Make your own word search puzzles by downloading this printable, and use the fun spelling practice ideas suggested in this article as well!
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Make Your Own Word Search Puzzles – Printable Download
Perfect for use with ANY spelling list, vocabulary list, or unit study! These printable DIY word search puzzles are the perfect way to make your own activity to go along with any subject. Simply write in the words into the puzzle, fill in the blank squares with random letters, and then give to your homeschooler or student for a fun and simple way to practice spelling or word recognition.
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My daughter has dyslexia so I often have to find several different ways to practice spelling words, phonics rules, and blend/digraph patterns throughout the week. This is just one way that I use to practice her words. I make puzzles for her (you’ll find them at the bottom of this post), and she finds the answers.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to find the printable download: Make Your Own Word Search Puzzles.
Creative Ways to Practice Spelling Words:
There are LOTS of great ways to practice spelling words. Here are a few ideas you can try.
- Word search Puzzles – Like the ones you see here, word search puzzles made with spelling words help children slow down and focus on the order of the letters within a word. As they search for letters, their brains begin to memorize the spelling, and it’s a fun way to learn!
- Stamps – Using letter stamps such as these, you can easily practice spelling words. Stamp them onto a piece of paper, and the slow process of stamping helps children remember the letters and sounds within words. This is a particularly great way to practice sight words too.
- Colored pencils/markers – Using colored writing utensils makes repeated writing more fun. Some public school teachers call this activity writing “rainbow words.” – children use different colors to write words 3-5 times each by writing the word once, then tracing it several times in multiple colors.
- “Boxing words” – Sometimes it helps children to see the general shape of a word. Drawing a rectangle over each letter helps them distinguish tall letters from short ones, letters that go below the line, etc. The trick is to write letters neatly and consistently lined up correctly. One method for doing this is to use graphing paper – each letter of the word belongs inside three boxes (one on top of the other vertically). Some letters will be in the middle box only (lower case a for example). Other letters will be contained within the top and middle box (such as the letter b). Other letters will belong in the middle and bottom boxes (for example, the letter q) Finally, other letters will be seen in all three boxes (letter j – where the dot goes in the top box). This activity is helpful for visual learners.
- Playing hangman – this simple but fun game is a great way to practice spelling words. For students who are adept at their words and just need a quick review – let them create the blank spaces and you guess letters to make the word. For kids who struggle with spelling, you write the blanks and let them guess letters (so they don’t inadvertently practice the wrong spelling by planning the spaces incorrectly to begin with).
- Typing – typing words on the computer in different “fun” fonts is also a great way to practice. Seeing the words written in different types of fonts helps the child recognize and remember their spelling.
- Spelling Aloud – this simple method helps train the brain in a different way to help the child remember the letters and their sounds within the words. You can make this more fun by having the child spell aloud using different types of voices such as loud, scary, shrill, deep/low, like Donald Duck or favorite character, etc.
- Tactile Spelling – Place a tactile substance into a cookie sheet and spread it smoothly. It could be shaving cream, playdough/clay, rice, cake sprinkles, salt/sugar, or other easily manipulated material that separates when a finger or object is dragged through it. Have the child write his/her words into the substance to practice. This is a super hands-on method that works great with fidgety kids.
How to use the “Make-Your-Own” Word Search Puzzles:
The download included in this post is meant to make it EASY to make your own word search puzzles for your child. Or, your child can make them for someone else to complete too! Here are tips for use:
- 10 words – Ten words is about the maximum amount of words a typical child can be expected to successfully memorize in one week. Here at our house, we focus on ten words per week which follow a specific spelling pattern, which is why you’ll see ten blank lines on these puzzles.
- For 2nd-5th grade – I also made the puzzles 20×20 squares, so that it’s slightly more difficult for upper elementary grade level students to be challenged. Younger children may find this size puzzle too overwhelming. This set is actually perfect for the older child who may be struggling with dyslexia and still needs weekly spelling practice.
- Save on printer ink! – There are six different styles/designs for these make-your-own word search puzzles, and I chose a simple black and white pattern to save on printer ink for each style.
Download them now by clicking the image below!