U Words for Kids - Beginning Sounds

Words that start with U aligned to Common Core Standards for ELA CCSS.RF.K.3.

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U words for kids can be tricky, especially because, as a beginning sound, words that start with U are less common than other vowel sounds like E or O. U is one of the five English vowels pronounced like (Oo). Young kids in preschool and kindergarten begin to learn the short U sound first with short U words. Once they have mastered the most common words with U, parents, and educators can use this word list to move on to shorter, longer words starting with U, ending with U, and words containing this vowel.

This word list includes the most common starting U words for beginner learners, play-to-learn flashcards, words with U for preschoolers, U words for kindergarten, and some activity ideas for educators and parents to begin working on words with vowels for kids.

Words that start with U for kids, U words for kids

Most Common Words With U

Want to know the most common U words for kids? You can use this word list for kindergarten and preschool learners.

  1. Umbrella
  2. Under
  3. Underline
  4. Unhappy
  5. Uniform
  6. Unique
  7. Up
  8. Upon
  9. Upper
  10. Use

Play-to-Learn Flashcards

Educators can read out the questions for beginner learners, and students can answer the U words questions aloud. Flip the flashcard for the answer.

Words with U List for Preschoolers

Not all of these words start with U, but they are words that preschoolers will find in picture books and are aligned to the Pre-K DOLCH sight words.

  • Blue
  • Jump
  • Tummy
  • Turn
  • Unicorn
  • Us

Here’s a list of high-frequency words that start with U for preschoolers or have U in them. These U words for kids will help children build vocabulary and begin identifying the U sound in all kinds of words.

  • Bug
  • Cub
  • Cup
  • Four
  • Fun
  • Hug
  • Run
  • Up
  • You
  • Upset

U Words for Kindergarten

Go over this list of words with U with your kindergartener/s and start exploring. You can even write down some of these U words and dot them around the house; whenever you see one, point it out.

  • Clue
  • Funny
  • Ukulele
  • Undershirt
  • Unfair
  • Unhappy
  • Universe
  • Unlock
  • Uphill
  • Upside down

Unique List of U Words for Kids

Once kids have mastered the words with and starting with U above, try working on specific unique categories of words with U. For example, here we've got a list of short U words, Long U words, Words ending in U, and Words starting with U. These specific U word lists help kids to understand how the letter U changes depending on where it is in a word, and what letters are on either side.

Short Vowel U Words

  • Bun
  • Bus
  • Club
  • Cup
  • Drum
  • Hut
  • Mud
  • Plug
  • Pug
  • Sun
  • Truck
  • Up
  • Us

Long Vowel U Words

  • Glue
  • Group
  • Huge
  • June
  • Rude
  • Rule
  • Soup
  • Tissue
  • True
  • Tube

Words Ending in U

  • Avenue
  • Blue
  • Emu
  • Flu
  • Menu
  • Tofu
  • Tutu

Words Starting with U for Kids

  • UFO
  • Unicycle
  • Unit
  • Unlock
  • Untidy
  • Until
  • Upstairs
  • Uranus
  • Useful
  • Usually

Adjectives With U for Kids

  • Ugly
  • Unafraid
  • Understanding
  • Unexpected
  • Unique
  • Unkind
  • Unselfish
  • Upbeat
  • Useful
  • User-friendly
Vocabulary activities for kindergarten students

Using U Words & How to Teach Them

Interactive activities can help young children learn and understand the meaning of words with the letter U; here are some easy play-to-learn activities that can help make the process of building up the vocabulary of U words for kids more hands-on for educators and children.


Flashcards make for timesaver easy planning, but they're also effective. So with that in mind, focus on a few U words a week; you can make flashcards with each word or equally focus on sorting between long vowel U words and short vowel U words. Flashcards are extremely versatile and easy to plan. Once you have your flashcards ready, you can get kids to find the hidden word and say it out, put the flashcards in balloons and pop them, or laying the flashcards on the floor, and at each turn, kids have to jump to the words and say them aloud- the possibilities are really endless!

3D Words

Some kids need more hands-on activities; that’s where building words comes in. You can use any material like plasticine, lego, write the word in the sand, etc. Seeing these words on something much more interesting than paper will encourage kids to start identifying these words, help build their fluency and spelling, and strengthen their fine motor skills.


To practice sounding out words and strengthening speech pronunciation and production in kids' vocabulary try preparing a bowl of water with lots of bubbles. Have kids say words with U or whatever vowel you focus on in the bowl. Try to alternate between long vowel U words and short vowel U words and ask if they notice any difference in how the bubbles and water move.

FAQs with U Words

Have a question? See if we’ve answered it here.

What are words that start with U for preschoolers?

What are some short U words for kindergarten kids?

How is the U sound made?

What words make the U sound?