If you have a child in Reception you might have heard their teacher mention CVC words. You may have asked them what they mean, or you may have just nodded along.
Phonics is full of complicated terminology, but it doesn’t need to be. At Play Makes Sense we are on a mission to make phonics simple. Check out our Phonics Terminology page for a full list of simplified terminology.
What are CVC words?
CVC words are words with three sounds. CVC words contain a consonant sound, then a vowel sound and then a consonant sound. Vowels are a, e, i, o, u and consonants are the other letters in the alphabet.
Three letter CVC words examples:
Some CVC words are made up of four or five letters. They are still considered CVC words because they only have three sounds and follow the consonant, vowel, consonant pattern.
Four and five letter CVC word examples:
When will my child be able to read CVC words?
Children will be able to start reading CVC words once they are confident with a few single letter sounds. This will usually be when your child is in Reception, when they are four or five years old. However, all children are unique and develop at their own pace.
Your child will not learn letters and sounds in alphabetical order. This is so that they can start reading and writing as quickly as possible. The first 6 letters taught in our Phase 2 Phonics Activity Cards are s, a, t, p, i, n. Once your child can recognise these letters they will be able to read many CVC words such as: sat, sip, pat, pin, tap, tip, tan.
CVC Words Games
Once your child is confident with recognising a few letter sounds you can share the exciting news with them that they can now start to read words! What a momentous occasion!
Try this CVC words game:
1. Roll out some playdough and press magnetic letters into it to spell a cvc word.
2. Ask your child to say the sound as they pull out each letter.
3. Can they blend the sounds together to read the word?
TOP TIP: Encourage your child to say the sound of the letter clearly and ensure they are using only pure sounds. Are you now wondering what pure sounds are? To find out how to correctly pronounce each phonics sound click here to watch our sound pronunciation videos.
Writing CVC Words Activities
Is your child enjoying reading CVC words, but avoiding picking up a pencil and writing them? Firstly, do not worry! There are so many ways to write that do not involve a pencil!
Here are three activities to practise writing CVC words:
1. Show them how they can write in the condensation on the window, or in the shower.
2. When you are out and about grab a stick and start writing in the mud. See if they can copy you.
3. Give your child a paintbrush and a bucket of water. Challenge them to write CVC words on the fence, or on the pavement.
Our Phase 2 Phonics Activity Cards and Phase 3 Phonics Activity Cards are bursting with games and activities to practise reading and writing CVC words for reception (or when the time is right for them). Each pack contains over 40 activity ideas and are perfect for children in Preschool and the Early Years Foundation Stage.