How can we help kids memorize sight words in a fun, play-based way?
Exposure, exposure, exposure! That’s the key to learning sight words! Sight words are the most common words we come across when reading, but often they don't make sense when "decoded." To decode in terms of reading, means to sound out. Kids trip up on words like "of," "has," "is," and "the" but those words are imperative to learn at the beginning of their reading journey in order to become confident readers. That's why sight words need to be memorized, so that kids know them instantly and can spend time sounding out the words that make sense phonetically.
The Activity: Sight Word Post-It Search
On colorful construction paper, write down the sight words that you child is working on and tape them to the wall.
Write your child's sight words on the Post-Its in large lettering using a bold marker for good readability. You should write each word 4 times, so if you have 5 words, you'll end up with 20 Post-Its written out.
Hide the Post-Its around your home!
Each time your kid finds a hidden sight word Post-It, have them read the word aloud and then place it on its "home" - the big matching word on the wall!
TIPS & TRICKS
To make it easier, have the color of the Post It match the word!
You can reuse these Post Its by keeping them near when you are reading aloud and having your child place them on the pages as they find sight words. I love to keep the sight word posters up in my house as "environmental print." Each time she walks by the words, she internalizes them more and more.
Ways to modify the Sight Word Search:
Sight words are a more advanced reading skill that begins in TK/kindergarten. This game can be played with letters, numbers, and even shapes and colors. If your child doesn't know their letters and sounds yet, I recommend playing this fun seeking game with up to 4 letters on which you want to focus.
Don't know which sight words to use?
Here is a link to Fry's first 100 sight words.
I always start with the words I see most in my kids' books, so I'd recommend: I, a, am, the, is, was, has, of, be, to if you're first starting out.