How to teach CVC words to kids – fun ways that really work


Wondering how to teach CVC words to kindergarten kids?. We did not learn phonics in our growing up years and thus at times it gets difficult teach phonics, Today we are going to learn what are CVC words, how to teach blending CVC words to kids, CVC word activities for parents and kindergarten kids, CVC words worksheets and a lot more. These fun games will make learning CVC words easier for your preschooler kid.

Let us start with the basics What is CVC word before we can go ahead with fun games and hands on activities to practice CVC words.

The below mix of variety of hands on activities, worksheets and phonics games makes learning fun for kids. And this helps a child in retaining phonics concepts rather than struggling with learning CVC words.

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What is a CVC word?

CVC word is a word make up of 3 letters – Consonant – Vowel- Consonant. e.g. – cat, pan, map and so on

What to teach before CVC words

Before you start teaching CVC words to kids you need to make sure about few things.

  1. Kid understands each letter makes a sound and can identify and tell you sounds for each letter
  2. Kid can recognize the starting and ending sound of word when pronounced in front of him.
  3. Kid is familiar with 5 vowels of English language and comfortable with the vowel sounds. Vowels play very important role in English language thus, it is very important that kids is familiar with vowel sounds.
  4. Kid can recognize the middle sound in words when pronounced in front of him.

So, if you think kid/s is comfortable with all the above points you can start practicing CVC words with him.

What can you introduce along with CVC words

Meanwhile when you start teaching CVC words to kid make sure kid is learning Sight Words (Tricky Words) too, this will help the kids in reading the small sentences later on.

There are many ways through which you can teach sight words to kids, you can check out some fun ways to teach sight words here

CVC word families

There are many word families in CVC words.

To create a CVC word lesson plan, I recommend to pick one word family at one go and practice it for one or two week. When you think child is comfortable with one word family then move forward and pick another word family.

Word families in CVC words are –

‘at’, ‘an’, ‘am’, ‘ag’, ap’, ‘ab’, ‘ad’, ‘as’, ‘eg’, ‘et’, ‘en’, ‘ed’, ‘ig’, ‘it’, ‘ix’, ‘in’, ‘ip’, ‘ot’, ‘od’, ‘og’, ‘op’, ‘ox’, ‘un’, ‘ub’, ‘ug’, ‘up’, ‘ut’

So short ‘a’ word family, short ‘e’ word family, short ‘i’ work family, short ‘o’ word family, short ‘u’ word family

CVC Words examples-

cat, fan, dam, bag, gap, cab, pad, gas, leg, net, hen, fed, wig, lit, mix, tin, sip, pot, cod, fog, mop, box, fun, tub, jug, cup, hut,

Are you wondering how do I start teaching CVC words ?

Below are some fun ways to introduce CVC word families to kids and to practice CVC words with kids. For kids learning become fun if we try a mix of activities as it helps all types of learners understand and retain concepts. Also kids learn by repetitions.

I am sure with below ideas and continuous practice your child will be comfortable in reading and blending CVC words.

Make CVC words and match with objects

Things required to do this activity

  • Small objects or toys available at home
  • Small alphabet flashcards or movable small wooden alphabet or alphabet tiles or you can make your own small alphabet cards

Collect small objects or toys which have 3 letter phonetic words with common middle vowel. For eg – I have collected objects “pan”, “man”, “fan”. All three have common vowel sound “a”.

Arrange the alphabet flashcards to form CVC words. I have used these alphabets flashcards from Amazon

You can use anything that you have readily available

Let the kid pick the object of his choice. Ask the kid to say the name of the object. Follow the kid and sound the name of the object clearly so that kid can understand and listen the starting, middle and ending sound clearly.

Repeat the object name twice and thrice and then encourage the child to match the words with objects.

Let your child try, if he does it correctly appreciate his or her efforts and encourage to try one more word.

If he or she is not able to do – acknowledge his efforts and again clearly say the name of the object. Let him try hearing sounds and identifying letters.. If he still does not do it correctly .. help him create CVC words

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Match CVC words with pictures

Things required to do this activity

  • Pictures of CVC words (you can use from magazines, flashcards or worksheets)
  • Small alphabet flashcards or movable small wooden alphabet or alphabet tiles or you can make your own small alphabet cards. I have used these alphabet flashcards. You can use Peg alphabet or Magnetic alphabet as well

Collect small pictures which have 3 letter phonetic words with common middle vowel. For eg – I hv collected pictures “hat”, “rat”, ”  “. All two have common vowel sound “a”.

Let the kid pick the picture of his choice.

Ask your child to say the name of the object. Follow the kid and sound the name of the object clearly so that kid can understand and listen the starting, middle and ending sound clearly.

Repeat the object name twice and thrice and then encourage the child to arrange the alphabet flashcards or wooden alphabet letters in a correct order to spell the word

Let the kid make the word on his own, if he does it correctly appreciate his or her efforts and encourage him to try one more word.

If your child is not able to do it currently acknowledge his efforts and again clearly say the name of the object. and try again. If your child is still not able to do. Show him or her how is it done . Practice letter sounds and try again later.

Through the above two activities you have given enough opportunity to child to work with flashcards and objects/pictures and practice blending the sounds. It is important not to rush and let the kid learn on his own pace.

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CVC words clip cards – Free printables included

Supplies needed for this Hands on Activity

– Downloadable Number Counting clip cards printables (You can download from links below in a minute)

– Cardstock or thick paper for printing (Click here to see on Amazon)

– Or you can use Laminating machine and Laminating sheets. I personally have this laminator purchased in 2018 and it is still going strong. And I have these sheets

– Clothespin. These are cute ones that you can consider

– For younger kids who can not handle Clothespin you can use Colour counters or pom poms. Usually Colour counters in India are expensive you can get this game it comes with colour counter

Download the clip cards pdf, Print and then cut them. Ask your child to read CVC word on each card and then clip the peg on matching CVC word.

CVC short a family words cards an family
CVC short a family words cards at family. Free downloadable cards to practice reading CVC words

For kids who can handle Clothespin can use them to point to correct answer and for younger toddlers you can ask them to place a pom pom or colour counter or anything that you have available on the correct answer.

You can also use them as reusable cards with these white board marker pen if you have a laminating machine and lamination sheets at home.

To make them self correcting – You can put stickers on the back on the right number to help kids self correct their answers.

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Match CVC words flash cards with objects

Things required to do this activity

  • Small objects or toys available at home ( you can use same objects you used in first step)
  • Small CVC Word flashcards (If you don’t have the CVC word flashcards you can make your own like mine or you can use the clip cards downloadable we used above and make CVC flashcards)

As we are practicing one family at one go, for this step we can use same objects we used in first step.

Keep the objects in one box and CVC word cards in another box.

Let the child pick one object from the box. Ask the kid to name the object and then let him find the matching CVC word flash card from the box.

If you think child is not comfortable and not picking the correct card then help the child in recognizing the correct word card by repetitively blending the sounds clearly.

Keep practicing the activity to help your child learn blending of sounds.

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Match CVC words flashcards with pictures

Things required to do this activity

  • Small pictures ( you can use same pictures you used in second step)
  • Small CVC Word flashcards (If you don’t have the CVC word flashcards you can make your own like mine)

Keep the pictures in one box and CVC word cards in another box.

Let the child pick one picture from the box. Ask the kid to name the object and then let him find the matching CVC word card from the box. If you think child is not comfortable and not picking the correct card then help the child in recognizing the correct word card by repetitively blending the sounds clearly.

Keep practicing the activity for better results.

After following the above steps regularly after some time you kid will be comfortable in blending and reading the CVC words with fluency.

When you think your child is comfortable and can read the words with ease to make the learning process fun you can plan few games.

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Hands on Activity – Make your own CVC words book

It is a wonderful idea to make learning CVC words fun.

Trust me kids love to make their own books and they love to go through it again and again.

I am going to tell you the simplest idea to make small handy CVC books for your kid. Just cut a paper (little big) write a CVC word family on it (in my picture below you can see I have written “at” .

Then cut few small pieces of paper and write letters and staple them together. You can involve your child in writing letters

If your kid enjoys drawing you can ask your kid to make small designs to represent the words.

If you are feeling creative 🙂 you can make the beautiful cover of the book and write the name of the author (name of your kid) on it.

You can use these CVC word family books while travelling or going out. These help to read the words and practice the reading skills on the go.

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CVC Word Hunt – a sensory activity

A wonderful game to practice reading CVC words.

Just hide the CVC word flash cards in a tray filled with rice, wheat or sand. Let your kid find the words read them.

Again if you do not have CVC words flashcards you can use the clip cards downloadable to create flashcards

You can sing rhymes while doing this 🙂

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CVC words Scrabble

My kid just love playing this game.

In building blocks or nesting blocks hide the alphabet tiles ( 3 letters which can be used to frame a correct CVC word). Shake the blocks , let your kid take out the alphabet tiles and frame the sensible word.

To make the game interesting you can play some music or make some mysterious sounds while opening the blocks.

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CVC Bingo Game

A game that kids can play with their family members , friends or alone.

Read the word from the flashcard, find the word on your card and cut it.

The winner can be – one whose gets all pictures on the card strike out first. For advanced users you can add rules like First Row, Top row, Bottom row and so on

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CVC Picture beginning sounds Clip Cards

CVC Clip cards is a game where kids recognize the CVC word picture then recognize the beginning sounds and put clip on the correct corresponding letter. Below is the picture that covers clip cards for starting sounds.

You can play this by downloading our CVC Word Family picture clip cards. Each card has a CVC picture with the beginning sound to pick. Kids can pick up beginning sounds and write them.

Click here to get the full set in INR

Click here to get the full set only for 1 $

You can laminate at home using laminator and laminating sheets to make them resuable.

CVC clip cards have three types – One that focuses on starting letter sounds, another which focuses on middle letter sounds, one more which focuses on ending letter sounds.

Kids really love playing with these cards and understand the concept well.

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CVC Words – Move it Read it

This is DIY game you can easily make at home to practice CVC words. Let the kid shift the paper and make and read the words.

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When your kid is fluent in reading and recognizing the CVC words you can play word search game.

Below images is part of CVC ‘at’ family worksheets. You can get the ‘at’ family worksheets by clicking here and if you are outside India you can get it from here for just 1$

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CVC game with dice – Roll it Read it

Two or three players can play this game. Keep your CVC word cards upside down, make a starting point. Roll the dice, move the counter and read the word on which counter landed.

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CVC 3 piece Puzzles

If your kid loves puzzles this is an interesting game to practice CVC puzzles. Through this game kids practice CVC words and they work on their problem solving skills too.

Click here to download printable for CVC puzzles (INR)

Click here to get these CVC puzzles printables for 1$ ONLY

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CVC Tic-Tac-Toe Game

To play this game make a grid of CVC words ( like tic-tac-toe grid) and you will need two coloured total 9 counters.

In this game one player will read one CVC word and out his counter on it. Another player will read another CVC word and will keep his counter on it.

That way both the players will read the words and will keep their counters on it. The player who will make a sleeping, slanting or standing line on his counters will win the game.

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CVC worksheets and activity books

You can download CVC downloadable worksheets for each word family and practice reading and writing skills.

Get ‘an’ family phonics downloadable pdf worksheets for kids – 15+ activities to read practice phonics words for ‘an’ family

Get ‘at’ family phonics downloadable pdf worksheets for kids – 15+ activities to read practice phonics words for ‘at’ family. Click here if you are visiting us from outside India

You can also get CVC activity book and story books from Amazon.

To stay updated on more pdf’s and to ask any questions do join our Exclusive Facebook group, we would love to see you there.

Any questions on CVC phonics words or any suggestions do let us know using comments below.

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Hello, I am Shweta, mother of a 5 year old. I am a teacher and in education field since last 4 years. I truly believe, we should keep learning.. as learning is a treasure. In my beautiful journey of motherhood, with each passing day I get chances to learn many things with my kid and I truly love to share those learning with you all, through my blogs. In my spare time I Love to travel, read books and gardening. I am a great fan of Dan Brown and Sidney Sheldon novels.

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