Sunday, August 18, 2019

Popsicle Stick Sight Word Puzzles

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How to make popsicle stick sight word puzzles to practice and teach sight words.

My oldest son J has been able to read since before he turned two.

I later learned there's a name for that.

It's called hyperlexia.

But long before I knew what hyperlexia was, we would spend our days together playing with words and letters. These sight word puzzles are just one of the many activities and games that we would play after I discovered that he taught himself to read. Partly as a way to see what he could read and partly to encourage him to read even more.

So here's how to make popsicle stick sight word puzzles for your kids.

Practice sight words with these DIY popsicle stick sight words game

How to Make this Popsicle Stick Sight Word Game

Here's what you'll need to make these sight word puzzles:

Before I made the puzzles, I googled common sight words and found this Dolch sight word list. After reading the list closely, I realized that J can read well over half of these words already. He was only 3 1/2 years old when I made these, but I discovered that he could read words listed at a Grade Three level?! Wow.

Anyway, I only had 72 sticks, so I stuck with the Pre-Primer Level words.  I intend on purchasing more popsicle sticks so that I can expand on this sight word activity.

Once you decide on the words you will be using, put two matching colored popsicle sticks together and write one word on the two sticks using black permanent marker.

Great busy bag idea for kids to practice sight words: make sight word puzzles from And Next Comes L

Great busy bag idea for kids to practice sight words: make sight word puzzles from And Next Comes L

Use these Sight Word Puzzles to Teach & Practice Sight Words

I mixed up all of the puzzle sticks and left them on the floor in the living room for the boys. I also matched one sight word puzzle for J, illustrating what the object of the activity was.

Practicing sight words with a simple busy bag idea from And Next Comes L

K was curious about the sticks and thoroughly examined what they were.

Toddler playing with craft sticks from And Next Comes L

J worked his way through the puzzles fairly easily, reading each one as he went.  There were a couple of words he didn't recognize like "said" and "away" (he kept saying awake, so he was close!), so I helped him read those ones.  

Making sight word puzzles from And Next Comes L

What I found interesting was how J went about solving the puzzles. 

When he picked up a random stick, he would try to guess the word based on the half of the word he could see (he guessed correctly almost every single time). Then he would search for the other half, using the color of the stick as a guide. He also used a lot of "same/matching" and "different" vocabulary as he searched for the other half of the puzzle. 

Anyway, I found it fascinating how he could guess the word, even though the part of the word he could see was so small.

After he completed a majority of the puzzles, J used the sticks to create letters and numbers. You probably figured that would happen though if you have a hyperlexic child like I do...oh, hyperlexia!

Child with hyperlexia making letters and numbers from And Next Comes L

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How to teach sight words using DIY popsicle stick sight word puzzles