Inside: 35 fun, hands-on spelling activities that get kids actively engaged with their spelling words – thinking, making, creating!
There’s no doubting that some children (if not all!) learn best when they are actively engaged with thinking, making, creating – DOING. Which is why it can be advantageous to add an active, hands-on element to subjects that more typically rely on rote learning style activities – like spelling.
The 35 hands-on spelling activities included on this list are much more fun and engaging than writing out spelling words over and over again (my kids both disliked the continuous ‘Look, Cover, Write, Check’ approach to spelling – and I honestly didn’t see much learning happening with it). They can be useful as either an activity for literacy rotations, or as homework activities, working well with children in the early elementary/primary grades.
RELATED: Looking for meaningful spelling activities for grades 4-6? Check out our spelling activities worksheets.
35 Hands-On Spelling Activities
1. Make each word with Scrabble letter tiles.
2. Cut some short lengths of yarn and use them to form the letters of each word.
3. Paint the words with watercolour paints.
4. Write words with pavement chalk on the pavement or on the trampoline mat.
5. Make the letters of each word with your body as you spell the word aloud.
6. Build your words with Lego bricks.
7. Stamp your words onto paper with letter stamps.
9. Dot paint each word with a Q-tip or cotton bud.
10. Make your words with letter stickers.
11. Spell your words aloud as you star jump – one jump for each letter.
12. Make letters from chenille stems/pipe cleaners and use them to spell each word.
13. Type your words on a computer.
14. Write each word with your finger in a sand or salt tray.
15. Make rainbow words, tracing each letter with lots of colours.
17. Write your words on the window with a whiteboard marker.
18. Spell aloud and clap for each letter of your words.
19. Spell each word aloud in a robot voice.
20. Make each word with alphabet stones.
21. Write each word with your finger into shaving cream on the shower screen at bath time – or spray a little on a cookie tray to try it when you’re not in the bath.
22. Write your words onto paper plates (one per plate) and make up a jumping game.
23. Write your words in a fun way – with tiny letters or tall, skinny ones, or try bubble writing!
24. Draw a hopscotch grid on the pavement with chalk. Add a spelling word to each square. As your stone lands on a square spell the word aloud before hopping.
25. Squeeze a small amount of acrylic paint into a re-sealable Ziploc bag. Seal the top and then use your finger to write each word ‘in’ the paint.
26. Make each word with magnetic letters.
27. Play Tic Tac Toe with your spelling words – each player chooses a word to use in the place of the ‘x’ or ‘o’ as you play. Choose a new word for each game.
28. Write each word with white crayon onto white paper and then paint over them with watercolour paint for a magic word reveal!
29. Play Hangman choosing the word to guess from your list of words.
30. Make each word from playdough or plasticine snakes.
31. Spell each word aloud as you jump on the trampoline – one bounce per letter.
32. Write the letters of each word onto a craft stick (one letter per stick). Jumble the sticks up and then remake each word.
33. Use a laser pointer to ‘write’ each word on the wall.
34. Write your list words onto two sets of index cards and use them to play a memory game.
35. Write each of your words onto a chalkboard with chalk and then use a small paintbrush to paint over them with water.
35. Write each word onto a piece of coloured paper, cut the letters apart and mix them up. Race to unscramble each word.