Word Family Games – The Cat in the Hat Activity

Word family Cat in the Hat game

We’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss. Both of my sons love his books. They love the silly rhymes, the illustrations, the way he plays with words. I created a word family game to keep this enthusiasm going.

The game is to create word family “hats” like the Cat in the Hat’s hat.

Make Your Own Word Family Hats

  • Cut red and white paper into rounded rectangles to make the hat
  • Cut strips of white paper to be the hat brims
  • Optional step: laminate to make the paper sturdier

We’ve been reading a lot of Dr. Seuss, especially The Cat in the Hat and Hop on Pop. My 5 year old used the books to choose the words for our game. He decided on “all,” “at,” “an,” and “op” words. We’ve played word family games before using “at” and “all” words before, but the others were new.

We then called out words from each of those word families that rhyme. As we came up with words (some real, some, Dr. Seuss style nonsense), I kept a list. Then I wrote the actual words we named onto the red and white rectangles. My 5 year old is still a very beginning reader. Many of the words we used are sight words, and almost all of them are CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words.

I put down one of the hat bands, and scattered about 6 different rectangles with words on them from different word families.

We started with “all.” I put down the “all” band, and placed rectangles with “hat,” “sat,” “ball,” “wall,” “fall,” “call,” and “fan.”

He then chose the words that fit in the “all” family, reading them out loud as he went. He then stacked them up, Cat in the Hat style, alternating red and white.

We’ve played this game enough times that I’ve had to laminate the rectangles, because I didn’t want to keep making more!

Play with word families by building "Cat in the Hat" hats


Make it easier: You can adjust the game to build fewer hats.

Add a challenge: Race to build hats.

This was our contribution to the Virtual Book Club for Kids. This month we are reading Dr. Seuss books. Link any Dr. Seuss posts below, or share some pictures on the Virtual Book Club for Kids Facebook page.

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