Teach Sight Words With Tic-Tac-Toe

No expert crafting is necessary to make this fun, educational game for your young reader.
By Allison McDonald
Oct 06, 2016



Oct 06, 2016

This is the easiest game ever! You don’t need to be crafty or have a degree in education to make a tic-tac-toe board and help your child have fun with their sight word list - typically a list of about 100 or so words that keep reappearing on most pages of your young readers' books. Most likely, your early elementary-aged child has already come home with sight words to practice. Sometimes teachers send home games, but often it's just a big list to learn. 

If your life is anything like mine, you need something to help make homework fun for your children so you can avoid a huge homework battle. Tic-tac-toe with sight words is my favorite trick to make learning these important words fun.
What You'll Need:

  • a pen
  • scissors
  • 2 pieces of paper — one will be the grid, and the other you'll cut up for game pieces

How to Make Your Tic-Tac-Toe Board

Step 1: Make a grid on the first sheet of paper with the pen.

Step 2: Write out a few sets of sight words. Have your child do this if they are able, since writing and rewriting the word helps build familiarity with it. If you don't have a lot of prep time or if writing the words out become a power struggle, do it yourself. This is about making it fun and keeping it simple.

Step 3: Cut the words out into small cards. This step took me only four minutes. Even I have time for that!

Step 4: Time to play! Just like tic-tac-toe, one person goes first and the object of the game is to get three of your sight word in a row to win.

You can play this game at restaurants waiting for your food, at the doctor’s office, or even on the sidelines of a sibling’s soccer game (although you might want to use sticky notes so the pieces don’t fly away). It makes sight word practice fun and you don’t need expensive apps or store bought flashcards to help your child with the task of learning these important words. It also doesn’t even have to be Pinterest pretty - it just has to work!

How do you help your children with learning and practicing their sight words? Tell us about it on Scholastic Parents Facebook page!


Check out bloggers Amy Mascott and Allie McDonald's book, Raising a Rock-Star Reader: 75 Quick Tips for Helping Your Child Develop a Lifelong Love for Reading. Get expert advice and learn new strategies for your young readers.




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