CVC Words & Activities for Preschoolers

Now that your preschooler has mastered recognition of the letters of the alphabet and letter sounds, what comes next? The next logical step for your preschoolers is learning to blend letter sounds to make simple words. One of the easiest ways to do this is through the use of preschool CVC words.

What are CVC Words?

CVC words are short words that contain only three letters. The letters in a CVC word are a consonant, a vowel, and then another consonant. Some examples of the most common CVC words are those that end in the letter “t” such as “bat”, “cat”, “rat”, and “hat”.

Some words focus on short vowel sounds, while some use long vowel sounds. These words can be a great way to help your child practice recognizing and blending letter sounds.

How to Teach CVC Words

There are a few different ways that you can teach your child CVC words. One way is to use flashcards. The concept has been around forever, but it still works. Flashcards are great for a number of activities, too, like memory and matching games.

Learning how to separate and blend letter sounds is a foundational phonics skill that is key to a child’s independent reading journey. Because it is such an important skill for preschoolers, there are lots of great CVC word activities that make learning them fun.  

Letter Sounds

Before you begin teaching your preschoolers consonant, vowel, and consonant (CVC) words you need to make sure that they have a firm grasp on letter sounds, so they don’t get frustrated.

We want these activities won’t be nearly as much fun for them. They need to be confident with the sounds that short vowels make so that they can form and read the words that they are learning. 

One of the first steps in teaching CVC words to preschoolers is to practice reading CVC words, one letter at a time. This introduces the concept that words are simply a blend of letter sounds. CVC words are very easy to sound out so your preschooler feels like, and is a successful reader right away. 

CVC Words with Pictures

You may want to start with some preschool CVC words with pictures. This way the picture gives your preschooler a hint as to what the word is and how to say it.

You can use preschool CVC words with pictures in a variety of ways including flashcards, worksheets, letter matching, and fill in the missing letter activities. A fun way to start introducing preschoolers to CVC words with pictures is to use a  printable such as this one from Education.com.

This printable has a list of CVC words with pictures and your child can circle the word that is being said. As they become more confident reading the words you can start to mix up the order of the words and have them read without the pictures.

Games with CVC Words

Make learning CVC words fun for your preschooler, by making it as much like a game as possible. Be consistent and spend some time each day practicing, but go about it in a relaxed manner so it seems more like playtime than reading time. 

Teach your preschooler to listen for sounds in words. Once they have that first consonant mastered, focus on the short vowel sound in the middle of the word, and then move on to the final consonant sound. 

Repeat After Me

You can do this by showing them a word like cat. Say what does this word sound like, once they make the hard C sound, ask what the A sounds like, and then what the T sounds like. Then say it aloud together. 

If you are still working with your preschooler on short vowel sounds it is usually a good idea to work with a similar group of words together. So if you start with cat, your next words might be bat, sat, fat, mat, and rat.

Once your preschooler has mastered the short vowel sound for the letter a, move on to e, i, o, and u. 

CVC Words Activities for Preschool

Make sure that you give your preschooler a lot of practice with short vowel sounds. It can be hard for them to distinguish the different sounds at first. Printable CVC word worksheets and hands on short vowel activities can be very helpful here. 

Alphabet Blocks

Need a hands on short vowel activity? Take alphabet blocks or foam alphabet letters and spread them out on the floor. Now ask your child which letter makes the short a sound, and have them hand you the letter a. 

You can also practice consonant sounds this way. You can also have them use the foam letters or alphabet blocks to start spelling out CVC words. 


Play CVC I spy with my little eye with your preschoolers. Say I spy with my little eye a m-a-t and see if they “spot” the mat. Other appropriate CVC words for this activity might be pen, mug, cup, mat, or sun.

If you are in a classroom setting and some of your students have a CVC word name like Jen you can use them as well. 

CVC Matching

CVC word matching is another fun way to teach your preschoolers how to read the words. Print some preschool CVC words with pictures, and then print some flashcards with just the word. 

Help your preschooler learn to match the picture with the correct word by sounding out the picture like a cat. Keep reinforcing the sounds until they find the card with cat printed on it in letters only. 

CVC Worksheets

Finding the missing sound worksheets are another excellent way for preschoolers to practice their CVC words. This is a preschool CVC word worksheet activity. 

You can pick worksheets with pictures or without, or you may want to start with worksheets that have pictures and then move on to some without. Have your preschooler fill in the missing sound in a word like b _ t. This can also be a good opportunity to practice writing their letters. 

CVC Bingo

CVC word bingo is a great and fun activity for teaching CVC words to preschoolers. This printable CVC word activity can be done with pictures only on the bingo cards, with CVC words and pictures, or just the CVC words themselves. Play bingo just like you normally would, but know that you are reinforcing what your preschooler is learning at the same time! 

CVC Flash Cards

Give your preschooler some printable CVC word flash cards, with pictures or without, some magnetic letters, and a dry erase board. If you don’t have a dry erase board the refrigerator or dishwasher can work too. Let your preschooler spell out the CVC words with their magnetic letters. If you do have a dry erase board you can also have them practice writing the letters for the word underneath the letter magnets. 

Because CVC words are such an important part of your preschooler’s reading journey, there are lots of printable preschool CVC worksheets, games, and teaching CVC word activities. 

CVC Printables

You can find preschool CVC word printables for any season or theme that goes with what you might currently be teaching or the next holiday coming up. This means that you can give your preschooler all of the practice that they need to master this important skill. 

Get started by looking over these helpful CVC resources for your preschoolers. Start with the CVC A words, then move to the next set. You can grab the sets from my shop one at a time, in a bundle, or as a big bundle of all the CVC activities to make sure you’re set with a complete curriculum.

CVC I Activities

CVC Short I Bundle

CVC I Worksheets

CVC I Word Puzzles

CVC I Bingo Game

CVC I Word Puzzles

CVC O Activities

CVC Short O Bundle

CVC O Worksheets

CVC O Word Puzzles

CVC O Bingo Game

CVC O Word Puzzles

CVC U Activities

CVC Short U Bundle

CVC U Worksheets

CVC U Word Puzzles

CVC U Bingo Game

CVC U Word Puzzles

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