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Word Family Spinners

Learning word families is a fast way to help children recognize a lot of new words quickly because they are groups of words that share the same sound and spelling. By learning the ending {-og} for instance, your child quickly understands how to read and write {dog, log, frog, fog}. This fun, hands-on word family game will have your kids spinning with excitement.


To play the game, you’ll need to gather a few things:

  • Several sheets of card stock. (The thicker, the better.)
  • A circular stencil.
  • A black marker.
  • Scissors.
  • A brad.
  • A printout of the Spin a Word printable (here).
  • A marker or pencil for your child.


First, draw a circle on one sheet of card stock.

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Next, write about ten consonant letters around the rim of the circle. Shown here: c, b, r, t, m, p, f, s, l, n. Cut out the circle.

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Cut several long strips from the other pieces of card stock and write one word family at the end of each. The word families {at, ip, ug, ot, ed} cover all of the vowel sounds and include several different consonants.

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Then attach one of the word family strips to your circle using a brad. Be careful to attach the brad to the center of your circle so that the wheel spins around evenly.

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Now comes the fun! Invite kids to spin a word and write it on the printable. Then, ask them to read the word out loud and decide if it is a real word or a nonsense word. If it is real, they will circle {yes} under the column {Is it Real?}. If it is not, they will circle, {no}.

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Children will then turn the wheel to make a new word that they will write on the sheet.

Play continues until all spots on the printable have been completed.

But wait! Once kids are able to read and write words in one word family well, simply detach the word family strip and add a new one.

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