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10 Great Ways to Review Spelling Word Cards

All About Spelling word card Review Box

Taking the time to review spelling Word Cards is an important part of your child’s day, but sometimes it just doesn’t seem “exciting.” But as we all know, review is what makes learning stick. The more kids review what they have learned, the more they will remember.

In fact, regular review is such an important part of learning to spell that every lesson in All About Spelling includes a review of previously taught skills.

As with any daily task, review can get boring at times. And when review begins to feel like drudgery, it can lose its effectiveness.

As a teacher, that’s the last thing you want!

When schoolwork is fun, it is more motivating for kids, but figuring out ways to cultivate fun can seem like more work for Mom and Dad. But in the case of reviewing spelling Word Cards, it may not be as difficult as you think.

10 Great Ways to Review Spelling Word Cards

We have some pretty amazing moms and dads out there using All About Spelling with their kids, and they have shared some great Word Card review ideas that definitely increase the fun factor of review time. And most of these ideas require minimal effort for parents.

Boy spelling with letter tiles

Spell with Letter Tiles

Reviewing Word Cards can get tedious, but you can make spelling review more fun by using Bananagrams® or Scrabble® letters to spell words. It may take a bit longer, but most kids don’t mind the extra time when you can make review seem more like a game.
(Shared by @stefmlayton via Instagram.)

Letter beads threaded on pipe cleaner

Work on Spelling and Fine Motor Skills

Fidgety kids often benefit from keeping their hands busy as they complete their schoolwork. But with this idea, it’s actually the schoolwork that will keep their hands busy! Have your child practice his spelling Word Cards by threading letter beads onto pipe cleaners to spell the words. It’s perfect for hands-on learners!

Car on sidewalk with chalk

Take Your Spelling for a Drive

Draw rectangles on the driveway or sidewalk with chalk. Have your child “drive” (or skate, ride, walk, hop, etc.) to a rectangle. Read the first word from a stack of review cards, and have your child write the word in the rectangle. Keep “driving” and spelling until you complete the entire stack of Word Cards!

Girl writing word in shaving cream

Make It Fun!

When you spell your words in shaving cream, it’s tons of fun! Just spread a thick layer of shaving cream on a tray or another flat, washable surface. Dictate a word to your child and have her write the word in the shaving cream. After this, your kids might beg to review their Word Cards!
(Shared by @adventures_of_a_healthy_mama via Instagram.)

Word written in soap suds on sidewalk

Write on the Sidewalk (with a twist!)

Just mix a little bit of dish detergent and water and you’ve got the perfect solution for turning a slab of concrete into a writing canvas! “Suds” up your sidewalk, then read your child’s words. Have him finger-write each word on his soapy canvas. The words are easy to “erase,” and your canvas can easily be recharged with a bit more soap and water. (Shared by Shawna at Not the Former Things.)

Child using typewriter

Go “Old School”

Grab an old typewriter at a yard sale or resale shop and let your vintage spelling review session begin! You read the words and your child types them. And as an added bonus, when your child is done with the review session, she’ll have her very own study sheet to take with her!

Child spelling with alphabet cereal

Motivate with Alphabet Cereal

What do you do when your child is hungry but you’re still in the middle of a spelling lesson? You grab a box of alphabet cereal and keep right on going! Read a word from your child’s Word Cards and have him spell the word with cereal letters. If he spells the word correctly, he gets to eat the letters. If he spells it incorrectly, mom gets to eat them. Now that’s some tasty motivation!

Young boy watching tablet

Reward with Screen Time

Take advantage of your child’s interest in electronics, and break out the tablet during spelling review. Read the words from your child’s Word Cards and let him type the words on the tablet. He’ll get some great review time in, but as an added bonus, he’ll get a bit of extra typing practice too!
(Shared by @craftynotcreative via Instagram.)

Practice Spelling Words with Scratch-Off Paper

Use Scratch-Off Paper

Make spelling review colorful with rainbow scratch-off paper! You can easily create your own scratch-off paper at home. Cover white card stock with fun, colorful patterns using wax crayons then paint the entire page with black acrylic paint. Grab a wooden stick or toothpick and start spelling! This project can double as spelling AND art class if you let your child do the creating!

Practice Spelling Words with Salt Trays

Create a Sensory Spelling Tray

Pour some salt or sand in a shallow pan to create a fun sensory spelling tray! Your child can write his spelling words using his finger, a wooden stick, or a pencil. Want to take your sensory tray to a whole new level? Add some color and fragrance! With some creativity, you can combine different extracts for aromatic results. Sniff out 10 scented salt tray recipes in this free download.

Are You Feeling Motivated?

I hope so! Reading the above ideas made me want to find a child and review some spelling words! When you can introduce this much motivation into your daily review, the long-term rewards are amazing!.

And if you’re looking for similar ideas to use when reviewing your child’s reading Word Cards, check out 12 Great Ways to Review Reading Word Cards.

Spelling Review Tips Recommended by Our Readers

  • Say a word. Have your child repeat the word and then run across the room to the white board. Have him spell the word, then run back for the next word. (Recommended by Jenny H.)
  • Spell words in a plate or pan full of rice. (Shared by @studioregency on Instagram)
  • Say a word. Have your child repeat the word and spell it on the white board. If he spells it correctly, he gets to draw an illustration for the word. (Recommended by @niconicolita on Instagram)
  • Play hopscotch with your spelling words. Add letters to each square and have your child hop to each letter as she spells the word out loud. (Recommended by Suzanne W. via Facebook)
  • Give your child a word. Let him write it on a window using a Crayola washable marker or Expo dry erase marker. (Recommended by Tracy via blog comment)
  • Host a spelling bee . . . with stuffed animals! (Recommended by K. Smith via blog comment)
  • Play spelling tic-tac-toe. If your child spells their word correctly they get to claim a space. If they misspell it, the other person can steal the space by correctly spelling the word. (Recommended by Jeanine via blog comment.)
  • To recreate the experience of typing on a real typewriter, use the Hanx Writer iPad app. And here’s one that’s available for Android. (Recommended by Kristen via blog comment)
  • Play “word jumbles.” Write all the letters for the word then have your child put them in the correct order. (Recommended by Michelle via blog comment)
  • Use a dry erase marker on the bathroom mirror. Review spelling words after brushing teeth in the morning and leave them on the mirror all day. (Recommended by Robin R. via blog comment)
  • Make a “road” of upside-down Word Cards. Roll the dice and drive a little car (or another type of marker) down the appropriate number of cards. Mom turns over the card and reads the word and child spells the word. If spelled correctly, the card is placed right-side up. Keep going until all the cards have been spelled correctly. (Recommended by Linda via blog comment)
  • For a physical activity I would create a maze of letters on my tile floor. The kids had to spell the words by stepping on the letters to get through the maze. (Recommended by Cindy S. via Facebook)

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laura h

says:

My daughter is a kinesthetic learner and these games have saved many a school day. The issue our family is having now is my son who is in third grade and not as easily amused. Any recommendations on games that might be good for kids with a bigger level gap?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Good question, Laura.

Some kids actually prefer the “boring” just-get-it-done approach to review. They would very much rather just spell on paper or do the flashcards than play games or do activities. These kids often have their own fun planned and just want to get to it sooner!

Otherwise, here are some ideas that many older children have enjoyed that can work with younger children too. Just have each review from their own cards:

– We have several free downloads you can use for spelling review–check out the popcorn party, pirate ship, drag race, and other spelling games.

– Sort Word Cards into piles such as nouns and adjectives or verbs and adverbs. Draw a card from each pile and make up random dictation phrases that way. You can end up with some funny phrases like “green bobcat” or “playful mailbox.” You could also let your student draw and read a card from each pile, and then have you write a phrase. Many kids enjoy the back and forth.

– Incorporate tactile and kinesthetic ideas to make review more fun. Marie has lots of great ideas in this article. Things like writing on a whiteboard, using a dry or wet erase marker on a window or mirror, writing with gel pens on black paper, going outside with sidewalk chalk, creating a special spelling notebook with artwork and stickers can also make spelling more fun.

– Use a favorite board game like Sorry. Each player spells a word or answers a card before taking his or her turn. If you have a Trivial Pursuit game, you can substitute the various spelling cards (red, blue, yellow, green) for the types of categories in the game.

– One of our AAS customers sent us a link to her free Spelling Battleship game.

– A favorite with my own older children was to spell with Junior Scrabble Cheese-Its! The student spells a word with the alphabet crackers and gets to eat the crackers if the word is correct.

– Using rewards like a mini Hershey bar for so many words spelled or M&M’s at the end of each dictation phrase or sentence.

– Kaboom! Write the word BOOM on several blank Word Cards. Mix up all your Word Cards and scatter them face down in a pile on the table. Players take turns selecting and reading cards from the pile, and the other person spells the word. If a player spells a word correctly, he keeps the card. If he misses a card, put it back in the pile. If a player picks up a BOOM card, he has to return all his cards to the pile. Play continues until all the cards have been collected.

Snowball game. Practice phonograms with the snowball game, or use Nerf darts instead. Tape phonogram cards to the wall for your student to “shoot” as he reads them.

– Use an online word search puzzle maker to create your own word search puzzle using your child’s spelling words.

– Flip the card: spell the word cards and then try to throw each into a hat or box. Vary the distance if it’s too easy/hard.

– Hockey or Soccer: one mom told us, “I tape cards all around our fence and have the boys kick a ball towards them. Whichever card they hit, they have to spell. We have also adapted this for hockey and basketball. Anything to keep the boys moving!”

– Set up a points system and give your student a small prize when he reaches 100 points. For example, you might give your student a point for every correct word spelled during each lesson time. Or, combine the system with phonogram card review too, for more chances to earn points. (My son used to make up her own points system, just to try to beat a previous high point score.)

I hope this gives you ideas.

Angel Tippit

says:

Are the AAR and AAS cards the same or do I have to have both sets?

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Angel,
No, the All About Reading and All About Spelling cards are not the same. The Student Packets for both programs are necessary to do both programs.

Carletta Jones

says:

I think this is very creative and exciting for students to have this way of practicing reading and spelling. Thanks

Pam murphy

says:

Thank you !

These are great ideas I can try with a special needs student I have one to one every week. He has aphasia ad lacks focus when things seem boring, so any suggestion fr making these boring lessons fun make such a difference. Will seach out my letter tiles for tomorrow’s lesson. Thqnk you so much for your suggestions.

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

You are welcome, Christine. Please let me know if you need more ideas or have specific concerns for your student. I may be able to help.

Carol

says:

I like your spelling tips. Very helpful.

Jessica H

says:

These ideas are exactly what I need for my youngest! Great post! 😃🤗

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Jessica,
I’m happy this was exactly what you needed! Review is important, but review can be fun and games!

Just to add one more idea, my kids love when I buy Junior Scrabble Cheese-Its crackers. They get spelling review and snacktime rolled into one!

I really appreciate these ideas. It didn’t occur to me to make reviewing “fun,” and just got right down to business. I look forward to putting these to use!

Robin E.

says: Customer Service

Christine,
There is a time and place for just getting down to business with reviewing, but there is also a time and place for making it fun. My kids’ favorite is when I buy Junior Scrabble Cheeze-Its. Then it’s fun review time and snack time all rolled into one!

Megan

says:

I have littles but plan on using AAR this year and AAS when they’re ready for it!

Elizabeth R

says:

Great ideas!

Kristen

says:

These are great ideas! My boys would have so much fun with many of these review activites.

Wendy Clark

says:

These are great hints. We just finished Level 1 of All About Reading and are about to start AAR 2 and AAS 1. I will come back and look this up.

Sarah B.

says:

Lots of great ideas! My son gets so tired of reviewing so maybe these will help.

Jessica Hamer

says:

These were some great ideas! I will definitely be implementing with my 7 year old😃

C

says:

Great ideas!

Racheal

says:

Would enjoy using AAS with my kids!

Heather Simpson

says:

There are some really fun ideas here. This will definitely help keep my kiddos interested in practicing their spelling words!

Maureen

says:

Love these ideas! So creative & fun =)

Saph

says:

So many great ideas to use! Thank you!

Sarah

says:

I love the typewriter and cereal ideas. I actually have an old typewriter to use. Thanks!

Kim

says:

Would love to try All about soelling, just bought AAR!

Sherry

says:

I like the spelling review tip from a reader of making a “road” of upside down word cards. We will try that next time.

My daughter enjoys sorting, so when it came time for a mastered word cards review (level 1 step 17) she challenged herself to sort all of the words mastered so far by sorting them on the dry erase board as I said them aloud into these nine list headings: short a; short i; short o; short u; short e; s, x, and qu; th, sh. and ch; final blends; and initial blends. She self checked her lists by looking at the numbered word cards.

Merry

says: Customer Service

What a great idea, Sherry, I love that your daughter came up with her own challenge! Good for her!

Tracy

says:

These suggestions are so much fun! My hands-on, wiggly, reluctant spellers will love trying them out. Thanks!!

Samantha

says:

I love that everything has its own separate category and I love the idea of reviewing because even I tend to forget things sometimes. I will add this to my list of ideas for next year.

Emma

says:

I love all these ideas! We will be using these with my various learners! Multi-sensory approaches are why I love this program!

John Webb

says:

After reading this article, I am having my family look for used scrabble games for me to use with my ESL students here in China! Puppets are on my list as well!

Carrie King

says:

Just started AAS Lev. 1 with my son and it’s really clicking for him.

Brittany

says:

Love all of the ideas! We are always looking for new ways to review and can’t wait to try some of these!

Autumn Jones

says:

I love how you included readers’ tips at the ends. These are great!

Linda

says:

Make a “road” of upside down word cards. Roll the dice and drive a little car or other marker that many cards. Mom turns over the card and tells the word; if spelled correctly the card is left right side up, or collected. See how many words are right to the end of the road. For 2 or more students, each one can make a road of his words and they can race to the end, or collect the most cards……………………

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

What a great game, Linda! Thanks for sharing.

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