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September 23, 2016

12 Insanely Fun Math and Reading Games, Part One: Balls

By Allie Magnuson
Grades PreK–K

    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!

     

    1. Volleyball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Names Volleyball

     

    2. Passball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Names Passball
     

    3. Blanket Toss

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Sounds Blanket Toss
     

    4. Trampoline Toss

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Sounds Trampoline Toss

     

    5. Ball Pit

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Recognition Ball Pit

     

    6. Ball Pond

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Recognition Ball Pond

     

    7. Basketball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Counting Basketball

     

    8. Dribbleball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Counting Dribbleball

     

    9. Hop Ball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Number Recognition Hop Ball

     

    10. Skip Ball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Number Recognition Skip Ball

     

     

    11. Snow Ball Shoveling

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Counting to Cardinality Snowball Shoveling

     

     

    12. Fire Ball Throwing

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Counting to Cardinality Fire Ball Throwing

     

    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!

     

    1. Volleyball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Names Volleyball

     

    2. Passball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Names Passball
     

    3. Blanket Toss

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Sounds Blanket Toss
     

    4. Trampoline Toss

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Sounds Trampoline Toss

     

    5. Ball Pit

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Recognition Ball Pit

     

    6. Ball Pond

    • 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.

     

    Fun Reading Games: Letter Recognition Ball Pond

     

    7. Basketball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Counting Basketball

     

    8. Dribbleball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Counting Dribbleball

     

    9. Hop Ball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Number Recognition Hop Ball

     

    10. Skip Ball

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Number Recognition Skip Ball

     

     

    11. Snow Ball Shoveling

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Counting to Cardinality Snowball Shoveling

     

     

    12. Fire Ball Throwing

    • 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.

     

    Fun Math Games: Counting to Cardinality Fire Ball Throwing

     

    Check out my follow-up post, "12 Insanely Fun Math and Reading Games, Part Two Blocks"!

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