Sight Word Fun!

Parents can help reinforce classroom learning through fun, exciting games at home  in ways that kids will never even know they are still learning!

For your new reader, here are a few ideas to practice sight words:

1.  Hide and Seek 

Using Post-It Notes,  cardboard, construction paper, deck of cards or note cards, write one letter of the sight word you would like to learn in marker, crayon or pen in large block letters in the center of each piece.  You can add the small letter under each capital letter, if desired.   Practice the word in a chant or song before you begin.  “T-H-E spells THE!”  You can even clap to each letter as you point to the corresponding letter.  Incorporating body action with memorization helps memory retention.

Then, let the word play hide and seek with your young reader.  Who knows where the word might be found!  Sitting on the bathroom or kitchen sink, in a window ledge, stuck to the refrigerator door, on a dinner plate, on top of a bedroom pillow, in a doorway, etc.  Let your imagination go!  As your child finds the word, help fill the discovery with excitement and cheering along with practice of the word… T-H-E spells THE!   Prompt your child, “Where do you think “the” will go next? We better keep an eye out for him!”   Move the word around to different spots until your child recognizes the word quickly and easily.  It will be so exciting to see the accomplishment and pleasure your child will develop as they learn new words.

After the child has learned the word, have the word appear in a stack of cards.  Let the child place the letters in the correct order.  Repeat, T-H-E- spells THE!   Continue with the same process for other words.





For the next three games you will need to make a set of flashcards.

Using the sight word list from your child’s class, create an individual card for each sight word.

Write each word in large block letters in the center of each card using  a dark color.

You can also create sight word cards on the computer (as seen in the pictures below.)

Cards can easily be created with a package of note cards, card stock paper or a deck of cards.

2.  Fishing for Sight Words


This game requires a little more preparation on your part, but can be adapted to so many different activities, it will be worth the time!  (See Magnetic Fishing post from June 12, 2012)

You will need:

-A stick or rod with a string/cord tied to one end.  The string should be long enough so that when your child holds the stick about waist level the magnet on the end of the stick should be able to reach the ground to “catch” fish.

-A magnet that can be tied to the bottom of the string.  This is your “hook”.

-“Fish”   In this case, it will be sight words.  You can use the list from your child’s teacher to add one word on each “fish”.  You can make fish shaped cards or use note cards, or colored paper.  Place a paper clip to the end of each card.

A fun thing to do is use a blue towel or rug for your fishing “pond”.  This defines the area of play.  But, it is not necessary to play this game.  In the pictures below we just played on the storeroom floor, just to see how it would work… It worked great by the way!  Kids aren’t fussy, if the cooperating adult presents the attitude of fun, exploration and adventure!

As you “catch” fish practice the word on the card.  If the child gets the word correct, they get to keep their fish.  If they do not know the word, practice the word with them.  ex.  S-H-E spells she.  Point out letter and letter pair sounds.  ex.  S-H-E  the SH says shhhh.  These words are released back into the fishing pond to be caught again.  Play until all the fish are caught and can be kept.  Start with just a few words and work up to all the sight words in the pond.




3.  Flashlight Tag

Kids love flashlights! So, why not use them to learn. In this game you are still using the sight word flashcards. No paperclip is needed on the cards, but can remain on the card if you have created them for magnetic fishing. Spread the cards on the floor in a designated area. Turn off the lights. Turn on a flashlight and let your child “tag” a word. If they read the word correctly, they get to keep the card. If not, practice and move on to another card. Continue until the floor is picked up! Meaning they have correctly read each word in the game. What a sense of accomplishment they will have!

And while you have the flashlight turned on, don’t forget to make designs on the walls or ceiling with the light beam. Turn on a flashlight yourself and join in the fun creating a light dance show!





  1. Flashcards

Use your flashcards like a deck of regular cards. Hold them in your hand with the words facing you and fanned out. Let your child take turns picking a card. Have them read the card they picked. If correct, they get to keep the card. If the child gets the word incorrect, help them decipher the word. Spell it out. ex. T-H-E-Y spells “they”. Then, use the word in a sentence. Add the card back into your hand to try again. When your hand is empty and your child’s hand if full, the game is over. Begin with just a few cards and add as they learn more words.
An old deck of cards can easily be transformed into a set of sight words (or even math problems!) Or, pick up a deck of cards with a fun picture on the back. A picture of something that is of interest to your child.




  1. Search and Find

Use your flashcards to randomly select one word.  Then start searching.


  1. You can use a magazine or newspaper to let your child search for the chosen word for the day.  Give them a bright colored crayon, marker , pen or colored pencil,  and let them circle the word each time they find it in the text.  A variation?  set the timer for a few minutes.  When it goes off, count how many of the sight words were found.  Use a different color for different words.



  1. During reading time have your child look for the sight word they are working on that day.  It could be the word that mysteriously keeps appearing throughout the house.  Read a page and then search for the sight word you are working on.



Keep track of the sight words you have learned.  Add the words to a master chart that is hanging someplace that can be seen every day.  As the list grows, watch your child’s confidence grow as well!  Pretty soon you will have a child that is reading with confidence and speed!  And, a good reader is more successful in life!


Happy Reading!


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