Empowering children around the world

Learn about word families using paint swatch

I love doing activities with my children that are educational, easy and fun. This was one of the activities we did together: Word families!

Word families are groups of words that have a common feature or pattern. For example:
Meet the “AN family”: t-an, p-an, c-an
or the “IN family”: b-in, f-in, w-in

You can use this simple craft to teach pre-readers how to sound out words and learn reading in a fun way.

If you do not have any paint swatches, no need to panic … Just use any materials you have at home, as long as you don’t mind writing alphabets on them.  Regular paper, coloured paper, clothespins, lego bricks, and plenty more.

What you need:

Paint swatches
Paper cutter or scissors

How to make:

Cut your paint swatches into single colour segment
You can search in Google for the full list of word families. Few examples: ab, am, an, ed, et, in, ot.
Write alphabets using a marker

Let’s learn word families!

An activity learning about word families such as tan, pan, can, using paint swatch


For pre-readers:

Use similar colour swatches for the word families (same colour are preferred) to help the kids identify “the family”. For example: if your kids are learning “AN” family, use the green swatch for both “A” and “N” letters. Use different colours for the other letters.

For readers:

Write each alphabet (A to Z) on any colour swatch. Practice with longer word families, such as the “ACK” family: P-ACK, L-ACK, BL-ACK and SN-ACK.

Try creating a rhyming poem together.

More resources:

For more ideas about how to teach literacy to your children, check out these great tips from educators around the world.

Word families list: Enchanted Learning

Free printable word family houses: The Measured Mom

Free printable word family books: This Reading Mama

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