Welcome to the Support your child with spellings course.
I hope you find playing the games with your child/ children is not only fun but also provides a boost to their confidence and their abilities.
You can download everything from this page:
The videos, the templates.
I’d love to hear your comments, but for now…
Create a word search
This game is great. It not only helps with spellings but can also help with hand writing.
When I first started attending courses on dyslexia it was suggested not to do word searches with dyslexic children. However, over the past six years since I started Starr Tutoring I have used them a lot. I generally find that as long as you keep them appropriate to the age and the ability of the child they will be enjoyed.
In fact, very often the dyslexic children I work with are far better at word searches than non-dyslexics! Coincidence? I don’t know….
There are 2 ways to do this activity.
You create a word search containing the words you are working on and the child endeavors to find them.
If you make the grid approximately 10 squares by 10.
List the hidden words underneath
Write in lower case as these are the symbols your child will be more familiar with when reading.
Download the template here
The second method (and my preferred method) is to print out 2 grids which are 10 squares each.
On a separate sheet have the words that you are focusing on correctly spelt and available for the child to copy from.
Choose between 6 and 10 of these words each and put them into the word search.
One letter per square.
The words can go: forwards, backwards, up, down or diagonally but they must go in a straight line.
As before list the hidden words underneath and fill in all the remaining squares with random letters.
The benefit of this method is that the child must present each letter so that it is possible for the other person to recognise what it says.
They get to focus on each letter and its position in the word as they create the word search and then again as they try to solve it.
For children who do struggle more, you may choose to use a smaller grid and larger squares.
I love this game.
Your first task is to create the grid.
Start by drawing a table which is 10 squares by 10.
Along the left hand column, starting on the second square up, write the letters A through to I.
Then along the bottom row, again ignoring the bottom left hand corner, write the numbers 1 to 9.
(If you are working with smaller words you may want to reduce the size of the grid but I don’t suggest you make it any bigger as the game drags on for too long).
Now copy and paste this so that you have a second identical grid underneath.
Now, using your list of weekly spellings, or the words that you are concentrating on, insert them into the grid. They must go in a straight line. Diagonally, forwards, up or down are all acceptable.
To play battleships
The first person (player a) will state a pair of co-ordinates. If the other person has a letter in that square they must state it and player a will record it on the bottom grid of their page.
If there is nothing in the square, they may wish to record it with an x or a scribble in that particular square.
You then swap over so player b, asks about a set of co-ordinates.
The aim is to find the other person’s words before they find yours.
You can download a pre-prepared grid here:
This is a great game for supporting your child with their weekly spellings.
You will need a copy of their spelling list (or similar list of words that you are focusing on) and a set of scrabble letters or similar (I use Bananagrams).
You each pick a word from the list but don’t tell the other person which word you have chosen.
Find the letters that you will need to make that word. Give them a shake to muddle them and hand them to the other person.
Turn the list of words over so it can’t be seen.
Now you need to try and unscramble the letters to discover what the word is.
This game was suggested by a child I used to work with. It has been loved by everyone I have played it with since!
This game is once again simple to make.
It involves cutting out one circle for each word you are practicing.
On one side write just one of those words.
Once done, lay them all out on a table in front of you (face down).
Each player will need two counters each.
You take it in turns to flick the counter (like in tiddly winks) onto a lily pad. If you get it on, you read then spell the word written there.
The person that lands on the most lily pads is the winner!
This game you have possibly seen before as a preview to the course.
Here we are at the final game!
I hope you have enjoyed playing them and found the ideas useful.
Hangman is a game which has been around for a long, long time.
When playing the game a large amount of concentration goes into considering what letters go into a word, the order they go in and what the actual word might be.
It takes no preparation and is fun to play.
Some people don’t like the idea of drawing a hanging man (which is fair enough). If that’s the case for you, why not draw a face, a flower with a pre-agreed number of petals, a giraffe with a predetermined number of spots, etc.
One final idea
I was talking to a parent the other day (who also works in a school) about how she could help a child she is currently working with.
I suggested these 2 ideas. Hopefully they will help you too.
Clay, gloop, etc.
Pen and paper are neither enjoyable nor memorable. Why not make the letters and words out of something physical. The actual act of manipulating the resource will also help to create a stronger memory with in the child’s mind.
Pipe cleaners might offer a “less messy” alternative and will help the child’s dexterity and fine motor skills which will in turn benefit their handwriting. However, I have found that some children can get frustrated with this as trying to get the pipe cleaners to create recognizable shapes can be frustratingly difficult…
Writing the words in gloop or with water on the floor outside or in the sand will also make a far more tactile experience for children to enjoy. The main benefit of this though is that it will create a far more memorable experience for them. In turn helping them to remember the spelling when needed.
It maybe that it’s not practical for you to work outside, either due to the weather or space.
How about cutting up magazines and other published work that has a variety of fonts and asking your child to use those letters to create their own list of words. The visual strength of this will be far stronger than looking at a sheet of paper with black font and a nondescript text.
By getting actively involved themselves you can talk about the letters needed to create the word. The order the letters go in. This provides the child with both a visual, physical and a audible memory of the task.
That’s it. The end!
I hope you enjoyed the course.
If your child struggles with their times tables I have created a similar times tables course which also includes a copy of my e-book “Teach Your Child Their Times Tables: the fun way”. This e-book explains the importance of providing your child with a varied and enjoyable learning experience. There is a small cost to this course of just £12. However, for each course that is sold, another person can be given access to it for free. That person my be a parent who has a child with special needs, in care, a carer, etc. If you think that might be you, please do ask. Further details can be found at: The One Million Times Tables Challenge
If you need a tutor or any other form of supporting you or your child in maths and English, please do get in touch and I promise we will do our very best to help.