You know that carnival game where you pull a rubber duck out of the water and see what symbol is on the bottom? You win a prize if your symbol is the chosen winner. I took that carnival game idea and turned it into this ping pong ball letter match activity for preschoolers to match letters.

Using plastic ping pong or golf balls plus an egg carton, you can help your preschooler learn to read and match the alphabet. This teaches letter recognition, reading skills, and one to one correspondence. All of these skills grow into fine motor, eye hand coordination and later reading and writing comprehension.

Isn’t it interesting how simple learning games for preschoolers and doing preschool at home can have such a strong impact on a child’s learning?! I used this activity as a preschool at home lesson with my twins. They were 4 at the time.

Let’s dive into the supplies you need, how we made this a water play activity, and the steps to teach your child how to match letters.

How to teach a preschool activity free download.
Preschool carnival game becomes preschool learning letter matching game.

Letter Matching Activity for Preschool: Ping Pong Balls and Water Play

First off is to gather your supplies. You will need an empty egg carton, masking tape, a permanent marker, ping pong balls or plastic lightweight golf balls. We added in cheap plastic salad spoons too for scooping. These are optional, though.

Letters written on masking tape and placed into the egg cups if an egg carton. One letter per cup.

I started off by writing a letter in each cup of an egg carton. It was not showing up very well, so I switched to writing the alphabet letters on masking tape and then sticking them into the egg cups. I put them in alphabetical order.

This helped the letters show up better for better recognition.

You could use letter stickers if you have them instead.

Then, I wrote a letter on each ping pong ball. I used permanent marker so we could use this in water and reuse it again.

Two preschoolers scooping ping pong balls from a water table. Ping pong ball letter match learning activity for preschool.

Transforming a Carnival Game into Preschool Educational Fun

We filled up our water table and added the ping pong balls.

I told the twins that each ball has a letter. When they pick up a ball they can name the letter. Then put it where it matched in the egg carton.

To make this activity even more fun, you can add little fish nets or butterfly nets. That would be cute! Wish I would have thought of that. 😊

The twins took turns picking balls out of the water. They had fun with the water added to the letter match activity.

Seriously, for any rough day with toddlers or preschoolers, just add water! These water play activity ideas always brighten our moods around here.

After each of the balls were matched in the egg carton, we went through and sang the ABC song. I pointed to each ball as we went to make the connection between the letter and the name in the song.

That really is so simple but build the connections in the brain. I love watching my kiddos learn!

Free preschool at home curriculum as a valuable resource

If you are unsure about preschool activities to teach at home, I have a big free resource for you! This is our free preschool at home curriculum. You can access it as often as you need.

If your children are younger, check out Toddler Play and Grow. The activities are just as easy to set up. They teach toddlers important skills in a fun way.

Have you decided on preschool at home? If you are unsure on what school choice to make for your child, check out this guide that helps walk you through which school choices are best for your family.