I try to help this process by reinforcing each week's spelling words with library books and games we play both inside and outside. Here are some of our favorite ways to take spelling practice outside:
- Hopscotch: I think a modified game of hopscotch will suffice for any outside reading and writing lessons. Thankfully, there are myriad different ways to play the game. Most importantly for spelling, I'll have my third grader set up the hopscotch board which affords him extra practice writing his words. Additionally as we play, he gets another chance to review each word as he reads it aloud.
- H-O-R-S-E: This classic basketball game can be modified to use any word. Ideally played with two participants, one person takes a shot and if that shot is successful, the second player has to mimic that shot exactly. If the second player misses the shot, they are assigned a letter sequentially, until the word is spelled in its entirety. This game is best for older players, although my kindergartener has been able to play with assistance spelling the words. It is also helpful to write the penalty letters near the basket as they're accumulated to avoid "forgetting" how many letters each player had and also is one more chance to practice writing the spelling word.
- Bean bag toss: Draw a grid of letters on the driveway including all the letters you'd need for each spelling word. One player will select a spelling word to throw for, then players take turns throwing their bean bag at the grid to collect letters. The winner is the first player to collect all the letters in the right order to spell the chosen word.
- Hangman: inside or out, this classic game is great for spelling practice. Play outside simply by chalking the game board on the driveway.
- Foursquare: Draw a foursquare court on the driveway in chalk. The "king" gets to choose the spelling word and calls out the first letter when he serves the ball. The child who receives the ball must hit the ball to another player and correctly call out the next letter of the spelling word. Brush up your knowledge of foursquare game rules before you start.
- Word search: Again, draw a grid of letters, but this time have several spelling words hidden within your grid. Call out the definition of a spelling word then have players race to find the correct word within the puzzle.
- Capture the letters: For group practice, play this variation of capture the flag. Instead of one flag though, give each team letters to be captured then unscrambled. The team who captures all the letters and decodes the spelling word first wins.
Linked up at The Magic Onions Friday's Nature Table Link-Up