I used to dread teaching sight words. How do you explain to a child, who you've spent so much time teaching how to sound out words, that these words don't often make sense? When I first started making sight word games for my daughter, I learned that sight words are fun. Learning through play, my 4 year old daughter has mastered over 20 sight words in just 3 months.
What's a sight word?
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!
Here is a list of the first 100 sight words to teach kids!
The key to learning sight words is memorization, so that they don't slow down new readers. How do we memorize sight words? Tons of exposure, and I'm NOT talking about boring flash cards.
Environmental print (words around us) like a word wall is a good way to expose kids to sight words on the daily, but games are even better! I use a word wall to keep track of which sight words we have already learned, and I pick about one a week.
How to Play Sight Words Toss and Read:
Muffin pan - This 24 cup one* is my favorite, and we use it for all sorts of projects (*affiliate link)
Two Step Prep:
Write your 4 target sight words on Post Its and place them in a line like in the picture. Line your muffin pan up with the words so that the rows lead down from the sight words.
Invite your child to Play Pom Pom Toss and Read:
Have your child toss pom poms into the pan. Whenever they make a "goal," they need to read the word at the top of that row! Play along with them. Celebrate your goals and read out the words. It is so much more fun together.
Looking for more ways to practice sight words without a worksheet?
I've compiled 13 favorite hands-on activities that make learning sight words fun. There is not a single worksheet and lots of these play based activities involve your child to be active. For kids aged 4-5 it's so important to keep learning fun and moving. Little ones are not meant to sit and do busy work; they learn by doing!
View my favorite activities here or click the photo below.
This post contains affiliate links which means I may get a small commission from your purchase. I only recommend items I truly love and have helped me bring fun learning to our home.