Kindergarten Sight Words

Lori Soard
Little girl studying.

Kindergarten sight words don't have to be a pain for your child to learn. With a little creativity, you can make learning these words fun. Consider using them in games like Bingo or having your child spell them out while playing Hopscotch with sidewalk chalk.

What are Dolch Sight Words?

In most traditional schools, children are expected to read sentences sometime during first grade. This can vary by school district. While homeschoolers have a lot more flexibility to teach their children to read, knowing the standards in public schools can help you determine if your child is on track to learn what he needs to know or if you need to make adjustments to his learning schedule.

The Dolch Basic Sight Vocabulary is made up of a list of 220 different words that are commonly used in English. These are words that are commonly seen over and over in periodicals, schoolbooks, fiction and newspapers. These are words that may not follow basic rules of words such as "cat" or "dog". These words should be learned from preschool through about grade three to enhance reading skills. The list was created by Edward William Dolch in 1948.

List of Kindergarten Sight Words

  • all
  • am
  • are
  • at
  • ate
  • be
  • black
  • brown
  • but
  • came
  • did
  • do
  • eat
  • for
  • get
  • good
  • have
  • he
  • into
  • like
  • must
  • new
  • no
  • now
  • on
  • our
  • out
  • please
  • pretty
  • ran
  • ride
  • saw
  • say
  • she
  • so
  • soon
  • that
  • there
  • they
  • this
  • too
  • under
  • want
  • was
  • well
  • went
  • what
  • white
  • who
  • will
  • with
  • yes

If your child is currently in kindergarten and you are just hearing about sight words, then you likely still need to teach the pre-primer (pre-K) words as well. These words are as follows:

Pre-Primer Sight Words

  • a
  • and
  • away
  • big
  • blue
  • can
  • come
  • down
  • find
  • for
  • funny
  • go
  • help
  • here
  • I
  • in
  • is
  • it
  • jump
  • little
  • look
  • make
  • me
  • my
  • not
  • one
  • play
  • red
  • run
  • said
  • see
  • the
  • three
  • to
  • two
  • up
  • we
  • where
  • yellow
  • you

What Your Child Must Know

In order to be what is considered at grade level entering first grade, your child really needs to have both of these lists memorized and be able to recognize these words on sight. However, one of the joys of homeschooling is allowing your student to learn at his own pace. Some children will pick up sight words at an earlier age than other children. You know your child better than anyone, so you'll know when she is ready to learn these words and how long it should take her.

Help Your Child Learn Dolch Sight Words

The key to learning sight words is repetition. Look for opportunities to help your child become more familiar with these words. Point them out as you are reading a book, make up flash cards and play games with the words. The best way to learn the words is to build the Dolch sight word vocabulary from year to year. In addition to the list of kindergarten words, there are lists of words for Pre-K, first grade, second grade and third grade.

If your kindergarten student picks up the pre-primer and primer (kindergarten) words easily, you may want to move ahead to the first grade list. Make sure your child can easily recognize the word both on a flashcard and within a sentence. The goal is for your child to read a word like "the" on sight, without having to stop and think about what the word means. For example, a kindergartner might be able to easily read the following sentences if she knows her sight words and basic sounds of the alphabet:

  • The cat ate.
  • The white dog ran.
  • The bat wants a rat.

Learning Dolch sight words can be a challenge. Practice makes perfect, so find every opportunity to help your child learn these words. It will help him be a better reader in the long run.

Kindergarten Sight Words