10 Fun Spelling Activities for Key Stage One
Updated: Oct 18
These fun spelling activities for children in key stage one (years one and two) are perfect for home or school. They're engaging, hands-on and varied, so hopefully, you'll find some strategies which work for your child! Spelling is a crucial skill that helps children to communicate. However, young children can usually read words more accurately than they can spell them. That's why providing plenty of practice is so important! Click here to see the national curriculum spelling requirements for children in key stage one.
How do I teach spelling?
Some words which your child is expected to learn will be phonetically regular. In other words, they can use their phonic knowledge to spell them. With these words, encourage children to stretch the word out and emphasise pronunciation. For longer words, clap out the syllables and break the word down. Words which are irregular are those that include spelling choices which a child hasn't been introduced to yet. For example, they might attempt to spell the word 'one' as w-o-n. Tricky words like these need to be taught differently. You should talk about the tricky bits and highlight or underline them. The blog post, Tricky Words, Simple Activities has a great range of activities for teaching children to read and spell irregular words.
10 fun activities for teaching spelling
Ensure that children have plenty of opportunities for saying and writing down their spellings. Use lots of movement: children can air-write the words, 'write' them on a partner's back or use a finger to write the word on the palm of their hand. The tried and tested activities shown below are ideal for small groups, continuous provision or for practising spelling at home. Using a little and often approach is the best way to make those spellings stick!
1. Twist and spell
Spelling doesn't always have to be done sitting at a table! Write a letter on each circle of a twister mat (double up w/x and y/z so that they all fit on). Call out a word from your child's spelling list. They should move around the mat to spell the word. For shorter words, they could try to put a hand or foot on each of the letters in the word without losing their balance!
2. Roll and spell
Write the spelling words which you're working on next to numbers 1-6 (or 1-10 if you have a 10-sided dice). Children should roll a dice and spell the corresponding word. You could try this activity outside and use chalk to write the words on the ground!
3. Type and spell
Using a real keyboard or a printed image of a keyboard, your child should type out their spelling words. A fun alternative to writing!
4. Quick write spellings
Set a challenge to see how many times your child can write their spelling word in 30 seconds. A good activity for any competitive kids!
5. Search and spell
Hide tiny words in a picture and ask your child to search for them using a magnifying glass. Each time they find a word they should write it on a whiteboard.
6. Splat and spell
Write the letters of the alphabet on pieces of paper and spread them out in alphabetical order. Call out a spelling word. Can your child splat each of the letters needed to spell it?
7. Spin and spell
Divide a circle of card and write a spelling word in each section. Make a spinner mechanism by putting the point of a pencil through one end of a paperclip. Alternatively, push a split pin through a paperclip instead. Your child should spin the spinner and write the words they land on in different colours.
8. Multi-sensory spelling
Writing in shaving foam, sand, flour, glitter or salt is an excellent way to help children remember their spelling words! As they write the word, children should say each letter. This is another great activity to do outside if you don't like mess!
9. Spelling game
Make a board game using your spelling words. Each time a child lands on a word, they have to write it down. They don't have to write on a whiteboard, they could use a finger to write the word on somebody else's back instead.
10. Jumbled letters
When your child has practised spelling a word a few times, write it on a piece of paper and chop it up. Encourage them to put the word back together in the correct order.
Check out these blog posts:
Check out these editable spelling activities for ANY word list!
Check out these editable spelling activities for autumn