Reading Activities for Preschoolers: Word Families

Word families are an excellent teaching tool – a Kindergarten teacher once told me this was the most used and most effective tool for teaching reading! Especially when you are dealing with 4 or 5 year olds, word families seem to make the most sense for pre-readers starting to sounding out words. If you’re interested in teaching kids word families, make sure it’s interesting for them! Try these ideas and resources for teaching word families in a fun and exciting way!

Create your own word family activities with these excellent ideas and free resources from bloggers:

Fairy Dust Teaching features several word family crafts/lessons that are sure to entertain your preschoolers while they learn. Try the frogs on a log, bugs in a rug, and snakes on a cake crafts.
green paper frogs with og words on brown paper log

I Can Teach My Child has some creative ways to teach word families, including a word family dice game (with free printables!), and simple directions to make your own Word Family Pull-Out Activity with paper towel rolls and paint stirrers. I also love these tips for teaching preschoolers to read.

wooden dice with letters with ending word sounds and pictures
pull out activity for teaching word families, hop, ban, back, pat, sat

The Activity Mom uses flower-shaped word family cards to help her kids learn to read. Find out how (and get the free printables) here.

laminated flower shapes with word families

Not Just Cute has an ingenious way to encourage your aspiring engineer to build words – make your own Word Families Under Construction Craft.
paper building and crane builds word families

Books that emphasize word families can be great fun. Try some of these favorites:

word family tales by scholastic - collection of paperback books emphasizing word familiesWord Family Tales Set
by Scholastic
List Price: $93.45   (paperbacks)
Best for Ages: 4 to 8
This set includes everything you need for teaching 25 word family groups to children from pre-K through 2nd grade. Included are 25 16-page paperback books, a 128-page teaching guide and a storage box. Each book emphasizes a different word family and tells an engaging story.more info button

set of paperback bob books for beginning readersBob Books Set 3- Word Families
by Scholastic
List Price: $16.95   (paperbacks)
Best for Ages: 3 to 7
BOB Books makes a series of beginning readers. When read in order, they present letter sounds and phenomes in a slow and consistent manner that makes even the youngest kids be able to read their first book, which builds their confidence. This set focuses specifically on word families.more info button

goose on the loose book for preschoolers - goose on bicyclePhonics Readers
by Usborne
List Price: $6.95 each   (paperbacks)
Best for Ages: 3 to 8
Usborne makes a collection of phonics readers featuring word families that are sold separately. Some of the titles available include Goose on the Loose, Fox on a Box, Frog on a Log, Mouse Moves House, Shark in the Park, and more. See a more complete list.more info button

Get even more word family practice with these games and teaching aids:

What are your favorite ways of teaching word families to preschoolers?

  • The Activity Mom

    Great ideas!

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