If you’re the parent of an emerging reader, you are probably familiar with sight words. Also known as Dolch or high frequency words, sight words are words that children need to be extra familiar with and know how to read without doing so phonetically – upon sight. Often homework assignments in early elementary school involve rehearsing these words with parents. So how can parents make sight word training more palatable for their kids? Red Apple Reading has some fun ways you can practice sight words with your children. Check them out!
Purchase some special markers or crayons specifically for sight word practice. Scented markers, twist-up crayons, or other fun writing utensils can make the process of writing out these words more interesting.
When my youngest son was assigned sight word practice for homework, his teacher would often have students write the words several times in different colors. This writing repetition produced a lovely word rainbow.
Sight Word Tic-Tac-Toe
Playdough to Plato has come up with a fun twist on the classic Tic-Tac-Toe game. Each child is assigned a specific sight word and uses that word to mark their space instead of an X or an O. The first kid to get three of their words in a row is the winner. Visit Playdough to Plato to download a free template!
Sight Word Jenga
We found this fun idea from Kindergarten is Crazy. You’re probably familiar with the game of Jenga that involves removing and replacing blocks without knocking down the tower. This creative kindergarten teacher wrote sight words on the ends of the blocks and had students say the word as they removed the block.
Think paper is the only medium on which to write sight words? Think again! Get creative when it’s time to practice. For example, fill a tray with sand or rice and have your kiddo trace the words into these using his finger. If you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, whipped cream or pudding also can serve the same purpose – with the added bonus of being able to lick your fingers afterwards!
If you have young children chances are good that you have ABC refrigerator magnets. Keep a list of words your child is learning on the fridge and have him use the magnets to construct the words.
Build a Word
Here’s another creative way to incorporate toys into the learning experience! This smart teacher uses Mega Blocks to help her students review sight words. Simply write the word on the larger block and individual letters on the smaller ones. Kids build the word on top of the big block using the small alphabet blocks. Visit The Printable Princess for directions.
If you have a kiddo who struggles with sitting and learning, this is the perfect activity for her! We found this idea at I Can Teach My Child. All you need is some paper plates (sticky notes would work as well) and a soft ball of some sort. Write the words on the paper plates and tape them to an appropriate wall. Have your kiddo say a word and try to hit it with the ball.
Sight Word Bingo
Have a little friendly competition with sight word Bingo. Check out these free templates from Sight Words Game.
Red Apple Reading
Consider getting a membership to Red Apple Reading for your child. This online reading program teaches sight words along with phonics, phonemic awareness, vocabulary, fluency and reading comprehension. It’s serious learning that’s seriously fun!
Sight word practice doesn’t have to be boring and tedious. Try some of these ideas today and see what your kiddos think. You might even be inspired to come up with some of your own creative activities! Leave a comment below and let us know your family’s favorite way to practice sight words.