Free Parent Involvement Activity – "All But One" – Grades 1 to 3

Composition, Vocabulary, Spelling

Place small strips of masking tape on a die to cover the dots. On each of the six sides, write a different letter, for example, D, W, G, Y, U, J.

The object of the game is to roll the die and write a sentence that does NOT use the letter you rolled in any of the words. Take turns with your child so she can see you struggle a bit while trying to come up with suitable words.

For example, if the letter “D” is rolled, a possible sentence could be:

The best way to go fishing is with a worm on your hook.

Naturally, it will be easier to refrain from using the more uncommon letters, so you may want to start by putting letters such as J, Q, V, W, X, Z, etc., on the die. As you and your child become more skilled in this activity, you can begin adding more of the commonly used consonants or vowels. For an added challenge, roll a pair of dice and try creating sentences that require you to avoid using two letters instead of just one.

Variation — Instead of excluding the letter, challenge your child to use the letter as much as possible in a sentence. “Dan didn’t dig doodling on dry, dusty dinner dishes.”

Source: Bright and Beyond, Smart & Simple Activities to do with your Child, Writing. Available at

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