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Compound Words – Types, Examples And Activities For Kids

Covering the basics of the English language from an early age is necessary to make kids proficient in English. Once kids form a strong foundation in the English language, they can easily excel in their academics, as all their subjects are taught in English. One important aspect of English is the type of words, especially compound words in English. Knowing English well is necessary not only for studies but in daily life too. When kids use compound words to express themselves, they create a favourable impression on their teachers or peers. Using easy compound words shows their command of the English language. So, let’s learn compound words and how best to teach your child these words!


What Are Compound Words?

Before we start to teach kids compound words, let us first understand what is the meaning of compound words. Compound words are words formed by compounding or grouping two words. So, two English words are joined to form a new word: a compound word. The new compound word has an entirely new and individual meaning different from the two words it is made up of.



How Are Compound Words Formed?

Now that we know what compound words are, let’s learn how are they created or formed. As the English language changed with time, compound words were included to name new things. Sometimes when two words are often spoken or written in association, people start to use them together. Compound words were also created by making a new word from such closely associated words. However, through this process, compound words are first formed for speech and then later used in writing—for example, the compound word notebook. Note and book are often used in association. So it’s no wonder soon they are combined to create the word notebook. Sometimes, compound words are formed to bridge a gap in the English language, like the word football. It was developed using words- foot and ball, two things used to play the game.


Types of Compound Words With Examples For Kids

We now know what are compound words and how are they created. Now, it’s time to understand compound words and its types. An important fact is compound words don’t need to be made up of only two words. Sometimes, a compound word can be formed by using more than two words.


Let’s know the types of compound words with examples for kids:

1. Closed Compound words

These types of compound words are the most popular and recognised. They are formed by using smaller words to make a new large word without any space between the words. A few closed compound words examples are:

  • Railroad
  • Waistcoat
  • Sunflower
  • Mailbox

2. Open Compound Words

These compound words are written with a space in between the two words used to form them. Despite the space between the words, they are still considered as a single compound word. A few Open compound words examples are:

  • Full moon
  • Ice cream
  • Living room
  • Hot dog

3. Hyphenated Compound Words

These compound words are formed like open compound words. However, unlike the open compound words, they don’t have space in between the words but have a hyphen. A few hyphenated compound words examples are:

  • Long-term
  • Good-hearted
  • Check-in
  • Mother-in-law

How To Identify Compound Words?

The English language has many types of words. And sometimes, one can get confused between words, as many multi-syllable words may seem like compound words but are not. To identify compound words, you can break the word down, and if you are able to get individual or separate and meaningful words after breaking, then it’s a compound word; otherwise, not.


List of Compound Words For Kids

Compound words for class 1, 2 and 3 kids can be a bit tough to understand and learn. Here is a list of compound words for kids:

Paycheck Firework Tablespoon
Newspaper Movie Theatre Superstar
Catfish Sailboat Dress Shoes
Bodyguard Waistcoat Lighthouse
Runway Caveman Starfish
Lifetime Toothbrush Moon Rocks
Uplift Railroad Needle Work
Strawberry Nobody Hopscotch
Crosswalk Goldfish Sunburn
Groundhog Fisherman Outer Space
Handshake Desktop Timekeeper
Keyboard Rollout Uptown
Spearmint Dropdown Candlestick
Rainbow Video Game Waterproof
Angelfish Tupperware Dustbin
Birdhouse Kickball Doorbell
Keyhole Firefighter Eyeball
Cupcake Ponytail Dragonfly
Gingerbread Moonwalk Skateboard
Itself Spaceship Underground
Airplane Schoolwork Needlepoint
Blueberry Work Boots Over-The-Counter
Upperclassman Superman Peppermint
Fishhook Tadpole Snowball
Tugboat Popcorn Daydream
Herself Hardship Grasshopper
Billboard Downhill Horseman
Doghouse Raincoat Throwback
Armpit Snowflake Mother-In-Law
Wallflower Bookstore Laptop
Underestimate Midnight High Heels
Goodnight Armchair Car Wash
Downstairs Baseball Tailgate
Timeshare Nightlight Beachball
Mindset Teacup Taxpayer
Database Extracurricular Fingernail
Airport Hometown Downpour
New-born Father-In-Law Worksheet
Stingray Water boy Starlight
Neighbourhood Necktie Solar System
Neckline Raindrop Bow Tie
Handout Bathtub Snowhite
Underwater Rock band Blackhole
Takedown Drugstore Firefly
Backpack Key point Brainstorm
Teaspoon Hamburger French Fries
Firecracker Mailman Needlework
Shoelace Racquetball Horseplay
Milkshake Handbag Football
Farewell Earthworm Earlobe
Grandchild Tailbone Busboy
Overestimate Textbook Show-off
Kickboxing Softball Teammate
Chocolate Chip Newsletter Boardwalk
Network Ant farm Watermelon
Dead-end Rawhide Hairband
Cabdriver Ballpark Moonlight
Honeydew Postcard Rocket ship
Pathway Bike Rack Sunroof
Redhead Headband Subway
Rattlesnake Hotdog Supercharge
Earthquake Notebook Cartwheel
Rowboat Crossbow Handcuff
Takeout Fishbowl Sunglasses
Redwood Without Homemade
Sunflower Drawbridge Jellybean
Peanut Soundproof Butterfly
Wheelchair Namesake Tennis Shoes
Footstep Chalkboard Policeman
Worldwide Schoolbooks Mailbox
Forearm Daytime Understand
Nosebleed Grandparents Ice Cream
Staircase Somewhere Thunderstorm
Scarecrow Passport Eyebrow

Simple Examples Of Compound Words For Kids

We understand that a compound word is formed by joining two or more words. To identify a compound word, we can split it into separate meaningful words. Compound words can be formed by combining nouns with nouns, adjectives with nouns,  or nouns with adverbs, prepositions, and verbs. To understand this, let’s see some simple examples of compound words for kids.


1. Noun-Noun Compound Words 

Examples of compound nouns are:

  • Sun, Flower = Sunflower
  • Cup, Cake = Cupcake
  • Rain, Bow = Rainbow
  • Snow, Man = Snowman

2. Adjective-Noun Compound Words 


Examples of adjectives with Noun compound words are:

  • Black, Board = Blackboard
  • Full, Moon = Fullmoon
  • Green, House = Greenhouse
  • Sweet, Heart = Sweetheart
  • Common, Room = Common room

3. Noun-Adjective Compound Words 

Examples of Nouns with adjectives compound words are:

  • Sugar, Free = Sugar-Free
  • Lap, Top = Laptop
  • Heart, Broken = Heartbroken
  • Life, Long = Lifelong
  • Home, Sick Homesick

4. Verb-Noun Compound Words 

Examples of Verbs with Noun Compound words are:

  • Living, Room = Living Room
  • Swimming, Pool Swimming Pool
  • Driving, License = Driving License
  • Bath, Room = Bathroom
  • Note, Book = Notebook

Compound Word Sentences For Kids

Some compound word sentences for kids are:

  • Michael, did you go to the bathroom?
  • This is the first snowfall of the season.
  • Why do you have a bodyguard?
  • I am going to the bookstore.
  • Rohit is practising cartwheels in the playground.

Easy Ways And Fun Activities To Teach Compound Words To Kids

Here are some easy ways and fun activities to teach compound words to kids:

1. Flashcards

Kids learn best with visual aids such as flashcards. You can teach them good compound words through flashcards of different words and pictures. Then test their compounding examples knowledge through flashcard games.

What You Need 

  • Flashcards with words
  • Flashcards with pictures


  1. Keep the flashcards with words face down.
  2. Keep the flashcards with pictures facing up.
  3. Ask the kids to flip a word flashcard one at a time and match it with a picture flashcard to form a compound word. For example – the word Blue with the picture of Berries will make the word blueberries.
  4. The kid who makes maximum compound words wins.

2. Match the cards

In this easy compound words activity, you can ask the kids to make the simple word cards and then choose the cards to make compound words.

What You Need  

  • Index cards /paper slips
  • Markers


  1. First, ask the kids to write simple words on the index cards or paper slips. You can help them with the word selection.
  2. Ask them to keep all the cards face down.
  3. At one time, a kid can flip two cards and make compound words.
  4. The kids will need to remember the cards to form words.
  5. The kid who makes maximum compound words wins the game.

3. Draw and guess

All kids will love this hands-on activity.

What You Need 

  • A black or whiteboard
  • Markers or chalks
  • List of compound words


  1. Divide the kids into two teams.
  2. Give a compound word to one team.
  3. One kid from that team will draw the pictures of the word for the other team to guess. For example – you give the word treehouse so that the kid will draw a tree and a house.
  4. The other team must guess the compound word from the pictures.
  5. The team that guesses the maximum correct compound words wins.

4. Guess the word

Modify the classic dumb charades into a compound words game.

What You Need 

  • List of compound words


  1. Divide the kids into two teams.
  2. Give a compound word to one kid from a team.
  3. The Kid will act out the compound word by breaking it into separate words. For example – you give the word snowman. Now the kid will act out snow and man separately for its team to guess.
  4. The team that guesses the maximum words wins.

5. Compound word creation

Compound words for kindergarten kids can be a bit tricky to learn. This activity is ideal for young kids.

What You Need 

  • Index cards
  • Markers
  • List of compound words


  1. Separate the compound words into smaller words.
  2. Help your child write each small word on an Index card.
  3. Now, make your kid match the cards to make a compound word and read it aloud with them.
  4. This will help them to memorise and learn the words.

When teaching compound words, remember that all kids have different learning styles and paces. Some kids can understand compound words quickly, and for some kids, it takes a bit of time. Engage them in fun activities and games to help them fully understand and learn compound words.

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