Cut out (*adults only) individual letter paper squares or create your own. Make sure you have a bunch.
Make a line with masking tape on the floor and place a trash can 4 feet away.
How to Play:
Have the party guests sit in a square around the masking tape on the floor to form a basketball court. Make sure the center of the “court” is open and that nobody is sitting on the side where the masking tape is, since this is where players will stand to shoot their baskets.
Once everybody is sitting, put down two or three different letters in the middle of the court so that everybody can see them.
Next, explain how to play. This game is just like basketball, except the ball is going to be the letters on the pieces of paper in the middle of the floor.
To play, you will call a letter sound out loud (like "Bbb, ball"). After you say the sound, call on a party guest to go to the pile of letters in the middle of the court and pick up the letter that makes the sound you just said. Have the party guest show the letter to everyone. If the letter matches the sound, have the party guest crumple it into a ball and shoot it into the garbage can. If the letter doesn’t match, tell the party guest what sound the incorrect letter makes and have them try again. Really try to make sure that all the children see the letter and hear the sound that goes with that letter during each player’s turn.
You can increase the number of letters in the court depending on how the kids are doing. If they are having trouble trying to figure out which letter makes that sound, ask them to say some words that start with the sound you said, then ask them to find the letter.
With younger kids, it is helpful to demonstrate how the game is played before you start.