i‑Learner Education Centre

Steps to Success » Phonics

Teaching Phonics and Sight Words through Games

Teaching young students to read is complex as it’s a skill that includes understanding the relationship between letters and sounds as well as learning to read some words by sight. Keeping this tricky process motivating can be tough for teachers and parents.

To actively engage students in reading, try these three games, all of which can be used to revise targeted phonics sounds and sight words:

Flashcard Hopscotch

Write the targeted vocabulary on flashcards and place them on the floor with enough space for students to jump over as they read the words correctly. This hopscotch path can be used several times a day, for instance, before students start their snack time or before they enter their classroom. In a home setting, students can jump through the path before bedtime or before leaving home. The game will be more fun when you swap the targeted words around from time to time.


Stick/write the targeted vocabulary on the base of some cups and place them on the floor/table. Then hide a small object, such as a ping-pong ball or a bead, under one cup. Once the object is hidden, the student needs to find it. They can only turn over a cup after reading the word on its base. To make the game even more engaging, you could hide stickers or edible treats under the cups too.

Read and Draw

This game is like Pictionary, but instead of single words, students need to read sentences. On slips of paper, teachers/parents can write simple sentences that include sight words and sounds the student has mastered. These are folded and put into a bowl. Students take turns to pick a sentence from the bowl to read and draw. The other players have to guess it. This game is great as it not only exposes students to sight words and phonics words in sentences, but it also tests their reading comprehension.


I hope these games can come in handy and make learning sounds and sight words fun for your young learners.