Are you looking for new ways to practice spelling and sight words? Here are several activities you can try in the classroom or at home with your kids. Your kids will have so much fun practicing their words!
IDEAS FOR SPELLING and SIGHT WORD PRACTICE
Kids can get a little fine motor practice in while stringing together their spelling words and sight words. They also love to see how many words they can build on one string.
salt OR sand tray
There are many benefits to writing in sand. For some kids, it adds that kinesthetic element. The sand (or salt) can also provide resistance to help build hand strength. Kids need strong hand muscles for pencil control.
Most classrooms and homes have a few magnetic surfaces where students can build their spelling words or sight words. If not, a cookie sheet can be a pretty handy tool. I prefer the sets with lowercase letters. While many sets come in rainbow colors, there are sets with one color for consonants and one for vowels.
Both of my kids really enjoy stamping their words. Stamp pads come in so many colors now, that kids can get pretty creative with stamping colorful spelling words and sight words.
Most students are using Chromebooks or other devices in the classroom. Typing out their spelling words or sight words is a great way to get them familiar with the keyboard. However, you can go old school and use printable keyboards, too.
whiteboard AND Marker
Most classrooms have access to whiteboards and markers. This is a great way to get kids practicing spelling words and sight words while saving paper.
Do you have a Scrabble game in the house? Pull it out and use the tiles to build spelling words and sight words. As a bonus, kids can add up the value of the words when they finish.
Kids love Play-Doh and using it to build words involves a lot of fine motor skills. This helps build their hand strength, too.
Wikki Stix are made from yarn covered with a non-toxic wax. Kids love to bend and shape them into new creations. They also have a little bit of a sticky texture, so they will stay in place a bit longer.
I was lucky to grab a few sets of these alphabet erasers from the Target Dollar Spot awhile back. They are all uppercase letters, but they still work for building words.
Things will get messy when you bring out the shaving cream, but the kids will love it! When used in the classroom, the shaving cream also helps clean those desktops.
ZIPLOC BAGGIE AND PAINT
If you want to contain the mess, but still have fun, try putting paint in a large Ziploc baggie. Make sure to get as much air out as you can. I also recommend that you add extra duct tape (or something similar) around the zipper if you want to keep things neat and tidy. Students can use their finger or a Q-tip to write their words on the surface of the bag.
Do you have some extra Legos around the house? Let your kids build their spelling words or sight words with them. It’s easier if you have a plate to place the letters on, but kids can build them without the plates, too.
tAKE IT OUTSIDE
When the weather is nice, I like to take our learning outdoors. Grab a few sticks, and kids can write their words in the dirt or sand. Or, if you have sidewalk chalk, let your kids write their words on the ground.
Once your kids have practiced their words many times, they might enjoy playing Charades. Write the spelling words down on a piece of paper. Take turns acting them out for the other players to guess.
Hangman can be played on paper or on the whiteboard. This is a great way to help your kids visualize how their words are spelled.
Sometimes kids need a little old-fashioned paper and pencil practice. That doesn’t mean practice needs to be boring, though. Here are several activities your kids can do to practice their spelling words.
Guess the letter
Partner your students up. Each will select a sight word or spelling word. They will write one letter at a time on their partner’s back with a finger. The partner will guess letter by letter until they have solved the word.
word hunt in children’s books
When kids are reading books at home, have them point out their spelling words or sight words when they come across them. This will help cement those words into memory.
I hope you found some new ways for your students to practice their spelling words or sight words. You can find many of the materials mentioned above in my Amazon Store.
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You might also enjoy Three Ways to Organize Weekly Spelling Practice.