Words Ending in -eir -air and -err | 5 Free Activities to Teach Air Words

Words Ending in -eir -air and -err

To help students learn the -air word families, I created these free PDF word cards. And, I’m including several games and activities to help reinforce learning of the -air, -eir and -err sound. Sure, they all sound the same, but to little ones, it sure can be confusing!

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There are over five ways to use these bright, colorful cards that will get kids reading and spelling these tricky words.

Grab these err, eir, and air word family cards. There are over five ways to use these bright, colorful cards that will get kids reading and spelling these tricky words.

I’m so excited to offer you another free printable to work on phonics skills. Though I love creating math activities, I must admit I’m having lots of fun with the word study and phonics.

Learning -air Word Families

This week I will be working on the word families – eir, -err, and -air with my oldest. My kindergartner will definitely join in, and begin picking up on the sounds. Though this is just previewing material for the future. I don’t expect him to learn it….he just likes to join in.

Most of these games require very little prep. Just print the cards out on card stock (so the pictures and words don’t show through on the back), cut out, and you are ready to go. For center activities and to get long term use out of these, I recommend laminating them.

So what will my class be doing with these free printables? Here is how we are going to use these PDFs to help reinforce phonics for -eir -err and -air.

Concentration Game eir air err

Most children and their teachers have played this game at some time, and my children love it. All you have to do is place the cards face down on a table, and have the children turn over two cards at a time. If the words and pictures match, they get to keep those cards.

Some play that if you get a match, you get to take another turn. You can decide if you want to play by that rule or not. When all matches have been made, the person with the most cards wins.

To really make sure learning is happening, I will be requiring my kiddos to read the words aloud or say the word that describes the picture every time they turn a card over.

Go Fish with eir air err Words

For this game, print out two sets of the free printable. Since there are not a ton of cards I would limit this game to two people. Each person will get five cards, and the rest will go face down in the middle of the table. If they have any matches they may immediately lay those cards down in front of them.

child learning air eir and err words by playing a phonics game

Player one then asks player two if they have a certain card. They sill need to be specific. Do you have the picture of a heir, the one with the king and his son? Do you have the word heir, the one with spelled “heir”?

If player two does not have what was asked for, he/she will say “Go Fish.” Player one draws from the pile. If he/she has a match to that card then they may lay those cards in front of him. It is then player two’s turn, and the same routine is done.

The game ends when a player runs out of cards.

Old Maid

In this game, all the cards are passed out to the players, plus the picture of the little girl. Each player may or may not have the same number of cards in their hands, and that is ok.

I would recommend making this a three or foursome game. To do this, make two copies of the free printable. You only need one picture of the little girl.

The game begins with each player laying down any matches they may have in their hand. Player one then picks a card out of any other player’s hand. If he has a match to that card, he may lay those two cards down in front of him.

This pattern continues, giving each player a chance to pick a card out of anyone’s hand. The game ends when all cards are matched up, and one person is left with the little girl. That player is the loser.

Spell It with -air -eir -err

This is a simple activity, but so important.

Place the cards on a cookie sheet with magnetic letters, or even just place the cards on the table and have each student spell the words with foam letters.

I wouldn’t do this activity till the students had played a lot of the games and have become familiar with the words, but it is an important skill to work on.


A Game to learn -err -eir -air

Last but not least, is a cute board game. Simply put the six words on the game sheet into a large die with inserts. The student must read the word and move up to the first picture that corresponds with the word they read.

The game is over when a player rolls a word and there isn’t another picture to move up to. They may then move to the END space.


game to learn air word families

I hope you enjoy playing with these cards as much as we have!

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