The English language has many short, simple “sight words” such as was and said that cannot be sounded out and must be memorized. (Look online for lists of age-appropriate sight words by searching for these terms: “sight words”, “Dolch words” “Fry Instant Words”.)
Here are five do-it-yourself games which can make learning sight words more fun. Each of these games require sight word flash cards which you can make yourself by writing or printing out words, one to a page or index card.
- Fun Fetch: Place a few flash cards around a room so that your child can see the cards. Call out one word at a time and have your child bring the appropriate card to you.
- Hide & Seek: Hide several flash cards around a room, placing them face down. Ask your child to look for the hidden cards. Upon discovery of a card, have your child read the word on the card aloud. Repeat until all the cards are found.
- Trace Race: Give your child colored markers or crayons to trace the words printed on the cards. Set the timer for one minute per word and let your child race the clock. (Adjust the timer as needed).
- Water Wise: Outside, let your child “paint” sight words on the sidewalk with water using your sight word cards as a guide. If you don’t have a paintbrush handy, a finger will do.
- Hop Scotch: Draw squares as you would for a game of hop scotch. In place of numbers, place one sight word in each block. Call out a sight word and have your child hop on one leg to the square containing the word you call out.