Monday, July 08, 2013

Sight Word Parking Lot {Outdoor Version}

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Catch my session on hyperlexia at Educate & Rejuvenate 2024

Looking for ways to work on those pesky sight words? Well, try this gross motor spin on the classic sight word parking lot game.

I am always looking for new and exciting ways to practice sight words with J ever since we discovered he could read. Much to our surprise, he started to read right before his second birthday. Turns out it's called hyperlexia.

So one beautiful summer morning, I set up this fun sight word parking lot activity for him recently. I thought it would be a great combination of some of his favorite interests.

Sight word parking lot game for kids to play outdoors

What You'll Need to Do this Sight Word Parking Lot Activity Outdoors

For this sight word activity, you'll need:

  • Sidewalk chalk to write the different sight words
  • A ride-on car, bike, tricycle, or even a scooter
  • A large open space, such as a driveway, to create your parking lot
Draw some parking spots around your driveway, making the parking spot large enough to fit whatever vehicle your child will be parking in the parking spots. Then write one sight word in each parking spot.

Sight word parking lot activity drawn in chalk on the driveway

By the way, the inspiration for this activity was this sight word parking lot activity from Juggling with Kids. So huge props to them for the great idea. We just wanted to take advantage of the beautiful weather and took it outside instead.

Besides, if I can combine a learning activity like this parking lot idea with something that potentially burns off energy outdoors, then I'm all for it. I mean I've got two busy boys who have a lot of energy after all!

Practicing Sight Words Doesn't Need to Be Boring!

Luckily, one day a few weeks ago, the neighbors behind us gave us a ride on car for free. Their kids had outgrown it long ago. It was the perfect car to use for this activity. However, use what you have, whether that's a tricycle, a bike, or a scooter. All would work.

Sight word parking lot game for kids to play outdoors

Then it was time to do the activity. Had I blinked, I would have missed J doing it. He quickly drove around, without parking in the parking spots, reading all the words. Took him like 15 seconds and then he was done. 

Turns out he just wanted to write his own words with the chalk. I guess he didn't want to work on short words like these...I don't know. Regardless, he got his sight word practice in and then moved on so it wasn't a complete fail.

Preschooler driving in a red ride-on car to practice sight words

Practice More than Just Kindergarten Sight Words: Try these Variations!

Kids aren't reading quite yet? No worries. Why not try an alphabet parking lot. Just draw some parking spots with different letters in them and then have them practice identifying them. I know my youngest K was happy to do this. He drove from spot to spot reading the letters that he saw.

Take one step further and work on name recognition and spelling. Make a parking lot with spaces for each letter of your child's name and then see if your child can spell their name.

You could also try a number recognition parking lot. Draw some parking spots with different numbers. Then encourage your kids to identify the number as they park their car.

Or how about a math themed version to practice counting? Draw some shapes in each parking spot and have your child count how many there are. You could also try math equations too where your child answers different addition and subtraction sentences.

There's definitely lots of different ways to adapt this sight word parking lot activity.

Other Sight Word Activities You'll Love

Sight word parking lot game for kids to play outdoors