Compound Words for Kids: Play-to-Learn Lists

Aligned to the Common Core Standards for reading foundational skills in kindergarten and early elementary. CCSSRF.K.3, CCSSRF.1.3, and CCSSRF.2.3.

When teaching English language sight words and opposite words for kids, we often forget to teach them compound words. Compound words are words that we use daily. They combine two or more words to form a new one with a unique meaning. Examples of compound words for kids should be easy for them to understand. If you focus on simple examples they see daily; it will help elementary kids develop their own expressive vocabulary. Scroll down for easy-to-understand examples for kindergarten and early elementary, compound word lists, and a few interactive play-to-learn flashcards and quizzes designed for the digital classroom.

Compound words for kids examples

What is a compound word?

What are 5 compound words for kids?

8 Compound Word Examples

Use this simple list to introduce the topic to your little ones. Read through the list a few times together. You could write the words down on a whiteboard so your early reader can see how the two words come together to form the new correct compound word.

  1. Backpack
  2. Firework
  3. Starfish
  4. Goldfish
  5. Cowboy
  6. Jellyfish
  7. Seahorse
  8. Pancake

Flashcard Checkpoint

Flip the flashcard by clicking on it and reveal the answer!

Top 5 Simple Compound Words For Kindergarten

This super simple compound words list is perfect for exposing young readers to compound words for kids. Use this list to inspire fun activity ideas. At the end of the list is a flashcard checkpoint quiz to check for understanding.

  1. Trashcan
  2. Bedtime
  3. Storybook
  4. Grandma
  5. Rainbow

More Compound Words For Kindergarten

grandpa strawberry
superstar spaceship
football ice cream
butterfly starfish
kickball doorbell
nosebleed scarecrow
sunflower rocketship
cheeseburger bedroom
railway toothbrush

Flashcard Checkpoint

Flip the flashcard by clicking on it and reveal the answer!

Fun List of Compound Words For Early Elementary

Use this fun compound word list to engage elementary learners and introduce them to the concept of compound forms in English. You could play around and see if they can develop their own compound word activities from this comprehensive list.

  1. Paycheck
  2. Sailboat
  3. Tablespoon
  4. Long-term
  5. Deep-fried

More Compound Words For Early Elementary

indoors newspaper
nearby playhouse
sunshine campfire
carpet yourself
popcorn dragonfly
outside lighthouse
dress shoes video game
understand eyeball
basketball everybody
honeycomb schoolwork
Mother-in-law Brother-in-law
beachball firefly
watermelon teammate
hotdog pizza pie
grandparents police officer
brainstorm classmate
bugspray railway
meatball wallpaper
eco-friendly earphones

Flashcard Checkpoint

Flip the flashcard by clicking on it and reveal the answer!

Compound Words Quiz 📖

Try out this free compound words for kids' multiple-choice answer quiz using the compound words examples from the word lists. Got a question wrong? Don’t worry. Press reset and try again.

What two words make up the word HOTDOG? Notice the order.

Choose the best answer from the choices below

Possible answers

What two words make up the word SUPERSTAR? Notice the order.

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Possible answers

In and side make what compound word?

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Possible answers

Fill in the gap. Out and _____ make what compound word?

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Fill in the gap. ____ and fly make what compound word?

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Possible answers

Fill in the gap. Ice _____ is my favorite snack!

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Possible answers

3 Types of Compound Nouns Kids Need to Learn

Learning compound words for kids is a huge step toward reading fluency and understanding what we read. They don't have to be difficult to understand, but kids must be exposed to all three types. Start slowly and introduce them one at a time. Once kids grasp closed compound words, they can move on to open and hyphenated.

What are closed compound words?

What are open compound words?

What are hyphenated compound words?

How To Teach Compound Words To Kids: Play To Learn Activities

Using fun and engaging activities helps speed up the process of acquisition in children. Because they play to learn as part of child development, utilizing activities and games will mean they're not even aware that they're learning, so you can play for a longer time without them getting frustrated. Here are some ideas to try at home or in the classroom.

Flashcards

Flashcards are an excellent resource to have on hand when teaching compound words to kids, especially because most early readers are visual learners. You can match the nouns to make a new word or focus on making compound words from adjectives and nouns. You can use our digital flashcards to fill in the gap or as a checkpoint quiz to check for comprehension in children.

Household objects

Use household objects to introduce the concept of compound words to younger children. Have objects on-hand like a toothbrush or hairbrush, or even show them an armchair and lipstick. This way, they can connect the words with the object. Write down the two words on a piece of paper, flashcard, or whiteboard and show them how they combine to make the word and object. They can also work on compound naming using the objects, a perfect, minimal-prep activity!

Art and Crafts

Plan a fun compound words activity using arts and crafts. Not only will children get to create something, but it can visually reinforce their English language learning. Use the compound words examples above to make some sunglasses, a rocket ship, or even cut-out images from a magazine, and make a collage. Kinaesthetic learning visually reinforces cognitive ability and helps kids keep concepts in their brains for longer.

FAQs

Have a question? Check out if we've answered it here. Want to know more about kindergarten and first-grade English Language Art topics? Check out our related resources at the bottom of the page.

What is a compound word for kids?

How many types of compound words are there?

What are compound words and examples?