Empowering Parents to Teach- Sight Word Hide and Seek

Sight Word Hide And Seek

With enough exposure, sight words become easily recognized to a new reader. This game gives a fun opportunity to increase a child’s experience with these words!  Kids have to pay close attention to the words on their lists as they search to find hidden sight words.



  • Sight word cards to hide (print out materials below or make your own on index cards)– For longevity, it’s best to print them on cardstock or laminate them. You can also print them on different color paper so the child can easily recognize them when searching.
  • List of words to find

You can make your own words to hide depending on what your child is learning or you can use the materials I created.


Empowering Parents to Teach- Sight Word Hide and Seek

Click here for the free printable materials


How to play:

1. The adult hides all sixteen words.  The younger the child is, the easier they should be to find. 

      How I hid them for my four year old:

Empowering Parents to Teach- Hide  and Seek Sight Words

 Hide  and Seek Sight Words

 Hide  and Seek Sight Words

 Hide  and Seek Sight Words

 Hide  and Seek Sight Words


He thought this was hilarious!


2. The child is given a list of ten words to find.

3. Have the child read all ten words, with adult help if necessary, so the child knows what s/he is looking for.

4. Once the child finds a hidden word, s/he must check the list to see if it is one of the words on the list. Remember, there are sixteen words hidden, but only ten on the list.

5. Once all ten words are found, s/he must show them to you and read the found words out loud to you.  If all the words are the correct words on the list, s/he completed the game!  If any of the found words are not on list, have your child continue searching until the correct words are found.

6. To make the game competitive, you can set a timer.  Have your child find all ten words before time runs out.  Set the time based on what is appropriate for your child’s age and ability.

7. Play again using another word list to find the hidden words!


How is this game helpful?

As mentioned before, sight words are learned when kids see the word enough times and it becomes easily recognized.  The more words a child can read by sight, the more fluent they become as readers. In this activity, I chose words found on the Dolch sight word list that comprises commonly used words.


Often times when children try to identify a word by sight, they may just look at the first letter and guess.  With this in mind, I made sure to include more than one word using the same initial letter. By doing, this the child has to look past the first letter (hopefully at the whole word) to figure out if they found the correct word on his or her list. This can give the parent or teacher feedback. If your child brings back the wrong, “b” word, ask him or her why s/he thought that the word was correct.  After listening and understanding your child’s thought process, you can show your child how you know that the word is different. For example, if the word “big” was on the list and your child brought back the word, “blue” s/he may not be looking at the whole word. First, point out the good that your child did, s/he noticed that both words start with “b”.  After acknowledging this, you can point out to your child that when you look at the second letter the word on the list (big) has an “i” next and the word your child found (blue) has an “l” next.  This tells you that the two words are different.  Give your child another chance to find the matching word.  After this interaction with you, your child may be more likely to look at the letters in the word instead of just the beginning letter.  The goal is for your child to transfer this skill to his or her reading experiences.


I also made this a hide and seek game because it encourages movement. Kids were not designed to sit still, so I like to find ways that allow kids to move around while engaged in meaningful learning experiences!


As always, follow your child’s lead and keep a positive attitude!  As long as they are playing and having fun with these words, they are getting something out of the activity.  It may not go as planned, but the opportunity to show your child that you can have fun playing with words is priceless :)





Empowering Parents to Teach- 13 Halloween Books

13 Halloween Books

We love Halloween books at our house! There are so many wonderful books to choose from.  My intent is to give you a list of books that I did not find on other lists so you can add more books to your Halloween fun!

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Picture Books

No Zombies Allowed by Matt Novak

Bone Dog by Eric Rohmann


The Littlest Pumpkin by R.A. Herman  (A family favorite)


Monster Mash by David Catrow  (My preschooler’s favorite Halloween book. It is based on the song with the same title)

Over in the Hollow by Rebecca Dickinson


Pumpkin Trouble by Jan Thomas


Series Books

Boo, Katie Woo by Fran Manushkin


Oliver and Amanda’s Halloween by Jean Van Leeuwen


Scaredy Squirrel Prepares for Halloween by Melanie Watt


Disney Scary Storybook Collection by Disney



Scared Silly: A Halloween Book For the Brave by Marc Brown


Frankenstein Makes A Sandwich by Adam Rex



Halloween by Alice Flanagan


Enjoy your Halloween stories :)


Empowering Parents to Teach- Sight Word Tree

Sight Word Tree in Fall Colors

One way to help your little one learn sight words is to have the words visible in your house to give your child more exposure to the words s/he is learning.  By making a sight word tree, you’ll have a fun colorful display for sight words!


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Here’s one way to make a sight word tree:


The Tree

  • Using easel roll paper, because it is long, measure out the length of your tree.  You would base this on how high you want your tree to be on your wall.
  • Cut all the way across.  You can use the extra width to make the branches.  Color the entire surface brown.
  • Decide how wide you want your tree and cut out the tree. With the remainder of the brown paper, cut the rest into strips to be your branches.
  • After affixing the tree trunk your wall, decide how long you want your branches and cut them to an appropriate size.
  • If you want to make grass, use your easel paper and color it green.
  • Feeling crafty? Add more design to your scene- flowers, a house, a tree swing, etc. Anything that you like to make it visually appealing!
  • I put a hole in the trunk of our tree trunk to draw a squirrel since we just read Gooseberry Park by Cynthia Rylant.  In the story, Stumpy the squirrel lived in an oak tree that got destroyed by an ice storm.  Looking for help, she was separated from her newborns. Her animal friends tried to find her as  they also took care of her babies. The animals eventually reunited the mom and babies and found a maple tree to rebuild her house in. My plan was to draw Stumpy at home in her new maple tree, but my four year old decided to draw in the hole so I kept his artwork. We will relate our maple tree to the story though!

Empowering Parents to Teach- Sightword tree
The Leaves

  • Print out the Maple leaf template from Activity Village (click here).
  • If you print it on cardstock, you could us those as tracers on the construction paper.  If you are like me and out of cardstock, print it on regular computer paper and trace the leaves on cardboard from a cereal box to make sturdy tracers.
  • Using your tracers, trace as many leaves as you want onto different color paper.  It may help to decide how many sight words you want to display to determine how many leaves to make.
  • Write one sight word on each leaf. Not sure what words to write?  Your child’s teacher may have given you a list.  If not, the Dolch list is used often by teachers (click here), so is the Fry’s list (click here).  I used a Kindergarten sight word list found on education.com (click here).  I previously assessed my youngest to see what words he knew and which ones he didn’t. I included the unknown words on the sight word tree, along with some seasonal words and family words.
  • If you have a laminator (I found one for twenty bucks at Target), I suggest laminating the leaves.
  • Put them on the tree!

Empowering Parents to Teach- Sight Word Tree


There you have it! A beautiful tree of words!

Happy tree building :)


In case you were interested, this is the book I mentioned:


This post is linked to Montessori Monday on Living Montessori Now.  Click on the picture below to see many more teaching ideas from the link up!

Montessori Monday

Empowering Parents to Teach- Fall

Celebrating Fall

With the first day of Fall around the corner, I have been busy planning a Fall themed day to celebrate!


On the first day of Fall, I plan to read three fabulous books to my boys.

Mouse’s First Fall by Lauren Thompson is geared to younger kids. Mouse excitedly runs and jumps in the leaves as Minka (another mouse) shows him all the beautiful shapes and colors of the fall leaves.  This book is perfect for young ones just discovering the beauty of the changing season.

Fletcher and The Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson is my new favorite book.  Rawlinson is a fabulous descriptive writer.  You can feel Fletcher’s concern and love for this tree as he desperately tries to help the tree keep its leaves.  It ends with a beautiful winter scene that shows Fletcher that the tree was preparing for a new season and that the tree will be ok without its leaves.  As much as we will read this book for enjoyment, it is also a wonderful mentor text for older children learning to write using vivid descriptions, precise verbs, and well developed characters.  I got this book at the library, but I am definitely purchasing this one to keep in our collection at home.

To add a bit of whimsy and humor to our day, we will also read Fall Mixed Up by Bob Raczka.  This story takes all the aspects of fall and switched them around.  For example, a bear is finding nuts and the geese are hibernating!  Your kids may a get a chuckle out of this one. They can “fix” the mix ups by correcting the silly sentences with true ones as you read.  It may even inspire your little ones to write their own silly story or poem.

We are a very science oriented family, so naturally we have to do a little bit of Fall science.  We read the book Why Do Leaves Change Color by Betsy Maestro already, so on the first day of Fall we will explore the colors and pigments found in leaves.  I found a fabulous website with many photosynthesis experiments and demonstrations.  Click here for the link to Seattle Pi where I found our latest science fun.  The demonstration we will do is under the heading, “Photosynthesis and Pigments”.  Using rubbing alcohol and white coffee filters your kids can see all the colors that are inside a leaf that we normally don’t see until the diminishing light of Fall and lower temperatures break down the chlorophyll.  Not only can your kids learn about leaf pigments with this demonstration, they are also learning about chromatography!


Getting our supplies ready


Happy First Day of Fall!


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Empowering Parents to Teach- Counting to fifty

Math in Literature: Counting to Fifty


Is your little on learning how to count to fifty?  I found two fun books to help support their learning!  Read on and I will tell you more about them.


The Long, Long Line by Tomoko Ohmura

Empowering Parents to Teach- Counting to Fifty

In this book, you see a long line of animals who are all waiting for something.  That something will not be revealed until the end.  Starting with fifty, each animal is numbered according to their place in line until you reach number one.  It counts down instead of counting up.  If your little one is new to counting down, you could start at the beginning of the line (end of the book) to teach counting up to fifty.  I like that it is versatile, giving you the option of counting up or down depending on how you choose to read it. Also, if your child is learning how to identify bigger numbers, you can have the child attempt to read some of the numbers along the way.


It’s also really fun to see what the animals were waiting for at the end.  The author builds anticipation through the animal’s simple dialogue to one another!



Robot Burp Head Smartypants! by Annette Simon

Empowering Parents to Teach- Coutning to 50

In this very silly book, two robots are trying to talk but they keep burping in the middle of their sentences.  Belching is usually met with a lot of laughs from little ones, which gets their attention!  Among the things the robot is trying to say is his numbers.  One robot manages to count to ten and then counts on by tens up to the number fifty.  So instead of counting each and every number up to fifty, they can practice skip counting.  Skip counting is a very useful skill, especially as they learn bigger and bigger numbers.


Put the two books together and your child is shown every number from one to fifty, how to count down, and counting by tens.  It’s a great combination!