My six-year-old is learning to read and she's excited about that. But she needs some extra practice and lists of sight words were just not very exciting to her. So we came up with The Fancy Word Wall. Each word gets it's own fancy, decorated card. She gets practice reading, writing, and re-reading each word. And she is well on her way to becoming a proficient reader.
We keep adding to our word wall, so we keep a handy stash of supplies: colorful cards, a pencil, and a roll of painter's tape. My daughter often runs and gets markers and stickers as well.
We originally started our word wall with all the words she could already read. It's grown exponentially from there, as we add new words that she is learning. We worked on the cards together. She loves to add jeweled stickers and fancy marker drawings to the cards. Sometimes she asks me to make a word card for a specific word, while she is working on another one. When I make the card, I make sure she can read the word before it goes up on the wall.
At one point, we realized that she knew enough words to put the words together into phrases, so she started a "phrase wall," which is actually the glass of the window next to her word wall. Here is one of her phrases: "Pat the fat cat." I added some longer, skinnier strips of paper to her supplies so that she can make phrases when she is inspired to do so.
Another fun variation? I write words in a notebook for her to copy onto cards for the word wall. Of course, we have a fancy pen to go with it. We embellished a regular pen with pink tape, tulle fluff at the top, and some bejeweled stickers. My daughter likes to add drawings to the notebook, such as the butterflies on this page. Our Fancy Word Wall has gotten us through some reading challenges. Being fancy, after all, makes everything more fun.