Appletters is great for young students and older students. A great way to introduce younger students to spelling by using sight words or older students by using challenging words of at least 4 letters long. A great way to get students thinking and excited about spelling. 

APPLETTERS (5 and up, 2-4 players, Apple Seed - 1 player)

Players work together to make a word “worm” by taking turns to attach words to the head or the tail of the “worm.”

Goal: Be the first to use all of your letters.

Step 1: Place all tiles face down in the center of the table. These tiles are the “CORE.”

Step 2: Each player draws a tile from the “CORE” to decide who goes first. The closest to “A” starts the game. Tiles are returned to the “core.”

Step 3: Each player takes the correct number of tiles and stands them up so the other players cannot see their letters:

2 Players: 15 tiles each

3-4 Players: 12 tiles each

Step 4: At the beginning of each turn, the player must pick a tile from the “core” and must discard a tile to the “CORE.” The player can choose to discard a tile they already have, or discard the newly chosen tile. Once their tile has been discarded, the first player makes a word and places it in the middle of the table to begin the game.

Rule: If a player forgets to pick a tile from the “CORE” before placing their word, other players can call out, “ROTTEN APPLE!” As a penalty the player must keep the tile without discarding one.

Rule: If a player lays down a misspelled word, proper noun, or abbreviation, other players can call out, “ROTTEN APPLE!” As a penalty, the player must take back their word and take an additional tile from the “CORE.” Their turn is now over.

Rule: After discarding, if a player cannot make a word, they must pick 3 additional tiles from the “CORE,” say “PICK AND PASS,” and skip a turn.

Step 5: Moving clockwise, the next player picks and discards a tile, then adds their word to the “WORM.” The first or last letter of each new word must attach to the first or last letter of the “WORM.”

Rule: Players are allowed to lengthen existing words in order to build their word.

Step 6: The game continues until a player uses all of their tiles. The winner calls out, “HOW DO YOU LIKE THEM APPLES?!”

Rule: If none of the players can make a word from their tiles, the winner is the person with the fewest tiles left.

Extra challenges


If a player can make a word that is apple-related (core, stem, pie, peel, etc.) they get to call out “Apple Pie!” and dish out an additional tile from the core to all of the other players.


During his/her turn, a player may gain an advantage by replacing another player’s word with a new word and returning those tiles to them. Only words at the head or tail of the worm can be turned over. The new word must be longer than the word it replaces. When doing this, the player calls out, “Apple Turnover!”


Solo Play. Challenge yourself with an Appletters version of solitaire

Step 1: Place all tiles face down on the table. Take 15 tiles and proceed to play the game, with the goal of making a word “worm.”

Rule: If you can’t make a word, pick 3 additional tiles from the core as often as needed.

Step 2: Use all of the tiles in your hand as quickly as possible to win.

Can you do it faster each time?

Skills to Practice Using Appletters


-Word Recall

-Strategic Thinking



-Categories - nouns, animals, spelling words, vocabulary words, inanimate objects, adjectives, etc.

*Game rules come from Bananagrams website. (