At the beginning of the school year, kindergarten math and reading focuses on the basics: letters, letter sounds, numbers, and counting. I'm always trying to come up with fun math and reading games to teach the whole group, small groups, and individual students — and what's more fun than a ball? Kids love balls. And so do I: they come in all sizes and textures, they're frugal and easy to find, and they get kids moving and learning. So these are the ideas I came up with. Read on for 12 insanely fun math and reading games with balls!
Number of students: Whole group
Skill: Letter names
Supplies: Plastic ball, string
Directions: Have students say the focus letters as they toss the ball back and forth.
Number of students: Whole group
Skill: Letter names
Supplies: Fuzzy ball
Directions: Have students say the focus letters as they pass the ball back and forth.
Number of students: Small group
Skill: Letter sounds
Supplies: Beach ball, beach towel
Directions: Make picture cards of the focus sounds and hold them up one at a time. Have students say the sounds as they toss the ball in the air with the towel.
Number of students: Small group
Skill: Letter sounds
Supplies: Soft Koosh ball, hand trampolines
Directions: Make picture cards of the focus sounds and hold them up one at a time. Have students say the sounds as they toss the ball in the air with the hand trampolines.
Number of students: Individual
Skill: Letter recognition
Supplies: Pit balls, cards
Directions: Write the focus letters on a deck of cards and on the balls. Have students sit in the pit and search for the balls that match the cards.
Number of students: Individual
Skill: Letter recognition
Supplies: Bouncy balls, magnetic letters, tub
Directions: Write the focus letters on the balls. Have students match the magnetic letters and the balls.
Number of Students: Whole group
Skill: Counting
Supplies: Nerf ball, basketball hoop
Directions: Hang a basketball hoop. Have students stand in a single file line and count the focus numbers as they each take turns tossing the ball at the hoop.
Number of Students: Whole group
Skill: Counting
Supplies: Bouncy sport ball
Directions: Have students take turns counting the focus numbers and dribbling the ball that many times.
Number of Students: Small group
Skill: Number recognition
Supplies: Hopper balls
Directions: Hold up a number card with one of the focus numbers. Students count as they hop that many times on the balls.
Number of Students: Small group
Skill: Number recognition
Supplies: Skip-It balls
Directions: Hold up a number card with one of the focus numbers. Students count as they skip over the ball that many times.
Number of Students: Individual
Skill: Connecting counting to cardinality
Supplies: White Ping-Pong balls, mini cooler, small plastic shovel
Directions: Make picture cards of balls in multiple quantities. Students draw a card and shovel that many balls into the cooler.
Number of Students: Individual
Skill: Connecting counting to cardinality
Supplies: Orange Ping-Pong Balls, beach/water pail
Directions: Make picture cards of balls in multiple quantities. Students draw a card and throw that many balls into the pail.
Check out my follow-up post, "12 Insanely Fun Math and Reading Games, Part Two Blocks"!
At the beginning of the school year, kindergarten math and reading focuses on the basics: letters, letter sounds, numbers, and counting. I'm always trying to come up with fun math and reading games to teach the whole group, small groups, and individual students — and what's more fun than a ball? Kids love balls. And so do I: they come in all sizes and textures, they're frugal and easy to find, and they get kids moving and learning. So these are the ideas I came up with. Read on for 12 insanely fun math and reading games with balls!
Number of students: Whole group
Skill: Letter names
Supplies: Plastic ball, string
Directions: Have students say the focus letters as they toss the ball back and forth.
Number of students: Whole group
Skill: Letter names
Supplies: Fuzzy ball
Directions: Have students say the focus letters as they pass the ball back and forth.
Number of students: Small group
Skill: Letter sounds
Supplies: Beach ball, beach towel
Directions: Make picture cards of the focus sounds and hold them up one at a time. Have students say the sounds as they toss the ball in the air with the towel.
Number of students: Small group
Skill: Letter sounds
Supplies: Soft Koosh ball, hand trampolines
Directions: Make picture cards of the focus sounds and hold them up one at a time. Have students say the sounds as they toss the ball in the air with the hand trampolines.
Number of students: Individual
Skill: Letter recognition
Supplies: Pit balls, cards
Directions: Write the focus letters on a deck of cards and on the balls. Have students sit in the pit and search for the balls that match the cards.
Number of students: Individual
Skill: Letter recognition
Supplies: Bouncy balls, magnetic letters, tub
Directions: Write the focus letters on the balls. Have students match the magnetic letters and the balls.
Number of Students: Whole group
Skill: Counting
Supplies: Nerf ball, basketball hoop
Directions: Hang a basketball hoop. Have students stand in a single file line and count the focus numbers as they each take turns tossing the ball at the hoop.
Number of Students: Whole group
Skill: Counting
Supplies: Bouncy sport ball
Directions: Have students take turns counting the focus numbers and dribbling the ball that many times.
Number of Students: Small group
Skill: Number recognition
Supplies: Hopper balls
Directions: Hold up a number card with one of the focus numbers. Students count as they hop that many times on the balls.
Number of Students: Small group
Skill: Number recognition
Supplies: Skip-It balls
Directions: Hold up a number card with one of the focus numbers. Students count as they skip over the ball that many times.
Number of Students: Individual
Skill: Connecting counting to cardinality
Supplies: White Ping-Pong balls, mini cooler, small plastic shovel
Directions: Make picture cards of balls in multiple quantities. Students draw a card and shovel that many balls into the cooler.
Number of Students: Individual
Skill: Connecting counting to cardinality
Supplies: Orange Ping-Pong Balls, beach/water pail
Directions: Make picture cards of balls in multiple quantities. Students draw a card and throw that many balls into the pail.
Check out my follow-up post, "12 Insanely Fun Math and Reading Games, Part Two Blocks"!