Fun Sight Word Activities and Games!
Dealing with sight word overwhelm?
Kindergarten teachers need easy ways to teach sight words, and not just with sight word worksheets. Because our new readers will have various levels of letter and sight word fluency, we need to teach sight words in different ways. In this blog post, I will share some of my favorite ways to teach younger kids sight word recognition.
We want to make ways to practice in a fun way! Sight word games are a great way to make our daily high frequency words review our favorite part of the day.
What are sight words?
Let’s review what sight words and high-frequency words are and why students need to learn them.
High-frequency words are the words that are commonly seen in print. High-frequency words can be decodable words (and, in) or irregular words (of, the).
Decodable words: Words that rely on the alphabet principle (can). The letters are behaving themselves…LOL
Irregular words: Words that have one or more letters in them that are not following the typical letter-sound correspondence (said, was).
Sight words are words that students can read effortlessly on sight. Students know the word. They don’t need to pause to analyze them or sound them out. Examples of sight words could be high frequency words such as: the, to. They could also be the student’s name, McDonald’s, or Legos.
Through effective orthographic mapping & practice, high-frequency words can become sight words.
Our goal is to provide reading instruction and practice, so our young learners recognize those high-frequency words instantly on sight!
Why are sight words important?
Sight words are important because we want students to see the word and instantly recognize it. If a child fails to turn high frequency words into sight words their fluency will falter. AND we know that a low fluency rate is one factor in diminished reading comprehension.
How to teach sight words in kindergarten?
Research strongly suggests teaching high frequency words in concert with your phonics instruction. Students, with teacher guidance, will use their knowledge of phonics to map these words. I have a whole blog post that deeply delves into how to teach high-frequency words. You can read it by clicking:
Hands On Sight Word Activities for Kindergarten
Once students have learned how to map high-frequency sight words, they now need lots of hands-on ways to practice them. Research suggests that some students will need 7-8 interactions with a word to master it, while others might need 25-50 interactions. Having engaging sight word games and centers as students are building sight words mastery is essential.
Sight Word Worksheets... are they okay?
It depends! Let me tell you more.
When it comes to practicing sight words, there are a ton of ‘standard sight word worksheets’ out there.
As stated above, not all students learn at the same rate. Some students will need more time with a word, so having an editable activity is a big win. Chances are, if you have 22 students, you have 22 lists of words students know and words they need to learn next.
Having an editable activity allows you to enter not only your own sight words, but individual students can have their own words based on their needs.
The final caveat is the sight word worksheet must to be fun and engaging. This is essential when you want students to focus and stay on task.
Let me give you a few examples of low prep editable sight word games and activities that I think fit that description.
Are you ready to ditch the index cards and flash cards? Are you ready to find a few new literacy centers and fun sight word games?
#1 Sight Word Activity – Roll, Read, and Write
These sets of sight word printables are editable. Students play with a partner, but the partners actually don’t need the same sheet. Partner #1 may have a different sight word list to learn than partner #2.
As they roll the die, the student writes the word. If they roll a 6, they have color in a box in their picture.
Each set comes with an editable ABC game and sight word game.
#2 Sight Word Activity – Editable Color by Sight Word
This is a color by code activity that s also really simple to differentiate. You can enter your own letters or sight words, you want your students to focus on. They spin the spinner and color to reveal the image.
If you don’t have individual spinners, a paper clip works well!
You can find this color by code worksheet set by clicking:
#3 Sight Word Activity – Roll and Write
This sight word printable is editable. When played with a partner, this sight word game is a big hit!
HINT: Use different dice for a slice of life. Here is a link to my Amazon favorites! (affiliate link)
#4 Sight Word Activity – Roll and Color
This page is also editable Students roll then color the matching sight word image. Each word is colored a different color. Once again, having an editable option is the cherry on top!
[Do you see the pop dice? This makes the game 15 times more exciting for kids. I found it HERE… Amazon affiliate link]
#5 Sight Word Activity – Roll and Write
I love these pocket cubes and so do young children. You can set this center up in seconds. Simply add your words on one page.
Then… through the magic of technology, all 8 of these fun sight word activities are populated with the words. EASY!
#6 Sight Word Activity – Three in a Row
This is one of our favorite activities. We use this game format in math, with letters, and with sight words.
The goal is for students to get three in a row.
#7 Sight Word Activity – Make a Sequence Game
This set of sight word games is also editable. You simply type your five high frequency words on the spinner and then each box is instantly filled out for you. Bingo daubers are super popular with kiddos!
#8 Sight Word Activity – Color to Match
Students will pull a card, read the word, write the word, and color the superhero to match!
Sight Word Games and Other Activities
As you can see from above, there are some sight word worksheets that are actually sight word games. We know games are WAY more fun. Here are a few more activities that your class might enjoy.
#9 Sight Word Game – Bump
Bump is a classroom favorite. Once the students learn how to play these board games, you can swap out the skills for other content. Your students will be HOOKED!
#10 Sight Word Game – YIKES!
This is a classic game. SO EASY. Just add your high frequency words to the end of craft sticks. Then make a few that says, “YIKES!” When students pull a YIKES! card, then their turn is over.
The best part? It is easy and CHEAP!
#11 Sight Word Game – Bowling for Sight Words
I picked this cute set of bowling creatures at the Dollar Spot in Target a few years ago. Then I wrote on the back with a dry erase marker thinking it would erase…um… it does not.
I suggest putting a piece of painter’s tape on the back of each piece, then writing the word, or letter, or equation.
Do as I say, not as I do…LOL
Students can roll a ball or toss a bean bag.
You could add a recording sheet if you wish.
#12 Sight Word Activity – Roll, Say, Keep
We have been playing many different versions of this sight word game for YEARS! All the different themes make it interesting!
You can play it with letters, numbers, addition, subtraction… the list goes on and on!
#13 Sight Word Activity – Hide and Seek
Each month we have a different version of this editable pocket chart activity. We hide the special picture behind some of the words. In this example, it is a snowman.
Then students come up and read the word and see if the snowman is behind it.
This activity is usually done as a whole group activity. It is also an easy way to spot-check how well your students are learning sight words. Think of it as an assessment on the run!
Either way, your young kids keep track of the words that have been read AND where the snowman was found. So much fun!
#14 Sight Word Activity – Look For Words in Print
Our weekly poem is a great place to find words we know! We highlight them with transparent color film. The kind you would find inside a binder that has pockets. We simply cut them into smaller pieces.
Way easier that dealing with highlighting tape, which makes me say bad words.
You can read more about poetry and our 5 Day fluency plan by clicking:
Additional Kindergarten Sight Word Fun!
Here are a few more activities you can do with your kindergarten students using materials you probably have lying around.
#15 Sight Word Activity – Egg Hunt
You can certainly do this during the spring, but honestly… why wait? Set these around your classroom and place words inside of them. Let this be a post-recess surprise!
If you don’t have eggs, fold up squares of colored paper and do the same. Your kiddos will love it.
The Perfect Son and I did this when he was little. I attached the words to coins with small dots (nickels and dimes) then once he collected them all, he read the words. Then we counted by 5s and 10s.
#15 Sight Word Activity – Build Words with Cars
Target did it again. This might be a fun small group activity! Just add individual letters to each toy car. I added letters on sticker dots. They can easily be removed and used again.
#16 Sight Word Activity – Build Words With Magnets
This activity can be as simple as giving students a list of words and a tray of magnets.
You could ask your students to write the words they built for a little accountability.
Simple Sight Word Activities for Kindergarten
These activities are simple and fairly self explanitory!
#24 Sight Word Activity – Dough
Play dough is also a fun way to practice new words. Students stamp and roll the letters. Next, they write the sight word.
#25 Sight Word Activity – SWAT!
This is a simple sight word activity that you can use in your small group lessons perhaps. Just add a fly swatter and you will have tons of fun!
I hope you found some awesome sight word activities you can add to your own kindergarten classroom.
Free Sight Word Cards
Ready for some fun? Add your own words so your kids can learn their sight words in a fun and engaging way. Just download this fun swat game and get started today. Do you have any favorite sight word activities? Share them in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!