Fun ways to help your child spell tricky words

A row children lying on some grass writing

Here are some ways to help your child learn the spelling of tricky words at home

Most children have difficulty spelling some common words, such as ‘does’, ‘your’, ‘because’.

Top tip – whichever methods you use, try to get your child to say the letter name each time they write or select a letter, and then to say the whole word once it is complete.

Get your child to practise writing the word

  • With their finger in sand/flour/couscous
  • With a stick in the mud
  • Using an empty washing-up liquid bottle/shower gel bottle filled with water – write the word on the pavement/driveway/patio
  • On the window or on an old bathroom tile using a dry wipe pen (make doubly sure that it is a dry wipe pen!)

Build the word

Write the letters of the word (and some extra letters that are not in the word) on individual pieces of paper. Place them around the room/garden.  Get your child to collect the letters in the correct order to spell the word.

Put the pieces of paper on the floor and ask your child to jump on them in the right order to spell the word – shouting out the letter name each time they jump on the letter and then shouting the word when they have finished.

Get your child to make the word in play-dough, plasticine, Wikki stix, Lego, spaghetti – anything you have in the house.

Build up automatic knowledge of the spelling
Time your child for 30 seconds and see how many times they can write the word correctly and legibly.  Repeat and see if they can beat a previous record.

Have fun and if you’d like to learn more about helping your child with their learning, our course full of practical tips for parents is now available online – full details here.

Email if you have any questions.