To get a better understanding of the letter U, today we are going to look at the ultimate list of useful U words for kids.
While U is a fun letter to learn, the U word choices for kids are, unfortunately, somewhat limited. However, don’t let that get you down, because there are still enough to give you some great U word options for preschool, kindergarten and elementary.
Also, be sure to pick up the free printable U Words for Kids Activity Pack available at the end.
What are the Sounds of U?
Before getting into our ultimate U word lists let’s go over the two main sounds of U. The long U says its name /u/ as in: mute, cute, use and the short U sound says /u/ as in: cut, cub, and rub.
Note: For older students, be sure to check out all the phonetic sounds of U for a full understanding of all the sounds that U can make.
The Sounds of U:
- Long /u/ as in: use, huge, cute
- Short /u/ as in: mug, rug, up
U Words for Preschool
As your kids work on letter recognition and letter sounds, expand your preschoolers knowledge of the letter U by teaching them more words that begin with U.
To prevent letter/sound confusion as your preschoolers are learning the alphabet, start with words that use only the short /u/ sound.
Here are some simple short U words for preschoolers:
Note: For more preschool practice with letter recognition, letter sounds, and prewriting, check out these printable helps: Printable Preschool Learning Folder, Preschool Daily Skill Builder, and Prewriting Book 1.
U Words for Preschool:
- Us – Do you want to play with us?
- Up – We hiked up the mountain.
- Uphill – She climbed uphill to get to the top.
- Under – I am hiding under my bed.
- Underwear – I am wearing blue underwear.
- Upstairs – My bedroom is upstairs.
- Umbrella – I need an umbrella because it is raining.
- Undo – It’s too late to undo what’s been done.
- Upset – The toddler was upset that you took his toy.
U Words for Kindergarten
The letter U offers us a few useful U words for kindergarten. These words include commonly used words, as well as, a few familiar objects. Here are some kid-friendly U words that kindergarteners use every day.
Words that begin with the short U for Kindergarten:
- Us – Our mom told us to stay in the yard.
- Up – It was up to us to solve the case.
- Ugly – The villain in the movie looked ugly and upset.
- Uncle – My uncle is my dad’s brother.
- Umpire – He was chosen as umpire.
- Upon – A frog sat upon a log.
- Under – I am curious what is under that rock.
- Umbrella – My umbrella is keeping me dry.
- Upset – She was upset when no one called her on her birthday.
- Underground – The rabbits burrowed underground.
- Udder – The calf drank from its mothers udder.
Words that begin with the Long U for Kindergarten:
- Use – I need to use the bathroom.
- Unit – We are doing a unit about insects in school.
- Unicorn – I wrote a story about a magical unicorn.
- Ukulele – My sister knows how to play the ukulele
- Unique – That is a unique piece of art.
- Useful – Make yourself useful.
- Uniform – I have to wear a school uniform.
- Utensils – My mom packed utensils for our picnic.
- Unicycle – A unicycle has only one wheel.
Words that end with U for Kindergarten:
- You – I’m glad you are my friend.
- Flu – I have to stay home from school because I have the flu.
- Emu – An emu is an Austrailian bird that can run really fast.
- Menu – What would you like to order from the menu?
- Thou – Thou art beautiful.
- Tofu – Jackson ate tofu for lunch.
- Plateau – The village was build on a small plateau.
UR Words for Kids
Ur is a somewhat common letter blend for U that makes the /er/ sound as in: curb, lurk, and purse. Here are more ur words for kids:
UR Words for Kids
- Fur – The bear had thick, black fur.
- Burn – Be careful not to burn yourself on the stove.
- Turn – It is your turn to be first in line.
- Surf – Ted likes to surf.
- Hurt – I hurt my finger when I smashed it in the door.
- Church – I love going to church because I get to learn about God.
- Curl – My mom likes to curl her hair for church.
- Burger – I ate a burger and fries for lunch.
- Turtle – The turtle slowly crossed the road
- Nurse – The nurse was gentle and kind.
- Purple – My dress is yellow and purple.
- Furniture – Our furniture is comfortable.
- Churn – Laura helped her mother churn the cream into butter.
- Curtains – She closed the curtains to keep the house cool.
U Words for Beginning Readers
Here is a practical list of CVC words that use the short U sound for your beginning readers. These are common three letter words that your students will easily be able to sound out while building their confidence in reading.
CVC Words that use the short U sound
Four letter U Words for Kids
Early readers will also benefit from knowing a handful of four letter U words. Here are a few helpful four-letter U words for kids:
U Words for Elementary Students
Being able to come up with multiple words for each letter of the alphabet is part of building a robust vocabulary. Here are some U words for elementary students to get you started:
U Words for Elementary Students
- Up – She let go of her balloon and it floated up to the sky.
- Use – I will use a pen to write the note.
- Urn – I saw an ancient urn at the museum.
- Us – God loves us.
- Unit – We will be doing a unit about North American birds.
- Until – We were best friends until he lied to me.
- Upon – Once upon a time there lived a beautiful princess.
- Uncle – My uncle John is coming for a visit.
- Unfair – I think his decision was unfair.
- Urchin – The urchins at the aquarium were interesting to observe.
- Uniform – My dad wears a uniform for his job.
- Unhappy – The unhappy toddler started to cry.
- Upset – My mom was upset when she saw that I had broken the lamp.
- Urban – We live in an urban neighborhood.
- Unzip – I mom helped me unzip my jacket.
- Unicycle – I wish I knew how to ride a unicycle.
- Untie – Will you help me untie my shoe?
- Unity – The class joined hands in unity.
- Understand – I understand why you cannot come.
- Underground – I did a research paper on the Underground Railroad.
- Ultimate – This hike has proved to be the ultimate challenge.
- Under – The dog pushed his ball under the couch.
- Underwear – I just bought a new pack of underwear.
- Universe – I love you more than anyone else in this entire universe.
- Uranus – Uranus is one of the eight planets.
- Ukulele – I play the ukulele and my brother plays the mandolin.
- Utensil – A pencil is my writing utensil of choice.
- United – They were united as the plan went forward.
- Upbeat – Her upbeat attitude kept the team going.
- Unlock – I will unlock the door when we get home.
- Uterus – A baby grows within its mother’s uterus.
- Usher – James was an usher in his sisters wedding.
- Uphill – It is hard to ride your bike uphill.
- Upward – Her gaze went upward as she watched the bird take flight.
- Useful – The information he gave me was quite useful.
- Unafraid – She was brave and unafraid.
- Unique – Her crafts were unique and stood out among the other vendors.
- Uplift – She tried to uplift his spirits by singing his favorite song.
- Unexpected – Loretta received an unexpected gift from her friend.
- Unbuckle – Please do not unbuckle your seatbelt until we have come to a complete stop.
- Unemployed – The unemployed doctor was seeking work at a local clinic.
- Understood – He understood the consequences yet he did it anyway.
Big U Words for Kids
For your aspiring students who enjoy learning advanced vocabulary, here are some unbelievably big words for upper elementary students:
Big U Words for Elementary Students
- Utopia – The story had a utopia type setting.
- Unselfish – The unselfish girl thought only of others.
- Unassuming – Her unassuming attitude made her a great learner.
- Undefeated – Jack was un the undefeated chess champion.
- Unlimited – We have an unlimited amount of funds for this project.
- Unabashed – He was unabashed to confess his faults.
- Umpteen – The preschool asked an umpteen amount of questions.
- Unbelievable – Her news was shocking and somewhat unbelievable.
- Unaffected – She was unaffected by the news.
- Underline – Underline the all the words that begin with U.
- Unbeknownst – Unbeknownst to her, he planned her birthday surprise party.
- Upheaval – There was an upheaval in the courtroom when the verdict was presented.
- Ultrasound – Rachel had an ultrasound so she could see her baby inside her tummy.
Nouns That Start with U
Now, for a few unique nouns that start with U. Whether you are looking for U words for kids’ show and tell or you just need some U words for school, check out these foods, animals, places, and objects that begin with U.
Foods that start with U:
- Ugli fruit
Animals that start with U:
- Umbrella Bird
- Upland Buzzard
- Ulysses Butterfly
- Usury Shrew
Places that start with U:
- Union City
Objects that start with U:
Activities that Teach U Words to Kids
(This list of ideas contains Amazon Affiliate Links.)
- Put Together a U Word Collage – Give your students some scissors, poster paper, glue, magazines, and a U word list. Have them cutout any words that start with the letter U and paste them onto their poster. Once they are done have them include any extra U words they can think of and also definitions, if needed, to complete their project.
- Play Bean Bag U Word Toss – To prepare, get a list of U words for kids and a bean bag (or small ball). To play, review your U words then set your list aside. Next, toss the bean bag to each other. With each toss, have your students name a word that begins with U. The first person to run out of U words looses the game.
- Read Books U Word Books Together – Go to the library or search your home bookshelves for letter U word books. U word books are ones that highlight a word or words that begin with the letter U and repeat it throughout the text. Here are a couple examples that our kids enjoy: Over and Under the Pond AND Up in the Garden and Down in the Dirt by Kate Messner.
- Printable U Word Activities – Printable U words activities can be great for learning letter formation as well as, building vocabulary. You can find free U word printables all over the place including right here in this post!
- Play the Blindfolded U Word Guessing Game – Using a towel or handkerchief, blindfold your students and hand them objects that begin with U and see if they can identify them. To switch things up, you could also hand then objects that start with other letters and see if they can differentiate.
FREE Letter U Learning Pack
Interested in the free U Words for Kids Activity Pack? This resource includes Letter U tracing cards, handwriting pages, and vocabulary, as well as, a U word list. For Access to this freebie, Join the Inspire the Mom Community and sign in with Grow for this exclusive content!
Get it Now!
What other U words for Kids do you like to use?
This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links.