Does the thought of going over spelling words make you want to run and hide?
Spelling is a subject for kids that is either easy or challenging. Spelling was one of my stronger subjects in school so I was very surprised that my older 3 children all have struggled with spelling words.
While Nora, (our middle daughter) was in vision therapy, we spent a lot of time on spelling words. Spelling is one subject that is extra difficult for her. One of the goals of therapy was to make spelling a visual task, not a language based task. We all know the English language isn’t always spelled like it sounds! Just think of those sight words like “what”, “the” and the number “one”!
In order to help her visualize the words in her mind we played the following 3 fun games to help with spelling words.
I hope that sharing these 3 fun games that she enjoyed, it might help you with your own child!
Ball toss is a fun game that is super simple! All you need is a ball! I loved this game because it was one of the most effective ways for Nora to visualize the words. (It also is a game that older siblings can help with or if you have twins like we do, it was an awesome way to practice with them both at the same time!)
Here is how you play:
Let’s pretend your child’s word is “board”. Ask your child to visualize the word “board”. (If it’s too hard, start with shorter words.) Once your child has the word visualized in her head, it’s time to start the game. Your child starts with the ball and says ” B” as she tosses it to you. You would say “O” as you toss it back. She would then say, “A” and toss it back again, you would say ” R” and she’d end with, “D”.
The next time we spell ” board” I would start so she isn’t always doing the same letters. If this is easy, have your child visualize the word in her head and have her spell it backwards as you toss the ball back and forth.
The goal is to have the child visualize first and then go as quick as the she can while correctly spelling the word. Nora loved this game and I could tell it really helped with her confidence not only in spelling, but that she could do something difficult.
The Note Card Game
Another game is what we call The Note Card Game. The goal of this game is to help with visual memory.
- To play this game you only want 2 or 3 words to begin with!
- Write down one word on each note card, with a different color for each letter. (See my example, the c is blue, a is purple, and t is pink.) If you have two words that both have the same letter such as cat and bad, make sure the a’s are two different colors.
- Have your child visualize the word on the card. Make sure he can “see” the color of each letter.
- Throughout the day have your child ask if he can “see” the word. It’s also important that he can “see” the colors associated with each letter. After he says yes, ask him to tell you his answers. In this example he would say the c is blue, a is purple, and t is pink.
- After this step is mastered you can ask questions such as what is to the right of the “a”? He should answer a pink “t”.
- What letter is first? (Blue “c”.)
- Can you spell it backwards? (Pink “t”, purple “a”, blue “c”.)
- After he can do the first 3 words, move on to another 3 words.
The third game is Stacking Words. The objective of this game is to also help your child visualize the word and “see” it in her mind.
This game was one of Nora’s favorite. To begin, you ask your child to describe something very familiar to him but that he can’t see at the moment. Such as, “visualize your bedroom”. Ask your child, “How many windows are there? What color is your quilt? What color is the wall? What color is the carpet?” When this is easy for your child you can move on to Stacking Words!
Ask your child to visualize the word RUN. What letter is in between the “R” and “N”? When this isn’t difficult add longer words that are 3-5 letters long.
After your child can do that confidently you are ready to add another word right below the first. For example, I would say, “Nora, visualize your name and right below it is the word Pigs”.
I would then ask her what is below the “n”, above the “p”. If two words are easy, add a third.
You can make the questions more difficult and make the words longer as your child gets better at this. You can ask her to name the letters in the 2nd column from bottom to top.
I was amazed at what my kids could do in this game, try it out!
These are 3 methods we have used to help our kids with spelling words. I’d love to know if they help your kids!
Have you enjoyed what you read here today? Do you have friends or other women you know that could benefit from this resource? If so, please do me a favor! I have included the links below to share with other intentional women! They’ll be glad you did!