Spin a Word Family

Learning word families is a fast way to help children recognize a lot of new words quickly because they are groups of words that share the same sound and spelling. By learning the ending {-og} for instance, your child quickly understands how to read and write {dog, log, frog, fog}. This fun, hands-on word family game will have your kids spinning with excitement.

And if you’re in the mood for practicing all kinds of words, snag our Editable Word Work Board  Games in our shop so you can practice any words under the sun!

Spin a Word Family


To play the game, you’ll need to gather a few things:

  • Several sheets of card stock. (The thicker, the better.)
  • A circular stencil. (I used the rim of my son’s sippy cup.)
  • A black marker.
  • Scissors.
  • A brad.
  • A printout of the Spin a Word printable (here).
  • A marker or pencil for your child.


First, draw a circle on one sheet of card stock. (It took me a couple of tries to make one that I liked.

Spin a Word Family. Fun, hands-on way to help children learn word families. {Playdough to Plato}

Next, write about ten consonant letters around the rim of the circle. I used the letters {c, b, r, t, m, p, f, s, l, n}. Cut out the circle.

Spin a Word Family. Fun, hands-on way to help children learn word families. {Playdough to Plato}

Cut several long strips from the other pieces of card stock and write one word family at the end of each. I like to use the word families {at, ip, ug, ot, ed} because they cover all of the vowel sounds and include several different consonants.

Spin a Word Family. Fun, hands-on way to help children learn word families. {Playdough to Plato}

Then attach one of the word family strips to your circle using a brad. Be careful to attach the brad to the center of your circle so that the wheel spins around evenly. As this picture shows, I didn’t get it right the first time.

Spin a Word Family


Now comes the fun! Invite kids to spin a word and write it on the printable. Then, ask them to read the word out loud and decide if it is a real word or a nonsense word. If it is real, they will circle {yes} under the column {Is it Real?}. If it is not, they will circle, {no}.

Spin a Word FamilyChildren will then turn the wheel to make a new word that they will write on the sheet.

Play continues until all spots on the printable have been completed.

But wait! Once kids are able to read and write words in one word family well, simply detach the word family strip and add a new one like this:

Word Family SpinnersWith one quick switch, you’re ready for a completely new game.  Enjoy!

Find More

For more word fun, check out our Editable Word Work Board  Games!

Our members get MORE!


  1. Rachel

    What an awesome educational activity! I saw this over at TGIF Linky Party and had to come take a peak. My 5yr old is working on blending so I will definitely have to try this with him. I LOVE the worksheet that goes with it.

  2. Beth

    This is such a good idea! I am always looking for new & clever ways to help my kids read more =-) I am featuring this at TGIF this upcoming Friday =-) Thanks for linking up & have a GREAT weekend,
    Beth =-)

    • Malia

      Thanks for the feature, Beth! I hope you have a fabulous weekend too.

  3. Tulip

    Really excited to play this with my daughter. She struggles a little with rhyming words. Thanks for sharing at Mom’s Library!

  4. Jamie

    You’ve made it to my Weekly Co-op Top 3 picks AGAIN! I’ll be featuring you tomorrow.

    • Malia

      Aw, you are the BEST Jamie. Thank you!!

  5. Connie

    Great idea for my writing centers.

    • Malia

      Thank you, Connie! I’m so happy to hear that the spin a word family activity is useful.

  6. Sarah Beck

    Thank you for sharing these great word work activities! We love incorporating your ideas into our word work center time at Creative Tots Preschool! The spinner activity is a hit!



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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!