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12 Great Ways to Review Reading Word Cards

8 Great Ways to Review Reading Word Cards - All About Reading

Let’s face it. Daily review can be, well … boring. But regular review is one of the most important factors in retaining and recalling previously taught material. That’s why daily review of the Word Cards in All About Reading helps children master what they’re learning—permanently.

If reviewing the Word Cards has become a chore for you and your child, you have full permission to get creative and make them fun again! Practice sessions can become another part of the lessons that your child looks forward to.

The activities below are specifically geared toward use with All About Reading Word Cards, but if you’re looking for ideas for reviewing spelling words, check out 10 Great Ways to Review Spelling Word Cards as well!

12 Great Ways to Review Reading Word Cards!

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Create a Life-Sized Game Board

Make a big circle on the floor with a pile of upside-down Word Cards. Each player throws a pair of dice and moves that number of spaces around the circle, counting each card as he steps on it. If the player can read the card he stops on, he keeps the card. If he can’t read it, he puts the card back. Keep rolling the dice and moving around the circle until all the cards have been collected.

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Get Moving!

For this game you’ll need an exercise ball and a long hallway. Put a pile of Word Cards upside-down at the far end of the hallway. When you say go, have your child roll down the hall, pick up a card, and try to read it. If he reads it correctly, he runs back to the starting position with the ball and the card. If he can’t read the card, he must put it back in the pile. Continue the game until your child has correctly read all the words.

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Build a Word Card City

Create a city in your living room by arranging the Word Cards face down on the floor and furniture so that every Word Card is a building. Have your child drive around the city, reading the word as he arrives at each building. If he reads a word correctly, turn that card face up. The game continues until all the cards have been turned face up.

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Make Your Words Go 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. If a player reads a card correctly, he keeps the card. If he misses a card, he puts 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. (Shared by Pam B. at Ed Snapshots.)

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Get Some Exercise

Place one or two Word Cards face up on each step of your staircase. Have your child stand at the bottom of the staircase. Say a word aloud and have your child hop up the stairs until he locates the matching Word Card. Have your child read the word. If he has found the correct card, he keeps the card. If it’s the wrong card, he leaves it on the step. Play continues until all the Word Cards have been found.

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Enjoy Some “Color-By-Word” Fun

Find a coloring book with big pictures that have large coloring spaces. Write the day’s Word Card words in the spaces. Point to a word (or give oral instructions for finding the word, such as “find the word in the grass”) and have your child read it. If the word is read correctly, the child colors in the space. Keep playing until all the words have been read and the entire picture has been colored.

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Bounce a Beach Ball

Write each of your review words on a plastic beach ball using a dry erase marker. Toss the beach ball back and forth. When your child catches the ball, have him read the word his hand is closest to. If he reads it correctly, erase the word. Play continues until all the words have been erased. (Idea shared by Marlo on Facebook.)

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Go On an Adventure

Use your imagination and your Word Cards to create your own amazing adventure. Here is Harley’s adventure: “The evil Nightmare Moon has captured sweet Twilight and Rainbow Dash! Now Harley must traverse the treacherous Word Road in order to save them! Can he read the words and thwart the frightful filly, or will his pony friends be in perpetual peril?(Shared by @craftynotcreative via Instagram.)

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Read Word Cards—with a “Twist”!

This one is a ton of fun—for teacher and student! Place Word Cards in various circles of a Twister game mat. Play the game as usual, but with a “twist”. Before your child can claim a space, he has to correctly read the card on the spot. It’s reading practice and P.E. all at the same time! (Shared by Shawna at Not the Former Things.)

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Pop Some Bubble Wrap

This one is bound to be a favorite! Place a large piece of bubble wrap on the floor and place Word Cards in rows on the bubble wrap. Have your child read the words. Once he has read a word correctly he gets to stomp on the card. Then the bubble wrap does what bubble wrap does. Hey…it’s bubble wrap. What’s not to love? (Shared by Shawna at Not the Former Things.)

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Achieve New Heights!

This super fun idea came from a 7-year old fan! Do you have a balcony? Or maybe a second story window? I hope you’re not afraid of heights, because you’ll need a high spot for this one. Even standing on a chair or step stool will work. Once you’ve found your high spot, drop the Word Cards, one at a time, and have your child catch the cards as they float down. After he reads the card, drop the next one. (Shared by Melinda via Facebook.)

8 Great Ways to Review Word Cards - All About Learning Press

Create a Word Web!

Tape a web of string to the walls of a narrow hallway. Attach word cards (or phonogram cards) to the string with bobby pins or small clothes pins. Players make their way through the web, selecting cards and reading them aloud as they go. If a word is missed, reattach it to the web. Have your student continue through the web until all words have been read correctly. (Shared by Jill via AAR & AAS Facebook Support Group.)

Ideas for Reviewing Word Cards, Recommended by Our Readers

  • Play “beat the teacher.” Show flashcards one at a time. If your child knows the word, the card goes in his pile. If he doesn’t know it, it goes in your pile. Whoever finishes with the biggest pile wins. (Recommended by Jill R. via Facebook)
  • Put all your words into a PowerPoint presentation, one word on each slide. The reader is allowed to advance the slide after she reads a word correctly. (Recommended by @szimbelman100 via Instagram)
  • Write the words on a glass door/window in dry erase, and let your child read the words and shoot them with a Nerf gun. (Recommended by Kelly B. via blog comment)
  • Use a favorite board and/or card game to review Word Cards. Before each turn the child has to read one or two of his review Word Cards – to gain an extra turn he can spell a word that he’s mastered. (Recommended by Rachel W. via blog comment)
  • Take groups of Word Cards and hide them around the room. After your child finds a few, have him read them and then hunt for some more! (Recommended by Leah via blog comment)
  • Play tic-tac-toe! I make a 3×3 grid of cards and we take turns reading a card and placing a colored token on it. My son added the rule that reading a “Leap Word” card earns an extra turn. (Recommended by Andrea R. via Facebook)
  • My son likes to fish, so we have used his fake fishing pole (a Swiffer extender rod with rope on the end) or lasso to “catch” flash cards strewn about on the ground. (Recommended by Tara via blog comment)
  • Post Word Cards on a fence and let your child whack them with a foam sword as he reads them correctly. (Recommended by Penny via blog comment)
  • I tape cards all around our fence and have the boys kick a ball towards them. Whichever card they hit, they have to read. We have also adapted this for hockey and basketball. Anything to keep the boys moving! (Recommended by Stacy via blog comment)
  • During warm weather play “word splat.” Write words on the bricks on the side of the house, pick a word and she throws a splat ball or a wet sponge at the word. (Recommended by Marguerite via blog comment)
  • My son likes to play charades using the review Word Cards. (Recommended by Michelle I. via blog comment)
  • Practice reading cards that are hidden around the house. We play “cold or hot” until he finds one. If he reads it correctly then he gets to check it off the master list. Once all are found and he successfully read each one, he gets to pick a fun book for me to read to him or board game to play. (Recommended by Christina via blog comment)
  • My daughter loves stories. So I make up a story as she goes through the Word Cards. I pause for her to read the next Word Card to continue the story, trying not to make it predictable. I just make the stories up on the fly, and it can make for some pretty crazy ones, which she loves! (Recommended by Jennifer via blog comment)

After you practice Word Cards, why not review compound words? Our free downloadable Banana Splits Game offers fun for practice students of all reading levels.

Banana Splits Game

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Rachel W.

says:

We use my son’s favorite board and/or card games to review word cards. Before his turn he has to read one or two of his review word cards – to gain an extra turn he can spell a word that he’s mastered. He has one of his puppets play along with himself, and I play with Ziggy the Zebra – who has to use the Mastered words and then spell a word that my son reads. I love that when he plays the puppet, and then himself, he is really getting double the word practice, without even realizing it! I loved the KaBOOM idea, and he finds it very fun too! It is good for a day when we don’t have time to play a whole game to review . . .

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Rachel,
I love that he doubles up on review with the puppet! What a great idea. Thank you for sharing.

Kathleen Starbird

says:

Love the exercise and learn ideas.

Teresa Traffas

says:

I’m so excited about these ideas!

Michelle

says:

Thank you for sharing game ideas with the community. This year, I am putting the games to use at the beginning of the year to review phonics and words. This program is amazing. I love AAS and the blog information.

Leah

says:

When we need a change of pace with our word cards, I take groups of cards and hide them around the room. My son finds a group, reads them to me, and then goes off to hunt some more!

Heather Waye

says:

Thank you! My son will love these ideas!

Kayla

says:

Great ideas, thanks!

jen giles

says:

Really exciting and diverse ways of encouraging your child. Making learning fun and challenging at the same really helps them to shine!

Autumn C

says:

Great ideas! Thanks for sharing! These will be great as we start the year!

Amy

says:

I love these ideas…especially the ones that get kids moving. The exercise ball one will be used in our house for sure! Thank you for passing these along!

KimB

says:

Looking forward to seeing the excitement and learning!

Naomi Weaver

says:

My DD loves AAS and she has learned so much! I hadn’t thought of using cards in different games!

Laura schindel

says:

I am definitely going to try the game circle idea. It will work well with spelling words too.

Monna

says:

Love AAS. So many ways to use it.

Bethany S.

says:

Some really great ideas here for review! We have just started AAR 1 and we are loving it!

Ellen W.

says:

These are great ideas!!! The fly swatter is always a hit with my boys! Love the suggestions for getting moving while learning, thanks!

Victoria

says:

My active 7 year old who just started the program is going to love these NO PREPLANNING ideas. It will be great to store some of these away for a “grumpy” day, but still get in that review time!! Thanks for sharing!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Victoria,
I agree, anything that doesn’t require prep ahead of time is wonderful! I’m glad we could give you some ideas to have on hand.

Laurie Heesen

says:

Thanks so much for the helpful ideas! I have one child who is particularly energetic and I think some word cards on stairs are in our future :). Bookmarking this page now! Thanks again.

Lori D

says:

I absolutely love All About Spelling! I like how it works as well as how affordable it is! My son doesn’t mind the small amount of time it takes. This program is definitely helping him! I need to add that I like the emails I get from time to time, on ways to enhance the already great program. Thank you!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Lori,
You’re welcome! And I’m especially glad to hear that our emails add to the program for you. Thank you for sharing that.

Jeanne Marie Marks

says:

These are Great tips!
We have a lot of memory work and most of these ideas will work great with reviewing the material. Can’t wait to try it out with my son!
Thank You!

Stacey

says:

A friend showed me the All about Reading Level 1 set. After reviewing it I fell in love! This way of teaching makes so much sense. I wish I would have known about All About Reading before I had bought my son’s current phonics and reading program.

Amber

says:

These are so great ideas! I can’t wait to put them into practice. This is our first year using AAR!

S Baker

says:

I would love to see some great ideas like these to use with spelling words.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

S Baker,
I will pass along the suggestion that we ought to do a similar blog post for spelling word cards, but in the mean time, here are some ideas.

One idea is to sort them into piles such as nouns and adjectives or verbs and adverbs (the student doesn’t need to know these parts of speech to play). Draw a card from each pile and make up random dictations phrases that way. You could also let your child draw and read a card from each pile, and then have you write a phrase. Many kids enjoy the back and forth!

Another idea is to make up simple books. Choose some phrases (ones already in All About Spelling dictations or make up your own from the word cards) and have your student write one line on each page. Then they can draw or paint a picture to go with and make up a little story.

Incorporate tactile and kinesthetic ideas to make review more fun. Marie has lots of great ideas in this article.

We have a number of free downloads you can use for spelling review games. Or use a favorite board game like Sorry or Candy-Land. Each player spells a word or answers a key 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.

This site has 30+ Kinesthetic reading/spelling ideas.

Some of the reading downloads can be adapted for spelling as well.

– The “Reading Activity Bundle” activities can be adapted. For example: “Over Easy”: hand your child the eggs one at a time–you say the word, put the egg in the pan, your child spells it out loud and then flips it with the spatula to check himself.

“Feed the Anteater” could be used for spelling as well–you can dictate the words for your to write on the blank page, and he can have the anteater swallow them after he writes each one.

– most of the games and activities include blank cards where a student can practice writing words.

Your student might enjoy Swatting Phonograms as a fun way of reviewing spelling (or reading). You can set out a selection of cards or tiles, say a word and have him swat phonograms as he spells it.

An idea for very active kids is the snowball game–use the phonogram cards for spelling practice instead of letter recognition. Some families us Nerf darts instead of snowballs!

For more games, consider getting the Ziggy supplement for some folder game options you can use for review. These coordinate with level 1 of All About Reading, but can be used with spelling review cards. In this blog post, I explained how I use Ziggy supplement games to review All About Reading Level 2, All About Spelling Level 3, and All About Spelling Level 5, all at the same time.

And here are some downloadable games that you can use to review the cards. The Phonogram File-Folder game can be adapted for use with any type of card.

There are a lot of ideas on Pinterest boards as well.
This has general spelling ideas, and this one has “get moving” ideas.

I hope this gives you plenty of ideas on how to add some fun into your spelling time. Please let us know if we can help any further.

Tracy

says:

I love some of these ideas. We just switched to AAR this year for the benefit of my son who has struggled for years with traditional phonics methods. So far, he loves it and we’ve seen improvement in decoding. The most significant change is that he looks forward to his reading lessons. What a pleasure. Love this program.

Debbie

says:

Yay, these are wonderful!!! I have the single most active child on the planet, and I was just trying yesterday to figure out ways I could make our review more hands-on and/or active for my daughter. I will definitely be using some of these ideas!!!!

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Debbie,
We hear so much about “active boys” that those of us with “active girls” may feel left out. I know I do sometimes. I have three boys, but my youngest daughter is by far more active than any of my boys ever were. She is pictured in this post holding the beach ball. She loved it.

Amy

says:

We are just starting this program this year so we have yet to get bored, but thanks for all the great ideas for review. We will for sure use some of them just to keep from being bored during the year. thanks again!

Amanda

says:

Okay, I have to bookmark this. The word city and mixing review with a ball game would be great for my boys!

Micah Douglas

says:

What great ideas!

Lisa B

says:

We haven’t ever come up with a fun way to review word cards, but my kids are going to love adding some of these ideas into our routine. Thank you!

Lauren

says:

I like to create activities with the AAR/AAS spelling/reading words of the week to increase exposure and meaningfulness. I like to do an alphabetizing page/activity, definition page, use-in-a-sentence page, etc.

Robin E. at All About Learning Press

says: Customer Service

Lauren,
Ooo, some good ideas. Do you use a worksheet generator website or something to make such pages?

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