Pick-up sticks was a childhood favorite game of mine. It was challenging trying to select just the right stick and rewarding when I was able to slide it out without disturbing any others! I set up an educational version of this game to share with my daughter who is beginning to learn sight words. Using just a few simple materials and a handful of sight words, she had lots of fun playing sight word pick-up sticks!
Materials for Sight Word Pick-Up Sticks
- Paper cups
- Plain craft sticks
- Sharpie marker
Setting up the Activity
To get started, I chose some sight words to practice and wrote them on the bottom of paper cups. If you’re not sure where to start with practicing sight words there are printable lists of the 220 dolch sight words here. They are divided by level. We recommend starting with just a few words and then slowly adding in more as kids begin to master some of them.
I then added each individual letter of the sight word onto craft sticks to be spelled as they are picked up and sorted. After demonstrating that you get to dump the sticks out, my little one was eager to get started!
Before beginning the pick-up sticks game, we reviewed each sight word. Once each word was reviewed, I let her choose a cup and pour out the sticks. She was excited to watch them all fall out and clatter around.
Immediately, she would arrange the sticks so that the letters were all face up. The sight word spelling could then begin. I watched her carefully eye the bottom of the cup to ensure she was building the sight word accurately. After the sight word was spelled out with the craft sticks, she read the word again.
This was an excellent reinforcement for identifying and learning to spell common sight words. And it was so much fun to dump out the sticks and pick them all up that she asked to play over and over again!