Climb the Ladder: A printable spelling game for any word list

Weekly spelling practice will become a drudgery if all you’re doing is copying and reciting spellings.  Try this free printable spelling game to mix things up!

climb the ladder - a spelling game for any word list -

Even though my kids attend school starting in kindergarten, I feel that it’s up to me to see that they develop a love of words.  One way I can promote that is by teaching spelling at home.  But if it’s going to supplement their classroom education, you can bet that it’ll have to be fun.  I love Word Study — a hands-on, meaningful approach to spelling instruction.  I’ve started its lessons with my daughter, who will be entering first grade in the fall.

Word Study focuses on weekly word sorts which allow students to find patterns in words instead of memorizing random word lists or trying to remember rules that are often broken.

Another part of Word Study is games.

As I develop and prepare games to play with my daughter, I’ll be sharing them here.

Whether you’re a homeschooling parent, a classroom teacher looking for a buddy game to use in the classroom, or a parent who’s helping your child get ready for the weekly test — here’s a game for you!

climb the ladder snip

Climb the Ladder Spelling Game:

1. Read a spelling word from your child’s list.  She should write the word on the bottom rung of the ladder.
2. If the word is incorrect, your child should cross out her incorrect spelling and write the correct spelling (with your help) next to the misspelled word.   The next spelling word should go on the same rung.
3. When your child spells a word correctly on the first try, she may move to the next rung for her next spelling word.
4. When she reaches the top, she’s done!

Obviously you will want to choose the words that are most challenging to your child to ensure she gets practice on the toughies.

Here’s the game: Climb the Ladder Spelling Game


Want to know more about teaching spelling?  Be sure to check out my Word Study series:

© 2013 – 2014, Anna Geiger. All rights reserved.


  1. says

    You read my mind! I’ve been meaning to create a ladder like this, so thank you! You can also use them for sight words. Kids can read sight word flash cards that they’re learning and then for each one they read correctly, put a penny on a rung of the ladder. They win when they’ve climbed the whole ladder with pennies:) Thanks again!

  2. Lisa Ehrman says

    Thanks for sharing this great idea! It’s fun to find homeschool bloggers on the Link-up! Hope your homeschool year is a great one!

    • Anna Geiger says

      Confession, Lisa – I don’t actually homeschool past preschool! Our kids attend our church’s parochial school. But as a former classroom teacher I can’t leave it all to them, so I do a LOT of supplementing at home and hope that my ideas and printables are very useful to homeschoolers like you!

  3. Lisa Ehrman says

    Oh, that’s great! I’m sure that your kids have been ready for school. It’s great that you take the time to help your kids succeed and now you’re sharing with everyone! Thanks!

  4. says

    My son is doing this for sure and I’m thrilled to have this in my back pocket (ready and waiting) for those spelling lists that will be coming home soon after school starts. THANK YOU!! I’m featuring this at the After School Linky Party. Stop by to check it out tomorrow and keep sharing your amazing ideas/activities!


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