12 Ways To Have Fun with Sight Words
We recently shared about SIGHT WORDS – what they are, how they are helpful and how they will take over your child’s homework for at least the first three years of their primary schooling. We thought it only fitting then that we would give you some cool and creative ideas on how you can have fun with sight words (even before your little darling enrols in their first day of prep).
There are so many great ideas, games and activities online like this incredible idea to write in salt – how fun! We thought we would provide some additional handy ways on how to teach sight words and learn with things you might already have at home and that won’t break the budget.
1. Display Them
Make or download (good old Pinterest is a great place to visit for this, I have done a quick search for you and here are some sight word printables you can use) some sight word flash cards and display them around the house. Basic words like on, off, yes, no, in, out and stop can be used around the house in games and on light switches etc. This makes learning the words meaningful and relevant.
If your child is older and is having trouble with specific basic sight words, display these in their bedroom (or even on the ceiling above their bed) so they can read them before they sleep at night.
Make the words out of playdough or make playdough pancakes and write the words in the playdough. The same can be done with sand or mud or kinetic sand or shaving foam or….the possibilities are endless. You could also do this with real dough and bake the words in the oven when you are done. It might seem fun to a six-year-old to eat their sight words once they are cooked.
Grab a small bucket of water (even chuck a drop of food colouring in there) and a paintbrush and get your child to paint their sight words all over the back fence or the driveway or the front deck – wherever you wish.
4. Rainbow Writing
Head to your local two dollar shop and buy a pretty pack of gel pens, textas, glitter glue or even some cool crayons. Have your child write their sight words in rainbow colours or funny writing (bubbles or squiggly) to make learning to write the more exciting.
5. Hide and Seek
Hide the sight word flashcards somewhere (around the house or yard) and have your child go on a treasure hunt to find them. To make it more fun, get dressed up and take some binoculars, a camera or a magnifying glass and a special bag or basket to put all of their found treasures in.
6. Key Rings
Make little sight word cards, grab a hole-punch and place them on a key ring (coloured key rings can be purchased really cheap at a two dollar shop). These can be kept in the car for traffic jams or drives to school where your child can practise reading the words out or spelling them out loud to whoever wishes to listen.
7. Chalk It
Find yourself a handy bucket of sidewalk chalk and let your child go crazy with sight words all over a space outside – this could be the driveway (be safe) or a paved area. A small chalkboard (or whiteboard) is always fun too. You could call out the word and have your child write it – and a handy little activity that could be completed while you are prepping dinner or hanging a load of washing (fun).
8. Wash It Away
Write a sight word list on the fence and give your child a spray bottle. Have them read the word and then spray it off until it is washed away.
9. Roll a Dice
Have your child choose a sight word and then roll the dice – if they land on a six they have to write the word six times. An alternative for this is to give them six sight words in a table with each word assigned a number. If they roll the word’s number they need to write it down once. This is a fun little race to see which words can be written the most.
10. SNAP! and Concentration
Make (or download) two lists of sight word cards to play concentration or snap. To play concentration: flip all cards face down and take turns trying to find the matching pairs.
11. Getting Fit
Draw a hopscotch outside (use that good old sidewalk chalk) and choose nine words to have a game of hopscotch. Another fun thing to do is to give your child a word and have them jump or skip while they are spelling it. You could also stick some sight word cards to the fence or even some trees in the backyard. Call out the word and have your child run to the word as fast as they can. This can be done at home or even the local park for something different.
Buy a new fly swat (one that has not actually come in contact with a fly) and place the sight word cards on the floor. As you call out the word, have your child swat the correct word with the fly swat. You can swap over so they can call the word out and you can have a turn swatting too.
Sight Word Kit
We recommend organising a sight word kit with some of the resources you may need. This allows you to grab an activity quickly so your child can practise their words every day and it does not become another crazy afternoon chore that you have to do. The idea is that your child can work independently some afternoons or play one of the games with a sibling or friend to allow for those days when you have a million things to do.
The kit can be taken in the car too, so if you have after school sport with your older children, the words can be practised at the same time with your younger child while you wait.
Here is a shopping list of some items you may use to start your own sight word kit:
- Plastic container, box or basket with a lid is preferable
- Sight word cards (homemade or download)
- Plastic cup (for water painting)
- Sidewalk chalk
- A packet of coloured pens
- Mini chalkboard or whiteboard and pen
- Spray bottle
I have recently made a similar kit for a child that I tutor so she can have fun with sight words and it was cheap and very effective. She loves it and once I taught her the activities she can now do some of them independently on the days that I am not tutoring her.
The ability to read and recognise sight words enables children to become more confident and fluent readers. These activities will continue to expose your child to these words and will then support their learning and allow them to become masters of reading and writing.