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Fun With Sight Words: Cup Stacking

Since my daughter Sparkles will be starting preschool in the fall, (she’s currently in a toddler preschool program for two-year olds) we’ve been playing with sight words quite a bit around here.  Therefore, I thought I’d share some of our sight word activities through a series of different posts called “Fun With Sight Words”.  This is the first post in the series.

I believe in play-based learning for kids instead of drilling them with worksheets and flash cards.  So I try to add as much movement, interaction, and fun to our sight word practice as possible.  We practice our sight word lists throughout the week in various ways. The more exposure to the words that the kids get, the easier it seems to “stick” with them.  Along with books and lots of time spent reading comes learning phonics and sight words.

Before I get into the activity, let’s talk about the importance of why children should learn sight words.

When children enter school they are asked to learn these words by sight because they cannot be sounded out due to exceptions to phonetic rules.  They need to simply be learned by sight. Hence the term “sight words.”  Many sight words are “service” words. There is no “picture” to go with them. Words like “and” and “to”  are examples of these kinds of words. Learning these words helps children become fluent readers and also aids in comprehension.

In order for sight words to be effective, create opportunities for your children to be exposed to high-frequency words through various activities including poems, songs, and word games. With the proper exposure and practice with sight words, children eventually recognize them instantly when reading independently or if they are being read to.

Sight Word Activity: Cup Stacking

My kids love stacking cups and so do I.  Something about it just makes me feel like a kid again.  Oh, and let’s not forget the best part – knocking them down afterwards!

To do this activity all I did was cut out various sight words and glued them onto paper cups.  Easy peasy.  There are several different games that can be played stacking cups, but since my kids are still small we only use these cups in one of two ways.

Activity #1
We stack all of the cups and I read each sight word as we go along.  Once the “tower” is built I then point to each sight word and say it aloud again.  Sometimes the kids will say the words with me and sometimes they just listen.  Then we knock them all down!

Activity #2
I form short phrases or sentences and read the words aloud to the kids.  Again, I point to each word as I say it.

As the kids get older we’ll incorporate more fun games with cup stacking.

Do you have fun ways to learn sight words and/or spelling words?  Please comment below and share your ideas.

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