Raise your hand if you are a huge fan of the dollar store. Me! I can’t wait to share an idea for a Sight Word Game Using Tumble Blocks from The Dollar Tree that uses a $1 game. Not only will I share my ideas for this game with you, but I will show you how to differentiate it yourself. And finally, I hope to show you how to create an open-ended game for any topic you need.
Grab the Block Tower Games and Sharpies
When you do to The Dollar Tree, look for these small block tower games. This is a link to grab them for $1 and here is a link to grab them on Amazon. When I went to Dollar Tree, they had a version with light and dark pieces. I prefer the version with all the lighter pieces, but I grabbed what I could when I could.
I grabbed many versions of this sight word game for several reasons. First, they are only one dollar. Secondly, I prefer hands-on activities versus anything with paper meaning I would prefer to write on the pieces. Lastly, like all dollar store finds, sometimes the pieces are there, and sometimes the pieces are not. Get what you can while you can.
Pick a Skill
After you grab your block tower pieces, you have to pick a skill. The skill I am focusing on is sight words. I purposefully grabbed enough to make several leveled games. Let me show you how I did it so it can help you.
First, I knew my school broke down sight words into nine-week lists. We have 4 nine weeks so I grabbed 4 sets of block towers for those lists. Next, I never let the minimum define our learning. Therefore, I also got 4 additional sets to extend learning into Fry Lists.
Keep in mind this game can be used for any skill. Letters and sounds, sounding out words, addition, subtraction, number sense, and yes… sight words!
Prep Your Game
Now, we break down and level the activities for tumble blocks. Since I teach young children, I always count on them mixing up pieces and causing more confusion than needed with most everything because this seems to be a special skill set that Kindergartens excel at. Since I know this to be true, I make sure I use colors to level my activities. This ensures that I can easily separate out and sort leveled games with ease.
All my sight word games are color coded from lightest to darkest. So the first nine weeks are yellow, then red, blue, and green. Since I can’t write on the blocks with yellow, I decided to use black for that level, then resume the color scheme.
Extending Levels of this Sight Word Game
Remember how I said I always stretch learning beyond what is expected? Once my students master their 4 nine weeks lists, we move them onto Fry’s sight word lists. So I also created Fry Lists for these words.
Think about it, everyone can be playing a sight word game on their own level.
The Rules For Tumble Block
- Use one hand to get a block.
- If you say the word correctly, you can keep the block.
- If you don’t say the word correctly, you must place your block back on the tower.
- You can’t pull from the top row.
- Whoever tumbles the tower doesn’t get to play anymore.
- Everyone else keeps playing.
I prefer to store the games IN their boxes. This helps when students go to play. Students can simply dump the game upside down and start playing. This also means that sometimes it helps to have a few versions of the game ready to go and reduce the reset time between games.