“Learning to spell well is extremely useful if we want children to become confident writers . . . If they’re confident spellers, they’re also much more likely to make adventurous vocabulary choices, selecting the exact word to communicate their message.” (Oxford University Press)
And, it just makes sense that, if you want your child to learn how to spell well, you make it fun.
Spelling Help: Play Games
Having your child spell the word aloud helps but, to really improve spelling skills, also add games into your repertoire. VeryWellFamily.com shares fun ways to teach your child how to spell new words, including flashcard games. All you need for this is a pen and a pack of index cards, and you can use them to teach reading and spelling alike. Simply write age-appropriate words on your index cards; then, read a word aloud and ask your child to write it down on the back of the corresponding card. This makes it easy for your child to compare your answer with his or hers, helping to improve spelling skills.
You can use the same cards to improve reading comprehension, as well, by laying them on a table, words facing up, and then sharing a definition. Your child should pick the card containing the word that matches that definition. You can even use this game as a way to boost penmanship skills by putting tracing paper over a word that you wrote, then having your child trace it with a pencil. Then, flip the card over and your child can write the word from memory.
You can create a memory game, as well, by using these index cards. For that, you’ll need to also buy a pack of colored cards upon which you’ll write definitions that correspond with the spelling terms. Create a grid of white colored cards and one of colored cards on a table, with the writing face down. One child can pick up a white card and a colored one and, if the spelling word matches the definition, he or she gets to keep both cards. Then the next child plays. When all cards are gone, the person with the most index cards will win the game.
Another article by VeryWellFamily.com shares more fun ways to improve spelling skills, including Alphabet Ball. For this game, you need an inflatable ball and a marker. Write letters of the alphabet in random order all over the ball, then bounce the ball to your child as you call out a spelling word. Your child needs to catch the ball and find the first letter in that particular spelling word. If he or she is correct, your child bounces the ball back to you and you say the second letter. You keep taking turns until that word is completely and correctly spelled.
Clapping can be a form of spelling help. So, as your child spells a word aloud, have him or her clap when a vowel is said. Once he or she gets comfortable doing that, have him or her stand up for a consonant and clap for a vowel—or whatever combination gets your child into the right rhythm.
Here’s one more resource: Scholastic.com. This article goes into depth about stages that children go through as they gain spelling skills. Understanding these stages can help you to teach your child more effectively, with both reading and spelling. But, remember: keep it fun!