I used to hate teaching sight words with worksheets and flashcards. Students would be frustrated about having to memorize sight words that didn't follow phonetic "sounding out" rules. It got to the point where even I was saying "I know. Sight words are boring."
So I had to do something about it. Instead of boring, I'd make sight words fun with hands on learning games that kids love. There is not a sight word worksheet in sight. Which one will you try?
*As an Amazon affiliate, I may get a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
What's a sight word? Sight Words are...
Sight words are words that show up all the time when we are reading, and often they don't follow phonetic rules. Words like of, the, could, and is just don't sound like they're spelled! I recommend keeping the words you are practicing up on a Word Wall that your child will pass by everyday and add a new word a week.
The key to learning sight words is memorization, so that newer readers can recognize them quickly and spend their decoding skills on words that are phonetic (sound like they're spelled).
Sight words are best memorized through TONs of exposure and these games will do just that.
14 Games that Prove Sight Words are FUN!
Write the sight words that your child is learning on construction paper and tape them to the wall.
Then write the sight words four times each on Post-it notes and hide them around your home. Have your child find and match the sight word to it's larger version, reading the word each time.
Grab some pom poms and a muffin pan along with my favorite supply Post-its. Write the sight words on the Post-its and place them on the wall, lined up with the rows of the muffin pan. Next, take a few steps back and throw pom poms into the muffin pan. Every time your child scores a "goal" they need to read the word at the top of that row.
Imaginative sight word games are ones that get your kids reading while they think they're just playing. In this one, they're shopping for groceries.
You can use pretend food but if you don't already have that, just use what's in your pantry! Label the foods with dot stickers after writing sight words on them. Write matching sight words on the grocery bags, and have your little shopper read and match the sight word on the food to the bag.
4. Sight Words are for STEPPING
Post-its are a must-have for so many games including this one. The sight words are written on the sticky notes and placed onto the steps in our home.
As your child goes up and down the steps, they read each word as they get to the top. Don't have enough words for each step?
Repeating words gives your child lots of good exposure and helps the words stick in their brains!
5. Hidden Object Game- The Sight Words are hiding something!
This reading game can be used with sight words, CVC words, letters or even numbers...
Just write the sight words on the Post-its and place them atop of some opaque containers.
One container hides the hidden object? Can you find it? Kids must read the word on top of the container before they check under the container for the hidden object.
I love this idea from simpleplayideas.com Fold the index cards and then have your child's favorite superhero smash the sight words you call out. Each word they smash correctly, they get to keep in their pile.
7. Classic Memory with Sight Words
Sight word memory is simple and only takes one minute to prep. Choose 5-10 sight words that are on your child's list and write them on index cards. Then write them a second time on another set of index cards. Make sure you use pencil so that you can't read the card from the back. Flip them all over and play Memory! Try to make a match, taking turns to flip 2 cards.
8. Sight Words Are For SWATTING
This gross motor game involves motor planning, reading, and best of all, kids love it.
Use a fly swatter or any soft object to whack the sight words. Your little reader has been waiting all their lives for permission to swat stuff, am I right?
Do a speed round! Now you're starting to see why you really need to get some Post-its, huh?
9. Sight Words are in Traffic - Help!
Create a parking lot by drawing a simple aerial view then filling in each spot with sight words. Grab the tons of race cars your child loves to zip and zoom around the house with and label each car with a sight word, using dot stickers.
This clever game comes from jugglingwithkids.com.
10. Sight Words are energetic with Zig Zag Balance:
Kids must complete the obstacle course doing different movements: tip top, hopping, skipping, balancing on a tight rope and stop to read each word before moving on.
They'll want to do it so many times, which will give them ample practice!
11. Dot Sticker Sight Words
Quick and low prep sight words practice. You don't need anything but dot stickers and paper plus a writing utensil.
Write out 4-5 sight words on your dot stickers filling out the sheet. Then write the sight words again on a sheet of paper the same number of times.
Hand your kiddo the sheet and have them match the sight word to the paper. This is a fabulous fine motor activity for little hands, as they peel the stickers off the sheets.
Write down your sight words on empty grocery bags and play ball in the house. Can you aim for the high frequency word and get your ball in the bag?
Read the word as you score a goal. That's a ton of great exposure!
13. Sight Words are for POPPING!
Lately we have been getting lots of packages, especially after Lil Sis's birthday, and the kids fight over the bubble wrap more than they do the toy!
I decided to make good use of the packaging and great a pop-a-word game just by writing sight words in Sharpie on top. Call out the sight words. Are you ready to jump?
With smaller bubble wrap, write the words on top and have kids read then pop with a hammer or their fingers.
14. Sight Words Muffin Match
For this sight words game you'll need a muffin pan and index cards. Cut the index cards in half.
Pick one target sight word and write it on 5 index cards. For the rest of the spots, write other sight words (one each) . Fold all the cards and put one index card in each muffin spot.
Then cover the whole thing with aluminum foil.
Here comes the sight words game... Give your child a straw or other pokey object and tell them, their job is to find the target sight word 5 times to win.
They'll LOVE exposing the sight words in the muffin pan and as they find each one, they'll read them trying to see if they found the "target" sight word.
Here is what the muffin pan looks like before I covered it with aluminum foil.
Sight Words are only 1 part of learning to read ...You'll want to read about CVC words next!
When your kid can read CVC plus sight words, they're ready to READ!