Playing with spelling and words is like gymnastics for your brain. Enjoy stretching that “muscle” with a few of these Brain Break games!

Brain Breaks are short activities, often only 1-3 minutes long, that help kids get ready to learn or refocus on the task at hand. They often involve physical activity and movement though relaxing activities can also boost mental brain power.

So in addition to encouraging your kids to participate in these fun breaks, join the kiddos and have some refreshing, stress-free fun yourself, too!

Supplies needed:

  • An old magazine that you can cut out pictures and words.
  • Scissors, glue, tape
  • Your brain
  • A ball
  • A person to play catch with
  • A piece of paper
  • Pencils, markers, and maybe chalk of different colors of your choice

Here’s what you do:

Explore some of these games by writing on paper or chalk on the sidewalk or wherever you choose (ask first if it’s on a wall though!!). Some of these are taken from the website

Stair Steps

This easy spelling game helps your child memorize the way certain words are spelled. Ask them to write each word as if they are stairs, adding one letter at a time. You can do this on a piece of paper or use alphabet magnets. For example:


Spelling Ball

This game requires three or more players. Stand together in a circle with a ball. The first person must call out a word then toss the ball to another player. The catcher must spell out the word and then toss it to the next person with a new word. Help each other too!

Magazine – Make – a – Sentence

Each person cut out words and pictures from a magazine and make a pile.

One person puts a word or picture down, then the next person takes from their pile and adds to the first word or picture and so on. Players decide when they have enough for a sentence

Spelling Train

Choose a word for your child to write down. Then, get them to write another word starting with the last letter of the first word, and so on. They can continue building their spelling train using the last letter of every word.

For example:


Move your words

Write the letters like the word they are such as BUBBLE, FAST, TALL, SKINNY, SHAKY.

Challenge Extensions:

For the little ones (Grades 1-3)

Find letters and words around your house, classroom or even around town – share what you see. Draw a line and have a friend or family draw the next line to create a letter. Try to do the whole alphabet.

For the older kids (Grades 4th to middle school)

Create an Acrostic Poem using your name or of people in your family. An acrostic poem is a poem, word puzzle, or other composition in which certain letters in each line form a word or words.







“The Why” behind the Challenge:

To reinforce understanding of letters and how they make up words and develop reading skills while having fun.

Check out these books for more word, spelling, and art fun!

Animology: The Big Book of Letter Art Alphabeasts by Maree Coote

No Reading Allowed: The Worst Read-aloud Book Ever: A Confusing Collection of Hilarious Homonyms and Sound-alike Sentences by Raj Haldar & Chris Carpenter

The B on Your Thumb by Collette Hiller and Tony Freeman

Little i by Michael Hall

Check out these great websites for kids about building your word power!

Reading Eggs – some resources are free

PBS Spelling Games

15 Guided Reading Activities, Classroom Accommodations, and Teaching Strategies for Students with Dyslexia