Sight Word Islands

As parents, we all want to help our kids be successful in school.
My daughters’ teachers will often let us know some of the things we can work on at home to complement the things they are learning in school.
If you have a child learning to read, one big thing you can do to help is to practice sight words at home.
Sight words are integral when learning to read. These are the words that are found in just about everything you read. They are best learned by memorization, since many cannot be sounded out.
Of course, no one actually wants to sit and memorize words, especially not your average 5 or 6 year old.
So, why not turn it into a game?
Since my girls love playing driveway games, I thought I’d bring some of our sight word review outside.
We got out the sidewalk chalk and took over the driveway with a game of Sight Word Islands.



To set up the game: 
In the center of our driveway, I drew a large star with a circle around it. This was the island we were trying to reach.
I then wrote sight words coming out from the star in all directions. Each word had a circle around it. These were our islands.
I used both words that my first grader needs to work on as well as words that she is already quite comfortable reading.
I then added three different starting points on the outer edges.
To play the game: 
Each girl stood on one of the start islands. Their goal was to jump from island to island all the way to the star.
But, in order to jump onto an island, you had to say the word out loud.
The shortest way to the star wasn’t always the easiest way!
My preschooler played along with us and took a lot of help from both Mom and big sister.
She has not reached the level of sight words yet, so we gave her a pass on actually knowing the words. Instead, she just had lots of fun jumping!
I love to turn learning into a game. Plus, anything that involves gross motor skills such as running and jumping is a hit with just about any child. Movement can go a long way in helping your child learn and remember. This post at Moving Smart explains why movement is so important. So, get moving and get learning!
What are some creative ways you’ve used for teaching sight words?
Practice sight words on the driveway by playing Sight Words Islands. It's a fun way to learn and move at the same time.
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Terri is a writer and mom of two elementary-aged girls. She has a passion for learning and is always looking for ways to make learning fun. You can find her at Better Than Homework where she shares fun learning activities or Creative Family Fun where she shares art, craft, and family fun ideas.

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