Spelling Activities for Kids of ALL Age Groups (Pre-K to Grade-12)

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Many parents don’t realize a simple thing — spelling activities build up the foundation for a strong vocabulary. And, a strong vocabulary leads up to having a strong command over the English language.

Those of us who can fathom the impact of spelling activities often take the wrong approach. We push our young children through a boring and repetitive path of spelling activities. For instance, we create hundreds of English spelling lists and ask our children to memorize the words, their meanings, and the spellings.

Such an approach burns out the children sooner than you can imagine! In the worst-case scenario, children straight up refuse to participate in spelling activities.

What is the solution to this case?

You need to “spice up” the spelling activities so that the children can have fun and learn at the same time. Also, we need the right spelling activities for different age groups. Sadly, most spelling activities online are catered towards the needs of the Pre-K to Grade-2 children.

We somehow neglect the needs of the older students. In reality, hundreds and thousands of older children, say a grade-7 or grade-8 student, suffers from having weak spelling skill.

These students will certainly not play with playdough or color letters with crayons!

Today, we’ll discuss a bunch of atypical spelling activities that provoke fun and age-appropriate.


Spelling Activities for Kids (Age Group: 3-5)

Grade Level: Preschool to Kindergarten

Preschoolers and kindergarten students are only entering the world of formal education. In this phase, parents and teachers should focus on teaching them the knowledge of letters and numbers.

If the child is eager to learn more or show higher potential, you can teach them shorter words, such as — cat, dog, eye, my, etc. The words shouldn’t have more than three letters.

Don’t push them to learn more as it might cause adverse effects. Rather keep them motivated to learn more.

The following spelling activities for kids will help them master the letters and short words —


Shaping Letters with Playdough

Young kids love playing with playdough. They can use the dough to create any shape. Ask your child to create the shape of letters. But don’t forget to show them how to create one in the first place. Children learn faster by observing.

Simply ask them, “Can you make a b for me?”

You can also use pre-made molds having the shape of letters. Also, you can surprise them with some tricks too!

For example, create a small d with playdough, and then rotate it to make a p, and flip it to create a b.

You can fascinate them with such neat little tricks.  


The Matching Game

The idea behind this spelling activity is very simple. You’ll need one of each set of alphabets, uppercase and lowercase. Then, mix all 52 of them in a box and ask your child to match the uppercase and lowercase of the same letter together in pairs.

It’s better to make the letters at home with foam as it will become a separate spelling activity. Also, you should use different colors to differentiate between the uppercase and lowercase letters. 


Play with LEGOs

You should already know how much kids love playing with LEGO sets. There are many alphabet LEGO sets out there.

For example, there is a LEGO set with a truck and one set of letter LEGO blocks. You can load up the truck with the letter LEGO blocks and go on a delivery!

You can come up with different imaginary scenarios and introduce fun playing with LEGO and letters together.


Stickers Can Do Wonders

Writing the letters and words can be quite the daunting challenge for the Pre-K kids. How about you take a different approach here?

Instead of asking them to write the letters, ask them to fill up a page with letter stickers in alphabetic order? It can be their own custom-made alphabet poster too!

You can find such stickers in any local crafts shop or in an online store.   


Trace the Letter!

Trace the Letter is a fun game that just happens to be one of the best free spelling activities. You don’t need any kind of accessory.

Just sit behind your child and draw a letter on her back with your finger. Then, ask her to guess the letter. You can also take turns and ask her to draw letters on your back.

This spelling activity will strengthen the bond between you and your child too.

However, you should only try playing this game after they’ve mastered the shape of all the letters in uppercase and lowercase.  


Color the Vowels and Consonants

This is one of the advanced spelling activities as kids will be slowly introduced to words. However, you will only work simpler words having one or two syllables.

In this spelling activity, you’ll ask your child to color the consonants and vowels in different colors. You’ll need a worksheet with hollow letters for this activity.

For example, she can color the vowels with red crayons and consonants with yellow.

This activity will serve two purposes — develop their knowledge of vowels and consonants and introduce them to new words and enrich their vocabulary.


Spelling Activities for Elementary Level (Age Group: 6 to 11) 

Grade Level: First Grade to Fifth Grade

The spelling activities for this age group become gradually harder and focuses more on words than letters.

As the knowledge spectrum is very broad in this group, you should start with teaching them sight words first and then gradually increase the difficulty level. So, design the wordlists with care.

The following list of spelling activities have gradual difficulty level —


Spelling Activity with Word Illustrations

Younger kids love their crayons and coloring pencils. So, we’ll use this trait for developing a spelling activity.

The idea is to have a list of nouns and ask your child to draw element with a coloring pencil or crayon. For example, the list might have the word swing or tree in it with a small blank space by the word. The students will draw a swing or tree in the appropriate blank box.

You can also do the opposite thing — have a list of illustrations and ask your child to write the words with correct spelling.  

As this is one of the easy spelling activities, it’s perfect for kids in the first or second grade.


Rearranging Words in Alphabetic Order

This one is also quite simple — prepare a list of 10-15 words and ask them to rearrange the list in alphabetic order.

For example, if the wordlist has these words — fan, mango, ram, cool, zoo, and, sting, she should rearrange them in this order — cool, fan, mango, ram, sting, zoo.

This one of the free spelling activities that develop the spelling skill and analytical ability at the same time.


What Rhymes with It?

Kids love rhymes and chances are they have listening to rhymes all the time in the early stage of life. Now, it’s their time to create rhymes themselves!

The spelling activity goes like this — the kids will get a list of words (that are easy to rhyme) and they will have to come up with a rhyming word.

For example, if the list has — round, van, rain, bat, the rhyming words can be — found, can, main, hat.

The same trick can be applied for ESL learners and adults who are learning new languages


Decode the Words

The idea is a bit complex but it can a lot of fun if you can use it properly. 

First, you need to prepare a list where every letter has an assigned image. For example, you can set apple for a, ball for b, etc. Then, you use the images to create a word. Finally, ask your child to solve the puzzle.

For example, you can create the word amuse using these images — apple-monkey-umbrella-socks-elephant.

To make things easier, you should have the images and assigned letters by their side.

This article helps with many other funny spelling tricks, just like this one. 


Find the Words

This one of the advanced spelling activities for this word groups. Most of us are already familiar with the idea, thanks to the massive popularity of such puzzles on social media.

The idea is to find as many words in a rectangle of jumbled letters. You can find many premade samples online. It’s one of the basic spelling activities online.


Spelling Activities for Middle Schoolers and High Schoolers (Age Group: 12+)

Grade Level: Sixth Grade and Above

As kids grow up, fun spelling activities become spelling exercises and spelling practices. At this level, simple spelling activities like coloring the vowels or coming up with rhyming words will not bring fruits. Also, students in this group should have proper knowledge of the common spelling rules and spelling tips

As your child is ready for the advanced spelling activities, you should introduce them to dictation-based spelling activities online. SpellQuiz poses as one of the best resources in this case. 

The spelling test lessons and Adaptive Spelling section in this website use state-of-the-art technologies that incorporate dictation English, spelling, typing (writing) all at once. The lessons are designed by linguistic experts from the USA, Canada, UK, and Australia.

Children in this age group can also be benefitted from Spelling Bee Online where they can participate in a virtual spelling bee competition. They will feel motivated as they are competing against other participants from all over the world in real-time.

Other than using the learning tools on SpellQuiz, these advanced students can take part in —

  • Solving crossword puzzles (NY Times or Washington Post have the most superior crosswords puzzles)
  • Play online games of Scrabble, Hangman, etc.
  • Read novels and books
  • Write blogs

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