Letter Tiles

I’ve found letter tiles to be a great add on to my writing activities.

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Super Cheap!

They can be super cheap!  Over the course of a summer I found 6 different Scrabble games at various garage sales and second hand stores.  I don’t think I paid more than a dollar and a half for any one game.   I tossed the board and kept the tiles.  Or you can purchase different color sets of 100 wooden letter tiles online at Amazon*.

Later, I found these perfectly sized plastic storage containers at Walmart.


They are useful if you want to be super organized and are using multiple sets.  Otherwise, zip lock baggies work just as well.

These tiles can be used with any age range of children and I haven’t found a camper yet that doesn’t like to use them.  Boys, girls, ages 4 years old to 15 (our Helping Hand Mentors) fight over the center spot.

It’s a kinetic activity.  Their hands are touching and moving.  These Scrabble tiles will serve as a sure 150 cent success!

6 Ways to Use Letter Tiles

Here’s a list of ways I have used them beginning with youngest to oldest:

1. Teach selected sight words


For example:  Write the word THE on a piece of paper.  Give the child the T-H-E tiles in that order.  Show them T H E on your paper and T H E in their tiles.  Mix the tiles up.  Have the child put the letters back in their correct order.  Repeat using any words that the child is working on.  (I recently used this with my son when learning how to read number words.)

2. Review a list of known words

Write a sight word on a piece of paper or whiteboard in scrambled fashion.


The child either has just the tiles OOKL (easier) or has all of the letter tiles and has to find and spell LOOK.

3. Number of letters

The child makes as many 2 letter words, 3 letter words or 4 letter words that the tiles allow for.

Being able to distinguish letters from words is a skill assessed in Concepts About Print.  Children need to be able to point out one letter, two letters, one word and two words.  Choosing a word to spell, according to the number of letters it has, helps solidify this concept.

4. Numbers 1-6

Roll a dice or spin numbers 1-6.  (To see a full list on how to use this easy winner spinner, click here.)

Tile spell a word with that many letters.   You may want to have a list of sight words available such as this one intended for very beginner readers and writers or any one of the Dolch Sight Words Lists

5. Thematic word scramblers

If children are learning names of animals.  Scramble an animal name.   You can play this using ANY vocabulary that the children are learning.

The children have to use the tiles to spell it out correctly.  Themes can get as advanced as horse terms, flower names, auto parts, anatomy etc.   We play this each time I teach Wild Cat names at the Carolina Tiger Rescue.

6. Word pyramids

This is best done if 2-3 children are working together, but can be done individually.  The children have to build a word pyramid using the letter tiles.  The first line has a one letter word.  The 2nd line has a two letter word.  The third line has a 3 letter word and so on.

The pyramid can stop at any length depending on the level of the child.  The highest I ask my campers to go is up to 10 words simply because they start running out of letters then.  This past summer though, in the Spanish camp, two groups eagerly exhausted all of their letters and wrote some in to get to 14 letters!  (I only took a picture up to 12 letters. Sigh.)

It’s a very popular activity!

One more thing about these pyramids, you can steer them towards a thematic pyramid such as:


If you’re a classroom teacher, a homeschooling mom or a language learner….letter tiles offer a guaranteed fun way to practice spelling!