Spin and Spell

” Mom how do you spell ______? ”  is that a common phrase at your house? Since my son has started reading more and more fluently he has been eager to spell words as well. The catch is he’s not the most enthusiastic writer. I want to fill that desire to spell without creating crazy stress over writing . This is an easy way to make spelling into a puzzle and not a test.  If you are a long time reader you probably know I am a terrible speller and I so want my kids to love the challenge of spelling that I never had for fear of being wrong. Games and activities like this are a great way to start.

  1. Gather your materials. You will need some( many) letter stickers ( you can just write on the blocks but I prefer to do something temporary), blocks, a spinner, animal stickers and time to sit down and play with your child. 
  2. Start by placing animal stickers on the spinner. I chose animals my son would be able to spell with encouragement. Which means a parent helping him sound out when he got stuck. Not quite all by himself, there needs to be some challenge. 
  3. Now add the letters. Spell each word yourself to make sure that you have them correct, remebering that some letters can be used for multiple words… it’s only a little tricky.
  4. Time to play . It’s simple, they spin the spinner then spell the word corresponding to the animal the spinner landed on.
  5. Spin and spell! My son kept landing on lion, after a few I thought he’d get annoyed but instead he said ” I know this word L-I-O-N ”

Remember you can break this down for non readers too by looking for the first sound, or for even younger children by providing a basket of toys with matching animals. Lots of options.