3rd grade compound words are great for teaching the understanding of bigger words. If a student does not know the meaning of the larger new word, they can figure it out by the meaning of the smaller words that make it up.

Free Printable 3rd Grade Compound Words Worksheet

At the bottom of this post, you’ll find a printable PDF 3rd grade compound words worksheet (set of 2). Printable worksheets are a great resource for parents. As former full-time homeschoolers (now hybrid homeschoolers), having access to useful products like free worksheets has been so helpful for me to teach my kids.

As kids get older, the vocabulary words they have to learn get bigger, longer, and more complicated. One building block to those more difficult words is compound words. They take the simple words they’ve already learned and sight words they know and learn to combine them to make compound words like playground and lunchbox.

Different types of compound words

  • Closed compound words: Two words are joined together to create a new meaning (firefly, softball, redhead, keyboard, makeup, notebook).
  • Hyphenated compound words: Words are joined together by a hyphen (daughter-in-law, over-the-counter, six-year-old).
  • Open compound words: Words are open but when read together, a new meaning is formed (post office, real estate, full moon).

Compound words are two small words that, when put together, have a different meaning than the original words. Like hot dog and hotdog, for example. Use the word bank below to help your 3rd grader learn compound words.

List of 3rd Grade Compound Words

  • Tablespoon
  • Firework
  • Newspaper
  • Superstar
  • Catfish
  • Sailboat
  • Bodyguard
  • Playground
  • Lighthouse
  • Waistcoat
  • Runway
  • Starfish
  • Caveman
  • Lifetime
  • Toothbrush
  • Uplift
  • Railroad
  • Strawberry
  • Hopscotch
  • Crosswalk
  • Sunburn
  • Goldfish
  • Groundhog
  • Fisherman
  • Handshake
  • Timekeeper
  • Desktop
  • Keyboard
  • Uptown
  • Rollout
  • Spearmint
  • Candlestick
  • Dropdown
  • Rainbow
  • Waterproof
  • Angelfish
  • Dustbin
  • Tupperware
  • Birdhouse
  • Doorbell
  • Kickball
  • Lunchbox
  • Keyhole
  • Eyeball
  • Firefighter
  • Cupcake
  • Dragonfly
  • Ponytail
  • Gingerbread
  • Skateboard
  • Moonwalk
  • Itself
  • Underground
  • Spaceship
  • Airplane
  • Needlepoint
  • Schoolwork
  • Blueberry
  • Peppermint
  • Superman
  • Fishhook
  • Snowball
  • Tadpole
  • Tugboat
  • Daydream
  • Popcorn
  • Herself
  • Grasshopper
  • Hardship
  • Billboard
  • Horseman
  • Downhill
  • Doghouse
  • Throwback
  • Raincoat
  • Armpit
  • Snowflake
  • Wallflower
  • Laptop
  • Bookstore
  • Underestimate
  • Midnight
  • Goodnight
  • Armchair
  • Downstairs
  • Tailgate
  • Baseball
  • Beachball
  • Nightlight
  • Mindset
  • Taxpayer
  • Teacup
  • Database
  • Fingernail
  • Airport
  • Downpour
  • Hometown
  • Newborn
  • Worksheet
  • Stingray
  • Starlight
  • Waterboy
  • Neighborhood
  • Necktie
  • Neckline
  • Raindrop
  • Handout
  • Bathtub
  • Underwater
  • Blackhole
  • Rockband
  • Takedown
  • Firefly
  • Drugstore
  • Backpack
  • Brainstorm
  • Teaspoon
  • Hamburger
  • Firecracker
  • Needlework
  • Mailman
  • Shoelace
  • Horseplay
  • Racquetball
  • Milkshake
  • Football
  • Handbag
  • Farewell
  • Earlobe
  • Earthworm
  • Grandchild
  • Busboy
  • Tailbone
  • Overestimate
  • Showoff
  • Textbook
  • Kickboxing
  • Teammate
  • Softball
  • Boardwalk
  • Newsletter
  • Watermelon
  • Antfarm
  • Deadend
  • Hairband
  • Moonlight
  • Ballpark
  • Honeydew
  • Rocketship
  • Postcard
  • Pathway
  • Sunroof
  • Redhead
  • Subway
  • Headband
  • Rattlesnake
  • Hotdog
  • Earthquake
  • Cartwheel
  • Notebook
  • Rowboat
  • Handcuff
  • Crossbow
  • Takeout
  • Sunglasses
  • Fishbowl
  • Redwood
  • Homemade
  • Without
  • Sunflower
  • Jellybean
  • Drawbridge
  • Butterfly
  • Soundproof
  • Wheelchair
  • Namesake
  • Footstep
  • Policeman
  • Chalkboard
  • Worldwide
  • Mailbox
  • Schoolbooks
  • Forearm
  • Understand
  • Daytime
  • Nosebleed
  • Grandparents
  • Staircase
  • Thunderstorm
  • Somewhere
  • Scarecrow
  • Eyebrow
  • Passport

How to Teach Compound Words

Kids learn differently and many learn better the fun way, while they’re taking part in enjoyable activities. So using different fun games and fun compound word activities will help your children learn and retain words. Use the free compound words above for these different ways to help your kids learn longer words at a 3rd grade reading level.


Most kids are visual learners. So, help them learn these simple compound words by showing them images of the words or flashcards. Once they’ve learned the words, test their knowledge using a fun matching game. Make it even more fun by making it a memory matching game. Turn all the cards face down and have them turn over two cards at a time. Have them match the image and the correct word to form the correct compound word. The goal is to find a word and an image to form a compound word. This is a great way to help kids learn to put the word parts together.

Hands-on Activities:

Fun activities are helpful for kids to learn. After they have a decent understanding of what compound word are, they can practice learning with a hands-on learning activity like Pictionary. Have your kids split into teams, one team can draw a tree and a house, which makes it a treehouse, for example. The other team will have to guess the word based on the drawing. 


Making crafts out of compound words is one of the best ways to get extra practice learning these words. Plus is can be lots of fun for kids. Use the list below to create something from a compound word. For example, kids could make their own handbag or bowtie. Crafting helps the kids learn and remember compound words.  


Young learners love playing with puzzles. Learning through play cultivates great critical thinking skills children can never have too much practice in. Create your own compound word puzzles that kids can piece together. Similar to the flashcards, use words, drawings, or both on puzzle pieces. These can be made in a variety of ways. Make them a little more difficult if your kids really have the hang of compound words, or make them self-correcting to help children put puzzle pieces in the correct place for those still getting the hang of it.

Once your 3rd grade students know the basics of compound words you can start to introduce them to new compound words. Young readers will begin running into a lot of different compound words at this reading level and there are always a variety of activities you can use to continue to help them learn. Another example is to have them point out compound words as they read books or as you read to them. You’ll start to notice your child pointing out compound words in everyday life. Then you’ll know it’s time to move on to different types of compound word work, like hyphenated and open compounds.

If you’re looking for grade-appropriate learning tools for your 3rd grader, make sure you download my free resource: 3rd-grade compound words worksheet (set of 2).

Download the Free Printable 3rd Grade Compound Words Worksheets

To download a PDF set of 2 free printable worksheets, enter your email below!

compound words worksheets download

Other Posts You May Like:

3rd Grade Summer Reading List

Best Age Appropriate Chores for Kids

Echo Mountain Book Review – Great Read for Kids 8-12 (and parents, too!)

Don’t forget to Pin this Post to Pinterest, and support our blog by sharing this post to social media!

compound words printable worksheets pinterest pin