It can be difficult to get kids to do homework – especially when it is boring and repetitive. Creating games around those tedious homework tasks can help shift kids from avoiding their homework to looking forward to doing their homework.
One of the games that gets my kids excited about homework is spelling football. I take no credit for coming up with the game, and I don’t really remember where I heard of it, but it has been a huge success at our house. Spelling football is easy to set up. First the parent draws a football field on one piece of paper and hands the child another piece of paper.
Then the parent either puts a piece of candy or a coin on the fifty yard line. After that, the parent begins to quiz his or her child with their child’s spelling words. Each time the child gets a word right they move toward their in zone 10 yards. Each time they miss a word they move away 10 yards. If they miss a word they also get to spell it correctly on their piece of paper 3 times. When the child gets their piece of candy or coin into the in zone they get to keep it. Then the parent replaces the candy or coin and they continue the game until the child has practiced all their words and gotten them all correct.
My kids really enjoy practicing their spelling words with dad now. And my daughter was really excited to share that she got 100% on her spelling test for the first time this year a few weeks after we started playing spelling football!
Ezra explains how to play spelling football.
Shiloh Lundahl, LCSW, is a child and family therapist in Gilbert and Mesa, Arizona. He is the founder of Parent Arizona and Counseling Services and is part of the Arizona Family Institute.
He provides parenting classes using the Love and Logic curriculum, classes for parents of children with ADHD, step-parenting classes, and advanced trainings for foster and adoptive parents. He also provides in-home therapy in Gilbert, Mesa, Queen Creek, San Tan Valley, Chandler, and Tempe, Arizona.