Pick a Card Games are my kindergarten students favorite way to practice letter recognition and sounds, number recognition, rhyming words, CVC (consonant-vowel-consonant) words, shapes, and so much more! Today I’m sharing how I use these fun games in my classroom to keep students motivated and engaged.
Before we begin, I want to warn you that your students will BEG you to play “Pick a Card” games over and over again. They are so much fun!
Pick a Card Games – Free Turkey Wobble
You may have already grabbed my Turkey Wobble freebie. If not, head over here. This is a free download for new subscribers. All you have to do is tape the large shape (a turkey head in this case) to a container. Then cut apart and use whichever cards you desire.
Pick a Card games have a fun song/poem to sing or say with your students. You should hear the beats I use! 🙂 You will also find letter and number cards, shape cards, rhyming words, and so much more in the resource on TPT.
I like to sit on the floor with my students in a circle around me or use a pocket chart to mix the word cards up and place the word cards in the correct order.
If they pull out a picture card, they have to do the turkey wobble (dance while flapping their elbows). They love doing this and erupt in giggles every single time!
I have had lots of requests to make more games like this so I came up with these Holiday and Seasonal Pick a Card Games.
Seasonal Pick a Card Games – Jump on the Bus
At the beginning of the year, we like to use this set from the seasonal resource to practice number recognition. I like to sing the song and ask the kids to jump up when we get to the “jump on the bus” part.
The kids love coming to the front to pull a number out of the bus container! If they pull a school supply card, I have them imitate using that particular school supply. They love this part!
You will also find the poem and word cards with “Oh, what LETTER can you name for us?” The games are designed so that you have options about what standards you would like to work on with your students.
Honestly, we play it both ways depending on the day. I also like to show students how the two poems are changed with just that one word card.
Seasonal Pick a Card Games – Rolling Pumpkin
The next poem we pull out goes along with our annual field trip to the pumpkin patch perfectly. Students can work on shapes with these adorable pumpkin cards.
When we sing this song or poem, we like to put our hands up in a “stop” motion and show our hands making a rolling motion during the rolling part. If students pick one of the shape cards, they identify the shape. If they pick a pumpkin patch card they can imitate the child or do a little dance.
Holiday Pick a Card Games – Costume Time
This “Costume Time” pick a card game from my holiday set makes rhyming so much fun. The kids love seeing all of the costumes and coming up with rhyming words.
You can also use this poem to work on letters. It is so easy to differentiate this activity based on each learner’s need. For example, I may ask some students to simply identify the letters, other students to generate the letter sound, and others to think of a word that begins or ends with that letter based on their abilities!
If a student pulls a picture card on that one, they can do a little “Halloween” jig or imitate the costume they pulled. It’s totally up to you!
Holiday Pick a Card Games – Christmas Tree
The Christmas Tree Pick a Card Game is always popular in December. You can use this one to practice identifying letters or numbers.
Let’s think of ways to make this differentiated based on understanding! With this version you can ask students to simply identify the number, count on beginning with that number, count backwards from the number, or even add or subtract a number from the chosen card.
These games can be played in a whole group or you can use them in centers depending on what works best for you.
Seasonal Pick a Card Games – Snow Day
Snow Day is always a fun one. Unfortunately, in TN this is sometimes the closest we get to a snow day!
For this one, we like to “sing” the poem. Students pretend that they are throwing a snowball during the song when it is their turn. If they pull out one of the people cards, they have to pretend they were smashed with a snowball!
Like the others, you can play this several ways. Students can pull a CVC card out and just read it or you could ask them to generate a rhyming word. I like to ask my ESL students to read the word and use it in a sentence.
Of course, if your students aren’t ready for words, you can use it to work on letters or numbers.
Small groups provide the perfect time to differentiate. You may be playing the game with the words with an advanced group of students while you could easily switch out the cards for lower students as needed. It’s not likely that students even notice the different cards and are all left happy that they were able to play the Snow Day game with you.
Holiday Pick a Card Games – Valentine’s Day
Let’s move on to Valentine’s Day!
The little heart cards are perfect for practicing number recognition. Students will learn to quickly identify the numbers whether in ten frame, numeric, or tally mark form. Remember that you can always differentiate this for students by asking them to count on, add one or two to the number, subtract one from the number, etc. Really advanced students can make doubles with the number. For example, if they pull a five, they could say five plus five equals ten.
Of course, you have the option to work on other skills as needed.
Holiday Pick a Card Games – St. Patrick’s Day
This is one of my favorite poems. The kids look so adorable doing the “Leprechaun Wiggle“!
Instruct students to work on reading CVC words or generating rhyming words with this one! You can also stick to working on letters or numbers with the poem options included!
To keep it easy, if students pull a picture card without a word, they have to dance the Leprechaun Wiggle while rotating in a circle. They think this is hilarious!
Seasonal Pick a Card Games – Rainy Day
I think this one is so sweet! We play this one much like the others. Students practice reading the words or can generate rhyming words.
They also have the option of working on letter and number related skills!
Holiday Games – Hungry Bunny
Once again, you can work on a variety of skills with this fun game too!
CVC words, rhyming words, numbers, and letters are just some of the cards that you could choose to put into your container for this game. Aren’t these chocolate carrots the cutest?
Seasonal Games – Ice Cream Shake
When the weather is much warmer outside and summer is just around the corner, we love to pull out our Ice Cream Shake game. Of course you have various cards to choose from to work on CVC words, numbers, or letters but my personal favorite version are the ones shown above.
We are now working on CCVC (consonant-consonant-vowel-consonant) and CVCC (consonant-vowel-consonant-consonant) words. I typically just have my students read the word cards but of course, you could work on rhyming or ask them to use the word in a sentence. You could even ask them to write the word. I might ask my students to sky write the word which means to pretend to spell the word in the air.
Holiday & Seasonal Bundle BONUS Game – Hey Little Doggy
Hey Little Doggy is a bonus game if you purchase the BUNDLE of games for your classroom!
We use it for CVC word reading and rhyming practice. Of course, you can work on whatever skill you want to with this one too. The last time we played this I made the kids shake like a wet doggy if they pulled out a picture card. They thought it was hilarious!
Have you tried these games with your students yet? Let me know!
I’m also curious if you have read this post about differentiated task boxes? They have seriously changed my life!
Pin this image to come back to the game descriptions!
Happy Teaching & Mommy-ing this week friends!
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