Best Spelling Games For Kids

Published: 18/11/2020
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Do you want to play a more active role in boosting your child’s literacy skills? With a little help from OnBuy, you can inject excitement back into the repetitive and often monotonous process of perfecting those tricky words. Whether your child is a spelling bee champion or only just learning to read and write, there’s a fantastic spelling game with their name on it!

We’ll guide you through why spelling games are important and which coveted skills they encourage, as well as which age ranges would benefit most from these types of games. Following on from this, we’ll tackle how to improve your spelling game performance and finish off with our top ten spelling games for kids.

Why are spelling games important?

Unlike many other learning games that indirectly boost important life skills in children, spelling games directly improve their key reading and writing abilities. Some spelling games even cover everything from vocabulary and phonics to letters, punctuation and grammar.

Becoming familiar with spelling games from a young age allows kids to connect letters, sounds and words to create a fundamental understanding of reading, writing and the world around them.

It may sound obvious, but we use these reading and writing skills everyday for a variety of tasks. From checking and replying to emails to filling out important forms and so much more, understanding words and what they mean is therefore vital to our comprehension and well-being.



Which age range are spelling games suitable for?

Primarily designed for younger kids, spelling games are aimed at children between the ages of three and ten and normally allow for several players at once to keep the game interesting. They also tend to boast a host of colourful and attention-holding interactive features that’ll encourage them to learn even the trickiest of words through playing. 

Spelling games aren’t always overtly linked to spelling either, and they can even be enjoyed by the whole family! You might not realise that board game classics such as Scrabble are perfect examples of strategic and stimulating spelling games suitable for ten year olds, teenagers and adults alike.

Ultimately, there’s no age limit on spelling games as adults as well as children can benefit from them. They’re especially useful for older participants if they struggle with dyslexia (a reading disability that can make words seem jumbled) or if they’re trying to learn a new language from scratch.

In the same way that children are taught english through these games, you can pick up a spelling game in another language that you’re attempting to master and teach yourself the basics using a friendly game format.


How to improve your spelling games performance

Scrabble

Before you and your kids jump into a competitive spelling game, there are a few ways you can make sure you’re at the top of your game! From broadening your vocabulary to familiarising yourself with unusual letter pairings, brushing up on your spelling needn’t feel like a chore.

If your child is more of a passive learner, turning on the subtitles with their favourite movie is a great way to introduce kids to the concept of reading and writing without active participation. Linking their idol’s image to their written name will become a cinch as they automatically pick up spellings for other commonly-used words.

Another tried-and-tested way that kids can combine the sound of the word with the physical object or image is through reading. Whether you begin by reading your little one a beloved bedtime story or they’re a bit older and happy to read by themselves, encouraging this hobby will help to boost their vocab and automatically link spoken words with the written variation.

Another OnBuy top tip is to buy a dictionary or keep one by your side as you’re reading. If you come across any particularly tricky words, you’ll be able to look them up instantly or better yet, reading the dictionary itself will also strengthen your ever-expanding vocabulary. 

Not to mention, if you want to impress your friends or family with a stunning game of Scrabble, the concise video below will provide you with some top tips that’ll help you soar to victory. Check out the super-helpful video below!


Our top ten spelling games for kids

Turning a common homework task into something fun and attention-holding is no easy task, but these spelling games for kids make it simple and enjoyable! We guide you through our top ten various spelling games, from the classic spelling board games to creative kits that’ll feel more like fun and less like learning.

Featuring a whole host of interactive and immersive models, there’s plenty to choose from fit for all age ranges. From curious little spellers learning their ABC’s to accomplished readers looking for a spelling challenge, you’ll find it all right here in our extensive OnBuy edit of the best spelling games for kids.

Race Against The Clock | Orchard Toys Pass The Word Game

Orchard Toys Pass The Word Game

The best bits: Fast-paced, comes complete with a sand timer

Ideal for: five to nine year olds

It’s a rush against time to complete words in this speedy word game from Orchard Toys. A mixture of bold letter cards and eye-catching image cards, children are encouraged to piece together the corresponding pieces to spell out popular words thanks to the ever-declining sand timer.

When the timer ends, the next player takes their turn to complete the most words and improve their spelling abilities! An alternative way to play without the competition, the sand timer can be kept in the box to encourage younger, less confident children to take their time slotting the right jigsaw-style pieces together. 

With continued use, they’ll start to associate the colourful pictures with the written words, recalling letters from the alphabet and improving both their concentration and observational skills. Who says educational games can’t be fun?!

The Road Trip Essential | BrainBox Making Words Snap Card Game

BrainBox Making Words Snap Card Game

The best bits: Compact for portability, classic snap format

Ideal for: Ages seven and above

If you’ve ever played Snap with a standard set of playing cards, then this Brainbox card game will be second nature to you! Super easy to understand and complete with three rule cards, players can either choose to play the conventional ‘Snap’ game by creating full words using the segments of letters on the cards, or turn their hand to ‘Pairs’. 

To master Pairs, all a young player needs to do is simply turn the whole pack of 52 cards upside down on a flat surface, then turn pairs of cards over to see if they match to create a real word. If they match, the player keeps the cards and if they don’t, they get returned face down to the spread out deck.

The relaxed BrainBox game carries on this manner until all the cards are perfectly paired up! This pack of pocket-sized cards teaches participants important language and spelling concepts such as phonics, and can be easily taken on road trips to ease boredom.

Action-packed Amusement | Learning Resources Sight Word Swat

Learning Resources Sight Word Swat

The best bits: Comes complete with fly swatters, interactive and highly competitive

Ideal for: Four to eight year olds

Highly educational and fun, swatting words disguised as flies adds a creative element to an otherwise standard word-spotting game. After all, children love getting hands-on and this exciting way to learn their spellings and extend their vocab is chock-full of cleverly disguised colour-coded words.

300 words are directly drawn from the Government’s Letters & Sound phonics framework and transferred onto 150 double-sided fly/word cards to make this kit suitable for the recommended age range. The playful competition can be enjoyed by anywhere up to four players and tailored to their age based on the colour of the fly cards!

The aim of the game is to swat the most flies as the words are laid out on a flat surface and read out by a supervising adult. The player who swats the most correct flies becomes the winner, while all players get to learn more about difficult words and phonics, as well as reinforcing classroom lessons.

A Spelling Challenge | Learning Resources Breaking News! Board Game

Learning Resources Breaking News! Board Game

The best bits: Also focuses on grammar and punctuation, more challenging

Ideal for: Ages seven to twelve

This thrilling race to perfect a newspaper is designed to be played by the whole family and will even convince you to get involved! Advertised as a challenging alternative to the conventional spelling game for younger users, this Learning Resources kit focuses on grammar and punctuation too for well-rounded comprehension.

Covering all of the most exciting news departments including Weather Central, Business Beat, Live, Local, Entertainment and Sport News, if you have any budding news reporters in the family, this is the spelling game for them! Complete with self-checking game cards, they’ll be thrust into the bustling world of the media to find and correct headline errors before handing the finished newspaper to the editor!

Suitable for anywhere between two to six players, everyone can join in and become a part of the news team. With spelling, punctuation, verb tense and grammar rules printed onto the included game cards, these rules will be easily absorbed by your kids as part of this thrilling Breaking News! Board game.

Partake In Frozen Fun | Vtech Frozen 2 Magic Learning Tablet

Vtech Frozen 2 Magic Learning Tablet

The best bits: Also teaches letters, phonics and vocabulary, great travelling toy

Ideal for: Three to seven year olds

Inspired by Anna and Elsa’s magical journey in Disney’s Frozen 2, this Vtech tablet is the only companion your budding wordsmith needs to build their spelling comprehension. Perfect for any princess, this digital tablet comes complete with batteries and is a great way to capture that attention of tech fanatics and Frozen fans alike, so they can hone their spelling skills.

They can join the two princesses Elsa and Anna alongside their trusty snowman friend Olaf on a heap of fun-filled adventures as they’re challenged to partake in six Frozen-themed activities. They’ll learn all about letters, phonics, logic, objects and so much more including spelling using the interactive QWERTY membrane keyboard and clear LCD screen.

To keep your little ones captivated, there are also plenty of Frozen-inspired animations, sound effects and three character buttons that introduce the main Frozen figures from the magical Disney film. Supporting your children’s memory skills and releasing their imaginations, this snazzy Frozen tablet teaches much more than just spelling.

Perfect for School Starters | BOHS Literacy Wiz Game

BOHS Literacy Wiz Game

The best bits: Ideal for little learners, connects objects with the written word

Ideal for: Ages four and above

Starting school can be an exciting but also nerve-racking time (both for you and your little ones!) but when it comes to spelling you can relax. Introducing your child to reading and writing cleverly disguised as the BOHS Literacy Wiz Game is a great way to get them ready for the classroom.

Incredibly easy to use, this literacy game boasts 60 double-sided flashcards and 52 letter tiles (two of each letter from the alphabet). To get started, all you need to do is pop one of the colourful and visually-attractive object cards into the card holding device and cover the accompanying word below using the flap. 

Your child can then sift through the interactive letter tiles to spell out up to five-letter words based on the picture flashcard alone. This allows them to concentrate on the image, sound out the word and attempt to recreate it in their own time. If they don’t get the spelling exactly right, they can clearly see any mistakes by simply uncovering the hidden word and moving onto another picture card before trying again another time.

To add a pinch of competition to proceedings and provide some extra motivation to get their spelling right, two players can compete in a mini spell-off in a bid to spell the most words correctly and collect the most flashcards!

Skyrocket your Stories | Mrs Wordsmiths Storyteller’s Card Game

Mrs Wordsmiths Storytellers Card Game

The best bits: Perfect for budding writers, hilarious and imaginative, vocab-focused

Ideal for: Ages seven and above

Simultaneously boost your child’s creativity alongside their spelling and vocabulary by diving into Mrs Wordsmiths Storyteller’s Card Game! Packed with 300 word cards and 200 story cards, the aim of the game is similar to that of the hugely popular adult card game, Cards Against Humanity.

To kick off, each player takes it in turn to be the Master Storyteller. This powerful role allows the player to pick up a ‘Words For…’ story card and read it aloud to the group. Each player must then shuffle through their own hand of word cards and choose the best ending to the sentence! 

Whether it’s funny, disgusting or undeniably scary, the Master Storyteller decides which player has picked the best ending to the story card and that player wins the round. The first player to collect five cards automatically becomes the victor, while also (unknowingly) learning new words, becoming familiar with the correct spellings of all words and broadening their imagination.

 For a closer look at the types of words included with this creative set, check out the entertaining video below from the manufacturer themselves!

Ace the Alphabet | Janod Magneti’ Book Alphabet Educational Game

Janod Magneti Book Alphabet Educational Game

The best bits: Magnetic fun, alphabet-learning tool

Ideal for: Three to eight year olds

Who said learning the alphabet was boring? If the go-to Alphabet song isn’t sticking and you need to try something else, Janod’s Magneti’Book Alphabet Educational Game is sure to do the trick! Combining attention-grabbing illustrations with bright colours and interactive magnetic tiles, it’ll be second nature in no time.

Packed full with 26 colourful illustrated magnets and 104 letter magnets, this box of magnetic wonder will get your kids itching to spell! With so many ways to play, kids as young as three years old can take their first steps towards creating legible words by arranging and rearranging the magnetic letters of the alphabet on the integrated board.

Complete with visually-enticing images of labelled exotic animals and well-known vehicles, your creative kids can recreate the words at the bottom of the illustrated magnets themselves, encouraging them to learn as they play. Suitable for even young children, their brains will soak up these new words and allow them to immediately link the physical object with the word.

The Classic Family Fave | Original Scrabble Board Game

Original Scrabble Board Game

The best bits: Games cupboard staple, broadens vocabulary

Ideal for: Ages ten and above

A beloved family favourite perfect for those rainy afternoons, the Original Scrabble Board Game is a must-have in your games cupboard. Suitable for children aged ten and above with no upper age limit, Scrabble is the classic word-play game that'll help your little ones to broaden their vocabulary while having plenty of fun.

Two to four players can get involved with this exciting word-making board game in a bid to strategically spell both complex and simplistic words across the Original board. Each player draws seven letter tiles blindly out of the bag and attempts to spell out any word they can with those tiles.

The word that they place on the board scores points based on the letter tile score and premium squares located on the board in a crossword formation. Generally, the more complex or unusual the word, the higher the score and ultimately, the player that creates the highest-scoring words becomes the winner!

The Portable Go-To Game | Scrabble Twists And Turns Word Game

Scrabble Twists And Turns Word Game

The best bits: Travel-friendly, innovative Scrabble style without the board

Ideal for: Ages 10 and above

For all the fun of Scrabble Original without the cumbersome board, this travel-appropriate word game is ready to go when you are. Full of tactile tiles, your children can spell words forwards, backwards, in reverse or even off the board in this unconventional spelling game.

Honing many of the skills and basic gameplay methods that Scrabble Original encourages, this alternative version is perfect if you’ve grown tired of the family favourite. Complete with game-changing Skip and various other colour-coded action tiles, this topsy-turvy Scrabble has it’s own strategic edge that your kids are sure to love. To find exactly how to play, take a look at the video below!


Our final tips

When it comes to picking the perfect spelling game, always check out the recommended age range first! This will give you an idea of the difficulty and the skill level will be perfectly tailored to your little one and often reinforce the lessons they’ve learnt at school. 

If your child is likely to need a little more persuasion to get them interested in spelling outside of the classroom, an action-packed interactive or multiplayer spelling game is a great option to get them learning and having fun! 

Whichever spelling game takes your fancy, you’ll be safe in the knowledge that it’ll boost your child’s spelling skills as well as giving them something to laugh and smile about, what could be better than that?