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Get ready to ditch worksheets and flashcards in favor of hands on reading games.

Why hands on reading?

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.

*As an Amazon affiliate I may make a small commission from purchases made through this post, at no extra cost to you.

Play Pom Pom Toss and Read!

Pom Pom toss with hands-on reading

Materials and Setup:

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.

Invite your child to play!

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.

Play Pom Pom Toss and Read with Letters too!

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."

hands on reading game to learn letters

Looking for more ways to hands on reading sight word games?

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!

teaching sight words in kindergarten activities


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My mission is to bring fun hands-on learning to your home through simple activities and games that capture your child’s interest.

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