Fun way to practise tricky words

What are tricky words?

Tricky words are those words that cannot be sounded out easily using phonics. They are common words that have complex spellings and may not be easily decoded with the help of phonics. Kids starting to learn to read, may find difficulty in reading tricky words initially. This could easily be tackled through good practise, repetition and support. Tricky words are sometimes also known as ‘common exception words’ or ‘sight words’.

We can help children remember them easily, through practise. Flash cards/word mats, tricky word displays and fun hands-on practise activities could be used to assist a child become confident with tricky words. Here, I would share a simple hands-on activity to help kids practise some tricky words in a fun and indulging way.


Write few tricky words that the child has to learn on a sheet of paper, book, board or so. Here, I’ve written some of the phase 2 to 5 tricky words on a piece of paper. ( My child learnt the jolly phonics scheme ). I have also placed few play dough balls, a book and a pencil for the activity.

Now, let the child try and read the word (encourage to sound out the parts of the word they know and support with any they struggle with), then smash the playdough on top of the word that they have read and finally write it onto a book or board (if they are interested ).

My little girl was happy to read and smash on all the words, but didn’t want to write all the wordsπŸ˜‚.


βœ… Recognition of phase 2 – 5 tricky words
βœ… Early reading and writing skills
βœ… Communication skills
βœ… Fine motor skills
βœ… Focus
βœ… Fun learning

It seems a good idea to compile a list of tricky words that they have to learn and then help them practise those through fun and engaging activities. Practice and repetition plays a crucial part when considering how to support them with their tricky words and make them confident enough with such words. So its great to pick activities that can repeat, but at the same time could be fun too so that their learning experience become enriched. They should never feel bored of learning! Let’s make their learning fun and interactive as far as we could!

Do try this fun learning activity if you haven’t yet and please do let me know how your little ones liked it.

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