Second Grade Spelling Fun:
Riddles and Brain Teasers

mom looking at son, nose to nose

For second grade spelling, you want as many fun activities as possible! That's why we've compiled this collection of simple brain teasers and riddles. In the classroom, play these on the chalkboard. At home, get out paper and pencil to go one-on-one with your child for a new kind of fun!

These puzzlers and brain teasers engage children not only in spelling but also in critical thinking and vocabulary development. It's a WIN-WIN for everyone!

How Many Words?

chalkboard and apple

Write the letters R, T, A on the board. Ask each student to think of a word that can be made using all three of these letters and write it on his paper. How many words are there?

After a minute or two, ask students to come to the board to write their words.  Answers: ART, RAT, TAR Now add an S to the same three letters. Now how many words are there? Answers: ARTS, RATS, TARS, STAR  (Tsar would be unfamiliar.)

Here are additional versatile set of letters:

AMR - arm, ram (Mar may be unfamiliar)
AET - ate, eat, tea
OTP - pot, top (Opt may be unfamiliar)


Scramble the weekly spelling words for some extra fun. Sometimes, let your child scramble the words for you (or a friend) to unscramble. Even when he writes the letters out of order, he must check to be sure he's used all the correct letters.

    m a p s t   -->     stamp             u f o d n  -->   found

Words Inside of Words


You'll be surprised at how many words can be spelled from letters inside of some common second grade spelling words. Look at these examples:

  • fast - at, as, sat
  • mouse - us, so, sum, some, use
  • those - so, to, hot, hoe, toe, toes, set, hose                                                  

Write one of these or similar words on the board at the beginning of the day. Challenge students to see how many words they can write down by the end of the day.

I'm Thinking of...

Give your student or students clues to help them guess the weekly spelling word (or review word) that you've secretly selected. Sample clues:

girl sitting at her desk with light bulb over her head
  • I'm thinking of a spelling word with five letters.
  • This word has just one vowel.
  • This word tells the position something might hold   (Answer: first)
  • This next word also has five letters.
  • It rhymes with should. 
  • There's another word that sounds the same but is spelled differently that comes from a tree.  (Answer: would)

Be sure to check out our collection of Fun Spelling Worksheets for grades 1 and 2.  You'll find lots of all-new pages, not on the website, to help boost your first and second graders' spelling and phonics skills!

You're sure to find lots more great activities for second grade spelling. Keep a list of them so you'll always be ready to make the most of  spare moments throughout the day. Don't miss our second grade worksheets!

 You may also be interested in these collections of helpful resources:

More Second Grade Spelling Resources

second grade boy writing into a notebook

2nd grade spelling activities and games - Get your students working and thinking together as they practice their spelling words.

Slip It In! - A great phonics game that kids can play over and over again. Our version features short vowel words, but you can adapt this game for other phonics skills as well.

Second grade spelling words - A list of 175 important spelling words for second graders. Other helpful word lists include:

  • Second grade sight words - The all-important Dolch words, broken down in three subsets for your convenience. Study a few at a time.
  • Dolch words - Complete list of Dolch words for preprimer - 3rd grades.
  • Dolch nouns - More sight words for your 2nd graders to learn to spell.

 Go to main page for 2nd grade worksheets

Go to main page for 2nd grade spelling

Go to Spelling Words Well home

Fun Spelling Worksheets for Grades 1/2  50 All-new reproducible pages for early learners!

 AnyWord Spelling Practice Series Worksheets, games & prompts that work with almost ANY spelling words! 

Your students may also enjoy some of my new crossword puzzles for kids!

You can find this fun reading game for early learners on my other website.  Rabbit Race, anyone?