Do you remember the old fashioned, photocopied Mix and Match spelling puzzles in school that presented two sets of word fragments, and you were required to draw a line from one fragment on the left side to its match on the right side to form a complete word? I used to love these games as a child, and now, as an adult, I can appreciate their educational value.
FunEnglishGames.com offers a great virtual alternative to this standard educational tool in a drag and drop format that really brings the game to life for today’s youngsters. Located at http://www.funenglishgames.com/spellinggames/learntospell.html, it’s ideal for children in kindergarten, first, and second grade. On the left of the screen, there is a yellow vertical rectangle with a list of two or three consonants, such as “st” “tr” “sk” etc. To the right of the vertical rectangle, are many small empty rectangles and the remaining letters of the unfinished words. When a child places the mouse over one of these unfinished words, an image is displayed as a clue to what the completed word will be. An example would be a picture of a skateboard, next to the word fragment: _ _ ateboard.
When children choose the correct set of consonants in the gray rectangle, and drag them to the appropriate set on the right to form the word, they are informed of their accomplishment, and their scores go up.
When the game is over, a congratulatory prompt comes up, stating “Good Matching!” “Mix and Go Again,” with the score of how many words were correctly formed. The child has an opportunity to play the game over and over using different consonants to form different words. This is a great, interactive way for children to sharpen their spelling skills while they enjoy the colorful imagery and confidence-building gratification of seeing their scores increase with each correct answer. The game can help children build a solid foundation that’s critical to their future reading skills.
FunEnglishGames.com offers a wide array of other free educational games to help kids develop their skills in reading, writing, and grammar.