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Compound Words for Kids – 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 – Compound Words for Kids.

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

Compound Words for Kids 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 for Kids

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

  1. airplane
  2. airport
  3. applesauce
  4. armpit
  5. arrowhead
  6. babysitter
  7. backbone
  8. backpack
  9. ballpark
  10. ballgame
  11. barefoot
  12. barnyard
  13. baseball
  14. basketball
  15. bathtub
  16. beachball
  17. bedroom
  18. blackberry
  19. blackbird
  20. blackboard
  21. blackhole
  22. blueberry
  23. bluebird
  24. bluegrass
  25. bobcat
  26. bodyguard
  27. bookcase
  28. bookmark
  29. bookshelf
  30. bookstore
  31. bookworm
  32. bowtie
  33. boxcar
  34. brainwash
  35. bulldog
  36. bullfrog
  37. bulldozer
  38. bunkbed
  39. buttercup
  1. butterfly
  2. buttermilk
  3. campfire
  4. campground
  5. cardboard
  6. carpool
  7. cartwheel
  8. catfish
  9. caveman
  10. chalkboard
  11. cheeseburger
  12. cheesecake
  13. chopsticks
  14. classroom
  15. clipboard
  16. copycat
  17. courthouse
  18. cowboy
  19. cowgirl
  20. crabapple
  21. daydream
  22. daybreak
  23. doghouse
  24. doorway
  25. doorknob
  26. downstairs
  27. downtown
  28. dragonfly
  29. drawbridge
  30. drawstring
  31. driveway
  32. drumstick
  33. dugout
  34. dustpan
  35. earache
  36. eardrum
  37. earring
  38. earthquake
  39. earthworm
  40. eggnog
  41. eggshell
  42. eggplant
  43. evergreen
  44. everyone
  45. everything
  46. eyeball
  47. eyebrow
  48. eyeglasses
  49. eyelash
  50. eyelids
  51. fingernail
  52. fingerprint
  53. firecracker
  54. firefly
  55. firehose
  56. firehouse
  57. fireman
  58. fireplace
  59. firepole
  60. fireproof
  61. fishbowl
  62. fishtail
  63. flagpole
  64. flashlight
  65. football
  66. footstep
  67. footprint
  68. golfball
  69. groundhog
  70. gumball
  71. hairband
  72. hairclip
  73. haircut
  74. hammerhead
  75. handbag
  76. handcuff
  77. handshake
  78. headlight
  79. headlamp
  80. homesick
  81. honeybee
  82. honeycomb
  83. honeydew
  84. honeymoon
  85. honeycomb
  86. hotdog
  87. housefly
  1. humpback
  2. iceberg
  3. junkyard
  4. laptop
  5. lapdog
  6. lightbulb
  7. lighthouse
  8. mailbox
  9. mailman
  10. matchbox
  11. milkshake
  12. moonlight
  13. notebook
  14. notecard
  15. pancake
  16. pinwheel
  17. playground
  18. playhouse
  19. policeman
  20. policecar
  21. ponytail
  22. quicksand
  23. railroad
  24. rainbow
  25. raincoat
  26. rattlesnake
  27. rearend
  28. rowboat
  29. sailboat
  30. skyscraper
  31. spaceship
  32. starfish
  33. starlight
  34. stoplight
  35. stopwatch
  36. sunflower
  37. sunglasses
  38. sunshine
  39. tablespoon
  40. tailbone
  41. teacup
  42. teaspoon
  43. tophat
  44. tugboat
  45. turntable
  46. upstairs
  47. wallflower
  48. wallpaper
  49. watermelon
  50. wheelbarrow
  51. wristband
  52. 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 it on card stock, and cut it. Laminate before cutting for safekeeping.


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



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


  • Cut cardstock into cards sized to your liking
  • Cut words and images out
  • Glue words on one side of the card and images on the other side
  • Laminate
  • 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

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

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