Valentine’s activities are a great way to get the attention of young learners! I created Valentine’s Day CVC Word Building Mat for Kindergarten for our students to build decoding and spelling skills all February long! Your students are going to love the cute picture cards, and they will have fun identifying the sounds in each word. It’s an activity that sneaks up on our learners and they don’t even know the valuable groundwork they’re laying for stellar reading skills. And, teachers, it’s EASY to prep!

– Life Over C's Valentine themed CVC word building mats

Recommended Grade Level:

Materials for the CVC Word Building Mat

  • Paper
  • Laminating Materials
  • Paper Cutter
  • Dry Erase Marker

Learning About CVC Words in Kindergarten:


Exploring simple word lists with short vowel sounds or predictable word families helps children with two important steps in learning to read.

First, students gain practice and fluency in breaking words into individual sounds (phoneme segmentation). Next, students become more automatic at matching the sounds to the correct letter (phoneme-grapheme mapping).

An added bonus with using CVC picture cards at your Kindergarten literacy center is that students can also develop vocabulary and language skills by identifying the CVC words’ meanings.

The FREE printable Valentine activity for kindergarten features eye-catching pictures to help your students to read with ease!

Each mat provides an opportunity for students to:

  • Identify and name the CVC word with a picture
  • Break apart the sounds of each word
  • Identify which letters to use to build the word
  • Practice writing each letter/word on lined paper
– Life Over C's Building Valentine themed CVC words.

Why Is It Important For Kids To Practice CVC Words?

Your students will automatically engage with this fun Valentine’s Day Kindergarten activity. In addition to that, they will be gaining important knowledge of the English language!

Develops Fundamental Understandings: In order for children to be good readers, it’s very important that they understand each letter(s) represents a specific sound. Building simple words helps them understand that before they move on to long vowels and more complex patterns.

Complements Writing Development: Writing skills take time, practice, and fine motor development. Many children are ready for easy words to spell in Kindergarten, but producing each letter in writing is extremely tedious and difficult. Matching letters to sounds omits that step and gives kids confidence while their handwriting skills continue to develop.

Improves Decoding: Simple word-building activities contribute to later decoding abilities. When kindergartners play CVC word games and work with simple spelling words, they learn the steps to decoding unfamiliar words. Instead of guessing or looking at the first letter of a word, students inherently attend to each letter or letter combination (as they grow).

Enhances Spelling Skills: Teachers know well that great readers don’t necessarily equal great spellers! The more practice we give students with word-building, the better spellers they become because they realize the important connection between letters and sounds.

– Life Over C's CVC word building cards with dry erase markers

How To Use The Valentine’s Day CVC Word Building Mat for Kindergarten


This activity is easy to prepare! First, print the work mat and picture cards. You can use a sturdier paper for longevity, or you can use regular paper for an activity each student can keep.

Next, laminate the work mats and the picture cards. This step is optional, depending on how you want to use the activity. If you plan to keep it at the literacy center, I definitely recommend laminating the materials!

Finally, cut the CVC picture cards apart.

Kids will love this activity! To play:

  1. Draw a card and identify the picture. Place the card in the box at the top of the mat.
  2. “Stretch” the sounds in the word by saying each sound slowly.
  3. Build the word in the box by matching the identified sounds with letters.
  4. Use a dry/wet-erase marker to write the word on the lines provided at the bottom of the mat.
– Life Over C's Lists of CVC words for early readers

Extend the Activity:

Segmenting Game

Use the picture cards for a sound segmenting game. Children draw a card, identify the picture, then stretch the sounds in the word.

Picture Sort

Students can sort the pictures based on vowel sounds, beginning sounds, or ending sounds.

Differentiate by Ability

Feel free to adapt the word building mat to each child’s skill level. Omit the handwriting portion for those who are easily frustrated, or pare down the selection of word cards.

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– Life Over C's Valentine themed CVC word building mats
– Life Over C's Valentine themed CVC word building mats
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author avatar
Kim Staten Owner and Curriculum Designer
Kim Staten is a mother of four children ages 20, 19, 16, and 12. Kim has taught at the preschool, kindergarten and early elementary levels for 16 years. With extensive experience working with special needs children, including her own children with special needs (Rett Syndrome, autism, anxiety, and ADHD), she creates hands-on curricula and activities that are great for working with children of all abilities in the classroom and at home. Hands-on, accessible activities are her passion. 

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