Sight words are essential for promoting your child’s growth in reading and writing. Simply put, sight words are the words that appear often in print but cannot be easily ‘sounded out’. For this reason, they can be a little tricky to learn and children often grow bored trying to memorize them. Here are several fun, easy-to-implement ways to help your child practice sight words while playing some of the most well-known childhood games.
1. Bananagrams: Bananagrams are great for building words and come in a small, convenient pouch that can be easily transported for frequent use. Your child could be building sight words while at a sibling’s practice or bored at a restaurant!
2. Twister: Write or tape down sight words on each dot of the Twister mat. Then, have your child read each word that they step on or touch. To increase difficulty, encourage your child to trace the sight word with their fingers or toes (this could get a little interesting).
3. Candy Land: Write sight words on the game spaces of the Candy Land trail. Be sure that your child reads the words while hopping along during this game. Sight words can be placed on the board with increasing difficulty. So, save those tough ones for King Kandy’s Castle!
4. Jenga: Tape or write words on each Jenga block. Players must read each block pulled and use it in a sentence. If and when the blocks fall, read each one again before cleaning ’em all!
5. Operation: Create word cards for your child to pick. Each time a card is picked, read, and spelled, the ‘doctor’ receives permission to operate.
6. Don’t Break the Ice: Write a sight word on each block of ice. Each block tapped out of the rink must be read aloud and used in a ‘cool’ sentence.
7. Hopscotch: Create a hopscotch board outside on the pavement with chalk. Have your child write a sight word in each box. Your child could throw a rock on the board and read the word prior to jumping through, or could shout out each word stepped on while jumping.
8. Nerf Gun Game: Place several index cards with sight words written on them in different areas around your living room. Call out a word and have your child shoot the different sight word targets!
9. Horse: Post some sight words on the pole or backboard of your child’s basketball hoop. You can do this with a full-sized hoop or miniature hoop attached to your child’s closet. Instead of using the word ‘horse’ for this shooting game, use sight words!
10. Bingo: Have your child create a quick board on a piece of paper using their current sight words. Allow your child to use little pieces of cereal or candy as the markers, while you call out each word from their list. Play as many times as needed. The reward for mastery can be snack time!