Between rainy days and pandemics, I do not know which can cause more pull on your creative capacity. Okay. Who am I kidding? The pandemic wins hands down. It’s not just staying indoors to avoid water, we are staying indoors to avoid an illness that prohibits movement. At least on rainy days, you still can do indoor things outside of your home. Recently, I had the idea to have a spelling bee at home and the kids loved it. So much so that they want to have one every day. It builds their language and further develops communication skills.
Why is a Spelling Bee Important?
It is common to believe that memorization is what wins the spelling bee and that is only partially true. There are so many important life skills that must come into play when participating in a spelling bee. One thing that may not come easily to all children is standing in front of others and conjuring up prior knowledge on the spot to deliver a correct response. A spelling bee at home is important because it allows children to have a safe space to build their confidence, strengthen their critical and analytical thinking skills, and practice communication and public speaking. While the children are at home we have the ability to teach them more than just the fundamental subjects. We can impart in them life skills and a safe place in which to do so.
Prepare for a Spelling Bee at Home
Having a spelling bee at home doesn’t have to be formal or difficult to put together. It can be as simple as calling your family to the living room or wherever is comfortable to hold everyone and reading words out that they need to spell. It is important that the place you choose is free from distractions so a good and educational time can be had.
This year I have a second grade child and a high school senior. It is a big span in age and knowledge but we make it work. I gather lists that are appropriate for both of their ages. I have found several lists with google searches. This list is from Scripps National Spelling Bee and offers a nice range of words and varying levels to challenge all ages. If this list does not work for you, you can simply type in a search menu, “spelling words for 4th grade” or whatever grade your child is in.
Set the Rules
One thing that makes this spelling bee at home interesting is that it doesn’t have to be formal if you don’t want it to be. There will be laughs and smiles. The important thing is to have fun. You get to set how many words need to be spelled correctly in order to win. You can even add some twists into the game and have your children use the words they are to spell in a sentence. We go to 20 correctly spelled words. Each child takes turns keeping a tallied score. Just remember the rules must be set so each child can know the expectations that are necessary to win the game.
So, What Does the Winner Receive?
Now this is one of the fun parts. The winner gets to receive whatever works well for you and your family. In my house, the winner always gets to pick dessert or what movie we will watch for family night. This leads to some serious sibling competition but it is always in fun and the kids really enjoy it. One of my current favorite desserts is my Mixed Berry Crisp.
I do hope that having a spelling bee at home will bring your family as much joy and laughs as it has brought mine. What are some of your favorite indoor activities to do with children?