12 Quick and Easy Sight Word Games and Activities

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Teaching kids to read is so much easier (and fun!) with hands-on activities like these sight word games.

Before my children were born I was a kindergarten teacher in a public classroom.  Teaching little ones to read was a huge part of my job. 

I loved it!  I was blessed with an administrator that was happy to let me teach how I saw fit – which was mostly through hands-on guided play. I spent quite a bit of time putting together games with sight words for kindergarten.

At any given time one group of kids was purposely moving around the classroom for an activity, another was sitting on the carpet with me for direct instruction, and another group was sitting at their table quietly working on a hands-on activity. They were all working on improving their reading skills.

It is amazing what children can learn while they are playing.

Years later, I began doing these hands-on sight word activities with my own children while teaching them to read.  I believe that a balanced reading program includes phonics and sight words.  Phonics teach letter sounds while sight words are high-frequency words, some of the most common words for kids to memorize. 

The sight word folder technique is a great way to work on memorizing sight words, but these hands-on sight word activities are some of the best ways to make it fun.

Quick and Easy Sight Word Games and Activities

These hands on sight word activities are effective and fun.  They can be done at home with pre k, kindergarten, first grade, and even second grade.  These affordable educational activities make practicing sight words fun!
Save these sight word games and activities so you can easily find them!

1. Find letters to build the words in a sensory table or tub

This is one of my favorite sight word activities because you only need to set it up once for the entire year (or longer!).  The set up is incredibly simple too:

  1. Choose a lidded bin to act as a portable sensory table.
  2. Fill the bin with a sensory filler such as rice, dry pasta, or dry beans. Dying rice and noodles can make the sight word sensory bin more appealing, but isn’t necessary.
  3. Add letter tiles.  The Dollar Store or the Target Dollar Spot are great places to find inexpensive alphabet letters.  You will need multiples of each letter, so you might need to buy several packs.
  4. Set up a list of sight words to build next to the new sight word sensory bin. There is a sign-up box further down to receive a complete list of Dolch sight words.

Kids dig through the sensory bin to find the letters needed to build the sight word.

2. Cotton ball toss

This was always one of my son’s favorite sight word activities.  Throwing something inside the house seemed to ramp up the appeal.  This can be a fun way to practice sight words when kids need to get some wiggles out.

A muffin tin usually has 12 spots, making this a great game for sight word review.

  1. Write one sight word on each muffin tin paper liner.
  2. Kids toss a cotton ball (or balled up sock, mini eraser, small plush animal – anything that will fit in the hole without breaking or bouncing out) into the muffin tin.
  3. They read the sight word on that muffin tin liner.
  4. Repeat until all of the sight words are read or interest is gone.
unique sight word activities hands on written in the middle of dyed rice, a fly swatter, muffin tins, and shaving cream
Be sure to save these fun sight word games and activities so you can always find them!

3. Sight word hunt around the house

A sight word hunt is a great way to get kids moving. Active lessons have even been shown to increase learning. It is a fun activity that keeps kids interested in learning.

  1. Write sight words on post it notes and hide them around the house.  You can practice as many sight words as you would like, but only put one sight word on each post it note.
  2. Give the child a clip board, a list of the hidden sight words, and a pencil.
  3. Kids search for the hidden sight words.  When they find a word on their list, they write it next to that word.

This can be done in just about any space – one room, whole house, even outdoors.  Switching up the location and hiding spots keeps this activity fun.

4. Sight Word Fishing

Young children will enjoy fishing for sight words. Lay the fish out on the floor or in a container. Kids use the fishing pole to catch a fish. Magnets will help the fish stick to the pole. Once a child has caught a fish they can try to read the word.

If they can read it, they can keep the fish. If they can not read the word, then a parent reminds them of the sight word, they toss the fish back, and try again.

5. Building sight words with magnetic letters

Sometimes the simplest activities are the best.  This hands-on sight word practice only requires a list of sight words, magnetic letters, and a magnetic surface.

I liked to keep this sight word center available at all times when my children were little.  The letters and a few cards at a time lived on our refrigerator.  This gave my kids something educational to do while I was cooking or cleaning up the kitchen – which felt like all the time!

  1. Put magnetic letters on the work surface (refrigerator, dishwasher, baking tray, or magnetic white board all work well)
  2. Put a few sight words on the work surface.  Magnetic business cards work well for turning note cards into magnets.  Sometimes I just wrote the sight words on index cards, but other times I used themed notepads. The themed notepads always caught their attention if they were becoming ‘activity blind’ and ignoring this sight word activity.
  3. Kids build the sight words with the magnetic letters.

6. Swat the sight word

This activity can really be customized.  It can be done alone or in a small group or two.  It can be quiet at the table or active outside.

The only necessary items are a fly swatter and sight words.

  1. Write the sight words wherever you want to play.  This can be done with sidewalk chalk outside or on note cards at a table.
  2. Hand the child a fly swatter and ask them to swat the word that you are about to read.
  3. Read a sight word.
  4. The child finds the correct sight word and taps it with the fly swatter.  If playing in teams, the first team to correctly swat the word gets the point.

This fun game was always popular in my kindergarten class. I would write the words on a plastic shower curtain liner from the dollar store so that it was big enough for multiple kids to find words at one time.

7. Stamp the words 

There is just something about spelling with stamps that makes it more fun than just using a pencil. My kindergarten students liked this sight word activity when they were ready to sit down for a few quiet minutes.

  1. Set out a list of sight words, blank paper, alphabet stamps, and ink pads.
  2. Kids will stamp the words.

If you want to practice vowels and consonants, just ask your kids to use a different color for vowels.

Kids can also build sight words using letter beads.

8. Write the sight words in shaving cream

My kids write words in shaving cream to practice handwriting all of the time.  It is such a simple activity, but they always enjoy it.  This activity can be used to practice sight words too.

  1. Give each child a dollop of shaving cream on a baking tray.  I just use whatever shaving cream is cheapest.  A baking tray helps keep the mess contained and makes for easier clean up.
  2. Either place a sight word list at the table for your child to copy or read a sight word aloud for your child to spell.  Remembering how to spell the word is usually a little more challenging than simply copying from sight word cards.
games with sight words for kindergarten written below colorful ink pad and alphabet stamps

9. Sight word play dough

Play dough is a great tool for practicing sight words because most preschool and elementary homes have this common craft supply.

Kids can roll the play dough into thin ropes and form the words.

I used this sight word activity pretty frequently when I was a kindergarten teacher.

10. Sticky notes matching

This sight word game is quick and easy to set up. All you need is a piece of paper (or white board) with a few sight words written and a few sticky notes with the same sight words.

Kids will read the sight word off the paper and match it with the sticky note.

11. Toy car knock down

This sight word activity is sure to appeal to any child who loves knocking things down.

To play this game you will need sight words written on paper cups (or on note cards taped to blocks) and a toy car. A remote control car would be really fun, but regular toy cars will work too.

Place the sight word cups or blocks around the area. When your child reads the word they get to use the toy car to knock down the word.

12. Sight word bingo

Sight word bingo can be a great way to reinforce previously learned sight words. All of the kindergarten teachers I worked with kept a few bingo games on hand at all times because they are a great way to quietly focus kids on a quick task.

These quick and easy fun sight word games and activities will get your kids learning sight words without even realizing it. What are your favorite sight word activities?

Receive free printable sight word flashcards, a complete list of Dolch sight words, and a completion certificate by signing up below. Sight words can be memorized in just 10 minutes a day.


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  1. Thanks for sharing your wonderful sight word activities . It’s been several years since I’ve taught Kindergarten and you’ve reminded me of some things I’ve used in the past, as well as, given me some fun and practical new ideas. Thanks! A few more tasks that my students enjoyed were: writing words using stencils, rolling out words using playdough and dialing their sights words on an old phone (they had to write the phone number for the word).

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