Since becoming a mom I’ve gotten pretty good at saying “no” all the time. No you cannot have ice cream for breakfast. No you cannot wear your bathing suit to preschool. No you cannot push your sister down the steps in that box. But one thing I rarely say “no” to is when my kids ask me to read another book to them. Even when I’m half asleep snuggled down in their twin beds, I try to keep reading or at least promise to finish the book tomorrow. Luckily I’ve memorized most of the favorites that are on current repeat like the Elephant and Piggie series by Mo Williams and The Day the Crayons Came Home by Drew Daywalt — if you haven’t read these, GO GET THEM!
But what’s even better than snuggling and reading to my kids? Now they’re reading to me and it’s blowing my mind. Seriously, having my son read to us at night while his little sister reads a few words with him — it’s AMAZING. I want to help encourage their reading at home, so that’s why we’re getting creative with sight words.
Sight words are the basic words all kids need to know as they start learning to read. If you’re kids are in school, their teachers are doing all sorts of fun and interesting thing to help teach sight words. But to encourage reading at home and for kindergarten readiness, I wanted easy and fun ways to incorporate sight words into our daily lives that didn’t have me drilling the kids with flashcards and handing over more worksheets—that doesn’t sound like fun. So the idea is keep it simple, don’t overwhelm kids with too many words or they’ll lose interest, and make sure they know the words before you add more. But most importantly keep it fun and remind your kids how awesome they are for learning all these new words.
- Drag Racing- Because we have approximately 3 million small cars, trucks and trains in this house, there is always some sort of vehicle zooming across the kitchen floor, and so, sight words drag racing was born. Write sight words on small stickers and attach them to the top of the toy cars and trains. Setup races to see who wins. Will it be the “she” convertible or will it be the “then” train? For extra review, create a bracket (like March Madness) and see who will be the ultimate Sight Word Drag Race Winner
- Go Fish– My kids are basically card sharks when it comes to their favorite game, Go Fish. We swapped out their regular Go Fish cards with notecards that have sight words written on them. Same game with the same rules. Every time you take a turn, be sure to show your card and say the sight word.
- Nighttime Play – This one is a favorite in our house. I taped all their sight word flashcards to the front of their dressers in their bedrooms. While they are getting ready for bed, we practice the sight words. If they can quickly identify the word, they get to move the card to the side of the dresser. I make a huge deal over how long the list of words is that they know, and it’s just a fun spin on flashcard drills.
- Shaving cream- Grab a can of cheap shaving cream and squirt a pile on your table. Let your kids paint with the shaving cream and then ask them to write a few sight words. You can even write a few words and see if they know the words you are writing.
- Scavenger Hunt- This game is so easy and you can throw it together in minutes. Put together a master list of sight words and copy each word onto a post it note. Hang the post it notes all through the house and give your child their master list. Let them run through the house looking for the sight words that match their master list. You can even add a few extra sight words that aren’t on their list to make the game more challenging. Make sure they are saying each word as they find it.