Some kids learn to read easily and quickly while others take longer to find their wings. I have one of each. You read about how my struggling reader became an emerging reader. One of the things we did while she was building brain connections and proficiency in learning to read was word family activities. Here are some of the activities we enjoyed.
10 Word Family Activities for Beginning Readers
1. Word building with letters
Use letters such as the Lauri Toys Mini Alphabet Avalanche, magnetic letters, or letter stamps to build word families. Suggest a word such as “bee” and have your child change the first letter to make a new word.
3. Sidewalk chalk
Use sidewalk chalk to build word families. Suggest a word such as “cat” and have your child write a new word by replacing the first letter to make a new word.
4. Word Searches
Word searches are a great way to practice word families. Here are some word searches with few words and large print that are great for beginning readers.
- Beginning Reader Word Searches (75 word family word searches)
- 5 CVC short “A” word searches
- Word family word searches (these are a little more difficult with more words to find on each page)
- Apples for the Teacher word family word searches
5. Active games
You can use active reading games like Reading Hop or Reading Hopscotch to practice word families.
6. Four-in-a-Row Reading Game
Use word families to play a four-in-a-row reading game. Here are instructions for making a four-in-a-row reading game.
7. Kinetic sand
Play tic-tac-toe with a word family. Draw a tic-tac-toe grid and write different words within a word family in each square. Have each player choose a playing piece (math cubes or money work well). As each player places his playing piece on the tic-tac-toe board, he says the word in that square.
9. Word Wheel
Make a word wheel to practice word families. You can find a tutorial with a free printable on Triumphant Learning.
10. On a glass door or mirror
Use window markers or dry erase markers to practice word building on a glass door or mirror. Suggest a word such as “cat” and have your child write other words by replacing the first letter to make a new word.
You can find more reading game ideas on my Reading Games Pinterest board.