Dig for word carrots with this gardening sensory tub sight words activity! A playful way to practise literacy skills and learn new sight words.
5 year old Cakie has been learning lots of new words as a beginner reader, and many of them are non-phonetic, therefore meaning they need to be learnt by sight. Sight word learning can be extremely boring, especially in some schools which send home word lists to be memorised and ticked off. We have had some fun learning new words in playful, concrete ways, as after all, touching and moving objects helps the brain to retain more information solidly.
I set up a simple, fun sensory tub using lots of black beans tipped into a round gardening tray. Then I wrote out lots of small words onto orange card with green card stuck to the top, then cut them out into carrot shapes. I buried them in the beans and presented them to her along with a mini trowel and spade and a list of the same words on carrot shapes drawn onto card. The idea was to dig for the carrots one by one, read the word then find its matching pair on the card.
She loved the game and was able to find, read and match them all with a little help, then tried to challenge her younger sister to do the same!
I will now make her another set of different words to practise, and increase their length each time until she can read the whole vegetable word collection. Perhaps we shall make radishes or potatoes next time!
I will also make a simper version for Pop, who is younger, with just letters of the alphabet to find and match. You could play matching pairs, matching upper to lower case, and learning digraphs and trigraphs too.
What they are learning as they play:
Literacy: recognising common words by sight, matching words together, reading familiar and unfamiliar words