Are you looking for ways to make sight word games more engaging and fun with your students? Whether you use the Dolch sight words, the Fry sight words, or another list, the Teach Starter team of teachers has you covered. We put our heads together and created some options to make this part of your ELA curriculum a whole lot more fun!
Sight Word Games
Sight word games make learning all those words that early readers need to recognize a whole lot easier and a lot more fun too. So we did a deep dive into the world of sight words to come up with some games that would help kids remember the most common sight words and make teachers’ lives easier too!
Many of these games are printable, so you can easily use them in the classroom.
Short on time? Head straight to the sight word printables!
Sight Word Flip Cup
Sight word flip cup isn’t just a great way to teach sight words. It’s also a great active game to get your class up and moving!
Here’s how it works:
- Create two groups of students, writing the name of each group on your whiteboard.
- Spread out a series of paper cups with words on the bottom around your classroom, and line your two groups up at the board. Now it’s time for students to run around and get some of those wiggles out!
- The line leader goes first, running to find a cup.
- When students find a cup, they flip it, yell out the word, then run to the board and write it under their team.
- They then run back to the line, high five the next player.
- Go until the first team has completed a round.
Play the BOOM Sight Word Game
Former assistant principal and teacher Tam shared this sight word game with Teach Starter, and we were instantly hooked. Not only is it super easy to set up, but it has already been tried and tested! The best thing about this game is that you can easily differentiate but keep each sight word level together using some rubber bands. Here’s what you need to know:
- Write the chosen sight words on colorful craft sticks.
- Write the word BOOM on a few sticks — this is the key to making this game fun!
- Pair students off to work together (or create small groups!), and set a timer for your desired time.
- Place the sticks in a cup with the word side down.
- Students should then take turns passing the cup, pulling out a stick, and reading the word.
- If they read the word correctly, they get to keep the stick!
- If they pull out a BOOM stick, the other player gets all of their sticks. If they’re in larger groups, the student gives their sticks to their partner or person to their right.
- At the end of the time limit, the person with the most sticks wins!
As an extension or alternative to using Boom sticks as a sight word game, you could do rhyming words, or students could put the words into a sentence. Other ideas include:
Fly Swatter Sight Words Game
Shoo fly, don’t bother me! A hit with kindergarten teacher Miss S’s class, this fly swatter sight words game will have your students reading in no time.
Call out a word, and have the student swat the corresponding card on the floor or a desk. You can also reverse the game by having the student choose the sight word, name it out loud and swat away!
Photo courtesy of kindergarten teacher Miss S.
Sight Word Hopscotch Game
Inspired by hopscotch, this sight word game is an active one that will help them get the wiggles out.
Find a tiled area and write one sight word on each tile in three colors. Children then pick a color and can get home by hopping only on that color sight word. They must say each sight word as they hop on it to get to the end.
Jack and the Beanstalk Word Game
Ontario fourth- and fifth-grade teacher Lori combined the story of Jack and the Beanstalk with a cute sight word game to accompany the lesson. After reading the story, the student will roll the die and read the sight word to continue up the beanstalk. Students can use cute erasers or plastic characters to mimic Jack and the other characters from the story.
Photo courtesy of Ontario fourth and fifth-grade teacher Lori
Dry-Erase Die Game
A handy dry-erase die will allow you to mix up your sight words as often as you’d like! This is what Florida professor, Dr. Lakeisha Johnson (SLP), did with a dollar store die and index cards.
Johnson created a color-theme sight word die, including a “free choice” option. After rolling the die, the student grabs the card that matches the specified color and comes up with a sentence.
You can create any theme you’d like with this idea. For example, if this is too easy for your kids, you can have them form sentences with multiple sight words.
Photo courtesy of Florida professor Dr. Lakeisha Johnson, SLP
Bowling for Sight Words
Pick up a cheap plastic ten-pin bowling set from your local dollar store. Using some sight word flashcards, place a hole punch in the corner and attach one word to each pin using a rubber band.
Students try and hit as many pins over as they can, then correctly say each of the sight words they knocked over in order to add to their overall score!
Get a printable version of sight word bowling with 52 high frequency words already included!
Sight Word Popcorn
Print out sight word flashcards on yellow paper, and scrunch it up just like popcorn. Have students pick a piece of popcorn and read the sight word. If they get it correct, they get to keep that piece of popcorn.
Issue a challenge to motivate your class: Who can fill their popcorn bucket first?
Printable Sight Word Games
If you are looking for another sight word game that you can play in your reading centers or to send home for some fun sight word practice, we’ve got you covered! Here are some Teach Starter sight word games. Although we have used the Dolch Sight Words list of words, you can use the editable version to fit the sight words you may use at your school.
Fishy Find Sight Word Game
For this version of a fishing sight word game, we’ve created the fish you’ll need to get started! Just follow the instructions below!
- Set up a station with a large bowl.
- Attach metal paper clips onto the creatures and attach a magnet to a stick and string.
- To help build word recognition, students need to lower their fishing rod into the bowl, then read the word on the fish they have caught, and then place them in a pile.
Sight Word Bingo
There was a game to play with sight words, and Bingo was its name-o! (Sorry, we had to!).
This printable sight word game takes classic Bingo and adds the first 100 words on the Fry Sight Words list to make a game the whole class can play! Print them out on sturdy cardstock, and you’ll be able to use the bingo cards again and again, to help your early readers really nail those crucial words. Available as a Powerpoint or in Google Slides, this is also a great sight word activity for virtual students. Get additional words: