This post may contain affiliate links. Purchasing through them helps support this website. This post may also contain items gifted for consideration.
Do you want to know how to help your child practice their sight words without hours of flashcards? Here are 17 FUN ways to practice sight words (that will leave you with time to play)!
Last school year, a whole bunch of my friends kids started kindergarten. For the first time in my many years of teaching……my personal and my professional lives mirrored each other. I’d never had friends with elementary school age kids until then!
Three different friends at three different schools? All texted me the EXACT same question within the first couple days of school.
WHAT IS THIS SIGHT WORDS THING?!?!
There are two major parts of learning to read. Putting sounds together (phonics and phonemic awareness) and memorizing sight words. Sights words are commonly used words (like the or and) that appear very frequently in early reading materials. They also (for the most part) can’t be sounded out. So, kindergarten and first grade teachers…..ask families to help kids memorize them. Sight words (sometimes referred to as rainbow words) are divided into smaller groups of 8-10 words at a time. Kids are often tested on the words each week, as they pass each “set” of words…..they’ll be given a new list (this is a great list of words that are generally expected for each grade level, but I’d ask each teacher if they divide them into a certain order).
So, how in the world can YOU help your child learn these sight words? Today I’m sharing 17 ways to practice sight words at home that don’t involve boring drill and kill flashcards.
17 Ways to Practice Sight Words (and still have time to play)
Word of the Day: tape one or two words written on an index card next to the front door, as EVERYONE in the family leaves or enters the house…..ask them to touch the word and yell it out.
Jump to Read: write the words your child is practicing in chalk outside, spend five to ten minutes a day jumping from word to word and calling them out.
Eat the Words: write this weeks’ sight words in whipped cream or frosting, eat one word treat a day (after reading it of course).
Spell Them Out: Use alphabet pasta (dry) to spell out each word (glue them onto a piece of cardstock for future practicing).
Concentration: Play concentration with matching sets of sight word cards.
Shaving Cream: Spread shaving cream onto a plastic tray and write the words with your finger
Tic Tac Toe: Play tic tac toe (using two sight words instead of x and o).
Magnets: Build sight words each day with letter magnets on the fridge.
Sight Word Search: Hide two or three sight words around the house (written on a post it). Have your child find them (each day hide them in a new place).
Note of the Day: Each day write your child a short note (1-3 sentences). Include the words they are practicing. Ask them to circle those words in crayon(bonus points for letting them use their favorite color).
Use alphabet cookie cutters and playdough to spell out the words.
Put letters onto a set of legos and BUILD the words.
Catch: Use a sharpie to write each word from your child’s current set on different parts of a beach ball. Toss the ball back and forth, yelling out the words that face up each time.
Roll the Die: Create a set of die (large size) with a word on each face. Roll and read.
Memory: create pairs of sight words and play memory.
Sight Word Detective: look for focus words in your favorite story each night.
Better than flashcards right? Sight words are all about repetition, so it’s a lot better to make it fun.