Fun Spelling Games to Play in the Car

Tired of the alphabet game off road signs when driving? Try these fun spelling games to play in the car and get practice in spelling. Hopefully you have a phone where you can check up on the correct spelling if there is a question.

I asked on Facebook today about whether it's common for homeschoolers not to teach spelling formally if a child is already a good speller. Come to find out it seems to be a pretty common practice.

At our house, only my 9th grader does anything formal with spelling. And really, Apples: Daily Spelling Drills for Secondary Students, which is what he is using for spelling, isn't a full-blown spelling curriculum. It's more of a review of phonics rules and some simple practice with spelling that takes him only about 10 minutes a day to complete.

Even though we don't use a full spelling curriculum at our house, we do play a lot of spelling games in the car.

Our Basic Spelling Game

This is how we usually play the game:

  1. One person spells a word of his choice.
  2. Each subsequent player spells another word that starts with the last letter of the previously-spelled word. For example:
    First person spells elastic
    Second person spells catastrophe
    Third person spells elephant

Without any score-keeping or elaborate rules, it may not sound like the most exciting game, but it's amazing how much fun it can be.

Game Variations

Most often we play just the basic version of the game, but occasionally we throw in some different rules for variety.

  • Play with the basic rules, but each player also uses their spelling word in a sentence.
  • Each player chooses the word for the next player to spell.
  • The word spelled needs to be related in some way to previously-spelled word. For example, this could be the order of words spelled: laugh, hilarious, clowns, circus, fire, dragon, fantasy, books. (This variation is a great way to explore the idea that words can have many different meanings.)
  • Each word spelled must be a proper noun or another part of speech (adjectives, verbs, etc).

We always have a lot of geeky homeschool fun when we play this game — like when Daddy joins in and opts to spell only words that are unique to fantasy literature!

Do you have any other suggestions for spelling game variations?

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  1. Tara says

    Thanks! We did the basic spelling game on the way home from Maine today (5 hours) and it was a hit. I wasn't sure how it would go but it was great. THanks again.


    Joy Reply:

    Glad you had fun! I'm always surprised at how much we enjoy playing it.


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