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September 23, 2016

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

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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

• 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

• 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

## 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.

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