Sight Word Pebbles for Literacy Play

Make a fun sight word game for kids with these simple, DIY sight word pebbles! An easy learning resource for open-ended, playful literacy and tactile fun for beginner readers!Sight word pebbles for playful literacy activities

I love to make  the girls very simple toys, games and learning resources from recycled or easy to obtain materials . There’s something very satisfying about rustling up a quick resource which ticks the learning boxes, lasts for ages and is SO much cheaper than store bought alternatives. Here are some phonics/ alphabet pebbles we made last year which inspired this new set of sight words, to match C’s current passion for beginning reading!Build sentences with sight word pebbles

Using a selection of pebbles that we have collected over time (and supplemented by a small bagful from the £1 shop too), I wrote out a number of the most frequent sight words, using colourful Sharpie markers.Sight word pebbles literacy game

She is learning to read phonetically, which is a fabulous and powerful tool for decoding new and unknown words in text. But parallel to this all kids also need to learn the high frequency sight words by memory as many of them cannot be sounded out phonetically as they break the typical phonics “rules”. Eg “the” will never be able to be read phonetically as it doesn’t work, therefore it is very high up the list of words to be learnt by sight.

There’s no need for these words to be memorised off a boring worksheet or chart however, and we all know that children (and probably adults too) learn best through tactile manipulation and moving of objects, and through physical play.Sight word pebbles sentences literacy play

They have loved playing with these sight word pebbles and when we find a new word in a book that is hard to decode phonetically (and is appearing frequently), then we find another pebble and write it on. So it’s an ever-evolving and developing collection, which I love the idea of.

So far the pebbles have simply been set out in a shallow box on a table top for handling and picking up to read. C has started to use them to make her own sentences with, some of which have been so lovely. She asked for me to add all of the family names so that she could write that she loves us all.

We are also using them to match to words in books as we find them, like a snap game.

They make a lovely addition to the sand tray, water table or any sensory tub too!Sight word pebbles sentences

What they are learning as they play:

literacy: recognising high frequency words by sight, matching words by sight, using words to build sentences, reading simple sentences

Cakie: 5.6

Pop: 3.11

Bean: 2.0

Look here for all our phonics activities!

Look here for all our Playful Literacy ideas!



  1. Joanne Fairclough says

    Thank you so much for this fun and practical learning activity! Perfect for my daughter who has just started school, and very helpful for my son who has learning difficulties. I will be making it this weekend! I am always so inspired by your wonderful activities- beautifully photographed and described, and so inspirational! Thank you!!!

  2. says

    What an inspiring activity! My little man loves rocks and I am sure this activity will be a hit with him. Thanks for sharing! Mel

  3. Melanie Jones says

    I am a caregiver for a person with Alzheimers and I think this would be an excellent activity.