Sight Words Ball Toss (Feed the Shark)

Feed the Shark Sight Word Ball Toss

We’ve been working on our Sight Words lately, which we sometimes call Power Words (Power Word Hopscotch and Power Word Heart Pom Pom Toss).

This “Feed the Shark” game was intended to teach my daughter her sight words vocabulary, but can easily be adapted to be used to teach the alphabet to preschoolers, too.

I wanted to try something a little different, but still very tactile and involving movement, so I wrote some of my daughter’s words on ping pong balls that I picked up at our local dollar store.

Feed the Shark Sight Word Ball Toss

I wrote the words with a paint pen.  Not a permanent marker since I’ve found that those sometimes rub off.

Then I put the balls in a little bucket.  We took turns pulling out a ball, saying the words, and then tossing it into the shark’s mouth if we got it right.

My kindergartner helped her younger sister with the words, of course, and even though she wanted to make a rule about only getting a certain number of guesses to read the word, we didn’t worry about missing the shark’s mouth.  We just kept throwing until we got it.

Feed the Shark Sight Word Ball Toss

And I happened to have made that shark (Glut from The Little Mermaid) about two years ago and I have all the photos from the birthday party I threw for my girls for which the shark was one of our featured games and I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about it… but I guess I’m running a little behind.  Oops.  #Momlife.

Anyway, you can obviously throw the balls into anything – it doesn’t HAVE to be a shark’s mouth.  We keep Glut around and play with him from time to time, but you could toss the ping pong balls into any basket, laundry basket, bucket, box, or boots that you happen to have lying around.

If it’s winter, try tossing them into a Christmas wreath lying flat on the floor.  If it’s Halloween, try tossing them into a plastic jack o’ lantern.  If it’s spring, try tossing them into a watering can from the garden.  Or flower pots.  Whatever you have handy.

Have fun!

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Valentine’s Day Power Word Pom Pom Toss

Valentines Day Heart Power Words Pom Pom Toss Game

Yesterday, I posted our Power Word Hopscotch, and I also wanted to share this game that we played to practice my daughter’s vocabulary (or sight words) for Valentine’s Day.

This was a versatile way to play with some of the words she needs to know.  Her school calls them power words, so this is our Power Word Pom Pom Toss.

And since it was February when I made it, I just had to do it with cute little hearts!

Valentines Day Heart Power Words Pom Pom Toss Game 2

I picked up some Valentine-colored pom poms and dollies at the dollar store.

Being February, it was easy to find these things in red and pink, but you can often get this stuff when it’s not Valentine’s Day.  For example, you can buy heart dollies most of the year, sometimes in the cake baking section of a large retail store, or in a party store, and the pom poms are usually stocked in the craft section all year, though maybe not with little hearts on the label.  :)

Valentines Day Heart Power Words Pom Pom Toss Game 3

My daughter had a list of 60 power words, so I bought two packs of 30 dollies each and wrote out each word on a separate heart.

Then we would pick a handful and lay them out on the floor.  For the game above, we would call out a word and then try to throw a pom pom onto that word.

Even for me it took a few tries, but that allowed up to repeat the word a few times.

Then, we would trade those few words out for a few others.

Valentines Day Heart Power Words Pom Pom Toss Game 4

Then, we did a game where we would call out each word and hop onto them, kind of like our Power Word Hopscotch from yesterday.

Just be careful with this one, and be sure to put the dollies onto carpet or something similar.  If you put them onto tile or some wood floor, they will slip right out from under you when you jump onto them.

Valentines Day Heart Power Words Pom Pom Toss Game 5

And for the younger crowd, like preschoolers, you could substitute individual alphabet letters for the sight words!

Have fun!

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Power Word Hopscotch

Power Word Hopscotch

We recently did some Power Words Hopscotch to help my daughter practice her vocabulary.

I drew a hopscotch board on the driveway in chalk and filled it with some of her Power Words (also known as Sight Words).  Most of the words were ones she kept missing, but I also threw in some she knew well as encouragement.

One of the reasons we did a game like this – with her calling out each word as she jumped to it – was because she’s supposed to know these words on sight instead of having to sound them out each time.

And my daughter is always in a hurry, always rushing through her reading, so she often doesn’t take the time to sound things out anyway.  She just guesses.  One of the most important things in the world to me is that reading is fun for my kids, so instead of sitting her down and having her get frustrated and upset at herself, I’ve been trying to incorporate more learning activities that include movement and laughter.

Because for as much as I read to her every day, and as much as she would ask me to read to her, she wasn’t in a hurry to learn herself.  To keep up with her classmates, though, she needs to practice.  So we’ve been playing “games” instead of just sitting in a chair and going over flashcards again and again.  ‘Cause that’s even boring for mommy….

This one was a suggestion from her teacher and it worked out really well.  The chalk lasted for days (it didn’t rain) and every day for a week she would ask to go out and play hopscotch, including each time we were getting in and out of the car for school.

Plus, she called out the words for her younger sister, so they could both play.  Extra practice for the big sis, and a heartwarming moment thrown in for good measure.  :)

Power Word Hopscotch

I also love this concept of hopscotch for learning because of the versatility.

You could use this for other vocabulary words, of course, but also for just letters for the younger crowd.  For example, if you’re working on some Alphabet Activities with your preschoolers, you could practice your alphabet by putting letters instead of the traditional numbers inside the squares.

How do you practice vocab with your kids?

Happy learning!

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