A big, colorful book with a flutter of white pages lies haphazardly on my daughter’s lap. She reads the first few words on the first page and stops to sound one out. After a few seconds of trying, her frustration dampens her ambition to read by herself and she’s off in another direction.
Educators agree that some of the frustration associated with early reading could be lessened with the practice of sight words. These are the words that are used most often in reading and writing.
And according to a study by D.J. Kear and M.A. Gladhart, 75 percent of the words in children’s printed material are sight words.
That means it is important for parents to work with their children outside of the classroom in order to give their children the confidence to read with fluency. But where do you start?
While flashcards and repetition can be helpful, children often get frustrated with the monotony of these practices. So, try making learning and practicing these words a fun experience. Here are some games and activities that will not only help your child learn, but will also give you a chance to spend more quality time together.
Sight Words in a Game
Make learning fun by turning a mundane sight words list into a game. Test your little one’s memory skills by printing out two copies of each word onto colored paper or index cards and have your child match like words. Naptime Creations even created a matching game that can be turned into a round of Go Fish.
You can even go a step further and integrate sight words into a classic board game like Candyland or Twister. It will not only get your child using their reading and memory skills, but it will also get them moving.
Sight Words with Fine Motor Skills
Writing these words can be just as important as reading them. But after a long day at school, your child might not be willing to sit down with paper and pencil.
Try getting creating a writing tray like this one from Fantastic Fun and Learning with some toothpicks and Play-Doh.
Differentiated Kindergarten has a list of different ways to enhance motor skills while learning important reading skills. One of them includes using Q-tips to paint over words printed on cardstock. Be creative and find ways to use what you have around the house.
Sight Words on the Go
Families lead busy, hectic lives, and there’s not always time to sit at the kitchen table with a list of sight words. So, why not make your child’s practice mobile.
I Heart Crafty Things took an old metal lunchbox and turned it into a word-building box that can travel from place-to-place.
Mobile devices can also be handy when you’re on the go. I Teach 1 to 1 created a list of the best iPad apps for sight word practice that would be a great addition to any app list.Back To Top
Jessa is the Editor-in-Chief of Hooray for Family and the mom of three energetic children. She has a BA in Mass Communication/Journalism from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is a long-time resident of Central Texas. When she isn't writing and editing, she enjoys playing board games with her kids, teaching Sunday school and channeling her creativity into craft projects.