Growing Readers: Thumbballs

growingreaderspngAt “Growing Readers” storytime, I lead a group storytime filled with literacy activities for the first half hour of the program. Afterwards, the kids go to activity tables staffed by teen volunteers to play and do more activities. Each storytime has five different activity tables. I spend my time floating around and talking to parents/caregivers about early literacy. Through the table activities (and my guidance), I hope that parents learn tips on how to work with their young readers and how literacy is so much more than just reading. The kids just see the activities as fun!

Table Activity: Letter Thumbballs
Every Child Ready to Read Skill: Talking


These are thumbballs that I purchased from S&S Worldwide. I love that they are brightly colored, encourage cooperation, and are for my kinesthetic learners!


Kids love this station. I have to make sure that I have an uber-involved teen volunteer to man it, otherwise my kids have been known to take the game a little bit too far. Instructions are to pair up with another kid or parent (or my teen volunteer if no one else is at the station) and roll/toss the ball back and forth. Wherever your thumb lands is the letter and sound you need to identify. With older kids, I also ask them for a word that starts with that letter. I would definitely say that this is one of the most popular stations I’ve ever done.

2 comments on “Growing Readers: Thumbballs

  1. jdaniel4smom
    April 24, 2013 at 6:12 am #

    What a wonderful learning tool! I can see so many uses for it.

    • Katie
      April 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Thank you, it’s a great and super popular item!

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