101 Ways to Make Spelling FUN!

Why make spelling fun?

Research consistently shows that children learn more when they are actively engaged in the learning process and having fun. I have found that spelling has been the easiest subject to add fun to, and I am super excited to share activities that I have used for 20 years as a classroom teacher and while homeschooling my own children!

What types of activities are in this post?

These activities are created for preschoolers on up to fifth graders. Most of these activities can be adapted for learning the alphabet, numbers, and shapes for young children that do not have spelling words to practice. For children learning to read, you can modify these activities for practicing sight words.

There are a variety of types of activities listed below. I have included several independent activities, activities you can do with a partner, and group activities. There are activities that address all types of learning styles, including those that incorporate movement. In addition, these activities are cross-curricular and include reading, writing, math, music, and art. But let's not forget that these activities are just plain fun, especially the games and edible activities that kids love!

Make sure to read grab the FREE printable cards at the bottom of this post!
Spelling Task Cards
Photo credit: ChasingSlow.net

Can I use these activities with my current curriculum?

Definitely! These activities can be used with any classroom or homeschool curriculum. I personally supplement my children's curriculum with one or two of these activities each week. You can even use these activities to practice words for homework. These ideas will easily complement any teaching method. For more information on how I teach spelling, read this post.

This post contains affiliate links.
Fun Elementary Spelling Tips

Are you ready? Let's go have some fun!

Marching Madness
March to each letter of your words making sure to lift your knees up high. Switch your direction when you complete a word.

Folk Dance
Alternate your feet in front of you as you spell your words and dance.

You've Got the Beat
Tap the letters of your words on the floor like you are playing a drum. If you have a real drum to use, that's even better!

Stomp It
Stomp each letter of your words with your feet.

Batter Up
Swing a bat for each letter of your words. If you cannot use a real bat, pretend to swing a bat. If you spell the word correctly, you get a point for a home run.

Bunny Hop
Hop up and down as you say each letter of your words. Hop with both legs together, or hop on one leg and switch legs for a different word.

Hot Rods
Use Cuisenaire rods to spell the words.

Do jumping jacks for the letters in your words. This is a favorite activity for those energetic days. You can also jump on a trampoline.

Alphabet Acrobatics
Spell each letter of your words while doing cartwheels or somersaults.

Act It Out
Make each letter of your words with your body. It is also fun to work with a partner to create the letters.

You've got Spirit
Pretend you are a cheerleader and call out the letters of your words. Clap your hands and add some arm movements.

Dizzy Izzy
Spin one direction saying a letter of your word each time you complete a rotation. When you're finished spelling your word, spin the opposite direction spelling the next word.

Lego Mania
Use Legos to spell the words.

Punch It
As you say each letter of your words, punch the air like a boxer.

Snap or Clap
Snap or clap the letters in your words. For a challenge, clap your hands for the consonants, and snap your fingers for the vowels.

Marshmallow Claps
As you call out the letters in your words, move your hands together like you are clapping, but stop them just before they touch.

Pump It Up
Pretend to lift weights by completing one rep for each letter in your words. If you have small weights, go ahead and use those to get stronger while you learn. You can also do squats and lunges for each letter and get a great workout.

Alligator Chomp
Open and close your arms like an alligator as you say each letter in your words.

Movie Star Kisses
Place your hand on your mouth, and throw a kiss for each letter in your words.

Have a Ball
Dribble a ball for each letter in your words, and shoot for a basket or pass the ball to a partner at the end of each word. If you are unable to use a real ball, pretend to dribble and shoot.

Hippity Hop
Draw a hopscotch board on your sidewalk or driveway with chalk. You can even

Make karate kicks with your legs or karate chop movements with your arms to spell each letter of your word. Be sure to yell "Hi-Ya!" when you are finished spelling a word.

Speed Jumping
Swing a jumprope. Each time you jump, say a letter in your word. For a challenge, swing the rope faster with each word.

Skip It
Skip to each letter in your word. Change directions with each new word.

Soccer Spelling
Kick a ball back and forth with a partner while saying a letter in your words for each kick. This is great for teamwork!

Toss a Word
Toss a small ball or bean bag back and forth with a partner spelling a letter for each word. If you do not have a partner, throw it up in the air and catch it for each letter.

Aim High
Blow up a balloon. Hit the balloon with your hand and try to keep it up in the air. Each time you hit the balloon, say a letter in your word. Watch out! If your balloon touches the ground, you need to respell that word.

The Volcano
Start low to the ground whispering the letters in your word. Get louder and rise higher with each letter, exploding when you say the last letter.

Smelly Spelling
Hold your nose as you say the letters in your words.

Turtle Talk
Say the letters in your words very s-l-o-w like a turtle.

Music Time
Write a song or a rap that includes spelling your words. Use a microphone and sing it to friend or family member.

Roll a Rainbow Word
Roll a die and use a color that corresponds with the number.

Layers of Learning
Hidden Words
Draw and color a picture. Hide your spelling words inside your picture. Show your picture to someone and see if they can find all of your hidden words.

Write your spelling words forwards and then backwards.

Example: home emoh

Build a Pyramid
Write the first letter of your word. Next, write the first and second letter. Then write the first, second, and third letter. Continue until you use all the letters in your word.

Example: home

ABC Order
Write your words in ABC order and then write your words in reverse ABC order.

Squiggly Letters
First, write your words in regular letters. Then write your words again in squiggly letters.

Bubble Letters
Write your spelling words in bubble letters. Next, shade in the letters with a crayon or colored pencil.

Three Times a Charm
Write each spelling word three times. First, write the word in pencil. Second, write the word in crayon. Third, write the word in marker.

Over the Rainbow

First, write each word in pencil. Next, trace over your word with a different crayon, colored pencil, or marker. Each time you trace a new word, use a different color. Trace neatly and you may see a rainbow.

Scented Spelling
Spell and smell your words by using scented markers to write your words. (My kids LOVE using these markers.)

Big and Little
Write your spelling words two times each. First, write each word in UPPERCASE letters. Second, write each word in lowercase letters.

Example- HOME, home

Your Favorite Color
Write each of your words in pencil. Circle or color all of the consonants with your favorite color. You can also switch it around, and circle or color all of the vowels with your favorite color.

Staircase Words
Write your first word small, the next word a little bigger, the next word a little bigger, and so on to create a staircase. For a variation, write each letter in your word bigger to create a staircase.

Type It
Type your words on the computer. Make each word have a different font and color.

Words Within Words
Write a word and then write at least two words that are made from the same letters that is hidden inside your word.

Example: spelling
sell, in, sing

High Five
Write your words with the hand you usually write with. Next, write your words with your other hand.

Write your spelling words using dots. Then connect the dots by tracing over them with a colored pencil. For a variation, use dot markers to create the words.

Got Your Back

Write the words with your finger on a partner’s back while your partner tries to guess them. Make sure to write the letters large and slow. After your partner guesses all your words, switch turns.

Magnetic Letters
Use alphabet magnets to make your words on a refrigerator, a cookie sheet, or stove covers.

We're "board"
Use small chalkboards or dry-erase boards to write your words on. Using dry-erase markers to write words on plastic plates puts a fun spin on spelling.

Invisible Writing
Write your words in the air using your finger. Have a partner read the words as you write them. Next, have a partner "air write" and then you have to read the invisible writing.

Color Contrast
Write your words on black construction paper with a white piece of chalk, a white crayon, or gel pens.

Rhyme Time
Next to each of your words, write a rhyming word. The rhyming word can be a nonsense word as long as it follows the same spelling pattern.

Puzzle Practice
Practice spelling your words with interlocking puzzles pieces.

Holiday Words
Rainbow write your words with markers, colored pencils, or crayons. Use different colors for every other letter. You can use variations, such as: red and green for Christmas, blue and red for patriotic themes, and orange and brown for Thanksgiving.

Choo-Choo Words
Write all your words end-to-end as one long word like a train. Use a different colored crayon, coloring pencil, or marker for each word.
Ex. spellingisfun

Stick Letters
Use popsicle sticks, pretzel sticks, or straws to form the letters in your words.

Finger Spelling
Fill a shallow pan a couple of inches with uncooked rice, flour, or sugar. (Tip: Kids are gravitated to the rice texture.) Smooth it out with your hands to create a writing surface, and use your finger or a popsicle stick to spell your words. You can add different colors of construction paper on the bottom of the pan to make the letters really pop with color.

To add some pop of color, place colored construction paper on the bottom of the pan.

Sandy Words
Write your words in sand, either outside in a sandbox or create your own sandbox in a shallow pan.

Doodle Time
Use an Etch-A-Sketch or a Magna Doodle to write your spelling words.

Stencil Letters
Use letter stencils to make your spelling words.

Seek and Find
Make a word search using large grid graph paper. Write your spelling words in the squares as well as list them underneath the word search. Fill in the leftover spaces with the alphabet. (This is much more fun than writing spelling words two times each to practice spelling them.) HERE is a printable I created you can use in place of graph paper.

Encourage your child to make his word search as difficult as possible by writing words backwards and diagonally to stump the person who will be searching for the words. Fill in the leftover spaces with the alphabet. I have my children sing the alphabet while filling in the empty squares, so they do not use the same letters repeatedly. The best part of this activity is having a parent, sibling, or friend find the words. You can also create your own word search on-line HERE.

Sign It
Use American Sign Language (ASL) to finger spell your words with an ASL placemat, poster, or a reference page printed from the Internet. First, say the letters aloud while using the hand signs. Next, spell your words using the signs to a partner, and your partner has to guess which word is being spelled. Then switch positions and you guess your partner's words.

You can purchase an ASL placemat, poster, or print off these flashcards on cardstock and laminate them to use instead. HERE is a neat site that shows actual hand movements to spell the letters. HERE is a fingerspelling translator where you can type a word and it will sign the letters for you. The letters below make the word "spelling."
What a great way to reach all learning modalities- visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners, and it sure beats paper-pencil tasks!

Clean Words
Spray a small amount of shaving cream onto a cookie sheet or table top. Spread it out with you hands, and use your finger or a popsicle stick to spell your words.

Word Hunt
Use an old magazine or book to find your words or the letters that make up your words. Cut them out and glue them on construction paper.

Technology Time
Use spelling sites to have a blast practicing words. HERE are some to start with.

Become a Poet
Write a poem using your words. You can write any type of poem that you'd like.

You're a Star
Write a TV commercial using all of your words. Make a prop for your commercial and then share your commercial with a partner.

Silly Sentences
Write silly sentences using a word in each sentence. You can even write a silly story if you have enough words.

Partner Pizzazz
Take turns adding a letter to your word with a partner. For example, spell FUN by saying "F", your partner says "U" and you say "N".

In a Flash
Use a flashlight in a dark room to write your words in the air. Have a partner read your words as you write them on a wall or ceiling. Next, your partner can write your words with a flashlight, and now your job is to read them.

Secret Agent Words
Number the alphabet from 1-26, such as A=1, B=2, C=3 and so on. Next, convert the letters in your words to a number code. Switch papers with a partner and decode each other's words.

Example: HOME would be
H=8, O=15, M=13, E=5
Secret code: 8, 15, 13, 5

Add It Up
Each letter in your words have a value. Vowels are worth 10. Consonants are worth 5. Write your spelling words. Then add up the value of each spelling word.

Example: home
5+10+5+10= 30

Texting Time
Write your words in a list. Next, look at your telephone keypad. Translate each letter into the numbers on the keypad. Now write your spelling words using this code. CLICK HERE for a printable.

Flower Power
Draw a picture of a large flower. Write each of your words on the flower's petals and leaves. Draw extra flowers if you run out of room.

3-D Words
Roll Play-Doh, Floam, or clay into thin sections to sculpt your words. I prefer using Floam because it is easier to clean up.
You can also use alphabet cookie cutters to make your letters.

Paint It
Paint your words with watercolors or finger paints.

Sweet Success

How could kids not love this activity since it smells good, tastes good, feels slippery, and involves chocolate! Squeeze a puddle of chocolate syrup on fingerpaint paper. Spread the puddle out by moving it with your finger, as with fingerpainting. Next, use your finger to spell the words. Make sure to lick your finger when you spell a word correctly. That's the best part!

Make It Stick
Use alphabet stickers to spell your words.

Read All About It
Look for newspaper articles that have your words. Cut out those articles to share.

Outline and Design
Write your words on graph paper, and outline them in color making neat designs.

Clothespin Creativity
Write letters on clothespins then pin the letters on string or index cards to make your words.

Get Techie
There are many fabulous apps with spelling games, which are perfect for disguising learning.

Go Old School
Play Speak and Spell. There is an app if you can't find this classic toy, and it sounds just like the real toy.

Scramble up the letters in your words then switch papers with a partner. Try to decode each other's words.

Water Words
Use water and a paintbrush to paint your words on a sidewalk. Your words can disappear quickly on hot days, so try to paint fast before all the words fade away.

Window Writing
Use special window-safe crayons to write your words on a window.

Baggie Painting
Put poster paint in a large Ziploc baggie and seal it tightly. Use your fingertip to write the letters on the paint bag.

Textured Letters
Place a sheet of paper over sandpaper. Pressing down firmly, write your words with a crayon on the paper. Remove the sandpaper and trace over your words with your eyes closed. Do you feel the texture of your letters? Can you call out your words correctly without peeking?

Sweet Hearts
Create conversation hearts with this fun site. You can even save the hearts and send them to a family member or a friend.

Stamp It
Use alphabet letter stamps to stamp the spelling words.

Magic Words
Press down hard with a white crayon, and write your spelling words on construction paper. Use watercolors to paint over the entire sheet of paper. Your words will magically appear! Layers of Learning demonstrates how to do this.

Layers of Learning
Silly String
Use long pieces of string or yarn to form your words in cursive letters. Pipe cleaners and Wikki sticks are fun to use, too.

Spaghetti Spelling
Use spaghetti to form the letters in your words. Cooked noodles will bend easily making it simple to create the letters.

Yummy Ideas
Use licorice string, Cheerios, raisins, Skittles, or other food items to form the letters in your words.

Letter Mania
Arrange alphabet pasta or Alpha-Bits cereal to form your spelling words.

Whip It Up
Put a small amount of whipped cream (or yogurt) on a plate and spread it out. Write the words with your finger.

Stuck Like Glue
Write your words with glue. Put beans, macaroni, or other small items on the glue. Glitter is always fun, too.

Mix It Up
Put Jell-O powder or cake mix evenly onto paper plates. Lick your finger as you spell your words.

Write each of your words on two different index cards. Turn all the cards face down and mix them up. Lay out your cards in rows (like Concentration) and flip over two cards at a time. Read each card aloud to see it they match. Keep them if they match or flip them over and try again.

Fishing for Words
Use the index cards you created from Match-Up to play a game of Go-Fish. Pass out six words to each person and place the extra words in a pile in the center. Take turns asking each other for a word that matches a word in your hand. If you have a match, place the cards in a small pile in front of you, and ask again for a different card that you need a match to. If you do not get the match, you must "Go-Fish" by taking the top card in the center pile. The first one without any cards left in his hand wins the game.

Super Spelling Bee
Practice your words in Spelling Bee style. Spell your words aloud to a parent or partner. For a challenge, spell your words backwards for a Backwards Spelling Bee.

Hanging Around
Play a game of hangman with a partner using your words. My kids like using this magnetic version while waiting in restaurants or traveling in a car.

Scrabble Solver
Use Scrabble tiles to spell out your words. Next, figure out the point value of each of your words by adding up the numbers on your Scrabble tiles.

Word Family Flowers
Use word family endings to create flowers. My little girl likes these cute printable flowers from www.3dinosaurs.com

The Amazing Word Race
Create two teams. The teacher or parent calls out a word from the list, and players race to a sheet of paper or a dry erase board to write the word.

Over and Under
Create two teams that are standing in a line. The teacher or parent calls out a word. The teams must pass the ball over their heads and under their legs while they spell each letter of the word. A child cannot pass the ball unless they say the correct letter that comes next. The first team that spells the word correctly while passing the ball over and under wins!

Stand in a circle while a teacher or parent calls out a word. If the word is "home," the first person will say, "h." The second person will say, "o" and so on. If a child gives the incorrect letter, he must sit. When the entire word has been spelled correctly, the next person says, "Sparkle!" The child who's standing next to the person who called "Sparkle" must sit down. Continue to play the game until only one person is standing.

3 in a Row
Play Tic-Tac-Toe with a partner. Take turns calling out your words to each other. If you or your partner spells a word correctly, add an X or an O to the board. If a word is spelled incorrectly, the person spelling will miss a turn. The first person that gets three Xs or Os in a row wins!

4 in a Row
Play Connect Four with a partner. Take turns calling out your words to each other. If you or your partner spells a word correctly, add a red or black checker. If a word is spelled incorrectly, the person spelling will miss a turn. The first person that gets four of the same colored checkers in a row wins!

Duck, Duck, Spell!
Play Duck, Duck, Goose with your words by sitting in a large circle. A teacher or parent calls out a word to be spelled. If you are "It," you must say each letter of the word while walking around the outside of the circle and gently tapping the heads of the children. After the word has been spelled correctly, say "Goose" as you tap any person in the circle. Run around the circle one time and sit in that person's place before you get tagged. Hurry fast!

Spelling Kickball
Play kickball with your words. A teacher or parent will roll the ball to the kicker while calling out a word. If you are the kicker, you must spell your word correctly before you can kick the ball. Hurry up and try to spell your word before the ball comes to you!

Now you might be thinking how in the world are you going to organize all of these activities?

No worries. You have several different options.

Option 1:

Print off this post or copy and paste it into a Word document to create a book by stapling it or adding it to a three ring binder. Keep it near your lesson plans or your child's study area to use as a reference.

Option 2:

Print from HERE on cardstock, and cut out the activity cards. A friend of mine thought of this brilliant idea and I LOVE it!
Add the activity cards to a recipe box or a similar storage container. Your child can independently choose the activities your child is interested in OR you can use the box yourself to file the activities you have completed with your students. Just add the cards you have completed to the back section. This is perfect for those who like to be extra organized.

Option 3:

Print from HERE on cardstock, and cut out the activity cards. Punch a hole in the upper left corner of the cards, and add a key ring to create a flip-book. This will keep the activities organized while flipping through the cards to choose activities to complete. Kids really enjoy this option because they can easily choose an activity for their homework and homeschool lessons.

Option 4:

Print from HERE for a professional look and format and then have it bound at a local copy shop. This is the option I chose to do. I also had my front and back cover laminated before they added the spiral binding. Now it will last through many years of homeschooling.

Option 5:

If you prefer to read these activities on your computer, tablet, or phone, no problem. You can download it on your device HERE.

Make sure to check out my 101 Ways to Make Writing FUN.

Enjoy making spelling FUN!

If you have any spelling activities to share, please leave them in the comments below. I'd love to learn about them!

More information on the Making Learning FUN series can be found HERE.