I may earn money from companies mentioned in this post at no cost to you. Thank you!
This post has been co-written with Ben Wolfson, a full-time educator and assistant principal in the USA.
For some reason, many kindergarten teachers find teaching sight words problematic and challenging in their classroom. In part this may be because they don’t explain why are sight words important to their students, and in part it’s because they don’t have engaging ways to teach sight words yet. These sight word activities for kindergarten will help your students master the Dolch sight word list in next to no time!
Way #1 – Gamify it with Sight Words BINGO
One of the best ways to teach sight words (and indeed anything on the kindergarten curriculum!) is to make it into a game. Bingo is a great game as it’s versatile across all subjects. Students have their own bingo board and take it in turn to draw out and read words from their Dolch sight word list. This means that they have to know how to read the word and how it sounds making bingo a great way to double dip your sight word skills!
Kindergarten students will learn pre-primer Dolch sight words in this printable zoo animal sight words bingo game. Use this as a small group literacy center in your classroom or as a hands-on sight word reading activity for your homeschooling kids.
Way #2 – Get Hands On with Q Tip Painting
Kindergarten students live through all five senses, so any sight word activities for kindergarten that allow them to get their hands dirty will be an instant win. Painting with Q-tips is one of the great ways to teach sight words as students have to slow down as they form each letter. The skill required to create words with the end of a Q-tip will also build their fine motor control – another double dip activity.
Your students will learn the 40 Dolch pre primer sight words with this set of q tip painting printable worksheets. Use these as a fun kindergarten literacy center in your classroom any time of the year!
Way #3 – Repeated Practice
All of the research into kindergarten learning shows that repeated practice is essential for true mastery and consolidation of any skill. This means that there is always a time and a place for a sight words printable set of flash cards. Focus on a small group of sight words at a time until students can read this as soon as the flash cards are turned over before giving them more words on the Dolch sight words list. They can work with a partner or even take the flash cards home for extra practice!
This free download can be used as sight word flashcards and also as a fun way to work on fine motor development during Easter time. Kids will actively try to balance the egg on the spoon and fish it out of the ‘jail’. For each egg that escapes, they need to read a sight word then the egg will be safe. Fun and learning all in one!
Way #4 – Write The Room To Get Moving
Kindergarten bodies are designed for moving so you’ll tap into that whole body learning experience by finding sight word activities for kindergarten that involve getting up and moving. A “write the room” activity is a perfect blend of movement and practice. You put the current list of sight words that students are working on around the room (try hiding them in unusual spots for an extra challenge!) and they have to move around the room, writing down the sight words they find on a list.
Kids will love this printable penguin theme pre-primer sight words write the room activity! It’s perfect for a winter literacy center in kindergarten and even first grade.
The final piece of the puzzle when you’re finding different ways to teach sight words is to give students opportunities to practice reading the words in context. This means finding a selection of reading materials that have the sight words as their primary focus and giving students time with an adult or a partner to read the words out loud. They’ll be so excited to find the words that they’ve been practicing as well as realizing that they can read books to themselves that you’ll never worry about teaching sight words again.
Books with Stories Focused On Sight Words: