Reading games

This video is filled with fun tips to make learning sight words fun!

Learning Stages

By Carolyn James, Ph.D.

LeapFrog Literacy Expert

As the literacy development expert on LeapFrog’s Learning Team, Carolyn ensures that the curricular design in LeapFrog products is grounded in the latest educational research. Before joining LeapFrog, Carolyn was a reading professor at Sacramento State University, a curriculum developer for the Lawrence Hall of Science in Berkeley, and a teacher in the San Francisco bay area. She earned her doctorate in educational psychology at Michigan State University.

Sight words are high frequency words like “the” and “was” that often include uncommon spelling patterns, so they cannot be sounded out. This means they need to be memorized. Flashcards can make the memorizing more fun! Make a set of cards with sight words your child is learning and give some of these games a try. (Better yet, have your child make the cards to get some writing practice.)

Beat the clock

Set a timer for 30 seconds. Have your child read as many flashcards as she can. If the word is read correctly, put it one pile. If it is read incorrectly, place it in a different pile. At the end of 30 seconds, count how many words were read correctly. Challenge your child to read even more words correctly in the next round. Eventually, start removing words that your child has mastered, allowing more focus on the words that present a challenge. You can increase or decrease the duration of the “beat-the-clock” sessions to suit your child.

Stepping stones

Place your flashcards face up on the ground in a stepping stone pattern. Have your child say each word as she steps on the words or call out words that your child should hop to.


Make a Tic-Tac-Toe board with spaces that are big enough to fit your flashcards. Place a card in each space. Take turns reading the words in spaces. If a player reads a word correctly, he may pick up the card and put an X or O in the space. If the answer is incorrect, the other player gets a chance to read the word and mark the space.