Word Family Pull-Out Activity

Word Family Pull-Out Activity


After making the Toilet Paper Roll Books last week, I started thinking about ways that I could reuse my paper towel rolls too. After pondering for a while, I finally came up with a fun word family interactive activity using paint stirrer sticks as well!

The game is played by letting the child pull out the inside and create words by using a different beginning sound (onset) with a similar ending sound (rime). Words that have the same ending sound (rime) rhyme! :)

And in case you have no clue what “word families” are…check out this post on how word families help children learn to read. This word family dice game is a great resource as well.

Here’s what you’ll need:  paper towel rolls (flattened), paint stirrer sticks (they give them out for free at home improvement stores…but to be courteous, ask first), scrapbook paper, yarn, white cardstock, a gluestick, and a marker. Optional:  laminator and hot glue gun.

1. Cut the scrapbook paper to size and cover the flattened paper towel rolls using a glue stick.
2. Drill a hole through the end of each paint stirrer stick…be careful not to splinter the super-soft wood. I just used a screw driver because I couldn’t find our drill. Even if I would have found it, I don’t know how to use it. That’s what Prince Charming is for. :)
Paper towel rolls covered and holes in the paint sticks…check, check!
3. Add the “rimes” (ending of the word…that part that rhymes) of your choice of word families. I used mailing labels that I had lying around. Here are the word families I chose “ack”, “an”, “op”, “at”. 
4. Cut a piece of cardstock to fit inside the paper towel roll. Add the onsets (beginning of the word), with a large space between each onset. You could just skip this step and write the letters directly onto the paint stirrer stick too.
Optional:  If you’re having an out-of-the ordinary annil day like I was, laminate them.
5. Hole punch each one to fit on top of the paint stirrer stick.
6. Double hole-punch the top only of each paper towel roll.
7. Attach the onset to the paint stirrer stick using hot glue. Or you could have just written them directly onto the paint stick.
8. Run a piece of yarn through the double-hole punch on the paper towel roll and then on the paint stick. Tie. This will keep your children from losing the inside piece.
Get ready to rhyme for a real good time!




  1. I LOVE it. I have seen other word family games like yours using paint swatches but I hate having a bunch of pieces to loose, yours there is nothing to loose.

  2. I love this! I just don't use that many paper towels anymore…

    I made the dice game you mentioned. We now have dice everywhere.

  3. This activity is fantastic. I know my older son would have lots of fun with it and my younger son would learn how to use it sooner as a result.

  4. This is great! I would love to feature this on my blog. Of course giving you all of the credit.

    Home Ec @ Home

  5. I love the idea, thank you very much for sharing this, I know my daughter will benefit from it, and is fun at the same time :) thanks a million

  6. This is such a great idea. I have to start saving our cardboard rolls. Recycling was picked up today :-(. My girls will love trying this.

  7. How simple! I seriously go through nearly a roll of paper towels a day. (Sad, but totally true.) And my hubby would probably live at Home Depot if I let him… I’ll have this project done in a few days!! SO simple, yet that’s what our early readers need!

  8. so creative! Our first grade group is planning on getting together over the summer and work on things we have found on Pintrest. Need I say that yours will be on the list. Great idea! Thanks so much for sharing and posting the how-to.

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