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Spelling Games and Activities for Your Preschooler: The Spelling Cow

written by: Sonal Panse • edited by: Sarah Malburg • updated: 11/19/2014

In this article, preschoolers can play spelling games with the Spelling Cow and learn to spell in an easy, fun way. These spelling games and activities will really liven up your child or student''s interest in reading and writing. This will get them "moo-tivated" to learn their words!

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    Preschool Spelling Games and Activities

    Spelling is a skill that preschoolers need to master in order to comfortably progress to reading and writing. In order to spell well, ABCs! preschoolers need to -

    • Be able to recognize letters of the alphabet.
    • Be able to recognize sounds of the letters.
    • Practice reading and writing letters and words again and again in order to retain the information learned.

    Playing spelling games and incorporating spelling activities can make the learning process easier and, of course, a whole lot more fun for your preschoolers. Having fun is essential. Keep the spelling games and activities short, especially if the child's interest is lagging. A light but consistent effort will make spelling, reading and writing enjoyable activities rather than things to avoid.

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    The Spelling Cow


    • PaperCow by Microsoft Clipart 
    • Markers

    Draw a cow and color her. You can also download a cow picture from HomeschoolHelperOnline. This is the Spelling Cow. Talk about the Spelling Cow. What does she look like? You can point out the different body parts of the Spelling Cow (labeling is a good idea), and then let the preschoolers take turns at pointing out the parts. This will familiarize your preschoolers with words like:

    • Cow
    • Head
    • Horns
    • Ears
    • Nose
    • Eyes
    • Mouth
    • Neck
    • Body
    • Legs
    • Feet
    • Hoof
    • Tail

    Talk about words associated with the Spelling Cow. What does the Spelling Cow do? What does she eat? You can also ask the preschoolers what they think she ought to eat and write them on chart paper. So we get words like:

    • Moo
    • Milk
    • Pail
    • Grass
    • Apple
    • Pear
    • Hay
    • Eat
    • Chew
    • Run
    • Walk

    The Spelling Cow has a lot of friends who can be drawn alongside of her. The Spelling Cow can now tell the children about words associated with her and her friends. Here are some of the words, but you can encourage your preschoolers to come up with some of their own as well:

    • Rat
    • Cat
    • Dog
    • Duck
    • Hen
    • Crow
    • Owl
    • Pig
    • Fox
    • Fish
    • Deer
    • Lion
    • Fly
    • Moth

    Do the preschoolers know what kind of sounds the Spelling Cow's friends make? Ask them to show you. Here are some words they might use:

    • Cheep
    • Meow
    • Woof
    • Quack
    • Cluck
    • Caw-Caw
    • Hoot
    • Oink
    • Roar
    • Chirp
    • Buzz

    Extension Activities for Building Spelling Skills

    Have your preschoolers repeat the words after you. Getting familiar with the words and their sounds is important for learning to spell.

    Make a chart showing the words and the matching pictures and put up the charts so they can be easily seen by everyone. You can also make flash cards with the words on one side and the picture on the other. Hold up the picture and ask the children what the word is and how to spell it. Or have them spell out the word and tell you want the word stands for. Either way, they are learning how to associate pictures with words, word recognition, and of course practicing spelling skills.

    Show the children how to write down the words. You can write the words in pencil and have them trace over the words with a marker.

    Another exercise to build spelling skill, is writing down the words on a worksheet and leaving blanks in between where the preschooler can fill in the appropriate letters by checking what's given on the chart.

    Reading and acting out the nursery rhyme Hey, Diddle, Diddle can also be another fun-filled activity that practices rhyming and spelling skills.

    Hey diddle diddle, the cat and the fiddle,

    The cow jumped over the moon,

    The little dog laughed to see such sport,

    And the dish ran away with the spoon.

    These short spelling games and activities will be sure to help your little ones gain success in reading, writing, vocabulary, and all academic subjects in the future.

    See also Teaching with Nursery Rhymes: Hey Diddle Diddle for another cute lesson plan idea.