Creativity 521 #41 - Learning to spell with building bricks

Posted by ~Summer~ on March 05, 2014
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Since Angel turned four, she has started to develop a love for spelling and is now able to spell simple words like dog, cat, sun, pig, cow, baby and one of her longest words for now is happy. No prizes for guessing who taught her that and why.

That said, for a long time, I've been wanting to do up a spelling game for her but procrastinated until recently. I wanted it to be something fun, inexpensive, colourful and reusable. Guess what? We found the perfect solution - Learn to spell with building bricks!

As long as you have some LEGO Duplo, Mega Bloks or other building bricks lying around the house, this can done in no time at all and let me assure you that it will provide hours of fun for the kids and even the whole family!

What we used:

1) LEGO Duplo 
2) Mega Bloks Maxi
3) Different sized plain sticker labels
4) Luminous sticker labels
5) Scissors
6) Permanent marker

Firstly, cut the labels into a size that fits nicely onto the bricks. If you can find a label of the appropriate size, hooray! If not, it doesn't take a long time to do the trimming too. Do this for all the different sized building blocks that you wish to use.

Next comes the sticking fun, kids will love this! Try to get them to stick the labels neatly in the middle of every brick. It's totally okay if they don't get it right because the good thing about these labels is that you can just peel them off and stick them again.

I like to label all four sides of the bricks but that is totally up to you, depending on how many of these bricks you have at home. Just so you know, they can still perfectly function as playtime building blocks even after you label every single one of them. I kind of love the fact that they serve dual purposes nowadays, both the baby and the preschooler can have so much fun playing the same thing.

Ever doubt that you have neat handwriting? Well, now is not the time. Unless you wish to print out the letters and stick them, if not, just try to write the letters using a permanent marker as best as you can. I actually think it is better for them to be handwritten so that your child can learn and understand that the same letter doesn't have to always look exactly the same.

Tip #1: If your child is just starting out on learning alphabets, do start off with just lowercase letters since this is what he/she will predominantly use to read and write.

Tip #2: If your child has mastered the basics, then you can include both uppercase, lowercase, double letters, double vowel sounds and even words.

For me, I am currently teaching Angel about rhyming words like ball, fall, tall, wall and bat, cat, pat, sat so I make it a point to let her practise her phonics, pronunciation and spelling by just changing the first letter of the these words.

Ta-dah! After an afternoon of work, it seemed like we had a brand new set of building blocks to play! If you can see, we have some Duplo blocks that have the numbers 1-10 and pictures on one side so I took the opportunity to spell out these words and also write the Chinese characters.

I can already imagine how handy these spelling bricks will come in and as she progresses, we can use these to help her improve her vocabulary and even let her learn about compound words, word order and sentence structure. For now, we are contented with playing simple games like spelling 3-letter words in the shortest time or using phonics to pick out letters and see who has the fastest fingers.

Wait, that's not all! I had a surprise lying for my girl. Wanna make a guess? Hint: It glows!

Yes, although the idea of writing on building bricks is not entirely new and I have been inspired by other creative mums as well, I decided to add our own dimension to it and come up with something we have not seen before.

Now, what do you say to a game of spelling in the dark?

Presenting to you our unique building bricks using glow-in-the-dark sticker labels! Oh, in case you wanna ask, I got all my labels from my favourite store - Daiso. For $2, you can buy a small, rectangular piece of luminous label which can be cut into 12 pieces to fit on LEGO Duplo 2 x 2 bricks.

I did not edit these pictures so that you can see clearly how they look like. The above shows the bricks in a dim room with minimal light and if you were to go into a pitch dark room, viola! Below is what you'll get.

I asked Angel to close her eyes, brought her into the storeroom, turned off the lights and told her to read her surprise message above. She was happy beyond words. It's amazing how simple things can make kids go ecstatic, right? In turn, she did a "I love Daddy" message and showed the hubby the next day.

So, these nights, we have been playing spelling games on the bed before we sleep. Wait, I'm not saying you should let the kids play this for too long a time as it might be strenuous on the eyes (in the first place, you won't be able to hold the light for that long too). But, just a few minutes on some nights, especially when you play camping under the sheets, why not?

After all, having fun through play can be the best way for a child to learn, right?


To fellow bloggers who have a fun craft session, DIY tip or creative idea to share, come join in the party! Highlight and press Ctrl + C to copy my button above, include it in your post/sidebar and add your link below. I will be hosting Creativity 521 on the 5th and 21st of every month, do hop over for more inspiration. Remember: The sky's the limit when it comes to creativity!


  1. This is so ingenious! I have never seen it in Daiso. I will go Daiso this weekend to buy the luminous labels! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Haha thanks Christy! We got the inspiration when shopping in Daiso too! I heard not all outlets have it, hope you can find it this weekend! =)

  2. Oh, I have also started spelling with my boy and never thought of stickers on duplo blocks. What a creative idea! Thanks for sharing and yes, we are going to check out the glow stickers too!!

    1. Hi Evelyn, the duplo bricks ideas was inspired by other mums too, it is so brilliant, isn't it? I love how the bricks can still be played as per usual too. =) And oh yeah, we love glow stickers, we have the luminous planets in our room ceiling, and that was how the idea came about. =) Glad you like the post!

  3. Great and creative idea! I gonna make a trip to Daiso soon and have fun learning spelling with my 4 years old girl too :)

    1. Hi Christina, that's awesome to know! My girl is 4 too, turning 5 in Nov this year. At a age where she is totally in love with learning new words and spelling! I hope you will have fun with your girl too! Thanks for reading!

  4. This is AWESOME! I wanna try it at home too! :)

  5. Love the glow in the dark labels! I love the way you ask her to close her eyes and showed her the surprise :- "I 'heart' Angel"!

    Thanks for sharing!


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