In this post, you’ll find a quick and easy solution to making the practice of sight words and spelling words a breeze. It’s a great tip for busy parents.
Pick up kids from school. Check. Run to the grocery store to buy the hamburger for tacos tonight. Check. Throw soccer uniform in the washer for the game tomorrow. Check. Start dinner. Check. Time to help the kids with homework. Ugh…
We wish the kids didn’t have homework. But, most do. How can we check off the homework box without stress and enjoy it? Enter the busy parent homework cart.
Full Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.
The ideas I’m sharing all center around literacy homework specifically studying sight words and spelling words. But, you can easily adapt to work on math facts, science vocabulary, or dates in history.
Once you set your homework cart up, you can use it over and over and over again. The only thing you will tweak each week are the words the kids are studying. Sounds good, right?
SETTING UP THE HOMEWORK CART
I’ve found that a rolling six-drawer cart is the key to the success of this busy parent homework cart. First, it keeps everything organized. Second, the cart can be rolled around to wherever you want to work. If you are making dinner in the kitchen, roll it to the kitchen table. Folding clothes in the bedroom, roll it right in there.
I’ve included labels so that you can even number your drawers for more organization. See below to download them.
Now, it’s time to fill the drawers with supplies we need for six activities to practice sight words, spelling words, math facts, and more.
Drawer 1: pencil box filled with a thin layer of salt
Drawer 2: rainbow colored markers and plain copy paper
Drawer 3: letter tiles or letter beads
Drawer 4: dry erase board, eraser, and dry erase marker
Drawer: 5: tic-tac-toe board, plastic sleeve, and two dry erase markers
Drawer 6: 3x3 sticky notes and a black marker
Here’s the supply list all in one place. Just click each one, add to your Amazon cart, and in a few days, all the supplies will be on your doorstep. I told you this was EASY.
USING THE HOMEWORK CART
The first three drawers are activities that your kids can use independently. Drawers 4-6 are perfect for when you can spare a few minutes to work with your child.
Drawer 1: SALT TRAY WRITING
The child looks at one of their sight or spelling words and uses his finger to write the word in the salt tray. Gently shake the tray to smooth the salt and repeat with the next word.
Drawer 2: RAINBOW WRITING
Start with the first word to practice. The child writes the word six times using the rainbow colored markers. Continue with remaining words.
Drawer 3: WORD BUILDING
Look at a word and then use letter tiles or letter beads to build the word.
Drawer 4: LISTEN AND WRITE
The adult calls out a word or sentence. The child writes the word or sentence on the dry erase board. Erase and repeat.
Drawer: 5: WORD TIC-TAC-TOE
In this two player game, each person selects a sight word or spelling word. Take turns placing words on the board. The first person with three in a row wins.
Drawer 6: HIDE AND SEEK WORD
Write a sight or spelling word on each sticky note. Hide the notes throughout the room or house. Have the child find, read, collect, and then reread each sticky note.
DOWNLOAD THE RESOURCES
Download your FREE drawer labels and tic-tac-toe board below.
SPICING UP THE HOMEWORK CART
As I said above, you can keep using your homework cart each week and just change out the words being practiced. However, you will eventually want to spice up your materials a bit. Here are some ideas to use when things get stale.
Drawer 1: Dye the salt to match a holiday (red for Valentine’s Day or green for St. Patrick’s Day.) Use cornmeal, coffee grounds, or sand
Drawer 2: Instead of markers, try colored pencils or felt pens.
Drawer 3: If you have been using the word beads, try threading them. It’s also good for building fine motor skills. Magnetic letters are also an alternative.
Drawer 4: Write on a mirror or window instead of the dry erase board.
Drawer: 5: Add a layer of difficulty. As you place your word, name the spot you are placing each word. For example, top left, top middle, or top right.
Drawer 6: Take the hiding spots outside. Or, give clues to where to find a word in the house.
There you go. An easy way to practice those word the kids need to learn. One time set-up and months of practice.
For more easy playful literacy ideas check out these posts.