Being able to sound out words is essential. That’s why your child needs to have a basic understanding of phonics. But, you can’t sound out every word. So your child must also learn to read sight words.
Practicing with flashcards gets boring quickly. So do those readers that focus on sight words.
That doesn’t mean you should never use those teaching strategies. But, you need to also get your kids active as they learn.
Here’s a game that I first played with a second grade student I was tutoring. I’ve since played it with my early readers, and everyone loves it.
Being able to be active helps the brain remember the words. It’s similar to how you remember songs with motions really easily.
So get your early readers gathered, and give this game a try.
Sight Word Driving
- 10 Index Cards
- A Sharpie
- A wheeled vehicle (toy car, fire truck, ride on scooter, whatever)
- A paper & pen
On each index card, write one of the sight words your child is learning. Here’s a link to a basic sight word list if you need ideas. They’re broken down by grade level so pick something that’s age appropriate for your child.
Write the words in large letters, so it’s easy to read from a distance.
But, don’t use all capital letters. Write the words in lower case since that’s how they’ll usually be printed.
As you write each word, make a list on your paper so you remember what’s on each card.
Have Your Child Leave the Room
Once your cards are prepped, have your child leave the room. Now, it’s time for you to spread the cards out around the floor.
Leave plenty of space between each one as you put them in a random order.
Bring Out the Vehicle
Call your child back in and hand him the toy car. Then, pick up your list of words.
Ask your child to drive the vehicle around the room and search for one of the words. Once he finds it, have him bring it back to you.
Then, send him off driving to look for another word.
Continue until all 10 words are found. Then, have your child read each word once more.
Easy to Switch
Since you’re using index cards, it’s simple to switch out the words as your child works on new ones.
This game is simple, but it’s a great way to get repetition of sight words into your child’s day.
So bring out the cars and play!
Change it Up
Here are four easy ways to change this game up, allowing you to practice with the same words without it seeming as boring.
- Hide the words up high and have your child use a helicopter
- Ask your child to build a road with the index cards and drive along reading each one
- Use a dump truck and have your child collect all the words and then dump then out and read them
- Have your child drive quickly to one word. Then drive backwards to the next. Or slowly. Change up the rate and direction.
Working on Sight Words?
If your child is working on reading sight words, give this game a try.