning spelling fun? Children (and adults) will be more likely to spend time in spelling practice if it’s seen as a game instead of a chore. Of course, you can turn spelling lessons into games, making them into competitions between students and offering prizes, creating “spelling bees” where children compete on teams or as individuals. There are also many board games available that you can use to encourage your children to spend time working on their spelling skills. We’ve found several that we think work well for children of all ages:
Boggle (Hasbro) or Perquacky (Cardinal Industries)
These two games are very similar; both use dice with letters on each side with which players must make as many words as possible. The difference is that in Boggle, the dice are in a grid and can’t be moved – players have to make words using the letters that touch each other. In Perquacky, the dice are loose and can be moved and shuffled around to make the words. Both games are timed and are scored by the number of words each player can make.
A perennial favorite, this board game helps with spelling, vocabulary improvement, and pattern recognition. You can find versions of the game on line and play against the computer, your friends, or people around the world. Many on-line versions of the game offer a choice between British (UK) and American (US) spelling options.
Scripps Spelling Bee Game (THQ)
The Scripps Spelling Bee is a nationally-televised competition for students that tests their word knowledge and their spelling skills. This new game for Nintendo helps children learn new words with the correct spelling and pronunciation. As a bonus feature, they (or their parents) can create their own personal spelling word lists for future practice, giving them an opportunity to input school homework and practice for upcoming spelling tests using the same fun game format.
You might also be interested in the documentary movie that was made about students preparing for and competing in the Scripps Spelling Bee in Washington, DC, Spellbound. Children who might not be motivated to work on their spelling could become inspired after watching the hard work and success of others their age as they compete on local and national levels.
What’s your favorite spelling-related game?