Fun with Sight Words

Anybody else out there have good ideas for making sight words a little more fun? It took me a while to figure out something that would actually make it enjoyable to learn sight words for my 6yo. And of course I'm always looking for new ideas because even though SHE may love to play this game 10 times in a single day....I can only handle so much of it.

I got this from (if I remember correctly). It was called "Moose!" when I first saw it but we call it "Unicorn!" because that's what my girls are into.

So, you write the sight words your child is learning on Popsicle sticks and put them in a can. Add 3 more sticks with the word UNICORN (or any other fun word that your child might like).

This game works best with 2 people.
The object is to have the most sticks at the end of the game.

To play: Take turns drawing sticks from the can and reading the word on your stick. After reading it correctly, lay it in a pile at your side and the next player draws a stick.

If you draw the UNICORN stick you must return all your sticks to the can except for the UNICORN stick. These sticks are left to the side after being drawn.

Continue playing in this way until the last UNICORN stick has been drawn. The player to get the last UNICORN stick loses all their sticks. The player with remaining sticks (regardless of how many) wins.

Why we love it:
My daughter is very competitive and not a very gracious loser. So playing games at any opportunity gives us a chance to practice gracious losing and winning behavior.

The sheer repetitiveness of this game is its greatest value. Because the sticks are returned to the can after each UNICORN stick is drawn, you child could potentially draw the same word 3 times in one game. This is a fun, non-intimidating way to get repeated exposure to the words. You could even have them spell the words or write them down as they are drawn.

My 3yo likes to sit on my lap and draw the sticks when it's my turn. I read them for her and she gets to feel included in the 6yo's school work.

Typically we add 3 new sight words a week. Right now we have 26 words in the can. I periodically remove the words she has mastered so that our games are not eternal.

MATH VARIATION: We do something similar with math at times. I have sticks with numbers 0-20 drawn on them. I give her "magic number of the day" (sort-of like Sesame's Letter of the Day). She then draws a number from the can and has to decide if we need to subtract or add from that number to reach our magic number. Example: If the magic number is 13, and she draws 5 then we figure out that 5 + 8 = 13. If she draws 20 then we figure out that 20-7 = 13. We keep a yards stick handy and use it like a number line for this game. Or we use our Arithmasticks that we ordered from Montessori-n-such.


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  3. Try playing a board game called Er-u-di-tion that incorporates both sight words and phonics.

    This award winning game helps children learn to read, spell and understand the most common words in the English language while playing an entertaining board game.

    Cards are categorized so children of all reading levels can play together!

  4. great post!
    I will be linking. If you don't want to be featured please let me know.
    The Montessori Goldmine

  5. I love this idea! I can't wait to try it with B! Thanks for sharing!

  6. We gave this idea a try a loved it! I'm posting about it and linking back to you on 9-13.


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