I actually won this game at a white elephant/raffle Christmas party but have never actually played it. At least not the way they probably intended it to be played. I have been using it for so many other fun activities with my girls.
With Ashlyn, who is 6, I have been giving her spelling tests and letting her make the words instead of write them. We work on this each week and I wanted to switch things up a bit from the old school pencil and paper. She liked it! I also do making words activities with her. I used to do this daily with my 1st graders when I taught in the public schools.
Yesterday we were talking about the rule about dropping the e and adding ing to a word. I had her use the letter tiles and make the word take. Then I asked her to turn it into taking. She of course kept the e so I taught her the little rhyme. Making words activities teaches tons of great phonics skills. It gives kids the chance to manipulate the letters to see how letter sounds and rhyming go together to make words. After doing ing words I asked her to make the word night. Then I had her change it to light, sight, fight, flight, and then sigh. It really helps her recognize the patterns that many words have.
With Emil, who is 3, I have her spell out her sight words by copying them from a list that I make her. Then I have her find those words in a book that I have just read to her. Many kids know sight words in isolation but have a harder time reading them in a sentence. This activity helps with that.
Both my girls have always loved books. Since they were about 2 months old we have gone to the library weekly and read at least 4 books a day. Ashlyn started reading pretty young and hasn’t stopped. I wasn’t sure Emily was going to have the same desire to read but about a month ago she started picking out words from the books we were reading. I started doing sight words with her (the post it ones from Target) and now she is unstoppable. I’m so proud of her.
The other day while I was giving Ashlyn a spelling test, I gave Emily a sight word activity as well. I wrote out 7 of her words and then gave her some letter stickers I found in the Target dollar section. The only problem is they are all up case but it made for a good teachable moment. She had to find the letters to make her words. She loved it!
So proud of herself!
Here’s a fun way to reinforce sight word recognition by playing the game Go Fish. Make a deck of 21 pairs of sight words using index cards cut in half. Deal five cards to each player and make the rest the “fish pond”. Play the game just like Go Fish. As your child’s reading vocabulary grows, add more cards to the deck. You can also play this game using numbers or letters instead of sight words.
Here are some other sight word activities.
After 3 weeks away at a Young Life camp in North Georgia (I hope to post more on this later) and almost a week of being sick, I am finally back to posting on the blog. I know my 4 readers missed me.
We spent the day taking the girls to the zoo, painting a bird feeder, and hanging out at home. After dinner the girls wanted to play outside with their new polka dotted chalk. It only took a couple of minutes before Emily was bored with the chalk so I made up a game to keep her interest. I wrote a letter with the chalk and asked her what letter it was. I continued this with several letters and we talked about what sounds each made. Then I asked her to jump on a certain letter. She loved it! I would change it up and say, “Can you jump over the A?” “Can you step on the R?” We did this for about 15 minutes until Ashlyn wanted to play.
I thought letters weren’t challenging enough for her so I made a hopscotch board. Instead of using numbers I wrote some of her sight words in the boxes. She had to throw a stick and read the word it landed on, then hop to it. I kept thinking of other things you could use. Shapes, color words, numbers that aren’t in order, and sight words were some examples I thought of. It was a fun way to spend the evening without them even realizing they were learning.
Magnetic letters are great for kids to play with. Kids of all ages can benefit from using them. Younger kids can learn their letters by finding matching letters together while older kids can start forming words. Many kids learn best by touching and doing. It’s a great hands on activity. Ashlyn plays with them in room time. I have her spell out her sight words or names of people in the family. I use a cookie sheet for her to spell the words on because they are magnetic.
While these are a great learning activity, they are a pain to store. When I was teaching I found that a tackle box was perfect for this. They have 24 little square compartments so I combine the letters w and x together and y and z. it’s much better than stuffing them all in a ziploc bag.