There are so many fun ways that you can teach sight words. When learning sight words, merely doing sight word flash cards gets boring not only to the teacher, but to the little reader. Today we will explore many different hands on sight word activities for kindergarten or preschool and beyond! Today we will explore these hands on sight word activities in the context of each learning type.
The Kinesthetic Learner
The Kinesthetic learners also known as the physical learners learns best through using their body, hands, and senses. Here are some ways to get those kids out of their seats or actively moving while learning the sight words…
- Create a word with your body: Give each group of students one sight word that they must create using only their body.
- Jumping Jack Sight Words: Using jumping jacks to spell each sight word (1 jump for each letter).
- Tap the Words: Have littles readers use their fingers for each letter as you spell the word aloud.
- Write sight words with playdoh -use Playdoh to shape each word.
- Write the sight words in shaving cream (I used to do this in my classrooms to help me clean the desks).
- Play Swat! – All kids love to use fly swatters… Now you can use them to swat at sight words!
- Play Zingo or Bingo – Kids love to play Bingo…instead of using numbers, use sight words.
- Play Sight Word Football -Score a Touchdown when you know your sight words.
- Build with the sight words: Write letters on Lego bricks and have students build sight words
- Use play sand and have students write sight words in the sand. Great tactile fun!
- Do a sight word scavenger hunt. Put sight words around the room our house and have kids search for them. You can give clues or even make it into a “write the room” experience.
- Sight Word Mini-books – These are by far my favorite sight word activity. There are so many tactile ways to experience sight-words on just one piece of paper. You can also see the Sight Word Fluency Mini-books here.
More Ideas for the Kinesthetic Learner
- Sight Word Twister: Write sight words on a twister board and have students move their feet or hands to the coordinating sight word and color circle.
- Make Sight Word Rocks: Who wants a rock pet?! Rock pets are great for parents and kids, but they, also, make a great way to get kids to learn their sight words. Let kids name their rocks with sight words by painting their pet’s name on him/her. This is a great way for kids to identify sight words, right them, and read them to family members at home.
- Sight Word Hopscotch:Let’s bring hopscotch back in a relay sight word game. Make 2-hopscotch designs on the blacktop, put one sight word in each square. As little readers hop through, they must say each word as their feet land. This is a great way to get little readers up and moving as they learn.
- Sight Word Tic Tac Toe: My kids always loved this game. This is a great way to pair off the class, while kids have a little more independence. Copy some tic tac toe boards and write the sight words you want your little readers to learn. Each time it is their turn, they must say the sight word before putting their X or O in the box.
- Play with Hoola Hoops! Kids love to try and use a Hoola Hoop… You can have them spell each sight word as they use the hoop, or have the kids crawl through the hoops, tapping each sight word and reading it along the way.
Ideas For the Visual Learner:
The visual learner learns best through pictures, images, and spatial understanding. Some great ways to help your visual learners are:
- Word searches
- Finding the words in a picture
- Sight Word Videos: Kids are addicted to screens, so anything you put on a screen, kids are going to love. The great thing about sight word videos are the fun songs that go along with them. You can find various sight word videos on Youtube, but my favorites are from Have Fun Teaching and Dolch Sight Word Videos.
- Word Shape Worksheets: This is where each sight word fits into its own shape – students visualize the shape of the word.
Ideas For the Auditory Learner
The Auditory learner learns best through sound and music. They can put a beat to anything so to speak. If you notice some of your little readers really enjoy music, here are some ways to teach your sight words:
- Sight Word Raps: These can be found on Youtube and make it easy for little readers to sing along and memorize their words.
- Point and Sing: Students can point at each sight word and sing it several times.
Ideas For the Logical Learner
The logical learner craves math. They learn with numbers, and anything that has math with it. For these learners, you have to get creative. Here are some things that worked for me:
- How many can you find: Set a timer, give each student a book and a sight word. Tell them to find as many of that sight word as they can. The one who finds the most is the winner!
- Count the Syllables: How many syllables are in each word? Count them with students.
- Math Words:Give your students a sheet that gives each letter a number. Have them place the correct number under each letter in the word and add the numbers up.
Other fun Sight Word Resources…
Sight Word Practice Pages – Another fun favorite, and so many words are included in this packet. Add fun by having kids rainbow write the words.
What other sight word activities do you have in your back pocket? Share some activities with a comment!
Our Favorte Learning Activities
Madreen Karle is a master first grade reading teacher with over 30 years of classroom experience. She taught reading in a special needs and English as a Second Language classroom. After retiring she wrote a reading program to help others learn how to teach reading. She is a trusted educator and author of 5 books to help teach children to read and write. In addition to her books, she is a mentor for 3 websites that give reading teacher tips (Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading, Mrs. Karle’s Reading Patch, and Mrs. Karle’s Handwriting Patch). Through her teaching she learned that confidence was the key to learning to read. A child who is not confident at reading does not like to read and struggles to read. Mrs. Karle created “sunshine moments” to help teach children how to grow their confidence and learn to read.
Meeghan Karle Mousaw (Madreen’s daughter) has her Master’s in Special Education. She has 8 years experience teaching children to read online. In addition, she developed a curriculum to teach children handwriting called The Handwriting Patch. With the Handwriting Patch learning is fun because children learn to draw and learn handwriting at the same time. In 2019 The Handwriting Patch curriculum became an amazon best seller the first year it was released, helping thousands of kids learn handwriting with a unique, fun method. She is mom to 6 kids, each with differently learning abilities and struggles.
The Reading Patch was established by the creators of Mrs. Karle’s Sight and Sound Reading. Together they have been featured on the NBC media outlets and Parents Magazine online. Over the last 8 years in their online platform, Madreen and Meeghan have worked tirelessly with teachers, homeschoolers and parents looking to help children learn to read to become a trusted authority in teaching children to read and advocating early literacy skills. They often partner with other educational experts to deliver the most current information to the Reading Patch community.