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November 17, 2016

# 12 Insanely Fun Math and Reading Games, Part Two: Blocks

This post follows up "12 Insanely Fun Math and Reading Games, Part One: Balls."

Now that we're moving on to more advanced math and reading skills, I've turned to blocks as my all-purpose item for making games. Blocks encourage playful, hands-on learning. They come in many shapes, sizes, and types; you can also improvise and make your own. Almost all blocks are durable enough to last forever, and can be used for everything. Plus, kids love them. In other words, they are the perfect classroom resource.

So without further ado, here are 12 more math and reading games for the whole group, small groups, and individual students. Now you finally have an academic reason to break out those blocks!

## 1. Rhyming Block Matching

• Number of students: Whole group

• Skill: Rhyming

• Supplies: Picture blocks, paper

• Directions: On a large piece of paper, draw pictures that rhyme with those on the picture blocks. Lay the paper on the floor. Give each student a block, and invite them all to find their matching rhyme.

• Number of students: Whole group

• Skill: Rhyming

• Supplies: Picture domino blocks

• Directions: Each student gets a block. One student starts by setting their block on the floor. Those who have the matching rhymes connect their dominoes, and so on. Played just like regular dominoes, except with rhyming words instead of numbers.

## 3. Beginning Letter Block Groups

• Number of students: Small group

• Skill: Beginning sounds

• Supplies: Alphabet blocks

• Directions: Set out two blocks that make a word ending, and have students search for a block that makes the beginning sound. Repeat with different word families.

## 4. Beginning Letter Block Pairs

• Number of students: Small group

• Skill: Beginning sounds

• Supplies: Alphabet puzzle blocks

• Directions: Take the letter half of each block and spread them all out on the table. Give students the picture halves and tell them to find the beginning sounds to fit the blocks and complete the puzzle.

## 5. Syllable Block Segmenting

• Number of students: Individual

• Skill: Syllables

• Supplies: Large interconnecting blocks

• Directions: Write a one-, two-, or three-syllable word on a rectangular block. On top, students attach the number of blocks to match the number of syllables.

## 6. Syllable Block Blending

• Number of students: Individual

• Skill: Syllables

• Supplies: Small interconnecting blocks

• Directions: Segment one-, two-, or three-syllable words onto separate blocks. Students find the parts to make a word and combine them horizontally. (To add variety, use words that could be combined in multiple ways. See how many different words you can form with these!)

## 7. Positional Block Search

• Number of students: Whole group

• Skill: Positional words

• Supplies: Large colored blocks, cards with positional words and colors

• Directions: Using positional word cards, students find blocks hidden around the room.

## 8. Positional Block Placement

• Number of students: Whole group

• Skill: Positional words

• Supplies: Small colored blocks, die with positional words, two dice with colors

• Directions: Students roll the dice and place blocks accordingly, describing their actions as they do so (e.g., "I am placing the purple block on top of the blue block.")

## 9. Shape Block Matching

• Number of students: Small group

• Skill: Shapes

• Supplies: 2D geometric blocks of different sizes and colors, drawstring bag

• Directions: Draw different sizes of each shape on butcher paper, and color them the same as the blocks. Put the blocks in the drawstring pouch. Students pull them out one at a time and match them according to their attributes.

## 10. Shape Block Stacking, Sliding, and Rolling

• Number of students: Small group

• Skill: Shapes

• Supplies: 3D geometric blocks, anything that can make the blocks stack, slide, and roll

• Directions: Students find out which shapes stack, slide, and/or roll based on their attributes.

11. Sorting Block Sizes

• Number of students: Individual

• Skill: Classifying and sorting

• Supplies: Wooden blocks of different sizes

• Directions: Students sort blocks according to size

## 12. Sorting Block Shapes

• Number of students: Individual

• Skill: Classifying and sorting

• Supplies: Wooden blocks of different shapes

• Directions: Students sort blocks according to shape

For more on blocks and the early childhood classroom, see my fellow blogger Elaine Winter's post "Why Blocks Rock: How Block Building Supports Learning!"

This post follows up "12 Insanely Fun Math and Reading Games, Part One: Balls."

Now that we're moving on to more advanced math and reading skills, I've turned to blocks as my all-purpose item for making games. Blocks encourage playful, hands-on learning. They come in many shapes, sizes, and types; you can also improvise and make your own. Almost all blocks are durable enough to last forever, and can be used for everything. Plus, kids love them. In other words, they are the perfect classroom resource.

So without further ado, here are 12 more math and reading games for the whole group, small groups, and individual students. Now you finally have an academic reason to break out those blocks!

## 1. Rhyming Block Matching

• Number of students: Whole group

• Skill: Rhyming

• Supplies: Picture blocks, paper

• Directions: On a large piece of paper, draw pictures that rhyme with those on the picture blocks. Lay the paper on the floor. Give each student a block, and invite them all to find their matching rhyme.

• Number of students: Whole group

• Skill: Rhyming

• Supplies: Picture domino blocks

• Directions: Each student gets a block. One student starts by setting their block on the floor. Those who have the matching rhymes connect their dominoes, and so on. Played just like regular dominoes, except with rhyming words instead of numbers.

## 3. Beginning Letter Block Groups

• Number of students: Small group

• Skill: Beginning sounds

• Supplies: Alphabet blocks

• Directions: Set out two blocks that make a word ending, and have students search for a block that makes the beginning sound. Repeat with different word families.

## 4. Beginning Letter Block Pairs

• Number of students: Small group

• Skill: Beginning sounds

• Supplies: Alphabet puzzle blocks

• Directions: Take the letter half of each block and spread them all out on the table. Give students the picture halves and tell them to find the beginning sounds to fit the blocks and complete the puzzle.

## 5. Syllable Block Segmenting

• Number of students: Individual

• Skill: Syllables

• Supplies: Large interconnecting blocks

• Directions: Write a one-, two-, or three-syllable word on a rectangular block. On top, students attach the number of blocks to match the number of syllables.

## 6. Syllable Block Blending

• Number of students: Individual

• Skill: Syllables

• Supplies: Small interconnecting blocks

• Directions: Segment one-, two-, or three-syllable words onto separate blocks. Students find the parts to make a word and combine them horizontally. (To add variety, use words that could be combined in multiple ways. See how many different words you can form with these!)

## 7. Positional Block Search

• Number of students: Whole group

• Skill: Positional words

• Supplies: Large colored blocks, cards with positional words and colors

• Directions: Using positional word cards, students find blocks hidden around the room.

## 8. Positional Block Placement

• Number of students: Whole group

• Skill: Positional words

• Supplies: Small colored blocks, die with positional words, two dice with colors

• Directions: Students roll the dice and place blocks accordingly, describing their actions as they do so (e.g., "I am placing the purple block on top of the blue block.")

## 9. Shape Block Matching

• Number of students: Small group

• Skill: Shapes

• Supplies: 2D geometric blocks of different sizes and colors, drawstring bag

• Directions: Draw different sizes of each shape on butcher paper, and color them the same as the blocks. Put the blocks in the drawstring pouch. Students pull them out one at a time and match them according to their attributes.

## 10. Shape Block Stacking, Sliding, and Rolling

• Number of students: Small group

• Skill: Shapes

• Supplies: 3D geometric blocks, anything that can make the blocks stack, slide, and roll

• Directions: Students find out which shapes stack, slide, and/or roll based on their attributes.

11. Sorting Block Sizes

• Number of students: Individual

• Skill: Classifying and sorting

• Supplies: Wooden blocks of different sizes

• Directions: Students sort blocks according to size

## 12. Sorting Block Shapes

• Number of students: Individual

• Skill: Classifying and sorting

• Supplies: Wooden blocks of different shapes

• Directions: Students sort blocks according to shape

For more on blocks and the early childhood classroom, see my fellow blogger Elaine Winter's post "Why Blocks Rock: How Block Building Supports Learning!"