What’s a sight word? It’s a word a child learns to recognize on sight. Edward William Dolch first published these lists in 1936. From preschool to third grade, there are 220 Dolch sight words that are used so often in print that together they make up an estimated three quarters of all words used in children’s books. Because they appear so often, they’re also often called high-frequency words. Some of the words can be sounded out using conventional decoding strategies, others cannot.

As kids learn to read, the four main reading skills are decoding, fluency, comprehension, and knowledge. A child’s ability to decode words is a very important part of becoming a fluent reader. Being able to read high-frequency or sight words without hesitation will help your child better understand what is being read. In other words, memorizing these words can help young kids keep going as they learn to read.

PreK sight words list

a look
and make
away me
big my
blue not
can one
come play
down red
find run
for said
funny see
go the
help three
here to
I two
in up
is we
it where
jump yellow
little you


Good with these sight words for 3- and 4-year-olds? Check out the Dolch sight words for kindergarten, 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade — and the list of preK-3rd grade nouns.

More ways to support your preschool-age child as they learn to read

• Play: Decoding activities for your beginning reader
• Read: Books to boost your kindergartner’s decoding skills
• Watch: Follow my finger
• Do: Preschool reading worksheets