Word Family Garden

A teacher friend of mine recently shared that her class has been experiencing a serious case of spring fever. I know the feeling. My boys and I are having a hard time staying indoors too!

This activity is a great way to focus all of that warm weather daydreaming on an important reading concept: word families.

Put simply, word families are groups of words that share similar spelling patterns. For example, the words {hot, pot, cot} are all part of the {-ot family}. The words {cat, sat, pat} are part of the {-at family}. Knowing word families helps children with rhyming, spelling, and reading.

  1. Ages: 3 - 4

  2. <30 minutes

  3. A little messy


Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    To prep for the activity, cut out four flowers and four centers from your colorful construction paper. Glue one center on each of the flowers like the photo to the left. If your kids are old enough, you can give them practice cutting with scissors by drawing an outline of the flowers using a pencil and asking your child to help you cut them out.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Next, write one word family on each of the flower centers. I used {-op, -ed, -ug, -at} because I wanted to include different vowel--but you could really use anything. Brainstorm words that are part of each word family with your child and write each word on a different petal. If your child has started sounding out words on his own, this is a great time to have him write the words independently.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Done!

    Cut out green stems for your flowers and glue them onto the large piece of white paper. Glue your flowers on top. Voila! Your family has grown it's own word family garden. No watering needed!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

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