If you are looking to keep your group active, whether it’s a recreational program, PE class, or camp, try these 5 game ideas that kids can play. Depending on the type of game, all you need are balls with a set of cones to play any of the games below.
- Gator Skin Dodgeballs
- Tennis Balls
- Whiffle Balls
- Ping Pong Balls
- Standard Cones
- Spot Markers
Active Game Ideas with a Ball
Have the students stand on the boundary line around a hula hoop–this will be the line the “throwers” need to stay behind. One player stands in the middle of the play area, near the bean bags and hula hoop. The other players stand outside the boundary line, with dodgeballs. When play begins, the child in the middle has to take the beanbags between his/her feet and then throw them inside the hula hoop while jumping–no hands allowed. In the meantime, the players must try to hit the player in the middle with the ball. If the ball hits him/her, then the player who hits him/her goes into the middle. The trick is not to be hit while standing in the middle and to try to get the hoop full of bean bags. If the hoop is full, then s/he knocks the hoop out of the way to show the others that s/he has completed one round.
Create a large rectangular space (gym, use cones, etc.) At each end of the rectangular space, set up “benches,” using chalk, tape, or cones. The bench should be large enough to eventually fit half the students who will participate in the game. Set up the dodgeballs on half-cones along the middle line that the players can run to and grab once the game starts. Divide the class into two teams and give one team jerseys. Team 1 should be on one half of the court, Team 2 on the other. Both teams choose a goalie. The goalie stands on the “bench” on the opposition’s half of the court. Players attempt to throw the ball to their goalie to catch, without it being caught or intercepted by the other team. As teams score goals, the scoring player joins the goalie on the bench. Players pass the ball between themselves until someone decides to shoot, but must stay on their half of the court. The goal of the game is to get all the players of your team on your bench, so that they have more people to throw the ball to. Once all the players on a team are on a bench, a new game begins.
You pick a theme, such as Animals. One person starts with the ball and says an animal, then says the name of someone in the circle and tosses them the ball. That person must say the name of a different animal, and the name of another student and tosses the ball to that person. You may not repeat answers and you only have 3 seconds to say yours. If a student repeats an answer or can’t complete their turn within the allotted time, you may have them do some jumping jacks before rejoining the circle. Once three people get stuck you switch themes. Some examples of themes include, sports, colors, fruits, singers, etc.
Silent Speed Ball
Students spread out in playing area standing up. Leader counts down, “3, 2, 1, Silent.” Students pass the ball to another person in the play area. A student must sit down if they miss the ball, they makes a bad pass, they talk or make noise. Play continues until only one student remains. The last student to remain standing gets to be first to throw the ball in the next round. All students who were out can return to play at the start of a new round. If game is progressing slowly, create challenge by limiting time to throw, having all students take steps back, keep one hand behind back at all times and so on.
This is a free for all dodgeball game. Kids must slap the ball at each other and hit them below the waist to get each other out. The ball has to be slapped with it comes to you, you cannot roll it, stop it, or pick it up. If you do you are out. If you slap it and it hits someone above the waist you are out. You can add more than one ball to make games go faster. Make the playing area smaller as kids start to get out until you have a winner.
View the full printable PDF activity guide for games with a ball here!
About the Author:
Jason Schaitz, MBA, CPRE, is a Parks and Recreation Director with over 15 years’ experience coordinating youth programs, camps, sports, and recreation activities. He also created and manages The Summer Camp Source with the goal of providing free high quality resources for any type of camp, youth recreation or childcare program. Take your program to the next level by visiting our website for free resources and education!
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