Help kids recognize alphabet letters and memorize sight words by playing a twist on an old classic: Tic-Tac-Toe.  The alphabet and sight word tic-tac-toe game’s great to use as a literacy center, homeschool activity or word work station!

For more alphabet fun, check out our Ultimate Preschool Activity Pack in our shop!

The rules of this version of Tic-Tac-Toe are the same as the original.

Players take turns saving a square by writing in it.  The first player with three squares in a line (either across, down or diagonal) is the winner.

But, instead of writing an X or an O, players will write either letters (if they are learning the ABCs) or sight words (if they have started reading).

Getting Ready

Since Middle Brother is still working on learning his alphabet letters, I printed the alphabet Tic-Tac-Toe (below).

I cut apart the sheet of letters and placed them in a cup I’d covered with a colorful knee sock. (This extra step isn’t required but it makes the activity a lot more exciting for kids!)


Middle Brother shook the cup to mix up the letters and then reached inside to pick a card: E!

It was my turn next so I reached in the cup and pulled out a R.

We wrote our letters in the right spot on our sheet and started playing the game.

Alphabet Tic-Tac-Toe

Middle Brother went first and wrote his E in a spot. Then, I wrote R in a different place. Back and forth we went until I wrote my third R in a row and won the game.

Luckily, Middle Brother is a very good sport so we shook hands, congratulated each other on a great match, and jumped right into round two.

Sight Word Tic-Tac-Toe

I always love providing easy ways to differentiate activities so, in case you’re in need for the next level of difficulty, I also included Sight Word Tic-Tac-Toe kids can use to practice Dolch words, popcorn lists, classmates’ names… anything!

Grab Your Download

Ready to play?! Just click the button below to grab your free tic-tac-toe games and then for more fun, check out our best-selling Ultimate Preschool Activity Pack in our shop!

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    1. I also cannot actually download the ABC tic tac toe, OR the sight word one. It says to click and download..but not possible 🙁

      1. Hi Beth,
        Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry you’re having trouble downloading. We never want that. Please check out our troubleshooting video HERE for help. You’ll also want to make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader Other and that you’re allowing pop ups from our site. If you still can’t get it to work, you can email me at
        Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

      1. Hi Linda,
        Thanks for reaching out. You should be able to find the blue DOWNLOAD NOW button at the very bottom of the post, below the image for the pirate sight word game.
        Please check to be sure you’ve enabled pop-ups from our site. Even if you’ve been able to download before, the site was recently updated and you may need to do so again. We also recommend using the Chrome browser. For instructions on how to enable pop ups in Chrome, you can check out THIS ARTICLE.
        You can also check out our troubleshooting video HERE for help. If you still can’t get it to work, you can email me at and I will get it to you.
        Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  1. I am a resource/reading teacher and I am trying to put together a kit of sight word activities that I can use with my students and share with the grades primary to two teachers at my school. I love your sight word tic-tac-toe sheet. Would I have your permission to include the sheet in my kit?

    1. Hi CW! Your kit sounds wonderful and I’m excited that the tic-tac-toe sheets feel like a good fit. Because we use our ad revenue to provide free printables like this one, I’d ask that you pass along the URL to the blog post instead of printing and distributing the sheets directly. Every page view counts. 🙂



  2. I am amazed at your generosity towards other teachers!!! Thank you so very much!!! My computer skills are lacking to say the least and your computer skills along with your awesome ideas… ROCK!!!! I LOVE the way you made it so that we may use the pirate cards as real cards with something on each side! Thank you again! Dianne

    1. Thank you so much, Dianne, for your kind words and support.
      We are here because of teachers just like you!
      I hope your kids love them as much as we do.

  3. thank you. This will be a fun game during tutoring. The children will love it!

    1. Hi Carol,
      Thanks so much!
      We hope your kids love it too!
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

  4. I have not been able to download from any of your free items for a while now . I hit submit button and the “working on it” circle just keeps on spinning

    1. I’ve had trouble for a long time, too, but I found a workaround. Copy and paste the link in an incognito tab. Hopefully this helps! -Rachel

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