Posts Tagged ‘Reading’

Spelling Games

by Benetta Strydom

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The following spelling games can be used by parents to reinforce spelling in children:


Play any game that is normally played with dice with the child — Monopoly, for example. The parent can continue to move her token forward in the normal way by throwing the dice, but the child must orally spell a word to move forward.

To select words that can be used, the parent can use words from the child’s schoolwork that he often misspells. She must make word cards of these words. It is best to use not fewer than 20 words and not more than 30. When playing a board game, the same 20-30 words can be used, or if the child already knows how to spell them, other words can be selected. The parent must thoroughly shuffle the word cards, and then put them in a pile upside down on the table between the two (or more) players.

When it is the child’s turn to play, the parent must take a word from the top of the pile and then say the word aloud. The child must spell the word. If the child spells the word correctly, he may move his token the same number of spaces as there are letters in the word. For example, for a word of seven letters he may move his token forward seven spaces. The word card is then put aside. If, however, he misspells the word, the parent must show the word to the child, and the child must spell the word aloud three times while looking at the word, and then three times without looking at it. Then the word is put at the bottom of the pile, so that it will come up again later. If the child misspells a word, he may also not move his token for that turn.


Use the letters of a particular word, and build new words with these letters. For example, if one decides to use the word “difficulty,” one would write this word on a piece of paper and put it in front of the child.

The aim of the game is that the child must make a list of all the words he can think of using only the letters of the chosen word. It can also be played as a competition, meaning the parent can play it with the child, and at the end, the one with the largest number of correctly spelled words, wins.

There are always many words that can be formed in this way, and in an indirect manner the spelling of the chosen word is practiced, while many other words are also tested for spelling. A few examples of words that can be formed from the letters of “difficulty” are: if, left, cult, cliff, fifty, duty, etc.

Note that each letter may be used once only. The letter f appears twice in the word “difficulty,” and therefore a word like “fifty” is acceptable. “Dull,” however, is not acceptable.

Some examples of words to be used: alphabetical; misunderstanding; occasionally; postponement; mayonnaise; multimillionaire; credibility; determination; education; friendship; generosity; hippopotamus.


Another interesting method of practicing spelling is by making word jumbles. The child then has to sort out the confused letters to come up with a word, which he has been taught before.

Words must be selected from the child’s schoolwork. Use a piece of paper, and write the word jumble on the paper. For example, if the letters “hergun” are written on the paper, the child must rearrange them to form the word “hunger.”


To play this game, the parent and child will both need a piece of paper and a pencil. Write the 26 letters of the alphabet on a piece of paper, and select a letter at random. The parent and the child must now, as fast as they can, write down a name, surname, animal and town that starts with the selected letter. The one that finishes first gives the other party only 5 seconds, before shouting “Stop!” and then all pencils must be put down.

Ten points are awarded for each correctly spelled word. If both parent and child had exactly the same word under one of the headings, for example, both had the same animal, only 5 points will be awarded if the word was correctly spelled.

Say, for instance, the letter “d” was selected:
Names: Douglas, Danny, David.
Surnames: Davis.
Animals: dog, dinosaur, deer.
City/Town: Dallas, Durban.

Copyright Learning Disabilities Online.

Preschool Reading List


This is our twin boys’ first year of homeschool preschool! We’ve had a lot of fun finding good books to read and wanted to share some of our favorites with you. This list is just a beginning. I’ve started with our read-aloud favorites. Check back, I will be adding preschool science, holiday, and history books soon. Feel free to add your favorite titles in the comment box below.

Favorite Read-Alouds

Books for Beginning Readers

History for Preschoolers

Preschool Science

How to Read to Your Baby


When my twin boys were born, I was very excited to read to them. They had received a lot of neat books as gifts, and I was looking forward to sharing their books with them.
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What I wasn’t expecting was them not focusing on a book for more than a second or two so I could read to them! Reading to babies can be challenging when there are so many things in the world to explore, but here are some tips that have worked for me.

There are many different types of books available for babies. Board books and cloth books work best for babies so they can handle them and drool on them without doing much damage to them.

If your baby isn’t interested in one type of book, keep introducing different books until you find one he is interested in. One of my sons loves books with pictures of real babies in them. He loves to look at their smiling faces. For Christmas he received a board book called “Tom Arma’s Paw Print Parade”. Tom Arma (a famous baby photographer) has a new line of baby board books available at My son has another board book called “Happy Baby Words” from This book pictures babies getting dressed, eating, etc. He loves to look at the pictures in that book.

My other son loves cloth books. Sesame Street has a book called “Get Dressed with Elmo” that is his favorite. This book is available at This is an interactive book where a toddler can zip zippers, fasten buttons, attach velcro, etc. A baby can’t do these activities, of course, but my son loves to flip the soft pages and play with the items in the book.

My boys are 10 1/2 months old, and I find that they will look at books by themselves longer than they will let me read to them. I make sure to have books in every room of the house that they find when they are crawling around, and they will stop and look at them (of course they are finding my books too!). They especially like looking at books in bed. When they are going to sleep they will lie in their beds and roll around with their favorite book in their hands. I’ve peeked in their room to find one of them sitting in his bed turning the pages of his favorite Elmo book. If I were to try to read it to him he would instantly try to crawl away.

I figure just exposing my boys to books at this age will influence their desire to want to read, even if they don’t feel like indulging my desire to read to them. I have found one time they will let me read to them, however…when I plop them in bed! Right when the tears are about to start I pull out their favorite book and read it to them in their crib. One son stands holding on to the edge of his crib (hoping I’ll change my mind and pick him back up) while I read his book to him. I have a captive audience and they are distracted from their initial reaction to being put in bed. After I read their stories they generally let me leave without a fuss!

Happy reading!

Rachel Paxton is a freelance writer and mom of four. For resources for the Christian family, including parenting, toddler and preschool activities, homeschooling, family traditions, and more, visit