4 Outdoor Water Play Ideas to Practice Sight Words

Combine water play and literacy activities with these clever ideas.
Jun 27, 2018



4 Outdoor Water Play Ideas to Practice Sight Words

Jun 27, 2018

Summer is here and your kids probably want to be outside playing in the water. But keeping the skills they learned during the school year fresh is important for retention. Your little ones worked hard to learn lots of new words on their reading journey, and a little summer practice will keep those words fresh in their memory. So turn that outdoor water play into learning time with these four fun activities.

Sight Word Activities

For each activity, you can customize the words that your child will practice. Use words that you know your child needs to practice, lists that have been sent home from school, or from a Dolch word list.

You can also easily adapt the activity for younger or older children. Little ones can practice letters of the alphabet and older children can practice vocabulary words in place of the sight words.


1. Water Balloon Sight Words

Want an activity that's bursting with fun and learning? Read a word and toss a water balloon at a target. 

Materials needed: water balloons, permanent marker, a bucket, and water

Set-Up: Fill the water balloons with water. Write a sight word that your child needs to practice on each balloon with a permanent marker. Place them in a bucket and carry to your throwing destination.

Play and Learn: Invite the kids to a little water balloon toss. You might choose a target such as a tree or a fence. Before a balloon can be thrown at the target, the children need to read the word on each balloon.


2. Sight Word Chalk Cars

Open up the car wash for all those dusty sight word cars.

Materials needed: sidewalk chalk, a small bucket or plastic container, small sponge, water, and dishwashing soap

Set-up: On the sidewalk, draw several mini cars with sidewalk chalk. On each car write a sight word. Space out the cars to prevent them from getting wet at the same time. Next, fill up the bucket with soapy water and add the sponge.

Play and learn: It's time for the car wash. The kids read each word on the cars and then give them a soapy car wash as the words are read correctly.


3. Beach Ball Toss

Play a little water ball catch.

Materials needed: beach ball, permanent marker, and a sprinkler (or play in the pool)

Set-up: Inflate the beach ball. Randomly write sight words around the ball with the permanent marker. Set the sprinkler in the yard.

Play and learn: Kids can toss the beach ball back and forth to each other while playing in the water. When the beach ball is caught, the child should read the word closest to his right thumb. Then, throw the ball to someone else and repeat.


4. Painting Sight Words

Paint a water display of words and watch them dry.

Materials needed: medium-sized paintbrush, a small bucket or plastic container, and water

Set-up: Fill the bucket with water and place the paintbrush inside. Set the bucket on the sidewalk or next to a brick wall.

Play and learn: Call out a word and have the kids spell the word by painting it with water on the sidewalk or a brick wall.

Take the opportunities that summer provides to squeeze in a little reading practice. If you still want more sight word practice ideas, check out our other ideas including Sight Word Ladder RunSight Word Tic-Tac-Toe, and 5 More Fun Ways to Practice Sight Words.

Connect with Jodie Rodriguez at Growing Book by Book.

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Sight Words