It’s a new year; time for focusing on new challenges. For parents, this year will see an increase in SMART phone usage and schools moving on implementing BYOD (bring your own device).

But with today’s generation being the texting generation, it’s more important than ever that they learn to spell words correctly. There are many different ways to do this, but the most fun are online games.

Children send thousands of text messages to each other monthly. In most part, spelling is shortened to ‘text speak’, a modern version of shorthand. Unfortunately, this version of spelling can be transformed into daily school work. It has the potential to change the English language as we know it!

Spelling words correctly is an important life skill. We’ve found some excellent sites to keep your child’s spelling in check, in a fun way!

Checkout 10 online games that help kids spell.

1. www.spellingcity.com: This is a great site with at least 25 games related to spelling and grammar. This site allows you to type in your child’s spelling list from school and then it will use that list in all of the games. There’s a straight spelling test that allows you to see if they are learning the words or not. Then there’s a game like hang man, matching games, speed games and many more. There are even crossword puzzles that you can play.

2. www.kidsspell.com: Some very interesting and different games on this site. There’s one called Farkle Frog that is just like Frogger and the frog jumps through traffic and onto logs and then jumps on the letters to spell the words. There’s a city called Miaopia where balloons go when they are released by humans and you create your own character and then find letters and unscramble them to spell words. This world is extensive and when you learn you earn coins and then you are able to go to the store and buy clothes and things for your online self. This world is elaborate and has earth science, math as well as history lessons.

3. www.funbrain.com/spell/: This site does not allow you to put in your own list, but it does give your child various lists so they can just play and practice spelling. Spellaroo features a kangaroo and you click on the misspelled words in the sentence. When you get finished you can go to the land of the joeys and play. This site has math and reading as well as other fun games on it. The arcade games are particularly fun.

4. www.spellingbeethegame.com: This will challenge even an adult so if your child is a very accomplished speller this site is the place to send them. Strange words are used such as zuuzuu and kraal.

5. gamequarium.com/spelling.html: There are 32 different spelling games on this site and there are a lot of different ones. You can type in your own spelling list. All of the games have to do with water so that is the tie in to the aquarium part of the name.

6. Eduplace.com: Fun, but limited in the number of games that it offers. This site breaks apart words to help you spell them correctly based on the sounds.

7. www.bigiqkids.com: A totally different approach is taken on this site. There are animated characters that go through lessons to teach the spelling words. First the child is asked to spell a word and they can see it. Then the next lesson they spell the word for a robot. The following lesson the child writes the words on paper and then moves on. The next lesson they are in a spelling bee situation. A final quiz is given. If any words are missed an e-mail is sent to the parents. The kid cannot advance to the next lesson without scoring 100% on their test.

8. www.spinandspell.com: Some children learn better one way over another. This site has a big wheel that the children have to click on the letter on the wheel and it spins as it spells the word. Then you submit the word and see if you got it right. When you get it right you move on and when you get it wrong you get another chance to spell it.

9. http://www.manythings.org/cts/: Different than the other sites and has a lot of different choices. All of the games are the same in that the letters are dropped from above because it’s called Catch the Spelling. They differ in how hard the words are and how much help is given to the child. You cannot enter in your child’s own spelling list so this would be a site to use when they just want to play and learn.

10. http://classroom.jc-schools.net/basic/la-spell.html: There are 42 different spelling games to go to on this site. The games are linked to other sites. Word turtle will allow you to enter in your spelling words and then it will turn them into a word search puzzle. Critter Jumble is another fun game where you can use virtual fridge magnets to spell out the words.

Do be aware, though, that most of these sites are American, so have Americanised spelling of some words- watch out for words like ‘color’.

Original list source: http://www.examiner.com/parenting-teens-in-jacksonville/texting-overload-10-online-games-that-help-kids-learn-to-spell

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Dean Stewart is the owner of WebSafety NZ and has over 27 years of experience in the IT industry. His career has taken him to Australia, UK and South Africa, before returning home after a 14 year overseas stint. Outside of work, Dean has two teenage children, is a keen tramper in the outdoors and enjoys growing his own produce.

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