Alphabet Sounds Fishing and Matching game

Use ping-pong balls to practise letter names and sounds with a fun fishing and matching game for pre-schoolers!

Fishing for the alphabet game

Recently I found a large box of ping-pong balls for only £1 in the Pound Shop and bought them up (like I always do!) thinking they would be useful for something one day! They’ve turned out to be fantastic for making alphabet games with, and here is the first one that the girls enjoyed doing recently. Using a Sharpie permanent marker I simply wrote one letter of the alphabet on each ball, uppercase on one side and lowercase on the other.

Ping pong alphabet fishing

Then we dropped them into a large tub of water which I’d coloured with a few drops of blue gel food colouring.

Next I wrote out the letters of the alphabet into the spaces in some empty egg cartons and we placed those next to the tub, ready for filling up with the fished out balls. With a little fishing net set out next to the set up , we were ready to play!

Letters and sounds fishing game with ping pong balls

They took it in turns to find the letter of the alphabet that I was calling out. I made the letter SOUND rather than said the letter name itself (used the phoneme rather than the grapheme) and they had to join in repeating the sound out-loud with me as they looked for its corresponding letter. When they found it they fished it out and looked for its matching letter in the box and put it in.

Alphabet ping pong matching game

They continued until they had found all the letters of the alphabet, and then (with my newly 5 year old) we used some of them to make small CVC words together . There are lots of other hands-on ways to play with these alphabet balls and we will share some more fun activities soon.Alphabet fishing and matching game

Cakie: 5.0

Pop: 3.6

Bean; 18 mos

What they are learning as they play:

literacy: letter and phoneme correspondence, phonics, sight recognition of graphemes, simple spelling

maths: matching and sorting

physical: gross motor co-ordination skills

See all our other Playful Literacy learning activities here!


  1. katherine marie says

    You already know how much I love this!!!! You are the master of JOYFUL FUN CREATIVE LEARNING!!!xoxoxo

  2. says

    Thank you for the creative and recyclable idea! I appreciate your sharing what they are learning in regard to literacy, math, and physical. There is always so much more happening in children’s play than many realize…wonderful!

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  4. Emma says

    I KNEW you’d have something helpful for me. Thanks Anna! E has a mental block about the letter I. We’re reading the Biff, Chip and Kipper books that school sends home – HOW boring?! – but try as we might, she just can’t get ‘I’ in her head. She can do the lowercase and the sound, but not the upper case and the letter name. Hopefully a spot of fishing will help :)

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  6. Heather says

    I saw this activity in action in a reception class who were learning the letter “n” – they had to fish for the balls with the “n” on them. Such a great, simple idea :)