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People are throwing adult spelling bee parties, and TikTok absolutely loves the idea: ‘This is my dream party’

Adults who long to capture the nerve-wracking thrill of their grade school spelling bee competitions — or just want to experience the challenge of spelling aloud for the first time — now have the chance to do just that with adult “spelling bee soirées.”

Similar to the cookbook club parties also made popular on TikTok, spelling bee parties are a way to gather with friends and have a common theme that unites guests together.

Nadia Learns (@nadialearns), a TikToker heavily influenced by The Art of Gathering author Priya Parker (@priyaparker), shared her version of a “Spelling Bee Soirée” that took off on the platform, much to the delight of many viewers.

“This is my dream party,” admitted @kemptacular.

“Where was this when I needed activities for my 30th birthday?! I ended up making my own trivia,” said @grace128a.

“My worst nightmare and I absolutely want to be invited!” added @awwtoottoot.

What are spelling bee soirées?

Spelling bee parties have been live on TikTok as far back as 2022, with some hosts keeping things more simple and others opting for more elaborate themes, decor and dining options.

In her TikTok, Nadia explained that she has inspired over 100 fellow word enthusiasts to host their own soirées. She laid down some ground rules for how to make them happen. First, she said invitations are key in order to have guests understand that “this is not your fifth-grade spelling bee.”

For instance, the upgrades from elementary school include cash gambling, a Dead Poets Society dress code and espresso martinis. Once guests accept their invitation, they will have to go through six rounds of progressively difficult words with themes such as “‘most misspelled words by state,” “sounds dirty but innocent” and “spelling bee royalty words.”

“There are so many fun rules in this spelling bee that make it goofy and more like a team sport,” Nadio noted, adding that her favorite rule was one “phone-a-friend” freebie for each team. For dinner, Nadio added that she and her roommates fed people chili for dinner and, to top it all off, handed out prize stuffed toucans for the winners.

“Oh that? Yeah that’s the Toucan we won at my friend’s spelling bee,” quipped @calixto.hemiptera.

How to host a spelling bee party

There are a few different ways to host your own spelling bee party. You could purchase an all-in-one spelling bee party kit, such as the Spelling Bee Soiree Event Guide for $10 that Nadia offers. The guide promises “every resource you’ll need to throw the party of the century” — including six rounds of spelling bee challenges via a 100-slide PowerPoint with definitions, etymology and timers, an invitation template, name tag templates and additional tips and tricks.

If you use Nadia’s guide, she also explained in her comment section that you will need a minimum of six party guests to make it work, with a maximum of 16 spelling bee contestants.

“If you have 17+, you’d need to add a word for each person to each round of spelling,” she added.

Or, you could DIY your spelling bee party like fourth-grade teacher Kyle Cohen (@mr.kylecohen) did. Cohen took his love of learning home by hosting his own spelling bee for his friends with words, origins and definitions he sourced. All in all, he dubbed his own spelling bee game night a “ridiculous amount of fun.”

“If you and your friends are looking for the perfect way to spend a Friday night, 10 out of 10 would recommend a spelling bee,” said Cohen.

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