My boys have been on a LEGO kick the last few weeks. The other day, as I watched them play, an idea popped into my mind: in addition to building THINGS with this favorite toy, they could also build WORDS.

Later that evening, I pulled out their box of Duplos {the extra large size gave me more space to attach letters}. On six of the 2 x 2 skinny blocks, I added a sticker with an alphabet letter (left). On four of the 2 x 2 fat blocks, I attached two alphabet stickers to make word families (right).

Scroll below for more, then for more word fun, check out our Editable Word Work Games in our shop so you can practice any word under the sun!

LEGO Word Families. Hands-on reading activity for new readers. {Playdough to Plato}

Since word families are groups of words that use the same spelling pattern, they were perfect for this activity. The word family {-AT}, for example, could be used to build the words {cat, bat, sat, mat, and rat}. Players would be able to build five different words simply by changing the first letter.

With the stickers attached, it was time for the fun to begin. I invited my 3.5 year old to build a word by attaching one alphabet block to the front of a word family block like this:

LEGO Word Families. Hands-on reading activity for new readers. {Playdough to Plato}

I helped him sound out the word: cat. Then I asked if it was a real word or nonsense.

“Real,” he replied. So we added it to a list of real words.

After trading the {c} for other alphabet blocks, that list was soon much longer.

Lego Word Families {Playdough to Plato}

We continued building and writing words for each of the families {-AT, -OP, -ED, -IT}. The hands-on practice was fun AND educational. A perfect combination.

Lego Word Families - Featured

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  1. I love this idea! I’ve seen other ideas with Duplos, but I like how this one does not require a permanent mark on the toy. My 4 1/2 year old is learning word families and is crazy about building, so this would be a great way to give him practice. Thanks!

  2. Great idea to use legos! Especially for those kids who love building. Thanks!

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