Home » Reading » Fill in the Blanks Sensory Game for -err, eir, and -air Word Families

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In a recent visit from Babies Can’t Wait, it was suggested that my little girl start doing sensory bins. I have to admit I wasn’t to thrilled with the idea because of the mess. We tried our first one yesterday, and it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I decided to combine it with learning for the boys, and we actually had a lot of fun. I love it when my boys exclaim at the end of the game, “That was fun.”


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We spent most of last week playing Old Maid, Go Fish, and Concentration with word and picture cards for the word families -err, -eir, and -air. We also played a fun game where I threw the large, soft dice across the room. They would read the word while they were running back, then move a game piece to the picture that matched the word they read.

This week, we started with a word sort. C, my preschooler, surprisingly did very well matching the pictures with the word, but I had to help him a little with placing the words in the right column.

Finally, it was time to move on to our sensory activity. I buried all the letters (I printed off letters on card stock, but you can use magnetic letters if you have enough r’s and e’s) in a tub of beans and noodles.


It is much easier if you put in the letters first and then add the sensory item. You can use rice, water beads, kinetic sand or another sensory object.

We then spread the mats out in front of us, and C had his word sort as a cheat sheet. I had them close their eyes and dig in. Once the pulled out a letter, they had to decide where to put it.

At first it was easy, as there was many open spaces. As their mats filled out they found they had to really think through where to put it. I loved how it made C analyze the words, and he even started saying things like I need an e to finish off the word berry.


Since the boys are so competitive, they moaned and complained when they pulled out a blank letter and realized they were losing their turn. We would place those awful blank pieces aside, but if they drew a letter they didn’t need, we put those back in the sensory bin for another player to use.

It was a fun, easy game to play…and it didn’t make a huge mess. I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.

Get all the activities for these word families here.

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Get your FREE game HERE.


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5 thoughts on “Fill in the Blanks Sensory Game for -err, eir, and -air Word Families

  1. This is a great “fun learning” activity! Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from Practical Mondays Link Up 🙂

    1. rachelpeabody@yahoo.com says:

      Thank you!!

  2. swapna says:

    Have featured your printable in this week’s Practical Mondays! Thanks for sharing 🙂

    1. rachelpeabody@yahoo.com says:

      Thank you!! Thanks for hosting!!

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