Sight words are one of the first ways your child begins reading. As a parent, I first thought that memorizing words isn’t really what reading is all about! But now that my second child is in kindergarten, I understand that these sight words help build confidence and the beginning understanding of how words are formed, sound and work.
As a parent, it’s extremely important for you to practice sight words at home. Sight words are one of the essential skills your child will need for reading success. And while practicing sight words with your child at home will make a big difference, it should also be a fun experience! (To learn more about why sight words are important for your child, read this article from Education.com.)
Fun Games to Practice Sight Words at Home
Paper Plate Toss: Write sight words on paper plates. Use them like frisbees to throw after reading the word. Add in some additional fun by adding a target.
Flashlight Words: Turn off the lights. Tape words on the wall or ceiling. Use the flashlight to sine on the word, then have your child read it.
Go Fish: Wish a duplicate set of word cards play “Go Fish.” You can easily make your own cards out of index cards.
Stepping Stones: Place the word cards on the floor, making a fun stream going across the room. Have your child walk over the stream. As they step onto the stepping stone (word), have them say the word before they move on to get to the other side of the stream.
Tic-Tac-Toe: Write words in the tac-tac-toe spaces. Take turns selecting a space to read. If read correctly, an X or O is placed on the space until someone wins.
Word-O: This is played just like BINGO. Fill in a card with the words that you are working on. Call out the words and mark the spaces. The first one with a card covered calls out the word “WORDO!”
Word Hunt: Look for target words in books or in the newspaper. If using the newspaper your child can highlight or circle the words that she finds.
Word Jump: Write the sight words onto the driveway. Call out a word. Have your child jump their way to the sight word.
SNAP: You put the sight words you want them to practice on flash cards and put the flash cards into a jar. Also, you write the word SNAP on a few flash cards and put them in to the jar. The kids can play in partners or in a groups of 3 or 4 with siblings. They take turns pulling a card out of the jar. If they can say the word on the card automatically with no struggle, they get to keep the card. If they struggle, they have to put it back. If they pull out one of the cards that says SNAP, they have to put all of the card they’ve drawn back. The first person to 5 cards (or 10) wins!
Stair Chase: Place two sight word cards on each stair. Let them pick one sight word on the way up, saying the word and picking up the card when they get it correctly. Have them practice the other sight words on the way down.
Coin Toss: Put words on the floor. Children take turns tossing a coin onto a word and saying the word. If they get the word correctly, they keep the coin. If you like, first to 10 coins wins. Or see if they can collect all of the coins.
Concentration: Create two sets of word cards. Place the word cards face down. Have your child turn over two cards, trying to make a match. Continue until all of the words are matched.
Play who am I? Lay out the word cards. Then give the child clues to what the selected word is. For example, if the word was “red,” you could say – I rhyme with bed. I had three letters. I end with the letter D. Have the child locate the word.
Chalk Writing: Go outside and practice writing the sight words with chalk on the sidewalk.
Beat the Clock: See how many times your child can write a word in one minute. Or see how many flash cards your child can read in one minute.
Words You Can Eat: Write your words in whipped cream, peanut butter, carrots or anything you can eat.
Salt Tray: Grab a tray or baking sheet with edges. Pour in salt. Write the word in salt. When your child says it correctly, they get to erase the word.
More Fun Ways to Practice Sight Words: Write Them Out
Having your child recite sight words isn’t the only way to have them practice sight words. Having them write them out in fun ways helps them learn the spelling, too. You can make words using:
- Wiki sticks
- Alphabet stamps
- Scrabble tiles
- Magnetic letters
- Popsicle Sticks
- Salt on a Tray
- Sidewalk Chalk
- Sticks (in sand or dirt)
For more ideas and resources to practice sight words, consider the following affiliate links: