When learning how to read and spell, children respond best to hands-on strategies. What better way to practice sight words than to use materials that will engage the visual, tactile, kinesthetic, and auditory senses. These are great activities for at-home learning and practice.
Here is a list of my students’ and my own boys’ favorite ways to practice sight words and spelling.
1. Sand or Salt Trays: Put a small amount of sand or salt in a shallow container. Students use their pointer fingers to trace word in the sand/salt. Shaving cream can also be used on cookie sheets or trays.
2. Plastic Canvas: Students place the plastic canvas under a piece of paper and write the word in crayon. The word will become textured. Students trace over the word with their fingers as they spell it aloud for extra tactile reinforcement.
3. Clay or Play-Doh: Studentsroll clay out into long ropes and shape them into letters. Students trace the letters with their fingers as they spell it aloud.
4. Bendaroos or Pipe Cleaners: Students use bendaroos or pipe cleaners to form the letters of the sight words. Students can trace the letters with their fingers as they spell it aloud.
5. Colored Glue: Teacher adds food coloring to white glue. Write sight words out in large print. Students use glue to trace over the written word. When the glue is dried, the word will be colored and 3D. Students can trace the word with their fingers.
6. Chalk: Use chalk to draw hopscotch or stepping stones on concrete. Write sight words inside. Students read the words as they step on them. This is best for active learners.
7. Sight Word Fishing Game: Check out our Sight Word Fishing Game here. Leveled Dolch Sight Words are printed on different colored fish. Students “fish” them out of the pond. If they read the word correctly, they get to keep the fish. If not, the fish goes back in the pond.