19 May 2014
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Writing and Spelling Ideas to Use With Kids

Practicing writing and learning to spell new words can be tedious – not just for your kids but for you too. Repeating the same thing over and over is no fun for anyone but it’s the only way to learn and sharpen reading and writing skills. The problem with practice is that it can easily become boring and when this happens, children switch off their minds and start thinking or dreaming of something else. They go through the motions and may be able to produce the right results, but very little, if any, of it is internalized. The next day the whole thing often has to start over from scratch. But there is a way around this. Making writing and spelling fun will keep the kids’ interest alive and the challenge of finding new ways of doing the same thing will keep parents on their toes.

Here are a few ideas to get you started. Once you have run through these, you should have the hang of how to create new practice concepts of your own. Remember that repeating even a fun way of practicing too often can make it boring.

    • Give the kids different colored play dough. Give them words to spell and ask them to use different colors for each letter. For a bit of variety you can get a bunch of pipe clearness and dye them in different colors so the children can use them the same way.


    • Give the children balls of different colored yarn and some scissors. Ask them to cut the yarn and use the pieces to create different letters to spell out words.


    • Mix up some puffy paint and get the children to use this to write out words on a piece of cardboard. Ask the cardboard and pop into the microwave so you can present the kinds with puffed up words.


    • If you have a chalkboard at home, cover the entire surface with chalk. Give the kids a cup of water and a paintbrush. Ask them to use the wet brush to wipe off the chalk and write words.


    • Collect a set of alphabet refrigerator magnets. Get the kids to use these to spell out things they see in the kitchen.


    • Once they get used to the magnet idea, challenge them to replace one letter in a word to create a new one. For example Pot can be changed to Hot.


    • Speak a word slowly and have the kids repeat it and ask them to stretch out each sound. For example lazy would sound like LLLLLLL AAAAAAA ZZZZZZZZ EEEEEE. Then ask them to try and spell the word using the sounds they have just made.


    • Combining drawing and writing is fun. Have the kids sketch out a picture of something in the house and ask sthem write out its name under it.


    • Give the kids a tablet and ask them to type out the words you give them. Children love anything to do with computers and they will enjoy this for hours.


    • Use some tape to write letter on Lego blocks. Put the blocks in a large bowl and ask the kids to put the blocks together to spell out words.


For older kids:

    • Make up a short story for your kids but leave it unfinished. Ask the children to write their own endings.


    • Give them a picture from a magazine and ask them to write a story based on the picture.


  • If the kids are into emailing, ask them to first write out the message they want to send before typing it in.

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