15 Active Sight Word Games to Play this Summer
Sight words are high-frequency words that young readers should memorize and know by sight. Recognizing these common words saves students time and frustration when they read since there’s no need to stop and decode each word. This lets students focus on comprehension and the meaning of the text and can make reading more enjoyable for young readers.
One great way to practice sight words is with games. These sight word games are a great way to get kids up and moving while keeping them learning this summer. Active games are also a great way to engage more active/kinesthetic learners.
You can adapt each of these sight word games for different reading levels by selecting easier or more difficult words or using letters for kids who aren’t yet reading. Check your students’ spelling lessons for words they’re currently working on, or use our printable sight words. Happy reading!
1. Sight Word Hopscotch
Sketch out a hopscotch course, but use sight words instead of numbers. Toss your marker, read the word it lands on, then hop to it!
2. Sight Word Soccer
This sight word game is perfect for your little soccer players! Write out sight words on index cards and tape them to cones (or buckets, cups, etc). Have kids dribble between the markers and read the words as they go. When they get to the end, they get to take a shot at the goal.
3. Moving Sight Words Game
Try this reading and running game the next time your kids need to burn off some energy. You’ll need some sight word flashcards or index cards with words written on them for this activity. Write out the same words on the ground with sidewalk chalk. Kids select a word, read it, and then run to a spot you’ve selected (it could be a tree or a fence, as close or as far as is appropriate for your child’s energy level.) Then they run back and find the word on the ground. Repeat until you run out of words, or the kids are worn out!
4. Yard Clean Up
With a sharpie, write sight words (or letters for younger kids) on ping pong balls. Throw them all over the yard and have kids run to gather them up. The only rule is they must read and call out the word/letter before running the balls back.
5. Sight Word Target Practice
Write out sight words on paper plate targets and stick them up on a wall. When you call out a word, kids have to find the “target”, read it, and throw a ball to hit it.
6. Sight Words Water Game
Write out sight words on the ground with sidewalk chalk (kids can help with this). Dunk large sponges in a bucket of water and take turns reading and throwing the sponge at each sight words. This would be a fun game to play with water balloons too!
7. Sight Word Diving
Cool off in the pool and get some reading practice, too! Write sight words on inexpensive diving toys and toss them in the pool. Each time kids come up with one, have them read the word on it.
8. Water Balloon Sight Words
Here’s another fun and educational way to cool off this summer. Write sight words on water balloons and have kids read each word before tossing it at a target.
via Royal Baloo
9. Sight Word Run
In this sight word game, kids have to fill in the blanks to spell and read sight words. Scatter the cards around the house or yard to make this game active.
10. Sight Word Basketball
In this game, have kids dribble around sight words on the ground as they read them out loud. Check out the post linked below for a few more variations on this fun idea. What a great way for your future NBA star to work on their fundamentals, and their reading!
via Toddler Approved
11. Sight Word Twister
For this variation on the classic game, you can tape flashcards to a real Twister board if you have one, or just draw your own with sidewalk chalk. Read a word, and have kids find it on the board and put a hand or foot on it. You can call out a body part (right foot, left hand), or to make it easier for young kids, let them decide.
12. Sight Word Treasure Hunt
Make a map of your house and hide sight words or letters all around. You could also draw a map of your yard to take this game outside. Kids will have a blast reading the map and running around looking for “treasure.”
13. Sight Word Rescue Game
This game gets kids moving and climbing as they read. You can try it at home if you have your own climbing equipment, or at a playground. Have kids climb around to find words and read them out, or call out words and have kids find and read them.
14. Bowling for Sight Words
Blank labels and a toy bowling set are all you need for this bowling sight words game. Have kids bowl, then read out the words they knock down. Keep score, or just play for fun!
15. Sight Word Beach Ball Activity
Write sight words on a beach ball for a fun and educational game of catch. Check out the link below for beach ball games you can play with kids who can’t read yet, kids new to reading, and more advanced readers.
Do you have a favorite reading game or activity? Share it with us in the comments!
Ashley MacQuarrie began writing professionally more than ten years ago and has covered education, technology, current events, pop culture, and other topics. A former homeschooler, she studied English and Film & New Media, graduating with a bachelor's degree from San Diego State University. Ashley has classroom experience working with children who have autism and other special needs. She has also tutored students from kindergarten through college and taught English to teens and adults at a language school in London.