Homemade Resources – High Frequency Words Board Game

Last Monday morning, as I was writing a blog post, I was suddenly hit with inspiration

In just 15 minutes, using Word I designed a little board game for my youngest to revise high frequency words/sight words, using sight word cards I previously made using the template of Academia de Phonics de Spanglish Easy.  However you can make your own cards either using your computer or by hand, using the appropriate Dolch sight words lists for your child’s age.  For instructions to make some, see my post “Homemade resources: High Frequency (Sight) Words flashcards”.

Challenges:

  • None if you are comfortable using Office
  • Time-consuming if you do not already have High Frequency word cards.

Resources needed:

  • Microsoft Word (or equivalent)
  • Printer
  • 1 plastic sleeve
  • High Frequency Word cards 
  • Counters (we use small objects such as glass beads and lucky charms,… you could also use those of one of your board games) 
  • 1 die (you can use one from one of your board games)

Steps:

  1. Create a new document in Word.
  2. Create a table with as many columns and lines that can reasonably fit on the page.  Make sure the cells are big enough for the counters to be placed on them.
  3. Write “Start” and “Finish” in the first and last cell, number the other cells.
  4. Add a few action cells where the player will lose a turn, move back or forward a given number of cells if they land on these.  
  5. Decorate your grid with a couple of cute race themed cliparts (or anything theme that might attract your child’s interest) browsed on the web and add a dash of colour here and there on your board.
  6. Remember to add a name for your game in the header, and a short instruction to remind yourself and your child the rules of the game.  You can create your own rules, but if you want to copy my game, here are the instructions: “You will need a counter for each player, one dice, a stack of high frequency word cards (facing down), a paper and pencil to write. Take turns to throw the dice and move your counters along the track.  Pull out one high frequency word card to read:  if you cannot read it, move back 1.  If you want, you can move forward 1 by writing correctly the word you pulled.
  7. Print your board game and slip it in the plastic sleeve to protect it and make sure it lasts in time.
  8. You are all set to play! 🙂

It was a real hit with my youngest, I pretended to misspell most of my words, and she was absolutely delightful, helping me to spell them right by sounding them out for me and correcting me. What better way for her to learn? So even though the template is a race, it can prove to be a collaborative game… 

Tips:

  • Deliberately misspell as I did to give your child a chance to win but also to see if they can help you out.  Without realising, they are actually working twice as hard.
  • You can use this  game with older kids to work on spelling. When they land on a square, ask them to spell a word from a vocabulary list, and if they do so correctly let them move forward 1.  With my eldest, I did just that when she wanted to join in the fun.  I used her spelling table to make her revise.

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