“Ugh, do I haaaave to practice my sight words?!”
“Can’t we do it later?”
Is that what you hear when you try to get your kids to do a little school work over the summer?
But there you are staring at that list of words your child’s school sent home for you to remember, so why not make it so fun they’ll be asking you to practice those sight words?
This seashell activity is terrific for sight words that preschoolers and kindergarteners are learning, and it can also be used for spelling lists for older children.
Get a full week of summer learning! Try our beach theme, shell theme, or ocean theme lesson plans.
- Large shells (one for each word you want to practice)
- Pointy shell like a turret snail shell
- White pony beads
- Black permanent marker
On the inside of each large shell write one of the words you want to practice. Then for that word write individual letters on pony beads so the child can spell the word using the “pearls”. Place the beads under the corresponding shell. Set the play dough and the pointy shell next to them, and you’re ready.
To practice the sight words teach kids to follow this four-step process:
See It–Say It–Spell It–Write It
- Turn over the large shell. Look at the word.
- Say the word written on the inside.
- Use the letter “pearls” to spell the word and say it again.
- Use the pointy shell to write the word. Say the word a final time.
Placing the letter pearls and using writing the words are both good for fine motor practice.
Your child may need a little help modeling how to gently drag the pointy shell along the play dough to write the words. Some kids will press very hard at first, making it more difficult to write and read.
However, as long as kids are practicing the correct letter formation the writing does not have to be perfectly legible for it to be meaningful practice.
So go ahead! Give this a try, and I bet you get a little less resistance when it’s time to practice those sight words this summer. You can even keep the play dough and shells out when you’re finished and try this seashell math and science exploration to extend your play and learning.
Get a Full Week of Beach Theme Learning and Play
Save time and get right to the playful learning with our printable lesson plan sets. Each set includes over 30 playful learning activities related to the theme, and we’ve provided different versions for home preschool families and classroom teachers so all activities are geared directly toward your needs.
This set includes active hands-on learning ideas and the following printables:
1) Beach 5 Senses Recording Sheet
2) Initial Sound Clip Cards
3) Seashell and Bucket Rhyming Game (-en, -at, -et, and -ug word families)
4) Seashore Counting Mats for Numbers 1-15
5) At the Beach Emergent Reader (2 Versions)
6) 1-35 Beach Theme Calendar and Number Cards
7) Beach Pattern and Counting Seashell Cards
8) Sand Castle Shape Matching Game
9) Uppercase and Lowercase Alphabet Matching Flip Flop Cards
Get Your Lesson Plans
Find more inspiration in our ocean theme.