How to Use Sight Word Cards Effectively

Teaching sight words is important to build a strong foundation in pre-reading skills. If children already know a few words when they begin learning how to read, it will help build confidence. A great way to start teaching reading by sight is by practicing with sight word cards.

How to use Sight Word Cards Effectively - a Picture of two girls holding word flashcards

What are sight words?

Sight words are common words that show up quite frequently in early readers. These are the words that they are expected to know and remember immediately upon seeing them. They should be able to read them without sounding them out.

Sight words can not normally be sounded out or decoded because they don’t follow the general phonics rules. This is why it is important to recognize them, and know what they say.

Why are sight words important to learn?

Learning sight words is an excellent way to build a confident reader. When sight words are introduced and mastered at a young age, it will help kids to have a strong foundation for reading. They will be able to read faster and not get as frustrated.

When a child does not have to stop to think and decode a word, they can focus on the words that they do need to concentrate on. Reading will become less labor intensive and more enjoyable as their reading skills improve.

How to Use Sight Word Cards

When teaching sight words it is important to teach your child to see the word, memorize it, and be able to recall it in just a few seconds.

An excellent way to do this is by using sight word flash cards with these helpful tips:

Introduce One Word at a Time

You will want to begin by introducing one sight word at a time. Hold up the word card so they can see it. Say the word, have them repeat the word, then put the card down. Move on to the next word and repeat. You can start with a small stack of about 5 cards as to not overwhelm.

Mastering the Sight Words

After going through the stack, lay the cards out on the table, say the word and have your child point to it. Before you know it they will begin to recognize the word by sight. Master one stack of cards at a time before you introduce new sight words.

When to Start Teaching Sight Words

Sight word practice can be started in preschool by using kindergarten sight words. Sometimes little ones want to do school too, and this is a great way to get them interested and to teach them pre-reading skills. When children have a good grasp on pre-reading skills, it helps them to become fluent readers.

Create Your Own Cards

You can create your own cards using the Dolch sight words or other sight word lists that may be found in your reading curriculum. Many different reading programs have a scope of sequence and list of words that you can use.

When you create your own cards you can customize them with different colors for different groups of words. Print them on card stock paper and laminate them so they can be used over and over again. You can even use blank cards and just write the words on them.

You can store your sight word cards on a binder ring so your children can flip through them and try to work on them on their own.

Play Sight Word Games

Games are an excellent way to have some learning fun with your kids. All you need are a set of reading flash cards or sight words from your reading curriculum to play a game.

Sight Words Go-Fish

If you have two sets of cards you can use them like game cards. Play a go fish style game where you call out the word and try to see if the other person has it in their hands. This will get them thinking on their feet and needing to memorize the words pretty quickly.

Sight Word Memory Game

Another fun way to use sight word flash cards is to play a memory game with two sets of cards. Lay the cards face down and flip them over one at a time. Read the word with your child as they flip it over and try to find the matching word. This is where having a digital copy of printable flash cards come in handy!

They will be exposed to many different words this way. You will want to make sure that some of them are words they already know to help build their confidence, along with a few new words.

Use Printable Sight Word Flash Cards

Sometimes it is just easier to purchase printable sight word flash cards to help you get started with no-prep work on your part. Printable flash cards are great for review and for playing games too, because you can print multiple copies to use in some of the ways we talked about previously.

Sight Word Flash Cards for Beginners

Your little ones will learn over 200 sight words with these printable flash cards for beginners. What’s unique about these sight word cards is that they aren’t just a plain word on a card. Each card includes a sentence that uses the sight word, along with a picture that goes along with the sentence.

There are 5 different levels to choose from starting at only $2.99 for one set of cards. You can purchase each level one at a time, or the more you purchase, the more you will save!

Printable Sight Words Flash Cards and Book Covers for 5 Levels

When you have all 5 levels, your children will be able to master a total of 213 different sight words.

Each set includes two sets of cards: one in black and white and one in color. The two sets are perfect for playing games with and for giving one set for your kids to review.

Teaching Letters, Numbers, Shapes & More

Our Mega Early Learning Bundle has over 600 pages of early learning fun with shapes, letters, numbers, colors and more. There are letter worksheets, activity pages, do-a-dot pages, shapes and colors, all of the sight word flash cards, sight word worksheets, number worksheets, and 26 weeks of lesson plans.

600 pages of letters, numbers, shapes and colors - lots of preschool worksheets and early learning books

In Conclusion:

Sight word flash cards are a smart way to teach your children to memorize sight words fast. Whether you decide to make your own sight word flash cards, or purchase them already created for you, you can’t go wrong with using flash cards as an effective way to build reading confidence.