Word Family Game With A Letter Dice

word family game

Fun Word Family Game

What Are Word Families?

Teaching children word families is a phonemic awareness technique that helps children see patterns in reading. This is an important language development skill because it allows children to begin “reading” by grouping sets of letters within a word. To put it simply, word families (sometimes called “chunks”) are groups of words that rhyme. The first part of a word is called the onset and the last part of the word is conveniently called the rime. Word families share a similar “rime” as the onset changes.

Letter Dice Word Family Game

This fun family word game using a letter dice is perfect for children who already know their letter names, letter sounds, and are starting to put sounds together to form words (probably around ages 4.5-5). Obviously, this is not a game that I have tried out with either of my kids…but I plan to pass it along to my nephew who will start kindergarten in the fall. I currently only have two sets of word families, but plan to add more so be sure to check back!

Materials Needed:

  • cardstock 
  • printed copies of the game which can be downloaded here,
  • (2) 1-inch wooden blocks
  • a permanent marker
  •  laminator (optional)

Instructions for Letter Word Game:

word family game
1. Download and print the documents I created here. Laminate if you’d like.
word family game
2. Cut out the letter and word pictures.
word family activity
3. Write the letters for the beginning of the word pictures on the two different wood blocks.
word family game
4. Arrange the word pictures above the word family mat.
word family game
5. Let your child roll the letter dice on the mat and then find the matching picture.
word family game
Continue with the other word family group!
Store in a sandwich baggie for next time!
This post was first published 2011. Updated 2018.

Click here for more fun letter games & activities:

30+ Fun Word Family Activities

Word Family Game: Snowball Toss

Word Family Activity with Duplo Blocks

Word Family Game:  Fishing 

Awesome Sight Word Activities for Kids

Fun Learning Activities For 3 to 5 Year Olds


  1. Very fun game! My son will be 4 next month and has just started to want to read some words. I think he would love this game!

  2. Kelly,

    Ha, ha! You are so right…I've been out of the classroom for way too long. :)

    I made the necessary correction.

  3. Thanks! This looks great for my going-to-kindergarten-in-the-fall daughter. We'd play it today if I had anything to make the die. I recently found your blog and have really enjoyed the ideas, so much for both my daughter and two-year-old son. Looking forward to more!

  4. This is a great game!
    On my blog, I've got a contest where I'm looking for great literacy activities and games. I'd love it if you entered this one! To enter, just put a link to this game in our "Comments" area. The prize is one of three puzzles from Hasbro.
    Joyce Grant
    http://www.gkreading.com (Getting Kids Reading)

  5. This is great! I’m doing a post on word families and will be linking here. I was actually looking for one of your posts I saw on facebook a few weeks ago – the paper towel roll and paint stirrer thingies? – it says “page not found?”

    I love that you included free printables with this – it makes things so much easier ;)

  6. Thanks! I was just returning here to tell you I found it in your search results. I had clicked through google reader.

    Would it be ok to include one picture of each of the posts along with a link back? I’m not posting directions or anything, just a short description….

  7. This is a great idea! I’m pinning it so I can use it when my son’s a little older. I’ve found a lot of creative ideas for him through your blog- thank you for sharing!

  8. I was having trouble downloading the cards. It sent me to a strange site. Do you have a pdf file for this?


  9. I just wanted to let you know that I linked back to this blog post in my blog and used one of your pictures for the word families game. I’m new to linking blogs and usually take my own pictures. If you want me to change anything please let me know. I want to give proper credit and not step on any toes.

    Thanks for the great ideas.


  10. Hi Jenae: This is great! I wanted your permission to use one of the photos. This is for my ED 123 Reading strategies class. Our assignment was to find and post a word families activity, and I just love this one. Since citing sources is very important in this class, I will certainly cite your blog and first name.
    Thank you in advance for your help.

  11. This game looks fun to play! I like the way you used dice with letters– that makes it more interesting than just choosing letters to go at the start of word families, and is also great for tactile variety.

    1. Hi,I write from Ghana.I am establishing a reading club that will help everyone especially children learn to read.Currently i am collecting reading games .Id be glad if you could share your game with me through my e mail.

      We’d make sure you get your credits on our website and other relevant stuff.

      1. Good evening. I just stumbled into your superb article on teaching kids how to read with lots of funfilled activities. I can’t wait to try them out. Thanks.

  12. I just stumbled onto your page looking for the solar oven and I love your site. You have so much resources and activities that I can try with my children. I love this word family game and I can’t wait to try it out with my daughter.
    Thank you again!

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