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By Oxford Owl, posted on 6th January 2017

Five creative ways to help with spelling homework

Struggling to find a way to make learning those dreaded spellings fun? Some children find it difficult to remember their spelling words and, let’s face it, learning lists of spellings is hardly the most enjoyable way to pass the time for you or them.

If you are looking for some fun spelling ideas, then look no further… these games will help your child to learn those spelling words and enjoy it in the process.

1. Spelling bingo

The old ones are the best! Playing games that help them to recognise the spelling words on sight can really help. The more they see a word the more familiar it becomes and the more likely they are to remember it; if they can visualise it, they are more likely to spell it correctly.

Print and cut out the words your child has to learn. Draw out a bingo board and write some of the spellings in the boxes. This works best with more than one player, so see if you can rope in someone else to play. Every time your child ‘gets’ a spelling word, go through the spelling together and then cover it and ask them to spell it again.

2. Spelling pairs

This classic memory game is a great way to get them recognising and remembering words. Draw or print a word grid and write each spelling word in a new box. You will need to write each word twice (each in a separate box). Cut them out, making sure you have two of each spelling word. Then turn them over and mix them up, ensuring they are organised randomly.

Challenge your child to turn over two pieces of paper and then read each word. Are they a pair? If not, turn them back over and repeat this until they find matching pairs. Once they have found a pair, look at the spelling together and then ask your child to spell the word without looking.

3. Mnemonic – that’s a memory device to you and me

There is a classic mnemonic to help children remember how to spell ‘because’: big elephants can always understand small elephants. Make up your own silly mnemonics together to help your child remember tricky words they struggle with.

4. Play it back

Record your child spelling out each word on your smartphone or tablet. When you practice them, ask your child to write down each spelling word and then play their own voice reading it back to them. It’s amazing how much this amuses and motivates them.

5. Race against the clock

If your child is competitive, see if you can motivate them by introducing an element of challenge to the world of practising spellings. Using your stopwatch on your phone, time your child as you call out the spelling words and they write them. Make a note of their time and score and then on the following day, challenge them to smash their personal best.

The Big Spell TV series

Our wonderful Oxford Dictionaries for Children editorial team provided the levelled words and content for the The Big Spell show on Sky 1, including over 3000 words, definitions and example sentences from our corpus database. We also provided expert adjudicators for the filming of the show.

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