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How to help kids with their spelling homework

Most of us know from experience that some days it can be hard to squeeze in time to help with their homework. Kids are tired, you need to get tea on, or they just don't want to sit still to write down their ABCs.

We've got a few hacks to make spelling a fun and easy thing you can do with them during the day. Why not try out a few of these games from dads and mums?

Games to make spelling homework fun

Game#1: Hop it out

Grab some chalk and play hopscotch together. Add a twist by putting their words into the hopscotch grid.

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Game#2: Sneaky spelling

Ask them to draw and colour in a picture, then hide their spelling words inside their picture. Get them to show it to you and see if you can find their hidden words. 

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Game#3: Veg words

When you're having tea, see if they can write their words with their veg. What words can your child write?

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Game#4: Breaking news

Use a newspaper and help your child to highlight all the spelling words they can find. What are some interesting words you can find together?

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Game#5: Jumping jacks

Every time someone says their spelling word, they have to do a jumping jack and spell it out loud.

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Game#6: Act it out

Get them to spell their spelling words with their body. 

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Game#6: Backsies

Get them to trace their spelling words onto your back with their finger. Can you guess what they're trying to spell. Swap roles, and then trace words onto their back. Can they guess what you're spelling?

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Game#7: Toy time

When you're playing together, ask them if they can spell out their words with their building blocks or their favourite toys.

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Game#8: Magnetic letters

If you have fridge magnets, get them to spell their words on the fridge. Mix up the letters and get them to spell it again. Can they spell it backwards?

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Game#9: Flash writing

In a darkened room, ask if they can spell out their spelling words in the air. If they're not too confident at the start, you could read them out to them first. Swap roles and get them to read the words you're spelling out for them. 

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Game#10: Say it with rice

While you're getting dinner on, get out an oven tray and pour some uncooked rice on it. Ask if they can spell their spelling words in the rice. Then when you need to cook the rice, get them to pour the rice into the water. 

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Game#11: Ping pong

Throw a ball back and forth between you and say one letter each of their spelling words. You can start with the first couple of letters as they get used to it. Swap places occasionally. You can even get the whole family involved so you all learn the words together!

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Game#12: Sing stars

Write a new song with a your child by replacing words with their spelling words - Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, Mary had a little lamb, Jingle Bells etc.

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Game#13: Give me an...A!

Play cheerleaders together and call out the letters for their spelling words. For example, cheer up high for letters that touch up the top handwriting line (e.g. t and l), hands on hips for middle letters (e.g. a and e) and cheer down low for low letters (e.g. y and j). 

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Game#14: Dusty words

Go outside to a sandbox or even the beach and write words in the sand with them.

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Game#15: Dear Batman...

Keep them busy after school by getting them to write a letter to their favourite superhero with as many of their spelling words as possible. Tell them it can be as silly as they like.

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Game#16: Volcano words

Make volcano words by adding one letter to each line

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Game#17: SNAP!

Get them to write their spelling words out on to 2 cards. Do the same for other spelling words until you have a pack of cards. Play "snap" together. You can make it a bit more difficult for older children by including words that look similar. 

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Game#18: Left & right

Ask them to write their spelling words they way they usually word. Then, see if they can write them with their other hand!

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Game#19: Spelling flowers

Ask them to draw pictures of a great big flower. In each petal, get them to write their spelling words on each of the flower petal or leaf. They can draw extra flowers if they run out of room.

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Game#20: Play dough spelling

Kids love doing their spelling with play dough! If you don't have any, you can always make your own. This recipe from the BBC shows you how.

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Top tip: Keep it fun

Don't worry if your child gets the answer wrong. Let them know it's not a big deal. Try to praise their effort rather than them getting answers right. That way, they'll get more confident at trying to solve things, even if they don't come up with the right answer straight away.

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This article was created as part of

Read Write Count

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Play & Learn School & Homework Child (4-8 years)

Last updated: 11 Aug, 2020