Does your child find it difficult to get the spelling of words right? Wondering how to help improve her spelling skills? Try these fun games.
By Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj
With regular practice, it is possible to help your child develop any skill. And, when it comes to spelling, it applies all the more so. How about making the learning of spelling fun for your child? Here are some interesting games to engage your child in, to improve his spelling.
1. Word-building: Give your child a long word, say, ‘MANIFESTATION’. Ask your child to coin as many words as possible using the letters in the word. She can come up with words consisting of any number of letters each. Also, you can frame your own rules each time – using each letter only once, using the consonants only once, etc.
2. Scramble: Jumble up the letters of words and ask your child to rearrange them to form the word with the correct spelling. You can either write the words with letters jumbled-up on chart paper or write down individual letters on small slips of paper and shuffle them up. You can increase the difficulty level of the words step-by-step.
3. Word chain: Provide a word to the child. Let him form a word beginning with the last letter of the word you provide. Then you can supply another word beginning with the last letter of the word he gives you. You can keep taking turns doing this.
4. Missing letters: Write down a word for your child with blanks for some letters. Ask her to supply the missing letters and form the word. You may give clues (synonyms, antonyms, etc.). There can be many variations to this game – removing all the consonants in a set of words, removing all the vowels in a set of words, removing the first or last two letters in a set of words, etc.
5. Rhyming words: Supply a word to your child and ask him to come up with a rhyming word; of course, he will have to spell it out. This will give your child practice on sound-letter combinations.
6. Word grid: Either prepare a word grid or download activity sheets available online. Let your child find the hidden words and circle them – vertically, horizontally or diagonally.
7. Find the word in the dictionary: As you call out each word, let your child locate the word in the dictionary. Begin from monosyllabic and move on to polysyllabic words, increasing the difficulty level as the game progresses. You can even make this more interesting by timing the game. Keep reeling off word after word and see how quickly your child is able to locate the word.
8. Crossword: Good old crossword puzzles can be the best bet when it comes to learning spelling. Hand over worksheets of crossword puzzles to your child and get him to complete them. Depending on the age group of your child, you can have clues ranging from pictures to anagrams and antigrams.
9. Spellathon: A simple game of spelling can turn into a marathon. Switch on a timer and start calling out words one by one to your child. Ask her to write them down with correct spelling. She can ask for clues such as the meaning, rhyming words or etymology. Check how many she gets right within a predetermined time limit.
10. Scrabble: This is a great board game that can help combine spelling activity with family bonding. Keep a dictionary handy for quick reference, if need be, during the initial stages. With practice, your child can refer to the dictionary only when in doubt. A simple variation of this game can be by using the titles and dice. This can be done on a table. You can roll the dice and ask your child to form words using the titles depending on the number that comes up in the dice. For example, if he gets number 5 on the dice, he will have to form a five-letter word. For every word that is correctly spelt, he can get a score for as many letters he has in his word. For example, for a word of 6 letters, he will get a score of six.
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Dr Priscilla J S Selvaraj