The sound of the letter P, alongside B and M, is one of the first vocalizations children make. The jump from meaningless - albeit adorable - baby babbling to understanding and deliberately using real letters is no small feat.
Words That Start With P For Kids
We're here to help. Our master list of lists of P words for kids is designed for teachers and parents to help their kids both expand their vocabulary and develop a lifelong love of language.
Preschool/Kindergarten Words That Start With P
The voiceless bilabial plosive - that's P, to you, - is a simple, basic sound that fits simple, basic words. Our P words list for preschool and kindergarten emphasizes simple phonics and ideas your youngest learners will be able to grasp. Clear, concrete images and concepts will form the foundation of your youngest students' linguistic development.
- Pan: Flat cooking vessel
- Pass: To move past or to hand over
- Pat: To touch comfortingly with your hand
- Paw: The hand or foot of an animal, usually a mammal
- Pea: A small round green vegetable
- Pen: A tool for writing with ink
- Pet: An animal that lives with humans
- Play: To engage in an activity for fun
- Point: To indicate with your finger or an object
- Pot: Deep cooking vessel
At this age level, an interdisciplinary approach works best. When you're brainstorming letter P activities, be sure to make time for students to draw or trace letters and words, even before they're able to write. Those vivid images and the feel of shaping the symbols will provide the all-important sensory connection that makes literacy happen. We've developed a trace-the-letter activity with that in mind.
1st Grade Words That Start With P
First grade is often the beginning of literacy. Sticking with concrete concepts helps early learners understand the process of reading.
- Pack: To prepare your things before a trip
- Pair: Two of something
- Part: One piece of a larger whole
- Pay: To give money for something
- Pear: A sweet, wide-bottomed fruit
- Pest: Something bothersome, especially an insect or other animal
- Pine: A type of evergreen tree with needles and seed cones
- Pit: Deep hole
- Plan: An idea for how something should go
- Poke: To jab at, usually with a finger
Join these words up for active, kinetic classroom activities. Cut out paper "pears" and let your students "pay" for them with Monopoly money. Draw and decorate a pine tree as a group. As for "pest," we can only offer sympathy. But being active and creative with words, especially just as they're being understood for the first time, is vital to establishing lifelong active literacy.
2nd Grade Words That Start With P
Your 2nd graders are likely to be a step ahead of this list. Some of them might know every word on it. That's a good thing. To turn 1st grade readers into lifelong readers, reinforcement is key. Support their learning with this likely familiar list.
- Paint: Colored pigments used to make pictures
- Pal: Friend
- Palm: Flat inside part of your hand
- Pant: To breathe quickly, especially in animals
- Parrot: A brightly colored bird that can imitate human speech
- Plate: A flat dish for serving food
- Please: What you say when asking for something politely, or to make someone happy
- Pond: A small body of still water
- Pose: Position, especially of a person's body
- Pour: To make liquid flow out of something
If your students are already painting plates and - God willing - saying "please," make it a feature, not a bug. Engage your students in one another's learning. Make flashcards with a word on one side and the definition on the other. Quiz students using the definitions: "What would you call a small body of still water?" That sense of active comprehension, of being involved with the learning process, is a fundamental part of retention and linguistic development.
Also, we have a vocabulary flashcard template for you here. Type in our list or use your own!
3rd Grade Words That Start With P
This list is a definite, and deliberate, step up from the 2nd grade list in terms of challenge. Third grade is the point at which we think students are ready to start expanding their vocabulary and personalizing their word choices.
- Pale: Light-colored, fair.
- Pare: Trim down, usually with a knife
- Pearl: A gemstone made by oysters
- Person: An individual human
- Pilot: Person who flies an airplane or other vehicle
- Ploy: A scheme, a plan
- Poem: A written work that follows a rhythm, rhyme scheme or other set structure
- Predator: An animal hunting another animal
- Prey: An animal being hunted by another animal
- Print: To make a paper copy of a document
Several of these words main not be immediately familiar to your students. Make use of that fact. If you think some of your kids might struggle with "predator" or "pilot," try group charades. Let students volunteer to act words out, then gently help the crowd guess what they're playing.
4th Grade Words That Start With P
Fourth grade is the point at which we introduce the larger context of a word: its origin, its connotations, and its use in larger written works. We've chosen a variety of words, some quite common, some less so, to suit a wide spectrum of activities and teaching strategies.
- Party: Gathering of people
- Personal: Having to do with one person, not for the public
- Plank: Flat piece of wood
- Platform: A flat surface raised above the ground, usually to stand on
- Portrait: Painting of a person
- Prim: Precise, formal
- Prime: First, best or most important
- Private: Not public, something alone or with only a few people
- Privet: A thick bushy plant used for hedges
- Promote: To encourage or to contribute to the growth of something
We deliberately picked words with subtle similarities or relationships. Prim and prime. Private and privet. Planks make up a platform, both literally and figuratively. This is an opportunity for writing. Encourage your students to see how many of these words they can fit in one readable paragraph, or even one readable sentence. Assign words or let them pick from a hat, then let them write stories.
Minding Your Ps and Qs
For a simple sound, P is surprisingly important to language and learning. Fourth grade, after all, is only a whisper away from wrangling with predicates and participles and determining what is pejorative and what is praiseworthy. Vocabulary lessons like this are vital for kids to make the all-important shift from making noise to making meaning.
For more enriching vocabulary and etymology, take a look at our words starting with F! You'll surely be a fan of these fun, fresh facts!