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Make First Grade Learning and Spelling Fun!

first grader standing on hands, upside down

First grade learning and spelling can be a bit overwhelming. There's so much to cover! Especially for students who have to work hard to learn spelling, why not make it fun?

Fun First Grade Learning Activities

Try a few of these ideas in your home or classroom:

1. Spell silly words aloud together.

When you ask kids to try to sound out silly words, even if the words aren't on their official spelling lists, they'll still be learning and thinking about sounds. Try words like buzz, pickle even silly. If the silly word is really long or difficult, be affirming even if the child gets just the consonants correct.

billboard with message, "Look for spelling words everywhere!"

2. Point out words on signs and billboards as you travel.

Look at words in commercials when you watch television together. Taco Bell is not very difficult, nor is Got Milk? Kids think it's cool to learn words they see everyday, outside of the classroom.

magnetic letters that spell "I Love You Dad"

3. Give kids lots of hands-on ways to spell. 

Think Scrabble tiles, wooden blocks , plastic magnetic letters, and letters cut from newspapers and magazines. Kids can arrange and rearrange letters. That's a lot more fun that writing and erasing and rewriting as kids are learning.

4. Make up spelling songs as you work together.

Songs are just more fun, especially you make them up. Here's a simple example to give you some inspiration:

“Hey, Joey, can you hand me a hammer? I said Hammer, Hammer, with an H and A and an MM - E-R.”

Then add a beat and ask Joey to repeat it with you. Now that's FUN!

5. Allow your child to type spelling words on your laptop.

computer keyboard with a key marked "Spelling"

It feels grown-up, i.e important, to do real stuff on a computer, and not just play games. Or, ask her to type a sentence or two from a note that you've written for her. As you already know, you must know how to spell a word to be able to type it.

First grade learning and spelling is a huge task, but it also can be FUN!

1st Grade Spelling Word Lists

Not sure what words to study? Check our lists of these first grade spelling words:


1st grade sight words - These 40 Dolch words are the most important words for first graders to read instantly and spell easily. We also have the complete Dolch Word list for preprimer through 3rd grade levels.

1st grade spelling word list - 200 spelling words of all types for your first grader to learn: short vowels, long vowels, sight words and more.

Fun Spelling Worksheets eBook

Be sure to check out my 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!

First grade spelling words: Short vowels - 100 Words with short vowel sounds, arranged in word families.

Grade 1 Spelling words: Long vowels - 60 simple words with long vowel sounds, arranged in word families

1st grade spelling lists: Nouns, verbs, colors and numbers  - The "extra" words 1st graders need to begin to write.

Practice Ideas for First Grade Spelling

Here are just a few of the games, worksheets and activities on our site. Use the tabs on the left to find more!

Sight Word Games

tic tac toe gameboard

Here are just some of the games you'll find in our Sight Word Games collection. These games will show you and your students that learning the basics can be fun!

Tic-Tac-Toe Sight Word Game - A simple, fun format that kids can use over and over with any sight words.

What's Missing? - Try these games to build reading, spelling and memory skills!

First Grade Learning - Worksheets and Activities

funny clown worksheet

Sight Words Printables - Two super-fun pags that provide practice with color and number words.

Word Family Worksheets - Worksheet and booklet templates so your students can practice spelling any word family anytime!

Literacy Worksheets for Early Learners: 3 fun reproducibles your kids can customize.

Visit our collections of phonics activities and phonics worksheets for more helpful resources.

Many of our spelling word games and spelling worksheets are just right for first graders, too!


Spelling Words Well logo

Think a Spell brain teaser eBook

Think-A-Spell! A fun collection of brain teasers and spelling challenges. Best for ages 10 to adult. 

AnyWord Spelling Practice eBooks

AnyWord Spelling Practice Series Worksheets, Games and Prompts that work with almost ANY spelling words!

Fun Spelling Worksheets for Grades 1-2

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