Before Americans even had official dictionaries, spelling games in English were already gaining steam. Most historians believe that spelling competitions unofficially began in the late 1700s because the Puritans wanted to make sure everyone spelled and recited Bible verses correctly. It wasn’t until 1925, however, that we saw the first national spelling bee, and it has run ever year since with the exception of World War II. Even after the world developed “workarounds” to spelling, i.e., autocorrect, spell check, and so on, people still love to watch nervous little kids step up to a microphone and spell some crazy huge word in front of the whole world! For goodness sakes…who else would know how to spell “splanchnic” anyway? (Yes, that’s a real word.)
Many spelling bee games and similar online word games are simplified to get around all these technicalities, but in real life, spelling bee rules are actually very strict. When presented with their word, each speller has one chance to get it right. They can ask for the definition of the word, and they can ask to hear it in a sentence for context. They can’t go back and start over if they mention a wrong letter, and when it gets to the final rounds, spellers have to follow even more strict rules! Of course, as long as you’re not aiming for the national circuit, you don’t have to worry about all the technical stuff. The main gist in free spelling games for 5th graders, 4th grade students, and other age groups online is to simply take your best shot at the word. Spell it as best you can, and if you mess up, don’t worry – it won’t be on national television.
The greatest thing about spelling games for the classroom or just for recreation is that they help kids to develop and maintain a quickly disappearing skill. Yes, autofill and spell check will usually get the job done, but that doesn’t mean you’ll never have to fill out a job application with this ancient and exotic device called a “pen” every once in a while. The point is, spelling bee games are good for your brain and even better for boredom. Parents, spelling games don’t just enhance this one skill, either. Your child will expand their vocabulary at the same time – how behooving!
If you’re tired of the same old spelling games, then never fear, because we have an entire category of themed titles filled with fun features that will keep you guessing and having fun. Whether you want a clue in the form of two pictures mashed together, a scenic backdrop that you can fill in with each word you spell, or all kinds of un-jumbling, matching, and tile-swapping action, we’ve got just the spelling bee game for you. If you want even more wordplay after running through this category, we have enough crossword puzzle and search-a-word games to keep you entertained for hours on end. And if that’s not enough, well, you might just have to take your spelling games skills to the national stage after all!