Finding a fun CVC word family activity for your kindergarten and first grade readers doesn’t have to be difficult.

Today, I’m going to share with you a word family activity that builds phoneme segmentation, fluency, and even fine motor skills.

Whether you are a kindergarten teacher, or parent of a kindergarten aged child, it’s important to know about CVC words.

CVC word family activity clip cards for kindergarten and first grade

What are CVC Words?

CVC words are 3 letter words, made up from a consonant-vowel-consonant pattern.

Examples of CVC words include run, fan, hit, and pat.

When kids begin to blend letter sounds to form simple words, they are becoming emergent readers. They no longer look at letters in isolation, but begin looking at a strand of letters as a word.

What are CVC Word Families?

CVC word families are a group of words that have the same vowel-consonant ending.  For example, the -op family would consist of words such as hop, mop, bop, pop, etc.

You will find most books for pre-readers are full of CVC words and sight words.

This simple text builds the child’s confidence before moving onto more difficult text in the years to come.

CVC Word Family Clip Cards

The word family activity that I’d like to share with you today, are CVC clip cards.

There CVC clip cards are a hands-on approach for kids to practice kindergarten and first grade phonics, phonemic awareness, and blending.

Your kids will love the novelty of these clothespin CVC clip cards, while engaging in early reading strategies taught in kindergarten and first grade.

What You Will Need:


What are Clip Cards

These CVC clothespin task cards, otherwise known as clip cards, are an interactive word family activity where the kiddos clip the CVC word that matches the picture.

This engaging pre-reading activity builds fluency, phoneme segmentation, blending, vowel sounds, vocabulary, and reading accuracy.

How to Use CVC Clip Cards

Students identify and say the cvc picture, segment the sounds in the word (i.e. fox /f/ /o/ /x/), then clip the word.

 The word choices have the same beginning and ending letter, but have different middle sounds.  This will reinforce accuracy with phoneme segmentation and middle vowel sounds.

I have used this CVC word family activity several ways.

Here is a list of ways you can use these CVC clip cards with your kiddos:

  • Morning tubs – Place the cards and colorful clothespins in a small container, or zip-loc bag.  When the kids arrive into the classroom, they can hang up their belongings, then grab this activity to work on while waiting for others to arrive.
  • Early Finisher Activity – There will always be a few kids who consistently finish everything quickly.  This is a great early finisher activity for kindergarten and first grade kiddos.
  • Centers –  My kiddos love working with clip cards in centers.  While you are busy working with a guided reading group, these CVC clip cards are perfect for a center of 2-5 kids.
  • Parent Volunteer & Tutors –  When working with a small group, or with kiddos one-on-one, parent volunteers and tutors can carefully monitor the kids as they blend and read the CVC words.
  • Guided Reading – Before reading a cvc decodable book, lay a CVC card onto the table, and have the kiddos say what the picture is.  Have each student read one of the answer choices.  This will give you a chance to hear each kiddo blend, and offer support when needed.  Then,  encourage the kids to try and write the word on a dry erase board.  Once they wrote the cvc word on their board, segment and blend the word one last time, and call on a kiddo to clip the answer as you demonstrate the correct answer on your own board.
Using colorful clothespins is an excellent strategy to use novelty with the cvc clip cards.
When I place cvc games for kids out at centers, the kids are automatically drawn to the the centers with the newest gadgets.

More CVC Resources for Teaching Phonics

Middle Vowels Clip Cards

You can also practice phoneme segmentation and focus on vowel sounds with CVC Middle Sounds Clip Cards. 
Although similar to the CVC clip cards shown above, these cards focus specifically on the middle vowel within a CVC word.
For example, rather than clipping a word, they kiddos will clip the missing vowel.

CVC Task  Cards

If you’re wanting the kids to write cvc words, you may be interested in CVC Task Cards.
While the clip cards are excellent as a grab and go center, these these task cards are great for having a concrete way to assess the students work.

Free CVC Worksheets and Activities

As a kindergarten teacher and Title 1 reading tutor, I used a variety of CVC word family activities.
These activities include clip cards, word and picture matching games, simple writing activities, CVC word building worksheets, decodable books, sound boxes, and more.
Before you go, here are a few blog posts you may enjoy:

13 Free CVC Worksheets and Word Family Activities

15 Awesome Teacher Discounts

20 Basics of a Kindergarten Classroom

CVC Word Family Activity