Sometimes kids find studying to be difficult — especially for the little ones who have shorter attention spans. For many, typical flashcards and reading techniques don't work well. Over the years I've discovered different ways to make it easier for our family to practice sight words. There is no reason learning sight words has to be hard work, so here are 18 ways to make it fun:
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Get kids up and moving
- Lay the sight word index cards on the floor and “hop” from word to word to get across the room.
- Write the words with chalk outside.
- Play sight word hopscotch. Write your words in the hopscotch boxes and read them as you hop along.
- Put 2 sight words on each step. In order to get up the steps, you must read each word before you step on it.
- Lay the sight word cards on the floor. Take turns tossing a coin at the word. If you can read the word the coin lands on, you get to keep the coin!
- Fill Easter eggs with sight words and let kids hunt for them. At the end, they can turn in their correctly read words for a treat.
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Make it a game:
- Play Sight Words Bingo. Kids can also practice writing the words as they fill in the bingo card.
- Write the words on a tic-tac-toe board and read the word before you put the X or O in the space.
- Create your own “Go Fish” game with sight word index cards.
- Race the clock. See how many words your child can read or write in 60 seconds.
- Play a "Guess Who I am" game. Draw a card from a jar and give a clue about the word for the other person to guess. Ex: For “one,” you could say, “I’m a number,” “I have 3 letters,” “I am less than 2,” or “I rhyme with done.” To make it easier, you can have a list of the words for your child to see while they are trying to guess.
- Play a matching game. Lay one set of sight words face up and the matching set face down. Draw a face-down card, read it, then match it to the face-up word. If you can read it, keep the cards. The person with the most cards wins.
- Grab the Scrabble tiles and put them out on the table. Have you child put the letters together to spell words. Start by giving them words to look at and eventually let them spell on their own.
Tip: Kids love to use dry-erase markers. You can laminate some of the games, like tic-tac-toe and Bingo, and use dry erase markers to play.
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Touch and feel:
- Create your sight words with modeling dough.
- Write your sight words in shaving cream, whipped cream, a dish of rice, salt, or sand.
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Use fun materials:
- Spell your sight words with stickers, ABC stamps, game letter tiles, or magnet letters.
- Highlight the words in a newspaper or a magazine... or cut them out and glue them in categories or make a picture with them.
- Spread the words around the house and search for them with a flashlight.
Jenny Sites is the publisher of Macaroni KID Fredericksburg-Spotsylvania-Stafford, Va.