Compound Words Activities To Boost Phonological Awareness


These activities with compound words are fantastic for helping little ones develop phonological awareness. They’re especially great for preschoolers, Pre-K, and Kindergarten kids who are just starting to learn about syllables.

So, what’s a compound word? It’s when you take two smaller words and put them together to make a new word that has its own meaning. Think of “cupcake,” which is a mix of “cup” and “cake.”

Now, are compound words part of phonological awareness? Yes, they definitely are! They’re super useful in teaching kids about the sounds and structure of language. Here’s how:

  1. Splitting Words Up: With compound words like “cupcake” or “snowman,” kids learn to break words into smaller parts. This shows them how words are built from different sounds and pieces, a big part of phonological awareness.
  2. Recognizing Sounds and Syllables: Kids get to practice finding the individual words in a compound word. This is really important for their reading and spelling skills, as they learn to recognize different sounds and syllables.
  3. Easy to Learn: Compound words are often made of simple words that kids already know. This makes it a bit easier for them to start working with word sounds.
  4. Building Up to Bigger Words: Starting with compound words lays the groundwork for kids to handle more complicated, multisyllabic words later on, boosting their phonological abilities.

In short, compound words are a simple yet powerful tool in helping kids enhance their reading and writing skills through phonological awareness.

Compound Words Phonological Awareness Activities

I usually teach compound words before teaching kids how to count, pronounce, blend and segment syllables. First, I do activities that involve blending two words together and require the kids to guess the compound word, such as “cup” and “cake” make “cupcake”. Next, I work on segmenting compound words by asking kids to tell me what words they hear in various compound words such as “popcorn” and “rainbow”. I’ve put together a set of fun compound word games and activities that help develop both of these skills. You can check them out below.

Compound Words Games

The following games include fun motivators such as feeding a monkey and unicorn! For example, you tell a student a compound word such as “rainbow”. Then they need to say the two words they hear “rain” and “bow”, before getting to feed a cupcake to the unicorn.


<< Find these compound words games here >>

Compound Words Cards

When it comes to teaching literacy, I LOVE using picture cards! The following sets of cards can be used together in various ways. For example, you can use a segmenting card with a picture of “popcorn” to prompt kids to think of the two words they hear “pop” and “corn”. Another example, is showing the kids a blending card with a picture of “rain” and “bow” and asking them to tell you what word they make.


<< Get these compound words puzzle cards here >>

Compound Words Clip Cards

Another fun way to teach compound words is to use clip cards. With these kids need to look at the pictures, blend the words together and clip the matching compound word.


<< Get these compound words clip cards here >>

More Phonological Awareness Activities

You may also like the following activities:


<< Learn more about these syllables activities here >>

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