Free Worksheets Sight Words

Secret Decoder Mats: Fun CVC Word Activity

Students will have fun cracking the secret code to find the hidden words! This CVC Word Activity will get your students eager to practice beginning sounds. This is a great resource to have for early finishers or literacy centers. Click to download the free printable.

CVC Words Activity -this is such a fun, clever, hands-on and FREE phonics activity for prek and kindergarten age kids as they work on learning the sounds letters make! Simply print free printable with secret code #cvcwords #kindergarten #phonics

CVC Word Activity

One of the joys of teaching kindergarten is helping children develop their reading skills. It never gets old does it? One minute a child is painstakingly sounding out words and the next they are reading sentences.

I worked at a library for six years. Each year one or two of our kids burst through the door to proudly show off their newly discovered reading skill. We got really good at gathering around to exclaim loudly and offer affirmation. It was one of the highlights of the year.

In Kindergarten, some of the first words kids learn to read are CVC words.



A CVC word is one containing a Consonant, Vowel and Consonant. Examples would be cat, tip, jug, and mat. Many of them are three letter words, but some have more letters. The CVC refers to vowel and consonant sounds. Some of these sounds are composed of two letters. Examples would be swim, flag and skip.

We use CVC words with young learners, because they are easy to decode. We want new readers to feel successful, so that they are motivated to continue on. They are also great words for practicing a number of things like

  • beginning and ending sounds
  • long and short vowels
  • blending sounds

Learning CVC words builds a strong foundation for literacy, so we want to give our students loads of practice. We decide to create a fun activity that will help children practice some easy CVC words. Introducing our beginning sounds secret code CVC mats.

cvc word games

Sounds Letters Make

Before they can get started with this CVC word activity, children need to learn the sounds a letter make. Here are some helpful activities.

Once students learn the sounds the letter make, they can start combining them in words. CVC words use sounds that are easy to blend, so they are good for early readers and spellers.

These secret code CVC mats get children spelling by identifying beginning sounds. Children ALWAYS love secret codes, so why not take advantage of that to help them learn?

Kindergarten cvc words

CVC Word Games

These decoder mats will help Students practice three different skills

  1. Identifying the beginning sounds
  2. Matching the sounds with the correct letters
  3. Blending the sounds to read the CVC words

kindergarten literacy

There are 10 mats contain the following words:

  • Cat, hat, rat, bat,
  • rug, mug
  • can man, pan fan

As you can see you see, we will be practicing those AT, UG, and AN sounds. All while having fun. How’s that for an easy win?

This would be an excellent activity to pull out for a spy week theme. It is also a helpful addition to your literacy centers.

kindergarten phonics

Kindergarten CVC Words

Simply download the files and print onto card stock. I would laminate the pages, so they last longer. Then cut out the mats.

That’s all there is to it! Pair the mats with magnetic letters and you are good to go.

As this is an activity for beginners, the words are only three letters long. We have also been careful to make sure that the pictures are not ambiguous in any way. You won’t wonder if a picture is a Hen or a Chicken. A Cap or a Hat. Just to be completely sure, we have also included an alphabet sheet. This has all the pictures and their corresponding letters in one place.

Kindergarten Literacy

  1. Invite children to look at each picture on the mat and say the word aloud.
  2. Demonstrate how to look through the letters to find the one that matches that sound.
  3. Place the letter in the space below the picture.
  4. Once they identify all three sounds, they can read the word aloud.

It might be helpful to review the beginning sound pictures with your students before doing this activity.

LOOKING FOR MORE SECRET CODES? – 6 Simple Secret Codes Your Kids Will Love

what is a CVC word

At first, you may want to restrict the magnetic letters to those used in the decoder mats. These letters are a b c f g h m n p r t u.

For extra writing practice, children can write each word they make on a sheet of paper. Invite children to choose a few words and compose a sentence. They could also write a story that includes some of the words.

Older children may enjoy making up their own mats. Give them several copies of the alphabet sheet. They can cut out the letters and glue them to a mat.

FREE Crack the Code Worksheets - Become a detective and solve the case by deciphering the cvc words. These free worksheets will make practicing phonemic awareness, beginning sounds, reading, and spelling FUN! Simply download the pdf file with these free printable, Crack the Code Worksheets for pre k, kindergarten, and first grade students! Crayon CVC words Activity CVC Words Activity -this is such a fun, clever, hands-on and FREE phonics activity for prek and kinderfarten age kids as they work on learning the sounds letters make! Simply print free printable with secret code #cvcwords #kindergarten #phonics FREE CVC Words Bump Game -fun, hands on liteeracy activity for kindergarten age students #cvcwords #kindergarten #homeschool #bumpgame #education

FREE CVC Words Printables

free-planting-carrot-cvc-words-activity Christmas CVC Words on Santa's Sleigh- super cute, fun, and hands on reading activity for kindergartners #cvcwords #christmas #kindergarten Printable CVC Words Short A book to cut and paste for kindergarten and first graders Make learning to read fun with these super cute, cvc word puzzles free printable. Download pdf file and print template in color or black and white to practice building cvc words one sound at a time. These cvc word puzzles are such a fun way to start sounding out words and reading with preschool, pre-k, kindergarten, and first grade students. Use this cvc words activity to make working on phonics skills FUN!


Free printable lowercase alphabet cards to practice writing letters A-Z A to Z Alphabet Crafts - 26 super cute, step-by-step, alphabet handprint crafts for toddler, preschool, kindergarten, and first grade kids. Each also includes FREE alphabet worksheets for the hand art and to practice forming uppercase and lowercase letters. Perfect for letter of the week or to make a cute alphabet keepsake book. #alphabet #preschool #craftsforkids FREE Zoo Animals Color by Number Worksheets to help preschool and kindergarten age kids practice number recognition with numbers 1-10 #colorbynumber #preschool #kindergarten

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CVC Words Activity -this is such a fun, clever, hands-on and FREE phonics activity for prek and kinderfarten age kids as they work on learning the sounds letters make! Simply print free printable with secret code #cvcwords #kindergarten #phonics

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About the author


Sharon is the proud mom of three grown boys, a trained educator, and former children librarian. She draws on her years of experience as a parent and teacher to help parents to make the most of the time they have with their kids. You find her posts on


  • Im only sorry I hadnt found this place sooner! This has been such a significant help to my 4 year old with her learning letters and phonics! I was almost giving up hope.
    Homeschooling doesnt give public funding like school and this is very helpful financially as all the books are adding up.
    Thank you for your creative inspiration and making learning fun and appealing.
    I am more grateful than you know.

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