If you are unfamiliar with the concept of sight words, they are words that beginning readers learn to memorize to help them build reading confidence. In Tennessee, where I live, there are 40 kindergarten sight words that kindergarteners need to master. A sight word is a word whose spelling is not always straightforward and memorizing sight words helps beginning readers get past that reading hump. Here are some entertaining sight word practice ideas to get your little ones confident with the sight words so that they will foster a love of reading.
5 Fun Sight Word Practice Ideas:
My son and I played a fun sight word game the other night that I thought I would share with you. He wanted to play Tic-Tac-Toe which I find kind of boring so I substituted his sight words and it was more fun for both of us. I hope you enjoy these kindergarten sight word learning ideas!
(This post was orginally published in November 2012, but I thought I would republish it to share it with more beginning readers.)
You can get printable sight words list from This Reading Mama. They will be great to work through and check off the words your child learns through the sight word practice ideas below. Then you can both see how much progress you child is making!
Sight Word Tic-Tac-Toe Game
I drew the Tic-Tac-Toe board and filled it in with random sight words. Then I got to pick the square and he had to read the word. If he got the word correct, we put a big “O” around it and if he got the word wrong, we put a big “X” over it. He had to get three “O”s in a row to win and I guess I could have won if I had managed to get three “X”s in a row but I never did. Trust me, you won’t mind losing when you are so proud of your child’s reading! He wanted to play this over and over and each time you can use different sight words!
Other Sight Word Practice Ideas:
Flyswatter Sight Word Game-
Place index cards that have the sight words written on them on the floor. Call out a word and have your child slap that word with the flyswatter. Kids love an excuse to swat!
Hopscotch Sight Word Game-
Draw a hopscotch layout outdoors in sidewalk chalk. Then have your child fill it in with sight words and say them as he or she hops through the hopscotch!
Silly Story Sight Word Game-
Take turns creating silly sentences that include sight words and telling a story at the same time. Good for laughs as well as using the words! Have you child write or read the sight words you both use in each sentence.
Sight Words Memory Game-
Have your child write 10 sight words that they are struggling with onto index cards. Then have them do it a second time for the same words. Now comes the fun part- they will have 20 cards to play a memory game with. They will have learned a lot while preparing the game and playing it with you will make it fun and I bet they learn those sight words in time with this fun game.
Sight Word Learning Tips
Sight words can be intimidating to your child at first so make sure you showing them a lot of love and encouragement. If your child feels you are cheering them on, they will want to practice more and get more right. If your child feels like you are disappointed and frustrated, they will likely not want to learn at all because they will fear failure.
Try feedback like, “You missed that one but I bet you get it right next time. You just need a little practice.” Or as my grandmother always said with an encouraging smile, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again.”
My kids love having a book read to them. If yours do to, ask them to point out sight words as you read! This should be all about having fun reading and being read to. “Patience is a virtue”, my grandmother always said. Don’t worry, have faith and have fun and the skills will come to them when the time is right. What are some of your favorite sight word practice ideas?