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children's literacy

Fun With Sight Words: Water Balloons & Word Walls

I love discovering new and simple sight word activities to try out with the kids!  Once a month I present a short list of words to both of my kids, specifically my daughter since she’s older.

Since I started doing this some time last year there are many words my daughter can recognize instantly and effortlessly.  I believe that by automatically recognizing these words it has helped her develop into a fast reader. Repeated exposure to sight words is key so I come up with different ways to expose the kids to the same words over and over until they stick.

Recently, I created a simple “word wall” using post it notes which turned out a be a big hit with my daughter.  I often catch her reading her words when she wakes up in the morning or when preparing for bedtime.

Since it’s summertime, I wanted a sight word activity we could do outside that involved water.  Then I came across a simple activity with water balloons.  I thought how hard can this be – Fill balloons with water- Write words on balloons – Throw at each other.  Viola!  Instant fun and learning at the same time.

Before throwing each balloon we sing a song that reinforces the spelling of the word and then bombs away!  Such a fun activity on a hot day!

Your Turn:  What are your favorite sight word activities to do with your little ones?  Feel free to let me know in the comments.

children's literacy

Fun With Sight Words: Felt Storyboards

I finally made two felt storyboards for the kids about a month ago.  Hooray!  It’s something I’ve been wanting to do ever since I became a mom, but then that thing called life got in the way.  You know how hectic things can get sometimes, right?  Anyway, now that I created these two I’m motivated to do more since the kids really seem to enjoy them.

The first storyboard I created was “The Itsy Bitsy Spider”.  When we recite the nursery rhyme I spell out some of the words like, “sun”, “rain”, “down”, “out”, “up”.

Both of the kids love the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom so I just had to create a storyboard to go along with it.  Whenever I read the book aloud to them I add all of the letters going up the coconut tree just like in the story.  This helps to reinforce letter recognition.

I also use the felt alphabet letters to spell specific sight words as shown in the picture below.  So fun!

I think using felt images and letters are a great way for kids to have fun with sight words without even realizing that they are learning.  Also, felt storyboards are a wonderful way to spice up your storytime.

I hope you find this activity to be helpful to you and your little ones!

Do you use felt storyboards with your kids for practicing sight words or storytime?  Do you want to use storyboards with your kids, but don’t have a creative bone in your body or the time to create one?  Check out Playtime Felts.

~Until next time!

children's literacy

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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