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Compound Words Activity for Preschoolers

Creating original materials was one of my favorite parts of Montessori training. One material I created is within the Blue Series and involves one of my favorite concepts to teach kids – Compound Words.

Kids will have fun learning about compound words with this activity!

Compound Words Activity for Preschoolers

Compound words can be a lot of fun for kids. Think about it. My five-year-old giggles when he puts two words like “butter” and “fly” together to make “butterfly.”

“Mom, how can “butter” “fly”?”

Jokes are a big hit with kids this age, and compound words play right into that love!

Putting two words together like “butter” and “fly” is more than simply fun, the exercise is a great one for reading comprehension and writing. Children will learn a great deal from having fun. Isn’t that the way it should be?

What is a Compound Word?

So, we have established that kids have a blast learning compound words. Wordplay, in general, is always a big hit. I love introducing this blue series lesson to kids.

How exciting to learn that when you combine two words not only do you have a NEW word, but you have a word with a COMPLETELY different meaning!

Mind blow, right?

Young child at the library

There are three types of compound words. First, we have open compound words, such as school bus, then a closed compound word, such as applesauce, and finally, a hyphenated compound word, such as well-being.

Compound Words List

I put together this list of compound word examples. And, you know? It was a blast gathering these examples for kids!

  • airplane
  • airport
  • antfarm
  • applesauce
  • armpit
  • arrowhead
  • babysitter
  • backbone
  • backpack
  • ballpark
  • ballfield
  • ballgame
  • barefoot
  • barnyard
  • baseball
  • basketball
  • bathtub
  • beachball
  • bedroom
  • blackberry
  • blackbird
  • blackboard
  • blackhole
  • blueberry
  • bluebird
  • bluegrass
  • bobcat
  • bodyguard
  • bookcase
  • bookmark
  • bookshelf
  • bookstore
  • bookworm
  • bowtie
  • boxcar
  • brainwash
  • bulldog
  • bullfrog
  • bulldozer
  • bunkbed
  • buttercup

Butterfly

  • butterfly
  • buttermilk
  • campfire
  • campground
  • cardboard
  • carpool
  • cartwheel
  • catfish
  • caveman
  • chalkboard
  • cheeseburger
  • cheesecake
  • chopsticks
  • classroom
  • clipboard
  • copycat
  • courthouse
  • cowboy
  • cowgirl
  • crabapple
  • daydream
  • daybreak
  • doghouse
  • doorway
  • doorknob
  • downstairs
  • downtown
  • dragonfly
  • drawbridge
  • drawstring
  • driveway
  • drumstick
  • dugout
  • dustpan
  • dustbunny
  • earache
  • eardrum
  • earring
  • earthquake
  • earthwarm
  • eggnog
  • eggshell
  • eggplant
  • evergreen
  • everyone
  • everything
  • eyeball
  • eyebrow
  • eyeglasses
  • eyelash
  • eyelids
  • fingernail
  • fingerprint
  • firecracker
  • firefly
  • firehose
  • firehouse
  • fireman
  • fireplace
  • firepole
  • fireproof
  • fishbowl
  • fishtail
  • flagpole
  • flashlight
  • football
  • footstep
  • footprint
  • golfball
  • groundhog
  • gumball
  • hairband
  • hairclip
  • haircut
  • hammerhead
  • handbag
  • handcuff
  • handshake
  • headlight
  • headlamp
  • homesick
  • honeybee
  • honeycomb
  • honeydew
  • honeymoon
  • honeycomb
  • hotdog
  • housefly

Housefly

  • humpback
  • iceberg
  • junkyard
  • laptop
  • lapdog
  • lightbulb
  • lighthouse
  • mailbox
  • mailman
  • matchbox
  • milkshake
  • moonlight
  • notebook
  • notecard
  • pancake
  • pinwheel
  • playground
  • playhouse
  • policeman
  • policecar
  • ponytail
  • quicksand
  • railroad
  • rainbow
  • raincoat
  • rattlesnake
  • rearend
  • rowboat
  • sailboat
  • skyscraper
  • spaceship
  • starfish
  • starlight
  • stoplight
  • stopwatch
  • sunflower
  • sunglasses
  • sunshine
  • tablespoon
  • tailbone
  • teacup
  • teaspoon
  • topgun
  • tophat
  • tugboat
  • turntable
  • upstairs
  • wallflower
  • wallpaper
  • watermelon
  • wheelbarrow
  • wristband
  • zookeeper

Compound Words Activity

This language activity is great because pre-readers can participate in the activity by finding the puzzle pieces that fit. Simply download this document, print on card stock, and cut. Laminate before cutting for safe keeping.

compound_words_post_feature

Invite the child to the activity. Place one word (or one-half of the compound word) on the left side of a mat or table. You can create a column to the left. The other puzzle pieces can be left in a pile for the child to access to find a match.

compound words activity for kids

Materials

  • Blue Cardstock
  • Printer & Printer Paper
  • Laminator
  • Scissors
  • Images from Computer (or elsewhere)
  • Compound Words

materials_compound_words

Images are on one side (for control of error and younger children) and words (for older children) on the other side of the card.

Approach

head_light_approach

  • Cut cardstock into cards sized to your liking
  • Cut words and images out

tooth_pick_images

  • Glue words on one side of the card and images on the other side
  • Laminate

image_word

  • Cut the cards in half in various “puzzle” patterns with one image/word on one side and one image/word on the other
  • Introduce to your child

tooth_pick_post

The control of error is the puzzle piece. I created each compound word to fit together with two puzzle pieces.

Use Concrete Objects & Images

My goal initially is to use these cards with concrete objects. I tried to choose compound words that would lend to matching with objects like “butterfly.” I can find a “butter” object and a “fly” object to use initially.

Compound Words Activity Collage

Compound Word Activity Extensions

There are many possibilities with this activity. Here are a few ideas for you to explore with your kids!

  • Create an artwork using one (or more) of the compound words
  • Illustrate and write a story using the words
  • Trace the words
  • Write the words
  • Match the words with the image
  • Match the words with objects
  • Give a child a bag of halves and strategically place the other halves around the classroom or home.
  • Go on a Compound Words Hunt

Resources Mentioned in this Post

Thanks for reading!
Marnie

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