Get ready to ditch worksheets and flashcards in favor of hands on reading games.
Lots of what kids learning in the first few years of school is about memorization: letters, letter sounds, sight words, shapes, colors, numbers, etc. Traditionally these types of things are taught with repetition through worksheets and flashcards.
But that's BORING! Okay, some kids might like those things, but I betcha that MORE children prefer to learn in a more hands on way.
“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn."
Xunzi, Chinese Philosopher
With hands on reading games like Pom Pom Toss and Read kids are more likely to memorize whatever reading skill they're working on because they're having fun and involved in play. I mean, when have you ever learned something new from a worksheet?
In Pom Pom Toss and Read I focus on sight words as an example, but this game can also be used to practice letters, letter sounds, vocabulary, or spelling.
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Write your 4 target sight words on Post-its and place them in a line like in the picture. Line your muffin pan up with the words so that the rows lead down from the sight words. You can also use letters, vocab words, spelling words, or CVC words.
Have your child toss pom poms into the pan. Whenever they make a "goal," they need to read the word at the top of that row! Play along with them. Celebrate your goals and read out the words.
Got a little one working on learning letters in their name or learning the alphabet? Instead of sight words, just write letters on the post-its and have them yell out the letter name or letter sound when they score a "goal."
I've compiled 16 favorite activities that make learning sight words fun. There is not a single worksheet and lots of these play based activities involve your child to be active. For kids aged 4-5 it's so important to keep learning fun and moving. Little ones are not meant to sit and do busy work; they learn by doing!