Lots of people can use a little help with spelling, especially kids who are just learning. Luckily there is no shortage of material available to choose from that will help your kids become spelling masters. We have found some great apps, books, websites, and free online spelling games that can help make learning to spell a little bit easier.
Best Spelling Apps for Kids
There are obviously quite a lot of spelling apps for kids available, so finding the top few apps was a bit of a challenge. The spelling apps that we choose as our top picks are:
- Squeebles Spelling Test allows parents to customize spelling tests for their children by setting up tests, entering words and then recording audio versions of those words for your children to listen to before they try to spell them. Stats on each child let you see how they’re doing and which words they’re struggling with. When the children do well on the spelling tests they can move on to play a mini game. This app has received great reviews on the iPhone Mom, Best Apps for Kids, Teachers with Apps, Pad Gadget and many others.
- Freefall Spelling has 75+ prebuilt words and allows parents to setup their own custom spelling lists. Each new word supports a custom audio recording and image, allowing the child to practice any spelling/sight word list that may come home from school. When the child correctly spells several words in a row and they’ll be rewarded with a new item to add to their fish tank. This app has really good reviews from the Daily Download on TiltTV, App Advice, Smatoos and more.
- Simplex Spelling Apps offer a range of very well received spelling apps that use a combination of phonics lessons, spelling/word patterns, and something they call their “reverse phonics” approach as well as contextually relevant spelling rules. The great reviews for these apps are too many to mention, but if you are interested check out their home page where they have links to the reviews.
- Uncovering the Logic of English is the book for you if you want to teach kids how to spell. It is a multiple-award winning book that will show you the phonogram and spelling rules which explain 98% of English words. The reviews for this book are overwhelmingly good. You can view the author’s YouTube channel here (if you can find the time, these videos are very helpful with explaining how kids learn).
- Spelling Power, Fourth Edition (for ages 8 +) don’t let the size or the price of this book put you off. It is very popular with homeschoolers and parents with kids who are struggling with spelling.
- Scholastic Dictionary of Spelling is a great beginner dictionary for kids to do their own spell-check. The introduction gives instructions for looking up a word the reader does not necessarily know how to spell, offers more than 150 memory tricks to correct commonly misspelled words, and clearly explains general spelling rules (and their exceptions).
- Spelling City is a great site with lots of free spelling activities, games, word lists, resources for parents and teacher as well as lots of other stuff.
- Big IQ Kids has free vocabulary and word lists organized by grade level that you can use to play games, practice and be tested on the word lists.
- Kid Spell is another free site to check out with spelling lists and games.
Top 15 Free Online Spelling Games
We looked through a lot of games and weeded out what we think are the best free online games
- Fun Brain is always a good source for kids’ education games, and this game is no exception. In this game you are basically the spell checker and you have to pick out the word that is spelled incorrectly and then type in how to spell it properly.
- ABC Ya Spelling Practice (for Grades: K,1,2,3) is a simple game where you select a Dolch Word List and listen to the word the dragon speaks. Then you just click and drag the letters to spell words correctly. Press ‘hint” to see how the word is spelled or press “skip” to go to another word.
- Primary Games See ‘N Spell is another simple game for younger kids that shows a picture and has the child move letters into a box to spell the word.
- Spelling Central make games out of a spelling list that you input. After inputting the list you can do a word search, arrange the words in alphabetical order, unscramble the words and try to figure out the missing letters.
- Learning Games for Kids have eight different games to choose from including hangman, word scramble and word search. Kids can even study for their spelling tests by entering their own words.
- Look and Cover is pretty good. Basically you see a word and then a creepy giant hand moves over the screen and covers the word and you have to type the proper spelling in. You can change the level of difficultly of the lists by going through the ‘Pupils Lists’.
- Spellits (for 7 – 11 year olds) is a site that offers interactive online activities and printable resources which teach spelling strategies, rules and patterns.
- Wild West English is good site for older kids. There are a couple of spelling games on this site, to find them just click on the bull or the spelling showdown character.
- Alpha Bot is a little different than the other games out there for older kids. You have to move letters around on a big grid after hearing the audio of the word.
- Spin and Spell is an animated game for students ages 4-8 that has pictures that the player can select to try to spell.
- Swiper`s Spelling Book Game a very simple game for preschoolers that shows a three letter word then Swiper takes the letters and the child has to select the letters from a list to spell the word.
- EduPlace has simple spelling and vocabulary games that you can select based on grade level.
- PBS Kids has some good spelling games for younger kids based on Super Why, Clifford the Big Red Dog, etc.
Spelling Curriculum to do at Home
If you are looking for an intensive spelling program to work on at home, there are a number of programs that have a full curriculum that are used by homeschoolers that might be helpful to parents of non-homeschoolers who are struggling with spelling. Some of the more popular ones are:
- All About Spelling
- Building Spelling Skills
- Teach America to Read and Spell (TATRAS)
- Sequential Spelling 1
- iPhone Mom
- Best Apps for Kids
- Teachers with Apps
- Pad Gadget
- App Advice