Words That Start With R For Kids

, Staff Writer
Updated April 27, 2022
R words for kids example of rat
    r words for kids example of rat
    Maria Kv / iStock / Getty Images Plus
    Used under Getty Images license

The letter R is one of the most common consonants in English. Getting to grips with it is vital to learning language, even at a very early age. Teaching R words for kids means helping them grasp core linguistic concepts early and improving their overall development.

Preschool Words That Begin With R

With the youngest learners, your goal should be to get them to recognize the letter R and the sound it makes when spoken. In pre-k lesson plans for sight words, focus on words that young children are likely to be exposed to in daily conversations, as well as terms that conjure clear images for them.




























Printable Worksheet: Trace the Letter R

This R-word activity for preschool students is all about making a visual and tactile connection with sound. Use this trace-the-letter activity for your youngest students so they have a clear image and a literal feel for the letter R.

tracing the letter r practice worksheet

Printing letter r practice worksheet

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Kindergarten Words That Start With R

In kindergarten, it's time to start preparing students for elementary school. The most important consideration in kindergarten vocabulary lessons is to simply link the idea of a spoken word with written text.

  • rabbit: a small furry animal with long ears
  • race: a contest of speed
  • raccoon: a small mammal with mask-like face markings
  • rain: water falling from clouds
  • rainbow: an arc of seven colors that appears in the sky during or after rain
  • rat: a small mammal with long front teeth and a hairless tail
  • rest: sleep or relaxation
  • rice: grains or seeds of a grass used as food
  • rich: having lots of money
  • rod: a straight round stick
  • roll: to move by turning over, like a wheel
  • rose: thorny, many-petaled flower that can be red, pink, white, or yellow.
  • room: an indoor space for living in
  • rug: cloth covering of a floor, often decorated
  • rush: to hurry

Worksheet: Match the R Words for Kids

Young students will love this fun printable worksheet that requires matching words to pictures. For added enjoyment, allow them to color the pictures as part of the activity.

r words for kids matching activity

R words for kids matching activity

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Early Elementary: Words That Start With R

At the first and second grade level, focus on simplicity. If students already know these words, all the better. Reinforcement is very important at this age. It's important for kids to feel comfortable as they make their first attempts to read and write.

  • rage: intense anger
  • random: something that happens without a reason
  • raw: uncooked
  • reach: to extend, to stretch out to get something
  • real: not false, actual, a fact
  • really: actually, in fact
  • rent: to pay to use something
  • return: to give back
  • right: something to which everybody is entitled
  • river: a straight body of running water
  • rise: to move upward
  • road: flat paved path for walking, riding or driving on
  • roof: top of a building
  • root: the part of a plant that goes into the soil for nutrients
  • row: to move a boat by paddling
  • rope: thick cord made of twisted strings

Activity: Connecting Words With Pictures

Connecting words with images is still crucial for your budding readers. Give them pictures and let them pick out things like rooms, roofs or ropes. Reading and writing are all about connecting spoken language to reality.

Drawing Activity for Elementary Learners

Associating words with action and creativity instead of study and rote memorization is crucial to keeping kids engaged with the written word. Things like rivers and roads are tailor-made for drawing exercises. A trip outside to explore tree roots might also be in order. Consider encouraging students to draw what rage might look like.

Upper Elementary: Things That Start With R

From third grade through fifth grade, it's important to move beyond memorization to the context and creative use of words. Focus on ensuring that students can identify commonly used words is a perfect way to improve not only vocabulary but also to boost your students' overall literacy skills.

  • rant: an angry speech, or to speak angrily at length
  • ray: a straight line, often of light or something else bright
  • redo: to do something again
  • remodel: to remake, especially a house
  • represent: to stand for, to symbolize
  • research: study, gather information
  • reside: to live in
  • respect: to show honor to, to esteem
  • retire: to go to bed, or to leave a job after a long time
  • robe: a loose full-body garment that closes in front
  • robin: small songbird with a red breast
  • rodent: any of a group of small furry mammals with big front teeth, like mice and rats
  • rhythm: steady, repeated sound, usually the basis for music
  • riddle: word puzzle
  • roar: loud noise made by hunting animals to frighten prey
  • route: one way to go
  • ruler: a piece of wood marked at intervals for measuring distance

Auditory Connections

After all the emphasis on connecting spoken language to pictures, it's also important to remember that language is auditory. Consider using audiovisual supporting materials for several of these words. For example, a snippet of animation showing a superhero sending out a ray or an audio recording of a real lion's roar are both easily accessible and powerful sensory connections that will stay with those words in the minds of your students.

Link R Words to Literature

Roses, robins, rodents and rulers all have major roles in literature of all kinds. Pick selections and read aloud. For example, reading Emily Dickinson's Nature Poem 6: The Robin to your students may help their vocabulary while also allowing them to connect this type of bird to a time and place. Above all, it will remind them that language is something to be used, played with, written, spoken, and heard.


Rolling With R Words for Kids

The commonness of R is what makes it worth studying from a very early age. Studying things that begin with R as vocabulary just makes good sense for students from pre-k throughout the elementary school years.

Ready for rigorous review? Take a look at WordFinder's list of words that start with R. It includes words sorted by length and letters included, making it a really righteous tool for reinforcing R words! For more enriching vocabulary and classroom activities, words that start with S for kids in your quest to cover the entire alphabet with your students!