It is week 5 of Get Ready for K Through Play, the 8 week series I am participating in with some of my favorite bloggers that will give you all the tools you need to prepare your child for Kindergarten in ways that are fun and hands-on. We will focus on a different Kindergarten readiness skill each week. This week the topic is Books, Reading and Literacy and I will be sharing a sight word game to help kids learn through play.
Sight words are words that children will encounter frequently in text. Many of these words are not easy to sound out so it helps if children can recognize them. Learning sight words is not always the most exciting prospect for kids, but we found a way to make it fun with this sensory game. It is pretty simple to create a game that combines sight words with sensory play. I highly recommend playing this game outdoors. It can get messy (that's what makes it so fun!) and the clean up is easier outside. You will need:
- Shaving cream
- Permanent marker
- Foam shapes or bottle caps
- Plastic bin
- Towels and napkins
- Large bowl filled with water
We had some foam shapes lying around that we use for bathtub play, but larger bottle caps (milk, juice) would work great if you save those. I wrote a Kindergarten sight word on each block using a permanent marker.
Here is a list of some Kindergarten sight words to get you started:
at, am, and, an, are, can, do, for, go, has, have, he, here, in, it, is, like, look, me, my, no, play, said, see, she, so, the, to, up we
Next time we play this game, we will do it in our swimsuits. It got pretty messy, though somehow my daughters avoided getting any shaving cream on their clothes. My clothes however, are another matter entirely.
Spray some shaving cream in your bin, covering the bottom. Start adding some of your word blocks in the shaving cream.
Cover those blocks with even more shaving cream and continue adding blocks.
Fill up the entire bin with shaving cream so your child cannot see any of the blocks underneath.
Before the sight word games start, you will want to set up a bowl with water next to the playing area along with some towels and napkins. This will be for the kids to remove the shaving cream from their hands. You will also want to have a spray bottle on hand to help kids get the shaving cream off the blocks.
The object of the game is simple: dig through the shaving cream to find the foam blocks. If you can read a word then you get to keep the block. If you cannot, you hide the block back in the shaving cream. The child with the most blocks at the end wins.
My daughter cleans a block to see what it says.
She recognizes this word. "Like!" she calls out and she gets to keep the block.
We bent the rules a little for my youngest. She is 3 and desperately wanted to play, even though she is not reading yet. When she found a block, she would read all the letters to her sisters and if they knew the word, they told her what it said, and she got to keep it.
She also thought it would be fun to clean the blocks off in the bowl of water rather than using the spray bottle. It was much more efficient.
It was so fun digging through the shaving cream to look for new blocks.
Fun was even had while getting the shaving cream off of hands.
Sight words are no match for us!
When all the blocks had been found we counted them up to see who had the most.
My daughter lined up her blocks and practiced reading each word.
My almost five year old twins (entering Kindergarten next month) had a pretty easy time reading all the words. They are very advanced at reading so this was more of a review for them. You can tailor the game based on your child's level by using more challenging words. You can also extend this game by writing words that will make up a sentence on the blocks and having the object be to make a sentence.
The kids had such a good time playing this game and learning sight words. I like how they also had a fun sensory experience. Kids learn best when they do so in hands-on ways. This is the kind of learning that really sticks with them. Long after the activity, my twins saw a sight word said, "that was from the blocks!"
There are so many fun ways to enjoy books, reading and literacy with children preparing to enter Kindergarten. Be sure to visit the following bloggers and check out their posts on the subject:
10 Early Readers for Beginning Readers from Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
How to Read Aloud to Your Child from Coffee Cups and Crayons
Help Your Child Learn to Read from Mama Smiles