Free spelling game

1 Replies

To celebrate my local school holidays, here’s a simple spelling game for 2-6 players, which you can download for free from this website’s shop.

It is also available in Victorian Modern Cursive script.


Once you’ve downloaded it, simply print two A4 pages of cards (the coloured ones on white paper, or the black-and-white ones on coloured paper), laminate them (for durability), and cut them up into 36 cards.

How to play

Deal out the cards, build a word with two cards (a consonant and a vowel, e.g. ch + ew to make “chew”), then take turns creating a new word by putting a new, same-coloured card on top of one of the existing cards (e.g. put “n” on top of “ch” to make “new”).

The winner is the person who gets rid of all their cards first, or whoever has the fewest cards once nobody can make any more words.

The 4 minute video below demonstrates the game, and the download includes an instructions page, if anything’s not clear.

Do kids like this game?

I’m sorry the above video is just me showing you how to play the game, not a bunch of kids playing it, but putting videos of children on the internet is a potentially fraught activity, and I don’t have time right now to ask a lawyer which forms their parents would have to sign first.

However, I promise you that I have road-tested this game on a variety of learners, in 1:1 sessions as well as groups, and found that children who know most or all of the main sounds for the 36 spellings in this game quickly learn it, and enjoy playing it.

In fact, just yesterday afternoon I was working with a slightly grumpy, reluctant-reader type of grade 5 boy who ACTUALLY SMILED and said a little “woo hoo” when he gazumped me, his mother and his smartalec little brother at this game.

Who can play?

This game is intended for learners whose spelling skills are at around the end of my Level 5 (click here to see wordlists for each level), so they know the major vowel spellings, but of course learners at lower levels can participate, as long as someone helps them with the spellings and sounds.

Coming soon: more games and activities

If this game is too difficult for your learner(s), there are other, simpler spelling games in this website’s shop, and I will be adding more games, workbooks, movable alphabet sequences and other activities as time permits. I just have to finish obsessively checking and polishing them first.

I’ll put little videos about each of these activities on YouTube, since you can’t go into a shop to look at them before deciding whether they meet your needs.

I hope my game or games add to your home stash of fun and educational activities, or, if you’re a teacher, that they give you something new to try out with your students.


One response to “Free spelling game”

  1. Michael says:

    Just played it with my boys (7 1/2 and 5 1/2).  We played it open handed, and a bit more free-form than your video but it was fun.  Lots of sounding out.  I helped the younger one especially by suggesting possible words, but they loved it (especially "loo", "poo", and "wee").  Then at the end we combined to see what words we could make from our remaining cards.  We'll play it again, I think.

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