My daughter is the kind of learner where she sees a word once, hears the word and remembers it forever. Learning to read sight words was a breeze. My 2nd child struggles a bit more. He reads and hears the sight word it 10 times, it still doesn’t sink in. He reads it, hears it, and interacts with it 100 times… and begins to gain familiarity. 300 -500 times and he gets it.
The thing with sight words, is that for most kids they need to be practiced. A lot. Squirt the Sight Word game gives children the opportunity to build, say, and squirt the sight words. That means, that they interact and hear with each word at least 3 times!
Squirt the Sight Word: A Splashy Reading Activity for Kids
Every child is different in how they learn sight words. Providing a variety of activities and materials to practice reading them increases the fluency, or speed in which children read them. Children who master the sight words, can focus on sounding out other exciting new words.
What is a Sight Word? Sight words are the most common words in printed text that do not follow a traditional spelling pattern such as the words; of, the, and, was. The Fry list and the Dolch word list are two of the most common sight word lists.
What Words Should I Use When Playing Sight Word Activities and Games with My Child?
This sight word activity is a fun way to review sight words that have been previously introduced. I like to use a few sight words that my child has already mastered, meaning every time he sees the word he is able to read it without hesitation. Then, the majority of sight words I use for games like sight word squirt are words that have been introduced, but not yet mastered. This reading game is a good way to read, hear, and interact with the word multiple times .
Introduce new sight words. Prior to beginning this sight word activity, parents and teachers may choose to introduce a new sight word. Show the word to the child, say the word. Then have the child read the word with you. Lastly, have them read the word on their own.
Materials needed for Squirt the Sight Word
- Foam letters
- Bathtub or container of water
- Squirting bath toys. We like this set —à click here
- Vertical surface
- List of sight words
Need some alphabet sound practice? Try the ABC Water Challenge found in 100 FUN & EASY LEARNING GAMES FOR KIDS. It is another hands-on reading activity using the foam letters! Click here to order your book.
Directions for Squirt the Sight Word
First, prepare the area. Fill the bath or a tub with water. Let your foam letters float in the water.
Then, ask the child to build as many sight words with the letters that they can. Encourage them to say the words out loud as they build each word. Since the foam letter set only has one of each vowel, we have found we can only make 3-4 true sight words each time. Children can fill in with CVC or simple words that follow the consonant – vowel- consonant pattern. If they are having difficulty coming up with sight word ideas with the remaining letters, consult your sight word list for inspiration.
Once the words are build (no more foam letter vowels remain), then have the adult call out the sight word.
The child then fills up the squirt toy and S-Q-U-I-R-T-S the selected sight word down.
Repeat calling out words and squirting until the vertical surface is empty. Continue playing squirt the sight word for a few rounds or until the child no longer shows interest in squirting!
Alternative Versions to Squirt the Sight Word Reading Game
After squirting, have the child say the word out loud in a complete sentence.
Take the activity outside – use a window as your vertical surface.
Write the sight words with bath crayons. Rub them off with a wash cloth.