If you are a kindergarten teacher or a parent of a kindergartner, you know you need to teach your kids how to read and write CVC words. If you are asking yourself, “what is a CVC word?” or “how do I teach CVC words?” then this post is for you! I am going to share what CVC words are, how to teach them, and fun activities your students can use in the classroom to practice reading and writing CVC words.

A CVC word is comprised of a consonant, vowel, and consonant sound. When a vowel is followed by a consonant, it is a closed syllable and makes the vowel say its sound. Cat is an example of a CVC word. Each letter makes its sound and is therefore decodable and easy for a beginning reader to sound out. Dog, big, pot, sun, and bag are also examples of CVC words.


Since CVC words are easily decodable, they help our beginning readers feel successful when learning how to read. Once your students master reading CVC words, they can start learning to read other phonics skills including magic e words (long vowel words), and words that have blends & digraphs (two consonants next to each other in a word).

At the start of the school year, I teach my kindergartners how to read CVC words without using any letters! We work on our phonemic awareness first so that we understand that a word is made up of letter sounds. I like to use these CVC sound boxes to help my student learn the sounds in each word.

First, we say the word and count the boxes to see how many sounds are in the word. Then, we say each sound on its own and push a chip up as we say it. For the word cat, we say /c/, /a/, /t/ and push up 3 chips. After we push up all the sounds, we practice saying the word “just like we talk”. I like to have my students slide their finger under the word or push a toy car along the arrow when saying the word.

To extend the learning, I will also point to each box and ask my students to tell me the sound each one makes or I will say “where is the /t/ sound?” and they will point to the last box.

It’s also a lot of fun to use magnetic bingo chips to push up the sounds, then sweep the magnetic wand across the sounds when saying the whole word.


Once your students have a strong grasp on phonemic awareness and know the letter sounds, you can start incorporating letters into their CVC words practice. Here are some of my favorite activities to use!

Muffin Tin Spelling

Did you know muffin tins are perfect magnet boards for building CVC words?! {And when your kiddos are ready for 4-letter words, just turn the muffin tin horizontal!} The magnet letters stick to the muffin tin too. Just add some oven mitts and you have a super fun center! You can download these CVC cards & recording sheet for free by clicking the link above!

Build a CVC word with magnet letters

CVC Play Doh Mats

Play-doh mats are perfect mix of fun and learning. Almost every kid loves to use play-doh and it really helps to build their fine motor muscles in their fingers. These mats are super versatile and can be used in a number of different ways!

CVC Magnet Letters

I’m also a strong believer in teaching my students using multiple modalities. Along with play-doh, we also use stamps, beads, and magnet letters to practice making CVC words. We’re all about hands-on learning! It’s really important to incorporate those fine motor skills in whenever you can.

Building a CVC word with magnet letters

CVC Word Builders

Cutting, gluing and manipulating letters to build CVC words is another great strategy. Word Builders incorporates all of those skills into one fun little activity! You can read all about Word Builders and try some for free by following the link above!

Stamping CVC Words

My students love using alphabet stamps to practice building CVC words. They’re great for letter recognition, fine motor practice, and they break up the monotonous “paper and pencil” work. 

I hope this gives you some ideas for introducing CVC words to your kindergartners! In my next post, I will share how I teach students to read CVC words.