Word Family Garden Activity

Do your kids have a serious case of spring fever, too?  This word family activity is a great way to focus all of that warm weather daydreaming on an important reading concept: word families!  Watch them turn into a beautiful garden right before your eyes.

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.

Getting Ready

To do this word family activity, I gathered a few supplies:

  • 1 large piece of white paper for the background.  Mine was 22 x 16 inches
  • 4 pieces of different colored paper to make flowers. I used red, blue, yellow and orange
  • 1 piece of green paper to make stems
  • Scissors
  • 1 marker

I cut out 4 flowers and 4 centers from the colorful construction paper.  Then, I glued one center on each of the flowers like this:

{Playdough to Plato}

Next, I wrote one word family on each of the flower centers.  I used (-op, -ed, -ug, -at), but you could pick anything.

The Word Family Garden

My son and I brainstormed words from each word family. Since he’s still in the prewriting stage, I wrote 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.)

{Playdough to Plato}

We cut out green stems for the flowers and glued them onto the large piece of white paper.  Then, we glued the flowers on top.

Word Family Garden Craft and Literacy Activity in One.

Viola!  Our word family garden was complete.

Find More

For more word family fun, check out our Word Family Activity Pack filled with eight motivating word family activities.

Uber Fun Word Family Activity Pack. {Playdough to Plato}

Our members get MORE!


  1. Carolyn Wilhelm

    Fabulous! I taught first grade and know how badly children want school to end when the weather is so nice outside. Great engaging idea! Carolyn

  2. Deborah

    What a fun way to explore the reading process!!

  3. Heather

    I like the way you use the phrase “word family” for rhyming. I think that will help my son with rhyming when he hears words that sound the same. I’ve tried making up stories for him with word families…The cat found a rat and they shared a big hat!

  4. Rhonda

    Thank you! This is perfect for my self-contained special education class!

    • Malia

      My pleasure, Rhonda! Thanks for taking the time to say, “hello”.

  5. Marnie

    I love this activity so very much!

  6. solar powered

    Wow that was strange. I just wrote an very long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t show up.
    Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.

    Anyways, just wanted to say great blog!

  7. Fozia

    Wonderful idea to get my son involve in the studies.



  1. The Ultimate Guide to Teaching Kids How to Read - Playdough To Plato - […] phonics by looking at groups of sounds like digraphs and word families – words that end in the same sound.…
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Hi, I’m Malia.

I LOVE helping Pre-K, Kindergarten and First Grade teachers save time, stay inspired and give EVERY student bigger results. I’m so glad you’re here!