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Alphabet Ball Game

When the weather is nice, there is nothing like getting outside with your child to get some ball practice in. In this activity, your child will not only be using their gross motor skills but will also be increasing their vocabulary!

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Get up, get outside and get wordy!

This is a fun yet simple game to get your child to build some gross motor skills while working on their letters and vocabulary. Simply pick a ball and find an open space outside to throw or kick the ball. One person throws the ball and, as they do this, they yell out a letter. The receiver of the ball has to respond with a word that starts with that letter. No repeats!

🧭 Go on an adventure! While outside, go around and find items that start with a variety of different letters. 

📚 Books to explore: A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, H is for Home Run by Brad Herzog, and The Story of a Red Rubber Ball by Constance Levy.

🔀 Change it up. Depending on the age of your kiddo you can change up the rules and the way you play the game.


For this activity you will need:

A ball (e.g. basketball, soccer ball, baseball or tennis ball)

Learning Outcomes




Gross Motor


Throwing with increased coordination


Step 1:

Pick a ball with your child.

Step 2:

Explain the rules: “When I say a letter, I throw you the ball. When you catch the ball, you have to say a word that starts with that letter and throw it back. You can’t use the same word twice!”

Step 3:

Have fun! 

⬆️ For older preschoolers: Great creative with your older kiddos! Try a variation where you say a word and they say one that rhymes, or they say the opposite of whatever word you say.

⬇️ For younger toddlers: For the little ones who know the alphabet but maybe don’t know the sounds to match other words, try having them tell you the next letter. You can also have them roll or toss the ball back and forth while singing the ABC’s.

Playful Questions

Can you sing the ABC’s? 

Can you catch or kick a ball? Show me!

What other things can we do with a ball?

What other words start with that letter?

How far can you throw the ball?

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