Fun Ways to Practice Sight Words

Today I am excited to share a few hands-on ideas for practicing sight words at home or in the classroom. When working to memorize these words we want to keep things FUN and repeated exposure to these words in a hands-on way is the way to go!

-Sight words are words that are immediately recognizable. Basically, the goal is for our children to recognize these words as whole words (memorized) without decoding.
-Sight words are the most frequently used words in the English Language and although we know it is important for students to know how to decode words, memorizing sight words helps build fluency.
-Teaching sight words is one component of comprehensive reading instruction.
-Where can I find sight word lists? Dolch and Fry are the biggest research-based sight word lists out there. You can find the lists on this website along with other helpful information. Some teachers/school districts use a list of words that is a combination of lists, therefore I always suggest contacting your child's teacher to get the list your student will be using.

Once you have your list of words it's time to practice! I suggest only introducing 1-2 words at a time. Practice those until memorized then add in more.

Label craft sticks with the letters needed to build various sight words. Store these sticks in a bag marked with what words your child can build with that bag. Have your child pull out the bag, dump the sticks, then work to build and read each sight word.

Write sight words across a sheet of paper. Have your child roll balls of Play-Doh and place one under each word. Then have them smash the Play-Doh as they read each word.

Scatter sight word cards all over the floor and turn on the tunes. When you stop the music have your child pick up a card and read the word. Keep playing until all cards are done. *This game can even be done with just a few words by writing out the word multiple times. Each time they freeze, pick up a card and read it.

Write out sight words on sticky notes and stick them to the wall. If you only have a few you are working on, write them multiple times for added practice. Give your child a fly swatter then call out a word, have them find it, and swat it! Be sure they repeat and read the word as they swat it too.

This might be my daughter's favorite way to practice! Spray shaving cream on a shallow tray and set out with sight word cards (just index cards over here) Have them pick a card, read the sight word,  then form it by writing it in the shaving cream. Keep a towel nearby so they can wipe their finger clean after each word.

Grab this FREE printable HERE and have fun uncovering and reading each secret sight word! This is super engaging for littles because the words are written in white crayon! When they paint over each box with watercolors the words are revealed!

Write your child's sight words on index cards. You'll need to make sure each word is written twice so they have a match. Then play the classic memory match game! Lay all cards face down in a grid. Take turns turning over two cards and identifying if they match by reading them out loud. If they get a match they get to keep the pair and get another turn. If no match, they flip them back over and the next player goes.

For this game you'll need 2-4 plastic cups, sticky notes, and a pompom. Label the sticky notes with sight words and place one on each cup. Play a game of "where is the pompom?" by hiding a pompom under one of the cups then having your child guess which cup by reading the word out loud.

Have you ever had your child write in Play-Doh? Grab your deck of sight word cards, a stick for writing, and some Play-Doh. Invite your child to roll the Play-Doh flat then practice reading and writing each word in it.

For this activity write out your child's sight words on a large sheet of paper. Give them a colored dice and have them roll, identify the color, then read, and outline the sight word in that color. Keep playing over and over. This activity can work with any number of words. This activity can totally be done on just a regular sheet of paper BUT blowing it up by hanging it on the wall just makes it more fun.

There are so many FUN ways to get your kiddos to practice their sight words. Keep them engaged by switching it up with various ideas.

Which activity is your favorite?