5 great spelling games

Letter blocks
Spelling games help children learn in a way that is fun and memorable. We’ve rounded up our favourites, from shop-bought games to those you can create yourself at home.

1. Try spelling board games

Board games are a brilliant way to pass the time, learn and consolidate spelling skills.

Traditional choices are a great option: try Boggle for younger children (it helps children spot words in and amongst a small number of letter tiles), or Scrabble Junior to push both thinking and spelling skills further. Our guide to great spelling board games highlights games that are best suited to new readers and writers or older children. 

Help your child try out crossword puzzles too – the clues help your child guess the right word but they will have to remember the correct spelling when they write their answer.

2. Make your own spelling games for free

Of course you don’t have to splash out on a new board game. Spelling games such as hangman and word searches can easily be created with a piece of paper and a pencil, leaving lots of options to customise play. Take turns or ask your child to take the lead and create their own games.

3. Eat your words

Combine baking and spelling for a truly fun and engaging activity for all age groups. You don’t need any special equipment as you can cut out the letters from gingerbread or pastry dough using a knife (younger children can use a clean ruler as the edge is good enough for cutting). Try making several of each letter, bake and decorate then move them around to spell words. Finally, your child can literally eat their words.

4. Rhythmic spelling

“Try putting tricky spellings to a rhythm and getting your child to play the rhythm on a drum,” says Claire Winstanley, author of Spelling Made Magic. “Improvise by using empty cans and jars or using a wooden spoon on upturned saucepans.”

“The point of this is to make spelling fun, a hands-on activity that will be memorable by association,” says Claire.

5. Multi-sensory tray games

Use trays of different materials such as glitter, sand, salt or shaving foam. This is another hands-on (albeit sometimes rather messy) way to ‘feel’ letters and words as they are made with a finger.

Multi-sensory games like these are particularly good for dyslexics as the combination of senses is beneficial for learning.