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

  • airplane
  • airport
  • 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
  • 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
  • earache
  • eardrum
  • earring
  • earthquake
  • earthworm
  • 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
  • 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
  • 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 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


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



  • 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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