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Move over Rainbow Loom

2014 January 24
by Rachel Turiel

Have you heard about the new kid-craze sweeping the nation?
ws2Ok. Maybe it’s just sweeping through one small family in Tupperware Heights who’ve never been known to be on the cusp of anything. But, still.

Watch out Rainbow Loom, because Col and Rose have been making their own Word Searches. And I keep waiting for the kids to figure out that they’re actually practicing writing, spelling and categorizing, but so far everything is just registering as: fun. Perhaps the kids love it because word searches typically exist in tidy little, pre-assembled workbooks or in the Wednesday “Kid Page” of the newspaper. But to make your very own from start to finish is like being an engineer of important things.

Rose says: It is fun and homemade and I like writing all the letters in the boxes. It’s fun giving it to people. You guys might want to learn how to make them.

Col says: They’re fun and I like sharing them with my friends.

In the event that your kids want to practice writing and spelling  create their own Word Search, here are Col and Rose’s instructions:

1) First, create a list of words from a theme. Theme Examples: Aquatic Life, Nautical, Mountain Life, Rose’s Favorite Things. Ten to fifteen words is a good number for kids.


Leotards! Which I formerly thought of as simply, tolerable.

2) Make a grid on a piece of paper with a ruler. The spaces between our lines run from 1/2 inch – 1 inch wide.


3) Fill in your chosen words in pencil onto the blank grid. Try to overlap words as much as possible, i.e. the “o” in mountain lion can also be used for the “o” in crow. Place words forwards, backwards, up, down, diagonal, and the wildest: backwards diagonal.



4) When your whole list has been entered into the grid, fill in the blank spaces with random letters. Tip: for extra challenge add duplicate letters around actual words, i.e. around “crow,” add “crox” or “crot” to fake your player out.


We’ve been making numerous copies of each Word Search to send to grandparents and friends, which I think makes the kids feel a little famous. If your kids would like to do a Word Search exchange with Col and Rose, let me know. Really. It’ll be the new pen pal.

ps: Thank you for all the birthday wishes and acknowledgement for Col.

pps: Since my book recommendation post, I read The Daily Coyote, by Shreve Stockton, recommended by Valeta. This book is about a city girl who, on a whim, moves to rural Wyoming and falls in love with a Predator Control Agent (AKA: he shoots coyotes to protect ranchers’ livestock), who gives her a 10 day old orphaned  coyote. That’s all I’m saying, except that I loved it very much.

ppps: Have a superb weekend.


16 Responses leave one →
  1. January 24, 2014

    Sweet! My girls love to create their own word searches (and so many other word games, like charade, mixed words, etc.). They will spend days writing and calculating and love it. Ahhh! Unschooling! Hope you are well, my friend! We are freezing up here (-32 C today).

  2. Rebecca permalink
    January 24, 2014

    Love how Rose’s favorite things list includes “bars”. Ha! Happy weekend!

    • dale in denver permalink
      January 24, 2014

      I noticed that too. Uh oh. ;-)

      • Rachel Turiel permalink*
        January 24, 2014

        At least it’s not “bras.”
        Also, bars as in: those extremely sweet things that parade as healthful.

  3. January 24, 2014

    I just asked my daughter about rainbow loom and she said the girls in her class are wearing them up to their elbows… so it’s even reached Saskatchewan!
    I didn’t get in on the last round of book suggestions, so here’s one now…I just started “This is the story of a happy marriage” by Ann Patchett and already have a mental list of people to whom I need to recommend it. I think you’d like it. (It’s a compilation of non-fiction essays.)

    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      January 24, 2014

      Even up in Saskatchewan!
      I can’t wait to read that book. I’m on a very long waiting list via the library. Glad you liked it.

  4. teresa interlicchia permalink
    January 24, 2014

    thank you so much for this post! zoe loves doing word searches, but making her very own will be a whole new level. we have been playing a LOT of hangman around here (though we don’t call it that, nor do we draw the little man hanging from a stand, that is just too morbid. our little guy gets a hat instead). this will be a welcome addition to super fun word games. (and happy belated birthday to Col, as well as a happy belated birth-ing day to you, mama!)

  5. Andrea permalink
    January 24, 2014

    hell ya, home-school.
    keep on (learning) having fun!

  6. janie permalink
    January 24, 2014

    we want a Col and Rose word search, please.


    • Rachel Turiel permalink*
      January 24, 2014

      It’s already in the mail darling cousin.

  7. January 24, 2014

    I am not a kid anymore, nor do I have kids (yet) but I would love a Rose and Col word search, and would be happy to make two to send back to them! I love snail mail.

  8. Ellie permalink
    January 25, 2014


    I love the idea of pen pal word-search exchanges! Let me check in with my seven-year old when he wakes up and I will get back to you.


  9. January 27, 2014

    we are all over the word searches! i let della read the post and she was at her desk within minutes. first she copied col and roses ideas and then she was off on her own! love it!

  10. February 5, 2014

    What a great idea! My 5yo just discovered the fun in word searches. Maybe I can convince her to create her own too. With the Polar Vortex keeping us home, I’ll take anything that keeps the kids entertained. Or at least one of them will delight in this. As for the 2yo, maybe a few rounds of hide and seek while her sister looks for words.

  11. February 11, 2014

    Great idea! I am going to get my kids on this ASAP. Thanks for the instructions!

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