Here’s a fun and active way to practice sight words with kids! This activity can be tried indoors or outdoors and is fun for kids of all ages. Sight word practice doesn’t have to be boring! Kids will love searching for sight word stones and matching them in the correct outline. Try this activity today.
What are sight words and why are they important?
Sight words are words, like come, does, or you, that don’t follow the rules of spelling or the six types of syllables. These words are usually difficult to sound out so students are taught to recognize them as a whole word and read them by sight. Many of these words are found frequently in early readers. Once students learn to quickly recognize these words, reading becomes much easier for kids.
Why use stones?
Stones are fun to search for in nature and people of all ages love to collect them! Each stone is unique and special. They feel different, look different, and many have special meaning for different reasons. So why not use them in a learning activity?! Children will instantly feel connected to the stones and excited to use them in a new way! Just make sure to ask for your child’s permission if you are taking from his or her personal collection:)
Here is an observation I made during the activity: Since each stone is unique, I noticed that my son was associating particular words with how the stone looked. When he was looking for and, he kept saying “where is that black stone” and when he was searching for you, he said “where is the stone with a squiggly red line”? He was visualizing the way the words looked on those particulars stones and thinking about them as he searched for them. This is a great way to get sight words to stick!
If your child is struggling with a particular word, have them carry the stone in their pocket for the rest of the day. I guarantee that tricky word will be memorized in a day or two!
Ready to practice sight words? Here’s what you’ll need….
- Cardboard– These cardboard sheets are a convenient option if you don’t have any to reuse.
- Single hole paper punch (optional)
- Binder ring (optional)
- Stones- Find them in nature or purchase them at the Dollar Store, a landscape shop, or Amazon
- Black marker
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RELATED: Check out 10 Simple and Beautiful Stone Activities
Here’s How to do This Sight Word Activity:
If you want to make multiple sight word practice boards and looking for way to keep them organized, then keep them together with a binder ring! First punch holes through the cardboard and attach a ring.
We are working our way through the popular Fry Sight Word Lists! I plan on working on 10 new words every 3 or 4 days, or until he has all of the words on each board memorized.
Organize your stones on your cardboard to make sure they fit.
Outline the stones with pencil. I like to outline in pencil first so I don’t mark up my pretty stones with marker!
Take the stones off and trace the pencil outline with marker. Then write the sight words of your choice on the cardboard stone outlines.
Match up the stones and write the sight words on the stones.
Hide the stones around your yard or house. I suggest taking photos of where you hide the stones so you can remember where they are hidden! I chose a section of our yard to hide the stones so they weren’t scattered throughout the yard.
Now invite your child to search for the sight word stones! First we read the words together to increase exposure and help set him up for success.
He loved searching for the stones and was so excited to read the words as he found them!
Matching the words gave him another chance to see the sight words and read them again! This is important because repeated practice with sight words gives children the exposure they need to build their sight word vocabulary.
He had so much fun that we played this game three times that day! I will flip over the cardboard and try another set of sight words in a couple of days!
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I hope you try this sight word practice game! I promise, your little nature lovers will love this activity as my boys.