Spring is in the air! It’s getting warmer, the snow is melting and it’s that time of year when young men’s thoughts turn to…brackets! Well, the young men in my house anyway!;) If you’re not familiar with the NCAA Basketball tournament (a.k.a. March Madness) you’re seriously missing out on a lot of fun. The games are exciting and filling out your tournament bracket can offer an opportunity for some friendly family competition. We are huge sports fans at my house. And March Madness is a really big deal. The kids spend the winter playing basketball and we spend the winter watching it so by the time the tournament rolls around we’re all pretty into this sport and I usually end up doing a few March Madness basketball activities with the kids just to keep them busy and add to the fun. If your family’s into basketball like we are, here are a few ideas, worksheets and basketball activities you can use. Some of these could be used in the classroom, homeschooling or for a little extra reinforcement of school skills. Others are just for fun and could be used for party activities. Either way, here are some wonderful basketball activities your kids will enjoy!
Big West/NCAA Fastbreak Program – Provided by the NCAA via the Big West Conference website, this is a guide with lesson plans, instructions, and worksheets that use basketball to teach lots of different concepts in language arts, math, social studies, science, art and PE. Activities are broken down into age groups and cover grades K-8. It is designed for teachers, but many of the activities could be done at home. The above link is to the page that gives an overview of the program. You can download the lesson plans by clicking on the Fast Break Program Lesson Plans link on the right side of the page.
Junior bracket and other basketball activities – Think Magnet has come up with some awesome ideas to encourage learning with basketball. The junior bracket is a smaller version of the NCAA bracket you can use with younger kids that don’t have the patience or motivation to fill out a full bracket with all 68 teams. There are ideas for math games, language arts activities, and even art. I have personally done some of these activities with my kids and they really enjoyed them.
Preschool basketball printables – A Teaching Mommy made a wonderful downloadable file with many activities. I especially like the design your own uniform. There are activities that reinforce those important preschool skills like letter recognition, phonics, sorting, number order and following directions. If you have a younger child that wants to get in on the fun, there is a tot pack to download too.
Puzzles and coloring
Basketball word search – This site actually sells party supplies, but the word search is a free printable.
Basketball maze – PrintActivities.com has tons of different kinds of puzzle, coloring and educational printables for a wide variety of different topics. This basketball hoop maze is a little more of a challenge, but your little sports fan will enjoy it.
Printable basketball themed activities – This links to the same site as the maze above, but this page has a list of all the basketball activities. There are word searches, a dot to dot, more mazes, word scrambles and coloring pages.
Crafts and games
Perler bead sports balls – This project is good for fine motor skills and looks fun. Of course there are instructions for a basketball included. If your kids are a bit more ambitious, there are project instructions for making a couple of basketball players too. If your kids like to make projects with perler beads, take a look around. They’ll find lots of inspiration here.
Easy Basketball door sign – See my tutorial for a basketball craft your kids can use as a name sign for their door, wall art, or other room decor. It’s quick, easy and my kids enjoyed it.
Other free printables
Free basketball printables – This is an About.com page with free printable word search, crossword puzzle, vocabulary sheet, rules/skills practice and brief history.
NCAA March Madness Trivia Quiz – My quick and easy trivia quiz perfect for your basketball enthusiast.
Mascot Madness Quiz – A short and fun little quiz from the Columbus Dispatch. There is a link to download a printable pdf version. The mascots are actually from the 2014 tournament but if your kid is as crazy about mascots as mine is, they probably won’t care! Some of them apply to this year too, and if you follow college basketball you might know them anyway.
Make sure to leave a comment, I would love to hear what kinds of basketball activities your kids enjoy