Home Run Fun!
By Jeanette Larson
Books to Share
- Bat Boy: An Inside Look at Spring Training by Joan Anderson.
- Louisville Slugger: The Making of a Baseball Bat by Jan Arnow.
- Make-Believe Ball Player by Alfred Slote.
- Peanuts and Crackerjack: A Treasury of Baseball Legends and Lore by David Cataneo.
- Play Ball by Dean Hughes.
- Rosie in Chicago: Play Ball! by Carol Matas.
Books to Show or Booktalk
- Ballpark: The Story of America's Baseball Fields by Lynn Curlee.
- Honus and Me: A Baseball Card Adventure by Dan Gutman.
- Miami Makes the Play by Patricia McKissack.
- Players in Pigtails by Shana Corey.
- Stumptown Kid by Carol Gorman and Ron J. Findley.
- A Whole New Ball Game: The Story of the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League by Sue Macy.
Cut out bases from white construction paper. Place them on the bulletin board. Add lettering that says, “Home Run!” and scatter baseball cards and book jackets around the bases.
Create a display using baseballs, bats, catchers’ mitts, safety helmets, and other baseball items or memorabilia. If you have a local professional, semi-professional, or school team, ask if you can borrow some of their items. Or, ask a sporting goods store.
Serve peanuts, popcorn, and cracker jacks in small paper sacks.
Rhymes and Poetry
Select a few poems from At the Crack of the Bat: Baseball Poems compiled by Lillian Morrison. In addition to standards, like “Casey at the Bat” by Ernest Lawrence Thayer, try “Nolan Ryan” by Gene Fehler or “The Base Stealer” by Robert Francis.
That Sweet Diamond: Baseball Poems by Paul B. Janeczko provides an assortment of poems about the players, the fans, the stands, and the plays. Select a few to share.
Take Me Out to the Ball Game
(By Jack Norworth. Public domain; music and complete lyrics are available on the NIEHS Kids’ Page at www.niehs.nih.gov/kids/lyrics/ballgame.htm.)
Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd.
Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back,
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game.
- Passin' It On: America's Baseball Heritage in Song by Terry Cashman.
- “Right Field” on Peter, Paul and Mommy, Too by Peter, Paul and Mary.
Riddles and Jokes
- Q. Why was the baseball player arrested?
- A. He was stealing home!
- Q. Why did the fan bring a fly swatter to the game?
- A. To catch fly balls!
Reader’s Theater Scripts
Aaron Shepard’s Reader’s Theater Page provides a readers theater script for “Casey at the Bat” at www.aaronshep.com/rt/RTE23.html. Shepard provides permission to use the script for any non-commercial purpose.
Baseball Card Frame
- CD jewel cases
- Construction paper
- Glue sticks
- Scotch tape
- Picture frame hangers (optional)
- Magnetic strip (optional)
- Baseball cards
In advance, purchase baseball cards that are not collectable. A set of Classic Baseball Cards is available from Dover Publications. The cost is $5.95 for 98 cards that are perforated for removal from the pages. Invite each child to select a baseball card, or bring a favorite from home that is not collectable. Use the ruler to measure the size of the CD jewel case. Cut two pieces of construction paper about 1/4” smaller than the size of the jewel case. On one of the pieces, draw a rectangle the size of the baseball card. Use scissors to punch a hole in the center of the rectangle and cut along the lines. Place the baseball card behind the opening and tape it in place. Use the glue stick to tack the two pieces of construction paper together. Place them into the frame. Add an adhesive picture hanger or a magnetic strip to the back of the CD jewel case to display the card. Adhesive picture frame hangers are available from Michaels, on-line at www.michaels.com, and from other hobby stores.
Design Your Own Baseball Card
- Cardboard (cut to 3.15” by 2.17” pieces)
- Lined paper (cut to same size as cardboard)
- Pictures of baseball players
- Glue sticks
- Pencils or pens
Gather pictures of baseball players from old magazines or discarded books, or copy or download some from copyright free sources, such as The Great Baseball Players from McGraw to Mantle: With 248 Historic Photographs from the Archives of Photo File, Inc. by Bert Randolph Sugar. Provide a piece of cardboard for each child. Let the children select a picture of a baseball player and glue the picture to one side of the cardboard. Provide reference books or the Internet for the children to find basic information about the player. Let the children write information such as the team, position, birth date and location, and statistics about the player on the lined paper. Alternatively, the children could enter this information into computers and print it. The children then glue the statistics to the back of the cardboard.
Make a Pop-up Catcher’s Mask following the directions provided in How to Make Super Pop-ups by Joan Irvine.
Invite a baseball player or coach from a local team to talk about the game.
- Angels in the Outfield. (103 minutes)
- It’s Arbor Day, Charlie Brown. (25 minutes)
- The Magic School Bus Plays Ball. (30 minutes)
- Miss Nelson Has a Field Day. (13 minutes)
- Players in Pigtails. (12 minutes)
- Baseball Almanac
- Everything you want to know about baseball, including statistics, poetry, jokes, and more is offered at this site.
- Fantasy Baseball
- Select a fantasy team and play against a group of friends, or be assigned a league. New leagues start every two weeks in this Sports Illustrated for Kids game. While waiting for the season to begin, try the “Power Hitter” and “Power Pitcher” games.
- Fun With Sports
- Hewlett-Packard provides templates to create your own Topps™ trading cards, bobble head dolls, sports posters, and more using Microsoft Word and specialty papers and card stock.
- At the Crack of the Bat: Baseball Poems by Lillian Morrison.
- Classic Baseball Cards by Bert Randolph Sugar.
- The Great Baseball Players from McGraw to Mantle: With 248 Historic Photographs from the Archives of Photo File, Inc. by Bert Randolph Sugar.
- How to Make Super Pop-ups by Joan Irvine.
- The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Baseball Quizzes by The Idea Logical Company.
- That Sweet Diamond: Baseball Poems by Paul B. Janeczko.
- Aaron Shepard’s Reader’s Theater Page
- Scripts and tips for conducting reader’s theater.
- Dover Publications
- This publisher offers a variety of low-cost activity and coloring books.
- This arts and crafts supply store provides an assortment of inexpensive materials.
- NIEHS Kids’ Page
- The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences provides lyrics and sound files for a variety of children’s and family songs.
- Oriental Trading Company
- A source for inexpensive sports themed prizes and incentives, the catalog also provides inspiration for additional activities.