Three Letter Words for Kindergarten Reading Practice

, Staff Writer
Updated July 20, 2020
Kindergartener reading book
    Kindergartener reading book
    Rattanasak Khuentana / EyeEm / Getty Images

Learning how to read is tough. There are so many different aspects that kindergarten students need to learn. To help young readers along, you can introduce them to three-letter words for kids like CVC words and beginning sight words.

Three Letter Words for Kids

When it comes to common three-letter words that your young readers and writers will encounter in kindergarten, by far the most common are CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words. Check out some common CVC words with the vowels A, E, I, O, and U.

CVC Words With A

CVC words that use the vowel “a” will have a short “a” sound. The most common that early readers are introduced to is the word “cat.” But there are several other CVC words with the vowel “a.” These include:

  • mat
  • bat
  • tag
  • bag
  • fan
  • man
  • gas
  • ram
  • yam
  • rat
  • can
  • tan
  • mad
  • bad
  • sad

For practice with CVC words with the short “a” sound, have your students find the rhyming words in groups by trying this printable. Not only will kindergarteners get practice reading words like “mad” and “bad,” but they will start to notice rhyming patterns. For example, can they identify the two rhyming words and one that sounds different in this set?

  • mat, bat, sad
Three letter words with vowel a

Three letter words vowel

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CVC Words With E

Early reading words with the vowel “e” make that nice short vowel sound of “eh” like in “pen” or “men.” A few other three-letter words for kids with the vowel “e” include:

  • ten
  • den
  • wed
  • bed
  • yes
  • keg
  • beg
  • hem
  • web
  • get
  • let
  • net
  • pet
  • peg
  • leg

For more practice with three-letter words with the vowel “e,” students can write the word and color the picture. Just download the printable to get started.

Three letter words with vowel e

Three letter words vowel e

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CVC Words With I

When it comes to the vowel “i,” you can have a little fun with your three-letter words. Not only will you look at words like “sin” and “bin,” but there are a lot of other fun words for your little readers.

  • pin
  • tin
  • him
  • pig
  • did
  • zip
  • rim
  • rid
  • wig
  • fin
  • kid
  • rip
  • win
  • big
  • dig

Activities are great to push early learners and help them to understand words. Try this printable to get them reading new three-letter words with the vowel “i” by matching them to a picture. They are really working on their reading skills now!

Three letter words with vowel i

Three letter words vowel i

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CVC Words With O

The vowel “o” is a fun one. There are a lot of different CVC words that early readers might come across in beginner books. Explore a few three-letter words with “o” for kindergarteners to practice.

  • dog
  • top
  • mop
  • got
  • not
  • log
  • fox
  • box
  • lot
  • hog
  • hot
  • cot
  • dot
  • you
  • sob

To practice reading words, ask your kindergarteners to read the word and draw a picture in this printable. Not only will they really enjoy creating the picture, but they won’t realize that they are doing school work!

CVC Words With U

Knowing words with the vowel “u” are great if you happen to “cut” your finger or if you are planning to go for a “run.” Learn a few other fun CVC words with the short “u” vowel sound like:

  • rug
  • bug
  • tug
  • mug
  • rub
  • gum
  • cup
  • bun
  • sun
  • fun
  • tub
  • hug
  • bus
  • pup
  • pun

Now, your beginning readers have a few three-letter words under their belts. So, it is time to allow them to practice their reading through some fun and short fill in the blank sentences. The pictures will help them to select the right words through sentences like:

  1. We __________ home.
  2. I rode the __________.
  3. I drink from a __________.
  4. The __________ is warm.
  5. The pool is __________.

Three Letter Sight Words for Kindergarteners

CVC words are very important when it comes to early reading. However, they aren’t the only words that early readers should know. There are several important sight words that you’ll want to introduce them to. You might put these on flashcards or just practice writing them on paper.

  • all
  • and
  • any
  • are
  • but
  • day
  • for
  • had
  • has
  • her
  • his
  • how
  • its
  • let
  • now
  • say
  • she
  • the
  • too
  • use
  • was
  • way
  • who

Congratulations! Your early readers have a solid foundation for reading!

Reading Practice for Kindergarteners

Learning word groups and sight words are great practice for early readers to gain a foundation for reading. Introducing three-letter words is just one step. To really challenge them, you can try CCVC word lists next.