The Best Sight Word Activities for Pre-K & Kindergarten


These fun and engaging word mats provide many ways to practice and learn high-frequency words with your young kids. Writing, building, finding…they will love playing with these sight word activities for pre-k.

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Are you looking for fun sight word activities for pre-k or kindergarten? These activity mats from my store are a great literacy activity that will give them the opportunity to practice words in many different ways.

sight word activities for pre k and kindergarten using playdough and dry-erase markers

High-Frequency Words vs. Sight Words

You may have heard of the terms sight words and high-frequency words, but may not be quite sure what the difference between them is.

Sight words are any words that can be read or recognized instantly and effortlessly. The brain learns to automatically recognize sight words. Any word can become a sight word. Words that are high-frequency can be sight words, but words that are important to kids (such as their names or their favorite restaurant) can be sight words.

High-frequency words are words that are most commonly found in written language. When kids learn these commonly occurring words, it helps them learn to read text more easily.

Often, when teachers use the term “sight words”, they are usually referring to high-frequency words I will use the terms interchangeably in this article as the goal of using these activities is to help kids so that these high-frequency words become sight words.

Should I Use Sight Word Activities for Pre-K or Preschool Kids?

The use of sight word activities for pre-k is frowned upon by some early childhood professionals who claim they are not developmentally appropriate. However, high-frequency words can be introduced in a playful manner when kids are ready.

As you teach kids beginning letter sounds and start looking at letters and sounds in words, you can easily introduce some high-frequency words at the same time.

The important thing is to make working with words fun. These activity mats provide a fun, hands-on way to help your kids start to look at learn high-frequency words.

Two Versions of High-frequency Word Activities

The printable mats come in full-color and black & white ink-saving version.  I have created mats for the Dolch Pre-Primer, Dolch Primer, and Fry First 100 word lists.

sight word activities for pre k and kindergarten featuring the words the, it, I,, and, see

The black & white version looks great when printed on brightly colored paper.  You can laminate the mats or put them in a page protector and they can be used over and over.

a printable high frequency words activities featuring the word big

How to Use the Sight Word Activities for Kindergarten & Pre-K

I designed each mat by dividing it into 4 different sections. Your kids can practice words in a different way in each of the sections.

Make The High-Frequency Word

In the top section, the featured words are printed in very large font.  Kids can create the words with playdough or sensory sand.  They can also finger-trace the words, rainbow write the words, or cover the letters with small objects like buttons or pebbles.

a child using teal playdough to make the word it on a printable sight word activity mat

This is the perfect opportunity to practice phonological awareness with the word. How many syllables does the word have? Clap the syllables. What phonemes or sounds do you hear in it? What is the beginning sound? What is the sound at the end?

Many high-frequency words have a degree of decodability. Use this opportunity to look at the letters in the words. Look for decodable chunks in the word.

Read the Word in Context

There is an illustrated sentence on the bottom of the mat.  The sentence provides the opportunity for kids to listen for the word in a sentence. They can also identify the focus word in the sentence, and you can ask them to circle it.

A pIcture of a cow on a printable  sight word activities for preschool and kindergarten

Tracing Practice

There is also a tracing section on the mat.  The word is printed in a dotted font so that kids can trace it two times with a dry-erase marker or crayon. This is a great way to practice letter formation. If your kids need a little extra help forming letters, you can add starting dots to each letter so that they have a visual cue of where to start when writing each letter.

tracing the word look with a dry erase marker on a high frequency word activity for preschool and kindergarten

Writing Practice

Finally, if kids are ready to write the words on their own, there is a section where they can write on the lines.

writing the word the with a dry erase marker on a printable high frequency words activity mat for kids

What Teachers are saying About These Printables:

Thousands of teachers have used these activity mats. Here is what they had to say after using it in their classroom:

These mats are so versatile. I love that all students with different learning styles can be engaged using these. My students love using playdough and dry-erase markers and are also asking for these mats to be a center.
Stephanie V.
This is such a great resource! The students love the different ways to practice writing, building, and finding the sight word. Very interactive and fresh!

Sophia E.

printable sight word activities for kindergarten and pre k.  A sight word mat featuring the word the

Purchase The Sight Word Activity Mats Today

Ready to get started with these high-frequency word activities?  Purchase the Pre-Primer Mats today.

Purchase on TPT

Do you prefer to shop at Teachers Pay Teachers? You can also purchase the Pre-Primer Sight Word Mats in my TPT Store.