Kids sight words are the KEY to teaching a child how to read fluently with confidence and how to write.

But what are the basic sight words your child should know?  How do you teach your child sight words?  What age should your child be learning these words?

These are GREAT commonly asked questions and this post was made to give you the answers.

Let’s explore the essential sight words a child should learn by ages 5 and up as well as helpful tips on how to teach them. 🙂

What ARE Sight Words?


If you have a child who recently started or has been in Kindergarten, then you probably have been exposed to the kids-sight-words-teaching-guide-ages-5terminology ‘Sight Words’.

Sight words are COMMON words that you see often when reading.

For instance, words like I, am, you, yes, no, can, the are sight words taught frequently around ages 4 to 6 or the Kindergarten level.

A child is taught to know these words to help them read and write.

But how many sight words should your child know and when?

Let’s dive into that next.

Sight Word Goals by Grade


According to child development expert, Dr. Jenni Ito, she shares “Acquiring sight words is an important part of learning how to read.  By the end of Kindergarten, most children are able to identify 50 sight words.  There are many fun ways to help your child learn sight words.  For example, word hunts can be a fun way to encourage your child to find sight words in a favorite book, magazine, or road signs.”

It’s always nice to have a general idea of how many words your child should know by grade.

Below are sight word goals to aim for grades K to 3rd:

  • Kindergarten (ages 5 to 6) … 50 sight words
  • 1st grade (ages 6 to 7) … 100 sight words
  • 2nd grade (ages 7 to 8) … 200 sight words
  • 3rd grade (ages 8 to 9) … 300 sight words

Next let’s explore a list of common sight words your child should learn by grade.

Then we will go over ENGAGING and creative ways you can teach your kiddo their sight words. 🙂

Kindergarten Sight Words List


This list includes 50 of the most commonly used words (also known as high frequency words) a child ages 5 to 6 should know by the end of Kindergarten.

  • a, all, am, an, and, are, as, at
  • be, but, by
  • can
  • do
  • for
  • go
  • had, has, have, he, here, his
  • I, if, in, is, it
  • like, look
  • me, my
  • no, not
  • of, on, or, out
  • play
  • said, see, she, so
  • the, they, to
  • yes, you
  • up
  • we, will, with

Teaching Activities for Kindergarten Sight Words

Here are a few FUN ideas to get your kiddo learning their FIRST sight words …

  1. Have your child draw the sight word in shaving cream with their finger on a baking sheet pan.
  2. Make flash cards with the sight words on them OR click here for a FREE downloadable Kingergarten sight word flash card template.
  3. If you’re on a time crunch or need a set of flash cards that will grow with your child from grades Pre-K to 3rd Grade …

==> Click here for my recommended sight words flash cards set <==

Kindergarten-Sight-Words-List
Think Tank Scholar Sight Words Flash Cards Bundle Pack (500+ Preschool, Kindergarten, 1st, 2nd & 3rd Grade Sight Words)

1st Grade Sight Words List


This list includes 50 of the most commonly used words a child ages 6 to 7 should know by the end of 1st grade.

  • after, again, any, ask
  • black, brown
  • come, could, close
  • down
  • eat, every
  • find, fly, from
  • give, going, good
  • help, her, him, how
  • into
  • let, live
  • may, make
  • now
  • off, old, once, open, or
  • pretty, put
  • ran, ride, round
  • some, start, stop
  • take, them, then, too

Teaching Activity for 1st Grade Sight Words

1st-grade-sight-words-list
Kid’s Dry Erase Board and Magnet Set – 109 Piece Magnetic Letters, Numbers, and Symbols for Fun Educational Learning – Hanging Whiteboard for Home, Preschool, Kindergarten

Encourage your child to both read and write their sight words.  Here’s a GREAT way to get them writing …

The supplies you’ll need:

  1. Magnetic letters
  2. Dry erase board
  3. Dry erase marker

Have your kiddo spell out the sight word with the magnetic letters on top and then write the word on their dry erase board below.

This activity is meant to be repetitive to help your child understand their sight words faster.

AND the activity is ‘hands on’ to strengthen their fine motor skills and learning curve.

==> Click here for my recommended all in one dry erase board and magnets <==

2nd Grade Sight Words List


This list includes 100 of the most frequently used words a child ages 7 to 8 should know by the end of 2nd grade.

  • answer, above, about, always
  • because, beautiful, best, being, big, body, both, brothers, buy
  • call, can’t, city, clock, cold, crash, clock
  • drink, didn’t, does, don’t
  • eating, easy, enough
  • fast, first, five, float, found, friends
  • gave, girl, give, goes
  • house, hear, however
  • its, into, idea
  • joke, jump
  • knew, kicked
  • little, line, low, love
  • made, many, more
  • new, nice
  • other, often, over, outside
  • people, phone, piece, pull
  • quick, question
  • rain, read, ride, right, really
  • said, school, second, sing, sister, sit, sleep, small, soon
  • talking, tell, their, there, this, thought, through, try
  • upon, us, use, usually
  • very
  • wash, which, with, why, write
  • your, you’re

Teaching Activities for 2nd Grade Sight Words

Playing word games is a wonderful way to encourage your child to know their sight words AND psst, they won’t even realize they are learning. 🙂

An interactive game you can play right away is ‘Hangman’.  All you need is a pen and paper.  Here’s how to play.

Another great educational activity that promotes early reading is Zingo Sight Words.

If you like bingo, then you will like Zingo!  It’s an award winning game made by educators to help a child with their reading skills for grades Pre-K to 2nd grade.

What I LOVE about this game (and why I recommend it) is it can grow with your child and is a FUN way to learn their sight words.

==> Click here for my TOP recommended game to play, Zingo Sight Words <==

2nd-Grade-Sight-Words-List
ThinkFun Zingo Sight Words Award Winning Early Reading Game for Pre-K to 2nd Grade – Toy of the Year Finalist, A Fun and Educational Game Developed by Educators for Boys and Girls

3rd Grade Sight Words List


This list includes 100 of the most frequently used words a child ages 8 to 9 should know by the end of 3rd grade.

  • about, afraid, almost, also, animals, anyone, asked, away
  • baby, ball, become, better, bring, build
  • carry, caught, children, clean, clothes, country, cut
  • decided, different, discover, done, draw, drink
  • eight, everybody, everything, exciting, eye
  • far, fall, feet, finally, friendly, full
  • general, getting, goes, got, grow
  • hard, heard, high, hold, house, hurt, hot
  • important, independent, it’s, its
  • journal
  • keep, kind, know
  • laugh, left, light, listen, live, long
  • morning, money, much, myself
  • never, night, nose
  • own
  • pick, picture, probably, problem
  • ready, responsible
  • shall, show, sometimes, sudden
  • table, terrible, thank, time, today, together
  • under, until, upon
  • vacation
  • want, warm, watch, wear, weather, winner
  • years, young

Teaching Activities for 3rd Grade Sight Words

3rd-grade-sight-words-list
Super Z Outlet Nylon Cornhole Bean Bags Toy Set Sack Hand Toss Games Weights for Kids (5″ x 5″ Assorted Colors) (12 Pack)

Here we GOOOOO … it’s a sight words bean bag toss game! 🙂

The items you will need:

  1. Bean bags
  2. Index cards
  3. Marker

How to play …

  • Write the sight word on each index card.
  • Next, spread the index cards on the floor and shout out the words you see on the floor while having your child toss the bean bags onto them.
  • Then, switch it up and have your child shout out the words they see on the index cards while you toss the bean bags onto them.

Final Thoughts


Reading regularly to your precious one will expose them AUTOMATICALLY to the common words we see and use everyday.

Encourage them to get involved reading with you, flipping the pages, looking at pictures, and having fun whether that be through a book they love, a learning app or an educational show.

Of course, you can start teaching your child their sight words as early as you feel they are ready.

You know your child BEST!


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