We’re continuing our little literacy for kids series today with an easy DIY – sight words playing cards. If your little one is at the stage of learning to read, you’ll most likely have heard of sight words. These are the words that are used in high frequency in reading and, as a result, kids are encouraged to learn to read them on sight. It’s words like the, and and I.
Sight words are often broken up into groups with children learning between ten and twenty on one list before moving to the next list. When looked at on the page as a whole list, it can be a bit daunting for the child, so here at tiny & little we learn using a little deck of sight words playing cards.
We start with a small set of cards featuring the first list of sight words and then as they learn the words from each level, I add the next one so the deck of cards continues to grow. As for why we use them, it’s simply because I’ve found my little ones learn faster when I make learning fun.
Today I’m going to share how I make our sight words playing cards, along with three ideas for games you can play with them.
How to make your sight words playing cards
What you’ll need
– a computer with a program for creating a table, like Word / Pages, PowerPoint / Keynote or Photoshop
– a printer
– coloured paper*
– jac paper*^ (this is a double sided sticky film for paper craft that you can pick up from a craft shop)
– white card* (I use 185gsm thickness, and it’s near the jac paper in the craft shop)
– bone folder (optional)
– storage jar or box
* I buy these all in A4 size so that they are the same size when it’s time to assemble the cards.
^ You can use glue for joining the coloured paper and cardboard. I use jac paper because it’s a dry material so I don’t need to worry about the paper warping after it becomes wet with glue, and also because it holds together well.
What you’ll do
Step one: create a table with a border in your chosen software program and type the sight words your child is learning in. You’ll need one word per box and two of each word. Once it’s all typed up, print it out on the white card.
Step two: peel one side of the jac paper and stick it to the back of the printed card. Smooth out any bubbles until it is flat – I use the flat side of the bone folder to make this step easier.
Step three: peel the other side of the jac paper and stick it to the back of the coloured paper. Smooth out any bubbles again. You’ll now have a thick piece of paper + card, with the words on one side and the coloured design on the other.
Step four: cut out your playing cards, using the borders of the table as your cutting guide.
Games you can play with your sight words playing deck
For this game, put all the sight words cards face down and take turns turning over two at a time. As each card is turned over, say the word out loud, and if it’s a match the person who turned the pair over keeps the cards. If they don’t match, turn them back to face down. Keep playing until all pairs are matched. This game can be played alone or with another player.
These cards are terrific for a game of Go Fish. The cards are shuffled and each person is given five cards with the rest placed face down in a pile between the players. The first player asks another player if they can match a card in their own hand, “Do you have a the?” and if they do, the card is given to the first player who lays down a pair. If they don’t match, the first player picks up a card from the deck and adds it to their hand. Keep playing until all pairs are matched. This game can be played with two or more players, though in the early stages of learning you might need to limit it to two players or have less cards each because there won’t be enough cards to go around.
This popular game also works a treat with the sight words playing cards. Divide the cards between the players and, holding them in a pile with the words facing down, take turns placing a card on the centre pile, face up, saying the word out loud as you put the card down. When the top two words match, quickly pop a hand on them saying “Snap!” and add the cards to your hand. Keep playing until one person is holding all of the cards or until you’ve gone all the way through the cards in your hand. This game can be played with two or more players, though in the early stages of learning you might need to limit it to two players to have a few cards each.
If you make a deck of cards to help your little one learn sight words too, we’d love to see them! You can tag us on Instagram at #tinyandlittleDIY and we’ll stop by for a peek!