Kindergarten Reading Activities and Printable Word Family Pages

k reading activities

As a former First Grade classroom teacher, I have a lots of fun ideas for teaching my kinders to read.  However, as a homeschooling mom of 4 with a baby on the way, I don’t always get to the fun stuff!  Here I’ve included some of the most practical activities we do, but we don’t even get to these every day or even every week.  Some days we just read, and that’s okay.  😉


For ease, I’ll divide this post into 2 categories:  PHONICS and SIGHT WORDS.  I think mastering both elements are important steps on the path to becoming a good reader!

For now, each week, we work on basic C-V-C short vowel words and 2 or 3 new sight words.


  1. curriculum & workbooks
  2. pocket chart cards
  3. building words with magnets and letter tiles
  4. word family lists
  5. stamps
  6. shaving cream
  7. phonics readers
  8. flash cards

Sight Words

  1. poems
  2. sight word readers
  3. sight word sentences
  4. flash cards
  5. Bingo!


1.  Curriculum / Workbooks

We have been using Explode the Code Book 1 and Alpha-Phonics to aid in learning phonics this school year.  I couldn’t be happier with either one!   I use them as a guide for introducing word families.  Explode the Code has been great practice in writing as well as following directions.



2.  Pocket Chart Cards

I use a pre-made set of word family cards and pictures but plan to add some of my own cards and pictures using simple clip art.  My kinders think of this as a fun matching game!  We don’t always use the pocket chart… the floor works well, too!  🙂

pocket chart word fams

3.  Building Words… Magnets and Letter Tiles 

This is hands-on fun!  We build words with letter tiles on our “mats”  (pieces of construction paper) and use our magnets on cookie sheets.  It is a great way to practice working with words while taking away the added difficulty of writing.    It’s so easy to move one letter and change “bit” to “fit” and then “fit” to “fix” etc.


man, can, ran…

tile practice

We can also use the tiles to practice building names.

We also use our tiles and magnets with the pocket chart picture cards.  It is a step above simply matching the words and pictures.  The kids now have to build a word sound-by-sound.

tiles and pics

4.  Word Family Lists

I love using the tiles to create word family lists.  Simply move one tile to make lots and lots of words!  We have used these word family books (pictured below) (and only $1.25!) , and I liked them so much, that I decided to create some pages of my own.   You can download them for your kiddos at the conclusion of this post!  🙂  We


it word fam page
Download your own word family recording sheets at the conclusion of the post! 🙂

5.  Stamps

Much like tiles and magnets, stamps enable kids to build words without the added difficulty of writing.  Plus, they are fun!  🙂


6.  Shaving Cream… need I say more?  🙂

shave cream words


My big kids like this too… spelling practice. 😉

7.  Books!   Phonics Readers

One of my favorite resources for phonics readers is Sam’s.  Yes, that’s Sam’s, as in the wholesale club.  I have found numerous sets of Bob Books and Starfall Readers that have become old friends for us this year!  Check out the book section the next time you’re picking up toilet tissue!


Another favorite and often-used resource for phonics readers for us is Hubbard’s Cupboard.  Oh my!  So many free resources– including phonics and sight word readers– created by a teacher and available FOR FREE!  I print at least a book per week!



8.  Flash Cards

I use little notecard flip books!  It’s so easy to quickly grab a book and read words when we are in a time crunch!



Sight Words  (2 or 3 new words per week)

1.  Poems

We use our poetry notebooks to learn new sight words!  When things rhyme and are repetitive, the kids just remember them!  Here is an example of our “Up” poem.  (For sight word poetry resources, use the link above to see our poetry notebooks post.)

sight wd poem

I don’t choose a sight word poem for our notebooks every week.  Sometimes we just find sight words in other poems.


2.  Sight Word Readers

Each time we learn new sight words, the children get a new sight words book!  These are some of the resources I use…

Sight Word Stories

These are great little repetitive books!


Hubbard’s Cupboard Sight Word Books (AGAIN 🙂 )

I use these every week!  🙂  I just click over to the site and scroll down to the words we’re working on!  Easy peasy and free!


3.  Sight Word Sentences

Cut and Paste Sight Word Sentences

We use these for reading, illustrating, and copying sight word sentences!  Our next step will be to write sentences on our own!  🙂


4.  Flash Cards

I keep these on rings and in notecard flip books, but I also like to keep some on loose cards to display all week.


5.  Bingo!

I keep a little homemade bingo printable on my desktop so that I can quickly fill in sight words we’ve learned.  I write them in the boxes, and we have a free game!  🙂

You can download my Bingo! board by clicking the picture, but I warn you, it’s not too pretty!  😉  You could use with any subject… Latin words, science vocab, etc…



If you’d like to use my word family note booking pages, please click the picture below to download your own set!  You won’t find every short vowel word family, but I’ve included the main ones, along with 2 different blank formats for you to use!


word fam recording sheets


Happy Reading!

12 thoughts on “Kindergarten Reading Activities and Printable Word Family Pages

  1. Heather

    Great fun! I taught first and second grade, too, before we had kids. 🙂 Teaching reading is so rewarding, especially when it’s your own child! Thanks for the links! I’ll check them out for my up and coming kindergarteners. Are you doing Psalm 103 with Doorposts next month? 🙂

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      No way! Get out! Psalm 103?! I didn’t even know about it! I’m In for sure. How did I miss that? I had that on my slate for the kids to memorize next! My bigs are just finishing the Beatitudes, and I was planning to move to that in Nov! I’m heading over to the DP blog to check it out now! Thanks, friend!

      1. Heather

        I saw a post on Doorpost’s Bible study Facebook page a few weeks ago where she announced Psalm 103 is next for November. So excited!!!

  2. godmadeknown

    I will definitely be trying some of these out! My five-year-old is just dying to be reading like his brothers only he doesn’t want to do any of the phonics work to get him there. He just wants to skip right to reading books. This fills my creative void perfectly right now. Hopefully some of these fun activities will tempt him!

  3. Alma Mater

    My eldest learned to read when he was 3 1/2. I just had to teach each concept once, and by the time we got to 5- or 6-letter words with blends (like “crunch” or “blend”), he just started reading whole books on his own and ended up teaching himself from there on. Now, he’s 7, and was just tested by Calvert — he’s at a grade 12 fluency level, and grade 11 reading comprehension.

    So of course, my other children would pick up reading this easily, too. Either because I’m such a great teacher, or because learning to read is just that simple! Of course, right?

    So imagine my surprise when my next son needed me to repeat a concept again and again! And again! He’s doing great, but I had to adjust my expectations (and grow some patience!) so that I could see how great he’s doing, and stop comparing. He’s five now, and we’ve been sounding out 3- or 4-letter-words for about a year now. He’s good at it, but he prefers to guess by the first letter (so frustrating, when he can always do it if he just takes his time and looks at the rest of the word). So I am really happy to get ideas and resources from this post!

    All that to say, thanks for posting this!

    1. i have no greater joy Post author

      Well, you can imagine *my* surprise when one of my twins (now 5) began reading at 2 or 3. I was amazed because the other 3 kiddos did NOT! He sounds like your first… reads anything (and I never helped him with a blend, cluster, etc), reads the encyclopedia for pleasure and writes multiplication facts for fun! Ha! He has memorized most of the times tables and some square roots! He must take after his daddy because that is SO NOT ME!!! 🙂 I still “school” him in kindergarten because he has a twin who really needs kindergarten and I want it to be easy for me! But, I just give him books that are more difficult to read. His fourth grade brother says the little is smarter than he is. 🙂 Like Daddy!

      1. Alma Mater

        Oh, I hope one of mine can memorize their times tables easily!! My eldest (the reader) is not advanced in Math. I am holding out hopes that somebody will be, because I would love to not have to work so hard to teach math for at least one of them! 🙂


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