Sight Words Parking Lot
The Sight Words Parking Lot game has the student parking a toy car in a parking space matching a particular word provided by the teacher. The game gives the student sight word repetition to build speed and confidence in recognizing their sight words.
The game requires only a “parking lot” made with tape and a toy car or other figurine:
- Masking tape or painter’s tape
- Sight words flash cards
- Small toy car (or other figurine)
As an alternative to the toy car, you can use any small figurine. Be flexible and use whatever will capture and hold your child’s attention. If your child prefers horses to cars, use a horse figurine and call this the Stable Game.
Print out some sight words flash cards, using pre-made templates or our custom flash card creator. Then use masking tape or painter’s tape to create a “parking lot” on the floor or table. (Make sure the “parking spaces” are large enough to match the size of the toy and the flash cards you are using.) The more spaces you have, the more words you can cover in the game.
Have the child sit in front of the parking lot, holding their toy car.
Adult: We are going to play the Parking Lot game. I am going to say a word, and you
have to find the word.
Once you find the word and read it out loud, you can drive your car to that space
and park the car on that word. Ready? Open.
[The child looks for the word open, and when they find it, they run their finger under the word from left to right and say the word out loud.]
Child: Open. [The child then parks the car on top of the correct word.]
If the child gets the word right, you confirm that they are correct, they get to “park” the car on that word, and then you move on to another word. If the child can’t find the word, or selects the wrong word, go through our standard sight words correction procedure to review the word.
Call out another word, and then another, until the child has successfully found and “parked” on all the words in the parking lot multiple times. Once a child has a bit of experience with the game, they can play by themselves, coming to you only at the end of the game with any words that they had trouble sight reading.
4. VariationsWe can make the game harder, easier, or just different with these variations.
4.1 Introduce the Words First
You can make the game a little easier by introducing all the words at the start of the game. Before you start playing, the teacher and the student read all the words on the board together. This is particularly useful when you are working with new words.
4.2 Two Players
Two more advanced students can play the game without needing an adult, with one player taking the role of teacher and choosing the words. You simply need one toy car (or other figurine) for each player. The first player chooses a word and announces it, while the second player has to find the word. The first player then checks the word and says another word. After a few minutes, the players switch roles.
4.3 Larger Lot
Make the game more difficult by making a larger parking lot with more parking spaces. The extra spaces make searching and finding a single word more challenging.
4.4 Reverse Parking Lot
In the reverse game, the teacher parks the car on a word and asks the student to tell them what word they are parked on. This variation is a little harder than the basic form of the game, because the child has to recognize the word purely through sight reading without having the benefit of hearing the word first.
5. AssessmentThe game lends itself well toward assessment. It is easy to observe which words the child has mastered and which words need more work, so that you can take inventory of progress on learning new words.
Mastery of the words in this exercise requires the child to be able to consistently find the correct word within five seconds, for 100% of the words being practiced.