We love March Madness. It’s a holiday in our house. We’re amping it up this year, please join us! Click Here to Print a Free March Madness Jr Bracket!
We were pumped to get the kids involved at the Sweet 16 mark last year, which is a more kid friendly starting point for the young ones. After watching us the first few weeks, they loved joining in, and especially loved highlighting the winners. This year we may actually listen closer to my youngest son who, at age 4, called out Butler to be in the final game.
As basketball dominated our TV, we had conversations about tournaments, basketball rules, abbreviations/initials, college, sportsmanship, and kept a whistle around our neck for impromptu basketball drills. And yes, we allow dribbling in the house, I suspect all great basketball players’ parents did.
Here’s some other March Madness ideas that dribble around the curriculum. Pick and choose!
Kids can use the jersey cards for various number activities depending on their needs. I left them blank so you or your child can write in the numbers appropriate for their level and your goal. You can also ask them number questions from the real jerseys while you’re watching. Here’s a few ideas:
- Greater than and Less than with 2 jerseys
- Order the jerseys from least to greatest or greatest to least
- Sort the odd and even jersey numbers
- Add the sum of two jerseys. Find which 2 jerseys make the highest/lowest sum.
- Find which two jerseys sum makes an even or odd number.
100 Hoops Play with Leapfrog’s 100 Hoops toy, shoot and count your way to 100 by 2s, 3s, 5s, 10s in English and/or Spanish; or do the same with any goal you have.
Mr Swish’s Basketball Store: I was going to make a “catalog”, and still might for classroom use, but decided to keep it real (me being lazy) by letting my kids pretend shop online using the basketball section of Dick’s Sporting Goods, or go to the actual store. Either way, a fun way to practice math around basketball!
Mascot Sorting: I’m most excited about this part. I love mascots. I secretly want to be one;) Shh…don’t tell, that’s kind of an embarrassing bucket list item.
So, here’s the deal. I’m not sure about copyright laws for sharing mascot images that I didn’t personally photograph, like Baby Jay above. I have started a collection of mascot photos of the current Top 25 ranked basketball schools and will keep collecting.
- Sort and graph the mascots by animal, historical figure, or other. You could also stick to one category, like birds or mammals or tigers vs wildcats.
- Write a story using at least 5 different mascots as characters.
- Design your own mascot and share your design to others.
- Alphabetize the mascots’ by their name
Commentator’s Corner: Students will read various books, articles, team rosters, rule books, etc about basketball then report on a team or player or basketball topic as if they are a sports writer for a newspaper, magazine, or a sportscaster. I’m pretty sure for us, this will turn into some basketball in the culdesac with one person “commentating” at a time;) “Mommy fakes left and leaves Daddy behind as she drives in for a lay-up.”
Sizing Up the Opponent: Print out a roster of your favorite basketball team.
Dribble it: Kids will dribble as long as they can for 3 attempts without errors. A partner will use a stopwatch to record the data, dribbler will find their average time. Or set up dribbling obstacle courses or take a dribble walk down your street.
Bracketology Geography: We informally mapped out the Sweet 16 last year with the kids on a blank USA map as we discussed their college options;)
Basketball Art: Students may complete an art project where they roll an old basketball dipped in paint in a box with paper on the bottom.
In the Stands: A Few More Ideas: Always see what your kids come up with, they may surprise you!
- Students may design a new jersey for their favorite basketball team
- Students may write and perform a cheer or song for their favorite basketball team
- Students may design basketball plays on a basketball coach’s play clipboard