We bought the littlest one a huge toy box the other day (although, to be honest, I think it’s really more for me… its the perfect way to store all those teddies and toys 🙂 ) And while we were sorting it (she’s very helpful, you know), I realised… WE HAVE LIKE 637 BALLS IN THE HOUSE!! I kid you not! Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little… but I’m sure you know the feeling… Big ones, small ones, tennis balls, rubber balls, bouncing balls, balls that float in the pool, balls that supposedly wont break anything in the house… wow.
So I figured, why not see if there are actually a few really fun activities that we can do with all these balls, instead of just letting them sit in the toy box…
Make a game of kickball more challenging (and a whole lot funnier) by adding a rule that all players have to spin three times before kicking or throwing a ball. Once everyone is overcome by the dizziness that ensues, try changing the rule from spinning three times to hopping on one foot, performing jumping jacks, or striking a rock star pose. Within minutes, you’ll all be laughing so hard, you won’t even be able to carry on playing!
2.Human Bowling Pins
This is a great game to play at family get togethers, or for a kids’ birthday party! Have one person act as the “bowler” while everyone else stands across the lawn in a standard pin formation. Using a ball that can be easily rolled across the grass (the bigger the better – think giant beach ball, if you have one), the bowler aims to knock out each human “pin” with the goal of knocking down everyone in several tries. The number of tries allowed and how closely together the “pins” stand can be decided as a group, raising or lowering the level of difficulty.
3.Keep The Ball
This simple summer game is an adolescent favorite in Mexico that’s easily adaptable to any yard and number of players. It is basically a team version of ‘hacky-sack’ with a ball and a time limit. To begin the game, players divide into two teams and determine the time limit of the game. The game begins when a player throws the ball in the air, and from then on out each team has to try to keep possession of the ball. The ball may be passed between players, but can’t be immediately passed back to a person who passed it to you. When time runs out, the team holding the ball wins!
I just couldn’t help myself! I had to include four square in this list – it was my absolute favorite ballgame as a child! All you need is pavement chalk (to draw the court), a ball and 4 players. It is played on a square court further divided into four smaller squares, numbered one through four. One player stands in each of the squares, with the highest ranked player in number one, lowest in number four. You bounce the ball among the players, bouncing once in the other person’s square before that person catches it. When I played this as a kid, we had countless additional rules to choose from. The person in square one got to choose the rules. Anyone who violates the rules will have to move down in the ranking, or be eliminated (if there are extra people wanting to play) and then another player while rotate in to square number four.
This game can be played on any flat surface, indoors or out, and therefor really is a great option for rainy days too. get your child to scatter the jacks (you can use anything, really – as long as it is easy to grasp and not going to roll away. Try wrapped candies) on the playing surface, often by just tossing them out of one hand, as if rolling dice. The ball is then tossed up, allowed to bounce once, and caught before the second bounce. Your child must try to scoop up jacks and catch the ball with one hand before the ball’s second bounce. The number of jacks to be picked up goes in order. First you pick up one (“onesies”), then two (“twosies”), then three and so on. This game is pretty difficult, but if your child can master it, good for them, it really does help strengthen hand eye co-ordination, as well as their fine motor development.
This outdoor game is a whole lot of fun, but you got to be willing to run! Every player gets a number and crowds around the person who is “it” for that round. “It” then tosses the ball straight up as high as they can and the other players run away. When the ball reaches the top of its toss, “it” calls out the number of one of the other players and then also starts running away. Whoever’s number was called must run back and catch the ball (or chase after it if it is bouncing around). Once that person has the ball, they must yell out, “Spud!” Then everyone else must freeze. The person with the ball must try to hit one of the players with the ball. If they do, that new person gets a letter (first S, then P, then U, then D) and is now “it.” If they miss, the person who threw the ball is “it” for the next round.
7.Piggy In The Middle (group game)
The concept of this game is pretty simple – two or more players must pass a ball to one another, while a player in the middle tries to get the ball. (They say the game could be considered a reverse form of dodgeball—instead of trying to hit people in the middle with the ball, players attempt to keep the ball away from them.) But, if you turn it into a group game, it really can become some crazy fun! The group form of this game is played by drawing a circle on the ground about ten feet in diameter. One person stands in the center (the monkey, the piggy or the pickle) and the rest stand outside the circle.A player outside the circle must then throw the ball through the circle to another person outside the circle with the goal being to prevent the person who is “it” from getting to the ball.This continues until the person who is it catches the ball, or gets the ball because someone on the outside circle dropped it and it rolled back in.Whoever threw the ball last then becomes it, and replaces the person in the middle.
This ball game is a variation of hopscotch, and is great for stimulating your child’s creativity and coordination. Potsy can be played by any number of children, and of age.
To start with, mark the field by drawing 10 squares, each about half a meter wide, on the ground and mark off a throwing line. Write the name of a category that is familiar to all the children, like vegetables, colors, shapes, animals and so on, in each square. Ask each child to find a rock to use as their playing marker. They will be tossing these into the squares, same as for hopscotch. The first child tries to toss his pebble into the first square and if he succeeds than he tries to bounce his ball into the square and before he catches the ball he has to say something from that category. For example, if his topic is fruit, he can say, ‘apples’. He then gets to have another go. He stands at the throwing line and now he tries to throw his pebble into square two. If that happens he has to bounce his ball into square one, say something different than at the first turn and catches the ball. He then bounces his ball into the second square and before catching says something from that category. The ball game continues like this. The pebble is thrown into the next square, but the player has to start bouncing and catching from square one. After every round the player can start throwing his pebble at the square where he did make an error. The first one who can make it all the way up to square 10 without a mistake is the winner off the Potsy ball game.
9.Around the world
This basketball game is great fun, but would probably only work for children over the age of 6. You will need a driveway with a basketball hoop or one side of a basketball court (you could always play this at a local park or sports field that has a hoop if you don’t have your own). Mark 7 points around the basket from where the players try to shoot a basket (you could use pavement chalk to do this).
Player one starts at the first point and tries to shoot a basket. If successful, he moves to the next spot and shoots again. This way he continues his “Tour around the world” until he misses and the next player starts at point one. The next round each player continues where he missed the basket. The first player who makes his “tour around the
world” and back is the winner.
10. Down, Down, Down
You start off with a tennis ball and throw the ball continuously back and forth until somebody drops the ball. When someone drops the ball you say “Down on one knee” and the person must drop down and continue play on one knee. If the same person drops it a second time then you say “Down on two knees”. If the same person drops the ball again you say “Down on one elbow”. If it happens again you say “down on two elbows”. It then goes to chin and then you’re out but remember you have to stay in the position you’re in to catch the ball and throw the ball. The last person standing is the winner!
So many exciting options…
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