My 2 Favourite Sight Word Games: Free

Inside: Free templates for Snakes 'n Ladders and Chatterboxes. Two great games for learning sight words. This is an updated post.

Teaching your kids sight words doesn't have to be a chore. There are lots of super fun games out there, including the two I'm going to share with you today: Snakes 'n Ladders and Chatterboxes.

Snakes 'n Ladders Sight Words

You probably remember Snakes 'n Ladders from your childhood. I know I played it lots!

Happily, this classic game can easily be adapted to learning sight words. Here's a blank template of my version.
2 of My Favourite Sight Word Games for first grade. Free templates for Snakes 'n Ladders + Chatterbox, both adapted for sight word learning. Your kids will love these!

And here's what it looks like after you print the sight words in the circles.

2 of My Favourite Sight Word Games for first grade. Free templates for Snakes 'n Ladders + Chatterbox, both adapted for sight word learning. Your kids will love these!

I know there are lots of versions online where you have the option of typing in the words ahead of time. But personally, I think it's much better if the kids print their own words.

Here's why.

Each week my students learn 5 to 7 new sight words. Part of learning to read the words is also learning to spell them. So we do lots of printing, spelling and reading of those words all week long.

Naturally, having your students print the words on the game sheet themselves is just another way to sneak in some more spelling practice. And nobody minds or complains because they know they get to play a game afterwards.

At the end of the week these sheets go home and the kids can play again and again with their parents or siblings.

It's a win-win situation!

RELATED: Check out my all-time favourite sight word game, Musical Sight Words.


Sight Word Chatterboxes

Until I started searching online I had absolutely no idea what these were called until I stumbled across the name "chatterboxes". Huh?

In my original post I mentioned that I couldn't remember anymore what we called them as kids, but I knew it wasn't chatterboxes. Some very kind readers reminded me in the comments that they can also be called "fortune tellers" or "cootie catchers".

So I did a google search and guess what? They're a form of origami and are also known as "salt cellars", "whirybirds" and "taku-taku". If you check out this Wikipedia link you can read all sorts of cool facts!

I'm going to assume that the vast majority of readers are familiar with this children's game. If not, don't worry, I have full directions on how to make and play the game in my download.

When you download and print the template it will look like this:

2 of My Favourite Sight Word Games for first grade. Free templates for Snakes 'n Ladders + Chatterbox, both adapted for sight word learning. Your kids will love these!

Your students will need to colour each circle a different colour then print the colour word underneath. Yes! More spelling practice!

In each of the inside triangles they'll print a different sight word. Their sheet will look something like this:

2 of My Favourite Sight Word Games for first grade. Free templates for Snakes 'n Ladders + Chatterbox, both adapted for sight word learning. Your kids will love these!

It's now ready to be folded (directions are included in the download).

Here's a picture of my finished chatterbox.

2 of My Favourite Sight Word Games for first grade. Free templates for Snakes 'n Ladders + Chatterbox, both adapted for sight word learning. Your kids will love these!

Here's How to Play with the Sight Word Chatterbox

(Directions are also in the download)
  1. Place your thumb and first finger from each hand into the paper pockets
  2. Ask a friend to pick a colour then open and close the chatterbox while spelling the colour word out loud
  3. Friend looks inside and picks one of the numbers
  4. You count out loud while opening and closing the chatterbox
  5. Friend picks another number. Lift up that flap and friend (or you) reads the sight word

If you make these in the classroom, then you can spend some time where the kids are playing the game with each other. They end up getting endless amounts of practice reading and spelling the colour words and sight words.

In the download I've also include two other variations of the template. One of those is blank (except for the lines). With that one you could print sight words on the outside, sight words in place of the numbers and then print silly actions for your friends to do on the final flaps.

Too Hard to Fold?

Sometimes 6 year olds find it quite challenging to fold chatterboxes. But don't worry, there are lots of workarounds:
  1. Have your big buddy class help out
  2. Invite some parent volunteers to assist with the folding
  3. Train 4 or 5 of your students to be the folding experts (pretty soon most everyone else will catch on)
  4. Do all the printing at school then send the chatterbox home to be folded. Bring them back to school the next day and play/practice. It's no big deal if some kids forget. You can either have some extras on hand or they can share with a friend.



2 of My Favourite Sight Word Games for first grade. Free templates for Snakes 'n Ladders + Chatterbox, both adapted for sight word learning. Your kids will love these!



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4 comments

  1. Thanks for these cute ideas! I remember making the "chatterboxes" as a kid all the time...not sure what we called them either...but, I have heard the term "cootie catcher" and did a google search...amazing! :)
    Laurie
    MorningSunFirstGrade

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great site! I can't wait to use the sight word game with my little ones!

    Christine

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hey Barbara -

    We called them Fortune Tellers . . . does that ring a bell? Thanks for sharing all of your cool stuff!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Oh yeah! I think it WAS fortune tellers. Can't believe I forgot that!

    ReplyDelete

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