Word Building Stomp Title Image
Camp PBS Parents

Glue sticks and sharpened #2 pencils aren’t the only back to school essentials your preschoolers and kindergarten-age children should be carrying into their new classrooms this school year. Getting a summertime head start on letter recognition, word construction and pre-reading skills will make the transition to a full day classroom experience far more enjoyable for your kiddo…and for you!

The Word Building Stomp game is a simple way to teach spelling, takes only minutes to make, and is a fun back to school activity because it gets kids thinking AND moving, inside or out. I have my youngest stomping all over the family room as we attempt to reverse the effects of the summer slide in preparation for 2nd grade which starts, ack!, next week!


What You’ll Need

  • Cereal boxes / cardboard (something sturdier than plain paper)
  • Permanent marker
  • Scissors
  • Floor space

The Set Up

Open up the empty cereal boxes and lay them flat, then cut out 9 or 12 rectangular tiles of roughly the same size. Use the scraps to make a list of 3 and 4 letter words you’ll use during the game. While consulting your word list, use a marker (preferably a quick drying one) to draw letters (capital or lower case, depending on your child’s grade level) on the cardboard tiles and then arrange them on the floor in a grid-like pattern.


How To Play

Now for the fun part! Have your child stand at the foot of the letter grid and then you call out the first word. Your child should shout out the first letter of the word and then jump to it and stomp on it when they land, before looking around for letter #2, shouting it out, jumping and stomping again. This will repeat until they have spelled the word or until they are out of breath — whichever comes first! Continue down your word list until your little spelling champion is exhausted, then have them lie down for a bonus round of sensory letter recognition!


Bonus Time!

This sensory letter recognition game is perfect for lazy weekend mornings when your little one crawls into bed, and no one is yet ready to scramble the eggs or even put on the tea kettle, and also for when the very active word building stomp game is over.

What You’ll Need


How To Play

Have your little one lie down on their belly and ask them to be still, quiet and focused. Slowly ‘write’ letters on their back, one at a time, with your finger and ask them to identify each letter. As they get good at this game, start to write some of the small words from your word building stomp game list and ask them to identify the words you are spelling. Not only is this a peaceful way to teach letter identification, but it also stresses the importance of focus, a skill that will serve your child very well in school.

More Back-to-School Fun

About Jeff Bogle

Jeff Bogle

Jeff Bogle is an at-home dad who writes humorously about parenting and All Things Childhood on his site Out With The Kids. He is married to an adorable redheaded gal and has two lovely little ladies 12 and under who provide him with countless hours of humorous in-home entertainment, and who get to hear, see, and play with more cool stuff than you can possibly imagine.

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  • http://athomedadmatters.com Dada Mike

    Tomorrow can’t come soon enough! Perfect idea! My kid starts preschool next month and while she loves to learn and is an apt at-home-pupil, she needs constant, new stimuli to make even a modicum of effort. Stomping screaming and jumping are right up her alley! Thank. You. Sir.

    • http://www.outwiththekids.com/ Jeff Bogle

      Perfect, Mike! Your girl sounds like the perfect candidate for the Word Building Stomp game! Have fun!

    • Jeff Bogle

      Perfect, Mike! She seems a perfect candidate for the word building stomp. Have a blast!

  • Debbie

    Fun idea! My kiddo is in that phase where she can read a ton of words, but misspells them when she writes them. This would be a fun way to work on that skill. Thanks for the idea, Jeff!