Do some interactive phonetics Ball games for preschoolers and schoolchildren with these simple DIY ideas! Ideal for children who are starting to learn the sounds of letters and then use them to create small words.
If you’ve been here a few years, you’ll know it besides production play dough recipesMy next favorite thing is to create things from the recycle bin!
I love the simple DIY toys and games (Here are some homemade toys for babies and toddlers that you can try!) and I especially enjoy home teaching resources.
If your branch has ever had a ball in a hood for a baby or toddler, chances are you have a big bag of these colored balls somewhere in the garden shed! 🙂
They make an absolutely great learning resource for do-it-yourselfers, so go and dig them up and let’s create some games to teach phonetics for the home or school! If you are a parent who reads this and feel extra kind, you can create a set of these and donate them to teachers at an early age of your child in school or kindergarten. They will love you for doing the work for them.
Phonics ball game
Ball pit balls. Ping pong balls also work, as you can see from them DIY ping pong balls alphabet activities we did! But the size of the balls with the balls makes them a perfect fit for a packaging container.
Blank packaging fruit box. You can easily pick it up at the supermarket – they love to donate it, because otherwise it goes in the trash.
Black Sharpie fix
Create a game
Write each letter of the alphabet in lower case on the balls. Next, write the digraphs ch, sh, th, wh, oa, ee, oo, oi, ng, ow, qu and ai.
If your child is quite confident with their initial letters, you can also move on to the next stage and add some trigraphs. Jako igh, ear, air, ure, tch.
Write the appropriate sounds on the packaging of the fruit box and then mix all the balls in a large bowl or tray.
Ready to play!
Simply call the sound you want your child to find and get them to identify it, TELL HIM and then connect it!
This first phase may seem super simple, but it’s critical because it helps strengthen letter matching. If they see it as a challenge enough, let the glory come back and practice it again the next day and so on until they can find, say, and identify these sounds super fast.
Likewise, if your child is beginning to learn the voice ONLY, limit this activity to just 3-6 sounds to begin with. Follow the program used by your child’s school. Most likely it will start with the sounds of the letters SATPIN.
If you have eagle eyes, you will see that my daughter is at least two years younger in this picture. Yes, it really takes me so long (or longer!) To finally write activities for blog posts! Now she is 7 and here I guess she was 5 🙂
Word building phonics ball game!
For those children who now confidently recognize and pronounce their initial letters and begin to be confident in digraphs and perhaps in some trigraphs, let’s play the GAME FOR WORDS!
When your child or class is ready to begin building words, the next step is. It’s a lot of fun and there are a few variations you can create.
Find an egg box that will become a ball holder (or get another box of fruit and cut it into strips with 3 gaps.) Alternatively, use three shallow bowls or egg bowls.
Cut a few pieces of paper or a card and write simple words with 3 sounds. A simple 3-word word that young children can easily decode, read and then write is called the word CVC. This is an acronym for Consonant Vowel Consonant and you will notice that it makes up most of the first readers’ books for good reason.
Here is a simple list that you could try to create first, but it is very easy to think of yourself.
cat, dog, hen, hen, trash, pen, up, tap, lid, dig, red, pull, hug, big, got, fig, logs, bat, sitting, mat, pin, map, tip, got, mom, This.
Arrange the cards next to the balls and the container, ask them to choose one, read the word, and then create a word using the corresponding balls.
Once you have mastered simple CVC words, try adding new words that include digraphs and trigraphs.
Examples of these are: chair, taste, sigh, tall, sure, bear, catch, watch, flight, church, this, hatch, ship, boat, soon, etc.!
Be sure to ask them to look for the digraph / trigraph sound on one sphere, rather than creating it with separate sounds. Maybe keep these combined sounds in a separate bowl to make them easier to pick.
As with simple CVC words, ask them to sound clearly the word on the card first, then find and create each sound in the correct order in the rack.
The next step is fun and my kids thought of themselves. It was simply that they invented the words themselves and tested them with each other, writing their own words on cards for others to complete. Kids love creating games for themselves and try to make it as hard as possible!
If you want a real challenge, remove the cards completely and simply call the words to hear them, answer them and create,
Once the games are over, store the balls in a box (next to the fruit boxes if there is enough space) and pull it out the next day to practice and reinforce your learning.
You can use the same phonics balls in the water tank play an alphabetical fishing game (like this one) or in any sandy / messy tray just to hide, find and pronounce the sounds it holds. Throw them around the class in a phonic circle, and whoever catches it must say the sound they are holding. Stretch a few around the circle in a drawstring bag and ask each child to pull one out and say the sound they have. There are many ways to play with this single resource!
I hope you enjoyed these phonics ball games and will share them with others!
HUGE selection of phonetics, preparatory writing, branding, early writing, pre-reading, storytelling and early reading ALL activities archives PLAYABLE LITERACY here on the blog. Pin your favorites for future use!