11 Hands-On Ways to Practice Spelling Words

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My daughter is in second grade now and has 12 spelling words per unit in our language arts curriculum. Even though she is older, she still benefits from hands-on ways to practice spelling words, not just route oral or written spelling practice. Today I am going to share some of those ideas with you.

Top of the picture is a boy spelling words with alphabet blocks on a blue surface. Blue text on a white background below the picture states "hands-on ways to practice spelling words".

11 Hands-On Ways to Practice Spelling Words

1 || Shaving Cream Spell

You can set this up with a cookie sheet to contain the mess or just use a tabletop. Squirt some shaving cream on the table and have your child spread it out on the flat surface.

Give one spelling word at a time and have them practice spelling it with their finger in the shaving cream. I typically give her a word, sound them out phonetically, and then spell it letter by letter.

2 || Hidden Word Search

My daughter LOVES word searches. You can use a word search maker online like this one to create the word searches with spelling words.

These editable spelling mazes would also be amazing. You can edit them to add in whatever spelling words you are working on. I am definitely doing this with her!

3 || Clothespin Clip Match

There are quite a few different versions of this that you can try. You will either need an index card and clothespin clips, or a cup. I'll link to some specific ideas below. Your child will match the clothespin clip with the letters to spell the word.

Clothespin Name and Letter Match – Hands-On As We Grow

This activity is for spelling their name or letter match, but you could easily change this to include spelling words.

4 || Stickers

You will need to purchase alphabet letter stickers for this activity. Use a piece of paper and have your child spell each word.

5 || Letter Card Spell

For this activity, you can write each spelling word on an index card and then cut each letter out individually. Have the child build the word again by placing the letters in the correct order.

6 || Wiki Stix

Use Wiki Stix to form each spelling word on the table as you give them. If you don't have Wiki Stix, you could also use play dough. Have the child roll out play dough in order to form the letters and then use them to spell the word correctly.

7 || Sign Language

Use the sign language alphabet in order to practice spelling words. This is especially helpful if you plan on having your child learn sign-language as a second language.

Here is an American Sign-Language alphabet chart if you need one for reference.

8 || Clapping Game

After each spelling word, clap as you spell the word, one clap for each letter.

For example say “Here.” Clap-H, Clap-E, Clap-R, Clap-E.

9 || Jumping Words

Write out each spelling word on sticky notes and place them in various places on the floor. Call out a word and have your child jump to that word. Once they jump on the correct word, have them spell it back to you.

10 || Spelling Word Target Practice

Place spelling words on the wall with paper and tape or sticky notes. Use a foam ball or bean bag and have your child aim at the correct word when you call them out. Once they hit near or around the correct word, have them spell it back to you.

11 || Stringing Alphabet Beads

Get some medium or small alphabet beads. Have your child spell each word by placing the alphabet letters on the string in the correct order for each word. You can use a colored bead or plain bead between each word in order to keep spaces between the words on the string.

My friend Angela at Teaching Mama has also created some Editable Spelling Activities that would be a great addition to the ones I shared.

What is great about these games is you can add any spelling words you are working on right into the editable PDF and then change them out whenever you need to and print them again! How awesome is that?

What are some fun ways you have had your child practice spelling words? Share them below in the comments.

For more ideas like this, please check out the links below.

11 activities for letter formation practice at home.

Heather Greutman, COTA

Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant with experience in school-based OT services for preschool through high school. She uses her background to share child development tips, tools, and strategies for parents, educators, and therapists. She is the author of many ebooks including The Basics of Fine Motor Skills, and Basics of Pre-Writing Skills, and co-author of Sensory Processing Explained: A Handbook for Parents and Educators.

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CONTENT DISCLAIMER: Heather Greutman is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant.
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