This DIY game uses the ABC’s of Movement® cards and a beach ball. Before playing, inflate a beach ball and write alphabet letters and the corresponding ABC movements on the ball. Set your ABC’s of Movement® cards on the ground near the area you will be playing the game. Next, stand in a large circle and toss the beach ball to each child. Encourage the child to identify the letter that faces them on the beach ball. That child then searches and finds the correct ABC’s of Movement® card and leads the class in the alphabet movement that matches the letter. Give assistance as needed when children are identifying the letters and finding the cards. Take turns tossing the beach ball until every child has had a turn. This is also a fun game of catch if you only have one child. Simply toss the beach ball back and forth while identifying each letter facing the child, finding that letter on the ground, and performing that ABC movement together while moving around the room.
A variety of early literacy activities that are found on the back of each card can also be incorporated in this lesson. After the child catches the ball, identifies the letter and finds that ABC card, one or all of the activities can be used. With this type of explicit instruction, researchers finds that young children’s phonological awareness and alphabet knowledge can be increased during games or other engaging activities.
If letter identification is too difficult, encourage children to identify the color or simply identify the letter for them. For younger children, deflate the beach ball slightly to promote improved success with catching. For older children, challenge them to think of words that start with the same sound that is represented in the letters they identified. Beach ball play challenges children’s hand-eye coordination. When combined with alphabet movements, there is enhancement of a variety of gross-motor skills. Learning outcomes also include listening skills, cooperative learning, and spatial awareness.
This fun preschool active learning game comes from the book, ABC’s of Active Learning: Multisensory Literacy Activities. It is one of the many activities associated with the letter B.