LEGO Word Families

Activity for ages 4 to 6.

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).

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. Anna

    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. Joe

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


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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!