Bottle Cap Sight Word Game


The other day I shared with you our very simple to make bottle cap word sort.  So far we have used those bottle caps from the word sort for one other activity:  this fun bottle cap sight word game.


sight word game using bottle caps


For our sight word game I used the plastic bottle caps that I had written the “th,” “sh,” and “ch” diagraphs on.  I simply flipped these caps over and wrote a number 1-3 inside.

These numbers are for “points” during the game, so I wrote a 1 on the easiest words, with the letter blend in the beginning of the word, and I wrote 2 or 3 for harder words where the blend was at the end of the word.  Of course, you can assign points as you see fit.


bottle cap sight word game


We have played our game two different ways, both ways we started with the words lined up, easy to see.

To play the sight word game in pairs:  Each child takes turns reading a word on a bottle cap.  If they read the word correctly they place it in front of them.  When all the words have been read they flip the caps over and add up their points.  The one with the most points wins!   (See how I sneaked a bit a math in there, too?)

To play the sight word game alone:  The child sees how many words they can read in a minute (or longer, depending on the level of your child).  Again, when they finish, they flip the words over and add up their score.  The next time they play they try to beat their previous score until they are able to read all the words in the time given.


Yes, I am aware that the words we used aren’t necessarily thought of as “sight words.”  However, this activity could be done with any list of words — including the popular Dolch and Fry word lists often used at school.


simple sight word game made with plastic bottle caps


We have had lots of fun with our bottle cap game this week, and I plan to add words to it in the future as we work on other letter blends.


Bottle caps make a great tool when it comes to learning!

If you liked this, be sure to check out our bottle cap word sort and apple-themed skip counting activity.





Bottle Cap Word Sort


I am always looking for fun ways to work on reading skills with the kids.  This week we played a few sight word games with plastic bottle caps to review letter blends we’ve been working on.

The first activity we did was a simple word sort.

simple word sort activity with plastic bottle caps



We have been working on the following diagraphs:  “sh,” “ch,” and “th.”

Using a permanent marker, I wrote several words on the plastic lids that used each of the diagraphs.

I also labeled three small plastic containers (pudding cups from the recycling box) with Post-It Notes containing the matching letter blends.  (You could also write it in permanent marker, but I want o use our containers for other activities later.)

word sort using plastic bottle caps


The goal was to sort the words into the correct container.  As they sorted the words we practiced making the sounds for the letter blends.

simple word sort game to work on diagraphs and letter blends


You could do this activity with any letter blends your child is working on.  I plan on adding to our bottle cap word collection throughout the year as we work on new diagraphs and blends.


The next day we used our bottle caps to play a sight word game.  (Be sure to check back later this week to read about what we did!)



Love bottle caps as much as we do?

Check out our apple-themed bottle cap skip counting activity.

Tips for Saving Money on Extra Curricular Activities


The start of the new school year brings with it the start of those extra curricular activities.  Depending on the activity, and the number of children in your household, the cost of those activities can really add up!

So how can you keep the cost down while still allowing your child to explore outside interests?

I’ve put together some great tips that I hope will help this school year!

Tips for saving money on extra curricular activities this school year


Purchase gently used equipment.  Whether your child is into sports, dance, or music, you can get a good deal on previously owned equipment.

If you are looking for sporting equipment, Play It Again Sports is a resale store that sells a variety of gently used gear, such as soccer pads, golf clubs, and tennis rackets.  Other consignment shops geared towards kids, such as Once Upon a Child, carry items like soccer cleats and tap shoes.  Don’t have one of these stores near you?  Garage sales, although hit or miss, can be a great way to find inexpensive sporting equipment for your child.  And, if you can’t find the equipment you are looking for this way, you are almost guaranteed to find what you are looking for on Craigslist or Ebay.

When it comes to buying musical instruments, consider checking your local thrift stores, pawn shops, and garage sales.  For large/expensive instruments, renting may be the cheaper alternative, especially if you aren’t sure how long your child will be interested in the instrument.  And, of course, Craigslist and Ebay also tend to have a large listing of musical instruments that may meet your needs.

Organize an equipment swap.   Have outgrown sports equipment or unwanted musical instruments taking up space?  Many school districts have an equipment swap each year where parents and students can exchange their gently used equipment.  Call the local high school to see if your district has such an event.

Limit the number of activities each child participates in.  Limiting the number of activities each child is in will not only save you money on the equipment they need to participate, but it will also limit the number of practices you have to drive children to, saving your sanity and a bit of gas money, too!

Look into alternatives for those private lessons.  Have a child that wants to take music lessons?  Instead of paying for private lessons for a beginning student, ask about group lessons, which are usually cheaper.

Or, by speaking to the music director in your school district, you may be able to find a high school student who is giving beginning lessons at a fraction of the cost you would normally pay for lessons elsewhere.

And once you find an instructor, consider having  lessons every other week instead of weekly.

One other alternative when it comes to music lessons:  check with your local chapter of the Salvation Army.  Not every chapter offers music lessons, but if yours does and you meet the requirements,  your student can learn to play guitar, piano, brass, or percussion from some wonderful musicians.


What extra curricular activities do your kids participate in?  Do you have any tips you’d add?

I’d love to hear them!


Apple-Themed Skip Counting Activity


The start of the school year is the perfect time for some apple-themed learning activities!

This week we have been having fun with this simple apple-themed skip counting activity.


Apple-Themed Skip Counting Practice



To create our apple manipulatives I used some of the plastic lids we’ve collected, selecting colors that are appropriate for apples.

Don’t have a big lid collection?  You could also cut apples from cardstock.  Draw simple circle apples and your child can even help cut them out for some built-in scissor practice!

I decided to make one set of apples to practice counting by 5’s up to 100 because both of mine worked on this last year.  I simply wrote the numbers on the lids with a black permanent marker.

Of course, you could make a set to work on counting by 2’s, 10’s, or any other number as well.  And, you don’t have to go all the way to 100, or you could make your set go further.  Make the activity fit the needs of your individual child.


There are several activities we have done with our skip counting apples.

The first is pretty basic.


skip counting activity


The kids took turns putting the numbers in order to practice skip counting by 5.


Next, I set up the numbers and removed some of the apples.

They had to tell me which number should go in the empty spot.

apple themed skip counting activity


Finally, we used our plastic lids to practice skip counting backwards.


DIY skip counting game


Want to make it more challenging?

You can throw in some random numbers that would not be used when counting by 5’s, such as “12.”


Other ideas:

Add some movement to the activity by placing the “apples” around the house and have your child “pick them” in the correct order.

Use the apples to work on comparisons.  On a white board draw a greater than/less than sign and have them choose two apples to put on the white board to make the greater than/less than statement true.


apple themed learning activity for skip counting


Like this idea?

You might want to check out our other apple-themed learning activities!