DIY - Create your own popcorn sight words game - Free Printable

So... I went on a hunt for yet another cool thing I saw online. There are a few versions of the game but the most commonly available is called "Pop for sight words". There is also a version by scholastic as well. It is a great little compact game which uses high frequency sight words. The game makes reading these words and memorising them fun.

Basically, you just take a piece of "popcorn" from the box, and read the word on it. If you get it right you may keep your popcorn, and pile them up. If you get it wrong you just return it to the box. There are pieces that say POP! on them and if you get one of those, you lose all your pieces. Person with the most popcorn wins. You can play all kinds of variations of this game to suit your child. You can omit the "Pop" rule altogether, or have the kids eat real popcorn when they get a pop piece. You can also have the child say the word they just read in a sentence. You can also use the pieces to make silly sentences.

Of course, like most cool educational games and items that I randomly come across, it is not sold by an Australian online seller. So, I then went on that pointless journey to Amazon to find an American seller to buy the game from... and of course, as always... I came up against the usual irritating words (several times):

"does not ship to Australia"
..."does not ship to Australia"
....."Does not ship to Australia"

yeh yeh. Then after about an hour I found one that did ship to Australia. You know, if you are willing to sell your liver on the black market to pay for it. So a $12.90 game that probably weighs under 50 grams was going to end up costing $45 or so after postage?

......If I wasn't a lover of Jesus I would tell you where you could stick that offer.

Not to be defeated, I decided to simply make the game myself. It's not like it is difficult.
However easy doesn't mean quick. And this was a time consuming endeavor. So I decided I ought to share the printable free for anyone else who cannot get their hands on the game, or for anyone who is just crazy enough to actually want to make it for the fun of it.

 Now I highly suggest that you laminate the pieces, as after all that cutting out, you are going to want this game to last. It is not an essential step, so if you do not own a laminator, don't be discouraged. Perhaps you can print it on thicker paper, like a light cardstock, if your printer will take it. I would definitely recommend you laminate though, if you want to use it over and over. Especially if you have boys. I don't know why, but boys just have this amazing ability to destroy everything made of paper. Or just everything in general. Or maybe that is just my boys haha.

The words chosen, are high frequency words that are commonly in the books your child would be reading. I do not know all the words that are in the original game, I just searched online for the 100 most common high frequency words. Some were a bit debatable... like "Oil". I do not recall ever reading the word oil in a kids reader haha. So I switched out that word for "little". But I think most of the words are definitely frequent ones in kids books.

When you open and print the PDF, you will notice there are a few popcorn pieces without words on them. This is so that you can add any words you might like. I added my children's names, and a few words that I know my daughter struggles with, as well as a couple of words that I know she can read really easily (So that she feels like a smarty pants when she pulls and reads those words, boosting her confidence to keep going). You can write anything you like on your spares, before laminating.

Lastly, The popcorn cup in the picture is available at the Reject shop. You get a few in a pack for $2. It is too big really, but I had it sitting in the pantry and decided to use it to make it more appealing, and the novelty did put a smile on the kids faces. However you can place yours in a little plain container, or get your kids to make a small square popcorn box out of cardstock, or you could use those little white chinese food boxes that are sold at craft stores, or you could find a smaller popcorn container. I've seen really cute plastic ones in Red dot from time to time.

I hope this printable is enjoyed by your young readers and that it is a handy tool to try out for something different! My 7yr old is a reluctant reader and enjoys it. My 4 year old just loves the "Pop!" pieces and tries to deliberately get those ones haha.

Happy playing!



  1. Thanks a lot!!! Same story for me: some sellers do not ship and those who do taking up to $50... I'm English teacher, so I would love to use this game in the class.


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