I recently introduced sight words to my children using the book Silly Sally by Audrey Wood. Her sweet, funny story uses repetition in such a smooth, humorous way that kids can’t help but giggle and read along with you.
We started working on sight words with our Silly Sally Sensory Table Activity. That activity has children play a game finding letters to build sight words found in the book Silly Sally. The activity in this post takes that practice activity one step further, by focusing on matching words to print as well as practicing sounding out the words.
Matching Sight Words Using Silly Sally
Included in this tuff tray activity is a trail of wooden letters for children to build sight words. We read Silly Sally by Audrey Wood multiple times and started learning the Dolch words this book contains. I started with the words from the rhyme that is repeated throughout the story. For example, the words; she, went, and to. Then as we read, other days, we focused on less frequently or more difficult used sight words, such as the words he and down.
Materials for the Sensory Activity to Match Sight Words from Silly Sally
- Silly Sally by Audrey Wood (Buy)
- Sensory bin/ tuff tray (Buy)
- Yellow rice & chickpeas
- Magic tracks (any material to make a path works, we even used sand for this. (Buy)
- Letters ( resin, magnetic chips, wooden, etc.) (Buy)
- Blue wooden blocks & blue rice
- Pop It silicone mat (Buy)
- Sight word cards (Teacher’s Pay Teacher’s free handout)
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I love Audrey Wood’s website for additional resources to use with this book. My next post shows a game I made using her printables for the book Silly Sally.
Set-Up for Sight Word Matching Sensory Play
- Assess which sight words to focus on for this activity by reading Silly Sally and pointing out words for your child to identify or use my free handout covering all the sight words used throughout the book.
- Read Silly Sally by Audrey Wood and point out sight words throughout the book.
- Write sight words on yellow paper that you want to use for this activity. Please feel free to use the free handout I made.
- Make a blue lagoon for the “loon who sings a tune” (Wood, Silly Sally), using blue blocks, blue rice, and then hidden magnet letter chips throughout this space on the bottom corner of the tuff tray.
- Next, cover the remaining base of the tray with sight word cards.
- Add a road through the tray for Silly Sally’s path to town. I used magic tracks, but we used sand before, and it worked well.
- Then, fill the area below the tracks with yellow rice and chickpeas.
- Add wooden letters to the road.
- Cover the space above the road with sand.
Play Ideas for Tuff Tray Activities
- Build a word using the wooden letters and have children find the word on the card or Silly Sally‘s book.
- Using the blue lagoon, have children hunt for letters to build the words from the card. Then match again with the wooden letters.
- Use the Pop It silicone mat to build and sound out syllables from sight words being practiced.
- Play a game to make the word __ using three different materials and compare. For example, the word went, on, up in the image below.
💛 We added more items as we continued to play after a few days. We used rainbow rice and large letters and Pop It silicone mats for added fun forming words.
We love reading Audrey Wood’s books and creating activities to help us learn and play simultaneously. For more play ideas with these books, please see our post Best Activities and Lessons for Preschool Children using Books Written by Audrey Wood.
Sight Word Writing Activity with Sensory Bin Materials
Clean-up was fast for the tuff tray activity, so I used leftover materials to create a practice writing tray.
To clean up the tuff tray I threw everything in a giant spider sifter to remove the letters and chickpeas. Then used a standard colander to separate the rice from the sand.
That remaining sand mix is what I used for sight word writing practice.
For writing, we love using paintbrushes, foam brushes, fingers, and eraser sides of a pencil to write in the sand. We used the same flashcards from the tuff tray play for this writing practice.
In between new flashcards I let my daughter shake the tray to reset the sand and swirl the brush around. It helped her refocus. She then drew a line in the sand to help keep her letters organized.
The smaller foam brushes from Micheals were perfect for the four-letter sight words to fit in this tray. We usually use this smaller tray for letter writing, so I was impressed it fit 3-4 letter words.
Amazon Products We Used with this Matching Sight Word Activity
Thank you for visiting Live Learn Literacy. I hope you found the ideas here helpful. If you enjoyed this post, you will probably also enjoy other sensory activities on the posts below.