We seem to have collected a few balls over the last few years. There are basket balls, soccer balls, playground balls, tennis balls, and even balls that change color when you throw them! My preschooler loves playing catch, kicking, bouncing, and rolling balls. Every once in a while during ball play, I try to sneak in some real life math lessons!
Here are just a few kids activities that we do:
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3 Easy Math Activities for Kids to Do with Balls
Sorting Balls. a Math Activity for Kids:
If you have amassed a collection of balls like we have, collect as many as you can find and encourage your child to sort the balls into different groups. Do not tell them how to sort – encourage them to come up with a way to categorize them differently on their own. Many children will sort objects by color first. With a variety of balls, sorting isn’t always the easiest math activity and may requires some critical thinking. If your child is stuck, encourage them to look at the sizes, textures, purposes and maybe even the lines on the balls for inspiration. After they have completed their first ball sort, encourage them to sort the balls again in a different way!
Counting Balls, a Math Activity for Kids:
Yes, this is obvious. Kids can count how many balls are in the collection. Take counting to the next level with this challenge: Hold the ball out at chest height and drop it towards the ground. Count how many times it bounces. Repeat the activity with multiple different balls and compare the numbers. Did one ball have a higher number of bounces than another. Discuss the results.
Have an advanced learner? Try this same counting activity on a variety of different floor surfaces: tile, wood floor, carpet, concrete, and / or grass. How did the floor surface change the number of bounces each ball took?
Ordering Balls, a Math Activity for Kids:
Last, but definitely not least, challenge your child to put the balls into order by hight. Encourage them to line the balls up from smallest to tallest. Point to a ball and ask the child to point to one that is smaller (or bigger). Have them point to the smallest (and biggest) ball in the line.
Need an extra challenge? Grab a scale and put the balls in order by weight! Yes – preschoolers can do this and it is FUN! Compare the results with ordering by size – is there a correlation between how big a ball is and how much it weighs???
More Ball Themed Learning Activities from the #PlayfulPreschool Education Team
Ball Theme Alphabet Activity: Kick the Cup by Mom Inspired Life
Rhymes with Ball Ending Word Sounds Game by Capri + 3
Teaching Word Families with Ping Pong Balls by Fun-A-Day
Language Activities for Preschoolers: Preposition Fun With Balls by Growing Book by Book
Ball Jar Numbers by Learning 2 Walk
Fine Motor Ball Color Sorting by Still Playing School
What Makes Balls Bounce by Rainy Day Mum
Are you looking to bring more math and science into your every day play and learning? I am a contributing writer to this book, Fizz, Pop, Bang! Playful Science and Math Activities geared for kids ages 3-8! It is an AWESOME resource for parents hoping to encourage and support more math and science activities with their young children.