Spelling With Spools

My 3 year old is learning to put words together, so I put together some spelling spools for her to practice making small words for a start.
So far, I have made only 4 spool-spinners, as I call them, but more can always be made if there are more words we want to practice.

Also, if you decide to make some, don't feel like you need to keep them on dowels....it may be just as fun to leave the spools loose, and allow your child/students switch out spools and practice forming random words on their own once they are ready.

I like them on dowels just because I don't want to mess with losing any, and it helps make them easy and portable.

These could be adapted for other subjects such as math and reading too!
Try separating prefixes and suffixes or teaching syllables with the spools. You can choose to add a little space to a dowel to allow letters to be spaced and sandwiched as close or as far apart as you wish.

Have students use a pencil or a straw for another safe alternative if you don't have a wooden dowel.
(Supervise children at all times)
What we used:

Wooden dowels  (3/16th inches diameter x 12 inches long)
Wooden ball knobs with 3/16th in. hole

Wooden spools (3/16th in. x 7/8th in. ; 1/4in. hole)
(I tried recycling some spent thread spools, but found they didn't work as well)
Paint (optional)

 Letter Stickers ( you can also write the letters on if you rather)

1) Once you have your supplies, determine what words you want to make.

Our 4 spools spinners were made to spell the following words, but feel free to make your spelling spools with any words you want!

 Spinner 1) HE ME WE
Spinner 2) POP TOP HOP

(I realize we did bat twice, but it's OK ;)

2) Cut your dowels to a desired length...our dowels were little enough, I made an indention with a pair of scissors and then just broke it by hand in seconds.
3) Add your spools and knob endings.
4) Apply stickers on spools accordingly. For the spool size we chose, we could fit 3 different letter choices on each spool if we wanted to.
Try to match up words that share a similar ending or beginning.
5) Coat the spools with a layer of mod podge or clear paint to keep the stickers in tact.

These fit perfectly in a child's hands, and they have fun twisting the spools around to make various words!


 Turn them a little to reveal new words: HOP, CALL, ME, BED

NOTE: Supervise children when using these...not meant to be put in mouths ;)