Does your little one get confused when trying to read the letter C in a word? Children are so used to spelling words like c-a-t that when they come to one like c-i-t-y they pronounce it as “kitty.”  The hard and soft C can be difficult to master.

These hard and soft C little books help readers think about the two sounds. And the rhyme helps kids to make some sense of the differences!  And speaking of little readers, hop over to check out our amazing Emergent Readers Bundle in our shop!

Getting Ready

We had already worked through hard and soft G little readers, so the kids were keen to keep going with these new books. We downloaded them (below), printed them off and posted the rhyme on our cupboard right next to the soft and hard G poster.

We assembled the books using the instructions in the printable, printing the two word books in color and the hard and soft C phrase book in black and white so we could color it.

These little soft and hard C readers are excellent for gaining greater confidence with these 2 sounds!

Learning the Hard and Soft C

We wanted to go hunting for the letter C, so we cut Post-It notes into thin strips so we could leave one on the page wherever we saw a C.

We read through Cinderella together and took our time to scan the pages as we read. Then, we picked some C words at random to decide whether they were hard or soft.

We took a look at the poster, reading through the rhyme together and looking back at the words we’d highlighted from Cinderella to see if they were true. We also realized that the “rules” in the rhyme were nearly the same for C as they were for G (except that CH makes its own sound).

This is how the rhyme goes:

In front of i or y or e, C is soft like celery*.

In front of a or u or o (or other letters, so you know), C is hard like cows or crows (unless it’s H like chews or chose).

 * There are exceptions to the soft rule, for example: Mc and Mac are always hard even if followed by e or i.

The children all chose to look for a word with a different following letter and wrote one each on the whiteboard so we could look at them more closely. This was an effective way to double check the rhyme and make sure we understood it properly.

If your kids love little readers, grab these free books and gain confidence with hard and soft Cs!

Reading the Hard and Soft C

The children read through both word books, underlying the sound after each C with a pencil before saying the word to check how it sounded. Then, they used thin markers to trace over the words. Some children traced every word, more struggling writers did just a few words.

Next, we read through the mixed reader together before they colored their own book.

After a break, the children paired off and read the Hard and Soft Sounds Book together. By this time they had a fairly good grasp of the concept of hard and soft sounds and used it to help sound out some of the trickier words they were less familiar with.

These free soft and hard C little readers are great for differentiating between the two C sounds.

Grab Your Download

Ready to practice hard and soft C too?! Click the blue download button below to grab your little reader books and then hop over and pick up our Emergent Readers Bundle, too!

Click here to subscribe

Similar Posts


  1. Hi Malia,

    Sorry I couldn’t find Hard & soft C little reader book on this page. Can you please email me a copy?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Jean,
      Thanks for reaching out. I’m sorry you’re having trouble downloading. We never want that. You want to look for the blue Download Now button at the bottom of the post. You’ll click that and enter your name and email. Then, the freebie should pop up right after that. Please check out our troubleshooting video HERE for help. You’ll also want to make sure you have the most recent version of Adobe Reader Other and that you’re allowing pop ups from our site. If you still can’t get it to work, you can email me at
      Ashley // Happiness Ambassador

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *