Lets be honest, what kid likes to sit still while being drilled their sight words? Kids are expected to know sight words during their school years, but there can be FUN ways to go about this. My kids literally BEG to practice their sight words when the following activities listed below are provided. Good news, the activities listed below are EASY to put together because who has time for anything other than easy?
1. Sight Word Towers
For this activity, I gathered up a pile of blocks we already had. I wrote the sight words on labels and stuck each word on a block. My son then selected a block, read the sight word and if he read it correctly, he used it to build his tower. He had a blast!
2. Sight Word Flashlight Find
For the rest of the activities that I will list, I needed to make sturdy sight word cards. I grabbed an old cardboard box and a box cutter. I cut out 20 squares. These squares don’t have to look remotely good or even be the same size. It probably took 10 minutes total to make these. Next I wrote down a sight word on each cardboard square.
For this activity, I let my son scatter the cardboard squares across the room any way he liked. Next, we turned off the lights and closed the blinds. I gave him a flashlight and he shined it on a word and then read it. If he said the word correctly, he could pick it up and put it in a pile. He shined the flashlight on all of the words until he had read them all. I love that he is practicing sight words, even though he is having fun playing with the flashlight in the dark. The room really was darker than the picture seems too.
3. Sight Word Basketball
My son used the sight words cards we already had to play sight word basketball. He picked up a word and if he said it correctly, he threw the ball in the basket. You can use whatever size ball or basket/hoop you may own. He went through the whole pile of words. He is highly motivated to get each one correct because he likes to throw the ball in the basket.
4. Sight Word Roads
For this activity, my son took the sight word cards we already had and made a road. He stood at the beginning of his road and each word he said correctly, he could move ahead to the next word. He reached the end of the road once he had read each word correctly. You could do different variations of this game such as having them hop or jump or walk backwards to each card. You could even integrate math into this by having them skip count while jumping or add the squares as they move.
5. Sight Word Throw
Kids love to throw things. At least my kids do. For this activity, we simply draped a sheet over the bed and each word my son said correctly, he got to throw it as hard as he wanted at the sheet. This game was ridiculously simple and made up but he was SO excited and motivated to play. He was giggling like crazy as he chucked each word card as hard as he wanted. If you aren’t worried about the cardboard hitting anything, you don’t even need the sheet.
Any of these activities could be easily adapted for older or younger children. Instead of sight words, you could do ABC cards. For older kids you could adapt to make the games more difficult or change the activity to fit their interests a little better. The important thing while learning the sight words though is that the kids are making connections through the various learning styles provided. They are more likely to remember the information if they are moving, playing, building, etc. The words will become more concrete in their memory if they have an experience to connect it with. Also they won’t grow weary of the rote memorization. My kids truly love these simple activities despite how simple or cheezy they appear. I hope your kids will too.