They can be called Instant Words, Sight Words, or High Frequency Words…
No matter what you call them, they are IMPORTANT!
Sight words are words that young readers should memorize. When children can read these common words without sounding them out, it saves time and frustration when they read. Knowing these words automatically, helps children focus on the meaning of the text and can make reading more enjoyable.
A great way to practice sight words is with games or fun activities. Research shows that multi-sensory activities help students learn. The ideas below will help keep children moving and having fun, all while helping strengthen their sight word skills.
After the two pages of activities, you will find a list of the 300 words that appear most in text. Start from the beginning, and see what words your child knows, and which words need some practice.
Most importantly, HAVE FUN!
GAMES and ACTIVITIES
- Sight Word Hopscotch - Sketch out a hopscotch course, but use sight words instead of numbers. Toss your marker, read the word it lands on, then hop to it!
- Sight Word Soccer - This sight word game is perfect for your little soccer players! Write out sight words on index cards and tape them to cones (or buckets, cups, etc.). Have kids dribble between the markers and read the words as they go. When they get to the end, they get to take a shot at the goal.
- Yard Clean Up - With a sharpie, write sight words (or letters for younger kids) on ping pong balls. Throw them all over the yard and have kids run to gather them up. The only rule is they must read and call out the word/letter before running the balls back.
- Sight Word Target Practice - Write out sight words on paper plate targets and stick them up on a wall. When you call out a word, kids have to find the “target”, read it, and throw a ball to hit it.
- Sight Words Water Game - Write out sight words on the ground with sidewalk chalk (kids can help with this). Dunk large sponges in a bucket of water and take turns reading and throwing the sponge at each sight words. This would be a fun game to play with water balloons too!
- Water Balloon Sight Words - Here’s another fun and educational way to cool off this summer. Write sight words on water balloons and have kids read each word before tossing it at a target.
- Sight Word Twister - For this variation on the classic game, you can tape flashcards to a real Twister board if you have one, or just draw your own with sidewalk chalk. Read a word, and have kids find it on the board and put a hand or foot on it. You can call out a body part (right foot, left hand), or to make it easier for young kids, let them decide.
- Bowling for Sight Words - Blank labels and a toy bowling set are all you need for this bowling sight words game. Have kids bowl, then read out the words they knock down. Keep score, or just play for fun!
- Sight Word Basketball - In this game, have kids dribble around sight words on the ground as they read them out loud. Check out the post linked below for a few more variations on this fun idea. What a great way for your future NBA star to work on their fundamentals, and their reading!
- Word of the Day - Tape one or two words written on an index card (or post-it note) 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 week’s sight words in whipped cream or frosting, eat one word treat a day (after reading it of course).
- Pasta Creations - Spell them out using dry alphabet pasta. (Glue them onto a piece of cardstock for future practicing).
- Concentration - Play concentration with matching sets of sight word cards.
- Bath Time - Write words in the bathtub with bath crayons.
- 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.
- Cookie Cutter - Use alphabet cookie cutters and play dough to spell out the words – or make alphabet cookies to make “words you can eat!”
- Lego 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 - Llook for focus words in your favorite story each night.