Sometimes it is difficult to encourage our children to practice sight words at home. I mean most children do not want to sit and look at flashcards to memorize or become fluent with their words.

So why not use some of these fun ideas to make sight word practice a bit more enjoyable?  Scoot over and see if these ideas might be something you can use with your kids.

With the situation at hand and many parents using cyber schooling, homeschooling, websites, worksheets and lots of ideas that teachers are linking on their websites or have sent home for you support your child while schools are closed, I thought I would share some quick and easy ideas to work with sight words at home.

Many of these ideas will add a little fun to your day and encourage your children to get up and moving!

Maybe try a new way each day to keep it fun or write some ideas on sticks or slips of papers and put them into a jar or cup and pick one a day to try or play a favorite everyday! 

  • Write words in shaving cream on a cookie for everyone!
  • Form words or even simply letters using Play-doh.  
  • Form the words using pipe cleaners or Wiki Sticks. (you can write the word and then have your child go over it using any of the above methods.
    • Spell words using letter beads on pipe cleaners or using sticker letters on paper.

    • Put copies of the words around on the floor or rug and ask your child to jump onto a certain word read and as you advance spell it without looking (feet covering the word). Put the words on the steps and read them as you walk upstairs or downstairs.
    • Use an Etch-a-Sketch and write the words.
    • Write words on the iPad or computer.
    • Paint the words on an easel.
    • Type the words in different fonts on the computer.  The        to      have    from   like
    • Write the words with markers, crayons or colored pencils using a different color for each letter.  w i t h 
    • Cheer the words...vowels arms up, consonants arms down...You can even make pom-poms for cheering the words if the word is  T might look like this: T O : to

    It gets more fun as the words get longer and longer. 
    • Say the words using different voices...For example:  mouse voice, Elvis voice, old person voice, robot voice, opera voice, cowboy voice, baby voice or any other voice you can think of to use that might be a little silly.
    • Outline the  letters of the words in Cheerios, Fruit Loops, M and M's, Skittles...if the word is read correctly, eat the word! (or switch to beads or buttons)  I have also put copies of the word in muffin tins and kiddos toss a small candy into the tin and then read the word.  If it is correct, you get to eat the candy. If not leave it there and when you do know it the reward is more!
    • Sky write the words saying each letter as the word is written in the "sky".  We have been known to imagine and visualize that our favorite color is spraying out of our pencils or fingers when writing the word...great for handwriting practice as well!!!

    • Form the words using Unifix blocks or Legos.

    • Write Letters with sidewalk chalk.

    • Write the words on cups, stack them, read them and knock them down!!!
    • Use Sticker letters to write your words.
    • Circle or find your words in books, magazines and newspaper or online and write them in a notebook.
    • Hide the words around the house and then have your child find them and read them.
    • Stamp your words with alphabet stamps or in play-doh with stamps.
    • Use a paintbrush with water and "paint" them on the sidewalk.  Better be sure to read the words before the sun dries it up!!

    • Put magnetic letters for each word in a bucket filled with water and have children pull the letters out and spell the word correctly....or no water!!! 
    • Give each child a letter or a baggie of letters to a group of students and have them form a HUMAN Word with their letters. You can get the whole family involved with this one.

    You might also be interested in Variations of the game BANG!

    I hope these ideas bring a little sunshine your way and give you a few ways to encourage and support your children to practice their sight words.

    If you need a free list of sight words to use, Click Here for 300 Words Pick and choose those words that work for your child. Color words and family words included. the words go from easy to harder with color words and family words at the end.

    Children love to scribble and draw with pencils, crayons, paper and maybe even on the walls.  

    I know my grandkids would scribble something on a piece of paper and I would say. "Read this to me." and they would "read" it back usually saying it says "I love you or I had fun or maybe something silly, but they knew what they wrote and what it said.

    It is on this premise and experience that you and I know that kids have ideas tucked away in their heads ready to spill out on paper or walls!  

    With that being said, this is Part One of a Series of Blog Posts about how to encourage your students or children to write more at home and at school using some basic principles I have learned through my years of parenting and teaching! Ideas that you can put into practice immediately after reading this post!

    Writing is so important for all children, yet can be so difficult for some.  

    They want to know how to spell but you as a teacher want to get them to get their ideas on the paper so their ideas...those thoughts, those experiences flow onto the paper easily without hesitation and still what echoes throughout your classroom, "How do you spell dog.  How do your spell because?  How do you spell where???"

    So how do you support your students to feel confident and take risks with their writing?  Good question right? 

    One way I found and I am sure many of you already use this method is to encourage “Kid Writing” everyday...everytime children are writing at home and/or at school.

    Some kiddos are hesitant to take risks and write without knowing how to spell, but if you make it non-threatening and support young writers with positive feedback on what they are writing, they will take risks and begin to use creative spelling to spell more difficult words writing the sounds they hear.

    This is a win-win situation.

    As you circulate around the room, have the kiddos read what they have written. I always asked if it was okay to write adult spelling below their writing so I remembered what they wrote. If that doesn’t work, then write it on a sticky note with their name. Anyway you do it you are learning so much about your students!

    Why is this Important?  

    ✎  You can learn so much about a student’s phonological awareness and other writing skills simply by analyzing Kid Writing! 

    1.  Does the student have beginning sounds, ending sounds, digraph, affricates and/or medial vowels?

    2.  Do they have an understanding of what letters spell a word but maybe they are not in the correct order?

    3.  Are they using some conventional spellings of sight words? 

    4.  What do they know and what do they still need to learn?

    5.  Do they have capitals, end marks or an understanding of words and sentences?

    I can tell from this sample:

    • The writer has some conventional spellings of my, his, love and is.
    • I notice the writer needs to work on blends and digraphs as the writing is missing "br" and "th" in the word brother, also "br" in Brady. "Pr" is missing from practice.  
    • The writer has learned that that the "ea" vowel combination says "e" but it is not used properly in the word he.  
    • Also, the silent "e" in the word name is not used. That is something to work on as well.
    • The writer does not hear the difference between "n" and "m": at the end of words.  
    • She is more on a Phonetic spelling level., but does understand some conventional spelling words and patterns. 

    What do you notice?

    So much data can be collected to discern where each child is to drive small group writing, phonics and reading instruction!

    How can we encourage parents with supporting their children at home with writing?

    ✎  Now you have your students on board with "Kid Writing" but what about all the parents grinding their teeth with their children spelling words incorrectly at home?

    1.  Talk to parents:  I always chatted at back to school night or in a special meeting, if needed, explaining what spelling expectations I have or the district has for the grade level taught.

    2. Send an example of 'Kid Writing" like the one here to show them first hand why this type of spelling is desired.  

    ( this is a free resource in my TpT Shop)

    3. At back to school night or conferences show exactly what you can learn using a sample of "Kid Writing" and show what phonemic skills and concepts that example demonstrates.

    ✎  Have parents consistently encourage writing at home.

    To do this send home a list of ways to encourage children to integrate writing in their everyday life.

    Here are some ideas to include in your list or for parents to try:

    • Write lists for gifts they might want at some future point.
    • Write thank you notes to grandparents, aunts and uncles, sisters and brothers...anyone really!
    • Keep a daily or weekly journal to write about their experiences...what they like to do or don't like, how a sports game or ballet class went.
    • Keep a feelings journal.
    • Create the grocery list for family shopping.
    • Create a "to-do" list for the week.
    • Have your child write a list of chores that need to be completed.
    • Create a writing spot in your house or classroom where kids can simply write with various media: pens, colored pencils, markers, magnetic letters or whatever. Don't forget to include different types of paper!
    • Encourage writing to friends who live far away or not far away!
    • Label things around the house or draw pictures and hav your children label the picture.
    • Praise you children for what they do know..."Wow, you knew that beginning sound or ending sound...Way to go!"
    • Write some journal entries together where you write a sentence and then your child writes a sentence.
    • If your child wants something, have them write you a note convincing you to get what they want.
    • Respond in writing to a favorite book, movie or television show...even what they like about a favorite video game!
    • Make a list of what they observe on a car, airplane or train trip...even what they see around the house, restaurant or even while at a sibling's play, dance or game.
    • Create a non talking day where everything you need or want has to be written down!
    • Give your students or children some fancy pens and props to use while writing.

    There are so many more ideas that you can come up with to add.

    Remember this is the first part of a series focussing on writing at home and at school.  There is so much more to don't forget to check back for more. I have so many ideas tucked away to add a little pizzazz to writing at home and at school!

    See you next time!

    For some reason...and I am not really sure why...I always LOVED to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with my kiddos at home and my kiddos at school. Whether it was making Irish Potatoes or leaving notes from a Leprechaun, the magic of this day added a well deserved break to the everyday ho-hum that sometimes sets in around this time of year.
    I mean winters can be long and we are waiting for SPRING to SPRING!!
    So to spice up your life a bit and bring a little MAGIC right through your door...

    Here are 5 + Ways to Make St. Patrick's Day Fun for Kids at Home or at School...

     Let the Leprechauns Make Some Mischief:

    Turn your classroom or one of your rooms in your house upside down.

    1. Grab some shamrock confetti and sprinkle it everywhere.

    2.  Add a few pieces of curled green ribbon on top of shelves or even around lamps.

    3.  Turn a few chairs upside down.

    4.  Add some footprints around the room, which you can purchase online or make yourself.

    5. Don't forget to hide a letter from your mischievous leprechaun so your kiddos see it or find it in the morning!!!

    Here is a Letter I used a few Years back: 
    Top of the Mornin” to ya boys and girls- 
    Me thinks it is Fun Friday and yer celebratin’ St. Patrick’s Day taday!

    Me peeked through the window yesterday n’ I saw ya in Cougar Crossing and stations. I peeked in 4 or 5 times durin’ the day. I decided that most of ya deserved to have an extra treat today even tho’ some of ya did not get all yer stations finished. So, I called Mrs. Simpson and told her to buy ya something special. Now, I noticed that ya were all always listen’, I figured we’re celebratin’ St. Patrick’s Day taday and you ALL are deservin’ of gettin’ a special treat! Happy Day! Oh did ya notice anything different in ya room today!! I visited last night!
     Add a Few Fun Crafts to Get Those Minds Churning:
    Here are a few crafts and writing ideas that I have created and used over the years.  that I am sure your kids would LOVE to create. It would make a great Bulletin Board or even look awesome hanging on your refrigerator!!! 



    You can find direction for these Right HERE: It even has letters for a Bulletin Board!!!

    Now here is my absolute fave to celebrate this Magical Holiday:

    Are you read?  Drum Roll Please....tat, tat, tat, boom, boom, boom...I know you can hear it!!! TAH DAH!!!!!!!

    So You Want to be a Leprechaun will bring out the inner leprechaun in everyone...teachers, parents, student, kids, aunts, uncles...EVERYONE!  You can find the craft and application for the job right here:

    OOPS! I almost FORGOT...Here's a Dollar Deal for you so your kiddos can write some Irish limericks!Here you go!

     Adding a St. Patrick's Day Theme to Any Kind of Worksheet Always Adds a Bit of Fun to Learning!

    For some reason when you simply add a theme to a worksheet, it is a game changer and your kiddos think there is something magical and different from just a plain 'ole worksheet. So...Ramp up your celebrations with this St. Patrick's Day subtraction worksheet.                                                     

    For more engaging Math activities Click HERE:

    You will absolutely LOVE all the resources you can find on

     Add Some Cooking to the Day: IRISH POTATO CANDY

    I remember a few years back when I was braver and younger, I actually had cooperative groups make Irish Potatoes!  Yes you read that correctly....can you imagine a bunch or first graders making these? MESSY? YOU BET!  FUN? ABSOLUTELY!!

    I am thinking you might need to add this idea and bring a little Irish Treat into your classroom or kitchen! This exactly the recipe I used. NO COOK and EASY PEASY! I typed up the recipe on paper and then glued to shamrocks, had a few adult volunteers in to help and there you have it!!!  
     I am Thinking you NEED to Add Some Science into your Day:
    Okay...we have some mischievous fun, some leprechaun writing and application along with magical crafts and some great math ideas from . Now we need some science or STEM activities to complete our day!

    These ideas will keep your kiddos looking for leprechauns for at least 10 years if not more!! I mean I have been trying to find them for years and years and years! Oh and don't forget to make a pair of rainbow binoculars to stake out the trap!!

    Well there you have it 5 + Ways to Make St. Patrick's Day Fun at Home or at School

    How do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day? be sure to let me know in the Comments! Thank for stopping by and I hope this brings a little sunshine to your day!!