This alphabet balls activity post is sponsored by KneeBouncers, who believe in playing with purpose! Visit KneeBouncers.com for a multitude of fun games that will help your child get ready for preschool and be sure to try their new Great Play with Purpose iPad App! 45 funtabulous games that support preschool readiness and learning. Available NOW on iTunes and coming soon for Android. All opinions expressed in this article are my own.
My toddler's tech obsession is pretty epic. If I let him, he would play on my computer or tablet all day. The other day, he started a video chat with someone over Google+. I don't even know how to do that! He knows the ins and outs of every iPad, phone and tech gadget that our family owns, and we've fortunately figured out how to use this fascination to our advantage . We're selective about how he spends his time in front of the screen, and a huge part of the puzzle is taking those learned skills and showing him how he can apply them in a real-life situation.
Alphabet Balls: Letter Learning Activities that Grow with your Child
We've been doing a lot of playing with alphabet balls lately to reinforce the letter learning that he's experiencing digitally. It's phenomenal that he can get hands-on with a touch screen with bright colors and fun shapes to teach him numbers and letters, but I want him to understand that these concepts exist outside of the screen!
I got some plastic pit balls from Amazon and used a Sharpie to write the alphabet on 26 balls. One letter per ball. I got a pack of 100 balls and I'm glad I have extras left over to create letter replacements, because he tends to wander off with them.
First, I showed him how to pronounce each letter and line up his alphabet balls in order.
I write letters on buckets and have him put the corresponding alphabet balls in the right containers. This also helps with counting. How many balls can fit in each bucket? 1…2…3!
Because the balls are different colors, I can turn it into a color learning activity by asking him to only bring me the alphabet balls of a certain color.
It's also fun to stick letters in various places and have him seek them out and tell me why I put them there. Why is T in the tree? You tell me!
His favorite letter is S. He carries it around making a snakey “S” sound. Ssssss.
Back in the house, we reinforce what we've learned through alphabet balls with a variety of indoor activities, television shows and electronic games. One of our favorite apps is Kneebouncers Great Play with Purpose for iPad. Kneebouncers' highly-rated toddler games have become a favorite learning resource for us over the years. After enjoying their corresponding computer component, Some Boy now sees those familiar Kneebouncers characters in the app and instantly gets excited for playtime on-the-go! Best of all, the Kneebouncers blog is chock full of fun ideas, printables and inspiration for real-life activities to continue the learning experience offline.
How do you play with purpose?