At the Scripps National Spelling Bee, our purpose is to help students improve their spelling — not because it helps them win spelling bees, but because it’s a fundamental skill that benefits children in countless ways throughout their lives. Spelling games are an ideal tool for kids because they encourage learning different types of words while enjoying the process. We’re recommending the following spelling games based on their ability to help early learners develop spelling, vocabulary and reading skills in a fun way.
This spelling game is modeled after Bingo and features clear instructions that are easy for young children to understand. Two different levels of play support both early and advanced learners. The Zinger dispenses tiles as the players race to be the first with a full card of three-letter words before yelling “Zingo!” The set includes six double-sided cards, 72 double-sided tiles plus the tile-dispensing Zinger.
This pre-reading game is ideal for children ages 4 and up, is made from high-quality components and is ready to play right out of the box. Young readers will get a confidence boost and build their spelling skills three letters at a time.
This game combines strategy and critical-thinking skills and is similar to Scrabble but uses cards instead of tiles. The goal is to arrange different cards in your hand to spell at least one word. More cards are dealt each round until each player has 10 cards. The player with the highest score wins the game. Players can use their high-point letters and unique double-letter cards to aim for bonuses.
One of the highlights of this game is the beautiful artwork on the cards, which are high-quality and will not bend or tear easily in the hands of young children. This word game is ideal for children in second grade and above.
Boggle, great for kids ages 8 and up, includes a grid base and lid, as well as 16 letter cubes, a sand timer and instructions. Kids can choose to play solo and attempt to beat their previous high score or face off against friends and family. Points are earned by spotting as many words as possible before the time runs out. Each player has 90 seconds to write down as many words as they can find. The fast-paced style of this game makes it exciting for children while helping them expand their vocabulary and reinforce sight words. The compact design makes it easy to play on the go. The hourglass timer is durable and easy for children to use.
Kids love the yellow banana-shaped case and the challenge Bananagrams provides. Parents love this award-winning game because it’s educational and the compact size makes it easy to pack while traveling. Each round, players aim to spell as many words as they can while being the first to use up all their tiles. Recommended for kids ages 7 and up, one to eight players can participate in this competitive game that is just as educational as it is fun.
This version of Scrabble was designed for kids ages 5 and older, and includes eye-catching blue tiles and colorful characters. With two different levels of challenges included, Scrabble Junior can grow with your kids as their spelling and reading skills improve. The game includes 105 letter tiles, four tokens, a game board and instructions. Additional letter tiles can also be purchased separately.
“Spelling is, in many ways, the building block of all other education and academic disciplines. Given its importance, the idea of making it fun and enjoyable to even the youngest child is key. Depending on your child’s developmental phase, these games can play a huge role in spelling and reading skills. I recommend Bananagrams because of its portability and the engagement it provides.”
Our Expert Consultant
Emily Lehman is a licensed teacher, nonprofit youth coordinator and mother of two young girls. Emily understands how to make learning fun and is a pro at engaging children in the classroom. She also learns constantly in her own experience raising children. When she isn’t teaching or raising her daughters, she is taking care of her horses and family farm.