English Resources

Our English resources make learning to read and write easy and enjoyable! Here’s our collection of tips and tricks for the best activities and books to make this process a fun experience!

Celebrating Book Week 2020 + Free Printable Resources

Sight Word Activities – with Free Printables!

Learning sight words is an important skill for early readers to master. These are the most common words that a child will come across, and learning these simple words provides the basic building blocks for reading comprehension.

We’ve created 5 sets of flashcards with the Dolch Sight Words for you to download and print for free! If you want them to last longer, you could also laminate them for extra durability. There are plenty of fun activities to do with these flashcards, and we’ve started you off with four ideas for using your falshcards in creative learning.

The Dolch words are a list of 220 of the most frequently used words in children’s books. The list was developed by Edward William Dolch, PhD, who believed that learning these words was instrumental in the development of reading fluency in children.

The Dolch word list is usually sorted into by age or year level. As a general guide, the first list is for Pre-Prep, then Prep, Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3 learners. We’ve chosen to label ours from Level 1 to Level 5, with the Level 1 word list being the starting point. You can add in the other lists as your child’s confidence and ability grows.

 

Download your free Dolch Sight Word Flashcards below, print them out, and use them to teach your child their sight words!

Level 1 Sight Word Flashcards
Level 2 Sight Word Flashcards
Level 3 Sight Word Flashcards
Level 4 Sight Word Flashcards
Level 5 Sight Word Flashcards

 

SIGHT WORD FLASHCARD ACTIVITIES

There are so many activities that you can do with these flashcards, from simple recognition to more complex card games. We’ve compiled a few of our favourites for you to try out to get your little one learning their sight words in no time.

 

Find the word

First up is this simple game that helps kids begin to recognize their sight words. You’ll need one set of the flashcards, and some kind of toy or marker – this game is easily customizable, so pick something that you think will keep your child engaged. For this example, I picked a toy dinosaur. Lay all the flashcards face up on the table. Depending on your child’s reading level, you can begin by reviewing the words. Then ask them to find a random word – if you’re using the dinosaur method like we did, ask them to place the toy on the word.

 

 

Go Fish Card Game

This one is a fun twist on the classic Go Fish card game. You’ll need to print out two sets of the flashcards for this one. If you’re not familiar with the rules, they are very simple to learn. Shuffle all the flashcards together, then deal a set amount of cards to each player (3-5 cards is ideal to start with). Place the remaining cards face down in a pile in the middle of the table. Each player reviews their cards, and sets aside any pairs they have. Then the first player asks another player of their choice if they have one the card they need to make a pair. If the other player has the card, they must hand it over. If the other player does not have the card, they answer “go fish”and the first player draws a card from the pile. Once all the cards have run out, the game is over, and the player with the most pairs wins.

 

 

Reading with Flashcards

Another entry-level activity that you can do with beginner readers is reading with flashcards. Pick out a few flashcards before you begin reading – try and choose some of the most common words to start off with. It’s a good idea to skim the book and see what words feature regularly and choose your cards accordingly. Place the cards next to the book and read so your child can easily see the flashcards and the story. Ask them to point out the words in the book that they see on the flashcards – you can prompt them to find the words if they miss any.

 

Memory Card Game

The memory card game is a little bit more difficult, as children will need to recognize and remember their words. You will also need two sets of flashcards for this game. Shuffle the cards well and place them face down on the table, spaced out. The first player begins by turning over two cards, one at a time. If the cards match, the player sets them aside and has another turn. If not, turn them back over and the next player begins their turn. Keep playing until all cards have been matched. The player with the most pairs at the end of the game wins.

 

 

We hope you love playing these flashcard games with your kids as much as we do! If you have any feedback, or any other games that you want to share, feel free to email us at pr@thepyjamafoundation.com.

A Guide to Letter Writing

Written communication is an important skill for children to learn, and writing letters, notes and cards is a great way for kids to practice these skills.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, we think letter writing is a fantastic way for Pyjama Angels to stay in touch with their Pyjama Children. All of these activities can be done separately or together via FaceTime, as most of them just require some paper and a pencil.

We have created some examples of fun letter writing activities below that are sure to spark creativity and playfulness in your child.

 

Scrapbook Card Making

Scrapbooking is such a fun activity that can be tailored to kids of all ages. All you need is scraps of different colourful papers. Cutting up junk mail or old magazines can be useful for extra supplies, as well as any other odd crafting pieces you might have lying around the house, like glitter, pompoms, or stickers. We used double sided tape to stick our scraps together, but you can use regular tape folded over or a good old glue stick. Just rearrange your scraps until they look pretty, stick them down, write a nice message, and you’re done! A thoughtfully hand-made card is sure to delight whoever receives it.

Click here to download How to Make a Scrapbook Card

 

 

 

Formal Letter Writing

This easy-to-use format introduces children to a more structured way of writing letters. The name of the writer, date and location are at the beginning of the document, and we start the letter with dear… friend, neighbour, stranger, it’s up to you! For the body of the letter, encourage children to fill up the space. Think about who we are communicating with and what we might like to write, including questions about them and things about ourselves as well. Finish the letter with ‘sincerely’, and perhaps a signature. P.S. stands for postscript, in case there is anything that needs to be added in after the letter.

Click here to download our Formal Letter Writing Template

 

 

Hidden Origami Note

This is such a sweet way to send little love notes. Simply write your message on a square of paper, then follow the instructions to fold it in to an origami heart. Nobody will know what’s hidden inside unless they unfold the heart! These are great to pass around to family members, and can also be easily mailed to any far away friends.

Click here to view our instructional video How to Make an Origami Heart Note

 

 

Secret Writing Code

This activity involves a good old fashioned cipher. Use the code we have created as your own secret language, and write out messages that only you can understand! You can also use this inspiration to create your own cipher for your very own secret language.

Click here to download the secret code

Click here to download the secret message