If you have kids that love LEGO and racing challenges, give this a whirl next time you want them to practice spelling or making letters… It works for a variety of ages and skills. My five year old loved making simple words, and we’ll definitely try this activity again over the summer to help my soon-to-be third grader memorize some of his most pesky “no-excuses” words.
Our LEGO Spelling Race-Around:
To begin, choose 4 words for your child to practice. These could be individual letters or basic words for younger kids, and older kids can practice harder words from a school spelling list or words frequently missed in writing. Write them down on sticky notes. Set up the materials for each station around the table and get your stopwatch ready. (We used a combination of LEGO and LEGO DUPLO bricks.) The object is to race around the table, through each station once. Kids can try to beat their time by racing around a second time. They might even beg for a third turn! For each new turn, rearrange the sticky notes so each word goes with a new activity.
For the stations, choose any LEGO challenge that suits your family. Kids love designing their own! This example is literacy focused, but any building challenge would be fun! Here are the stations we used:
- Use LEGO pieces to stamp a word from the list in playdoh. When you’re finished, grab a brick for your trophy and take it with you to the next station. (Our “trophy” is just a tower out of LEGO bricks.)
- Build the next word on the list by placing bricks on a mat. When you’re finished, grab a brick for your trophy and take it with you to the next station.
- Find the letters that make each sound in a word on a different colored brick and arrange them in order to spell the word. (I wrapped the bricks in tape and wrote the letters/sounds with a Sharpie. That way, we can use them for a while and remove the tape when we’re finished. Older kids could write their own.) When you’re finished, grab a brick for your trophy and take it with you to the next station.
- Build a figure out of the LEGO bricks to represent the meaning of the word. When you’re finished, grab a brick for your trophy and run your completed trophy back to the time keeper to indicate that you’re finished. Check your time, and get ready to play again! (Keep your trophy and continue to add a brick upon completing each station.)
Each of these activities is fun on it’s own, but my sons were especially motivated by the timer and the movement. (And of course, the super impressive trophy.)
Some kids may prefer to eliminate the timer element and just work through at their own pace. For more variety, you can add other physical activities in between each station, like jumping jacks or hopping on one foot, or incorporate other spelling activities, like building words with letter magnets.
Ok, ready, set, race!