Fun Outdoor Ball Games for Kids

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Modern technology has progressed by leaps and bounds. Sadly, many children seek fun primarily by playing indoors on their computers and smart devices.

Although these devices benefit a child’s cognitive abilities and development, they often become isolated and may not develop strong social skills. They also lack physical activity and exercise, which affects their health and fitness, thus making them more prone to obesity and weight gain.

Ball games are a great way to get your kids outdoors. Here are some fun outdoor ball games that will keep kids active and are also super fun:

#1: 500

One player handles the ball in this game while all the other players spread out on the field. The handler kicks the ball into the air and out into the field.

The objective is to intercept the ball as quickly as possible.

If a participant catches the ball before it touches the ground, they get 100 points; if the ball bounces once, the catcher will earn 75 points, and after two bounces, 50 points. If the ball bounces thrice, the player catcher will receive 25 points.

The first player to achieve 500 points becomes the winner. It is a great game as it helps children develop basic mathematical skills while enjoying physical activity.

#2: Kick the Can

The ball is placed in the middle of the field in this game. One player is chosen as the guard whose duty is to safeguard the ball.

All the other players spread out, and when everybody is ready, they all run towards the ball.

The objective is to kick the ball while dodging the guard. The guard, however, tries to protect the ball while tagging the other players.

If a player is tagged, they are eliminated from the game. But if a player successfully kicks the ball while avoiding the guard, they become the winner. They will then resume the role of the guard for the next game.

#3: SPUD

In this game, one child is chosen as ‘IT’ who closes his eyes and counts to ten while all the other children run as away as they can. When the count reaches 10, all the children freeze on the spot.

The IT child then takes four steps to get close to the nearest child and tries to hit them with a softball.

If the ball hits the child, they become IT and receive an S. If an IT child fails to hit another player, they receive an S. The first player to receive an S, a P, a U, and a D will be out of the game.

#4: Bowling

You do not need a bowling alley or bowling pins in this bowling game.

One child assumes the bowler’s role while the other children stand further down the field, mimicking the standard bowling pin formations.

The bowler then takes a large ball and rolls it down the grass. The aim is to hit as many players as possible and roll them over like pins. The game becomes increasingly hard as fewer players are left.

#5: Keep the Ball

There are two teams in this outdoor ball game, and the object is to stop the other team from getting the ball. Teammates can pass the ball among themselves while the other team tries to take it away from them.

You can adapt the rules of this game to your liking.

You can make it a rule that they are eliminated when a player is tagged, thus giving the other team an advantage.

The rule that makes this game interesting is that once a player passes the ball, you cannot pass it back to them but instead have to look for another teammate to pass it to.

#6: Flies and Grounders

This is a perfect game for children who love baseball. It only requires two players where one throws the ball, and the other simply has to catch it.

However, you can make it difficult by standing further away from each other.

If the player catches the ball in midair, they receive two points, but they will receive only one point if the ball bounces.

However, the real challenge comes when players try to fool each other, so they have to judge whether the next ball will be a grounder or a fly ball.

#7: Hot Potato Hide and Seek

In this backyard party game, the classic Hide and Seek receives a ball-themed twist. One child takes the role of the seeker who attempts to find the other hidden children with a ball in hand before the predetermined time limit expires.

Once they find a player, that player becomes the seeker and takes the ball. The child holding the ball after the time limit expires the game.

A new round is then started where the loser of the last round starts the second round as the seeker.

#8: Dodge ball

Another fun outdoor ball game involving a ball and played among two teams. In this game, the ball is placed in the middle of the field while both teams stand on either side.

As soon as the whistle blows, the teams run towards the ball. The player who grabs the ball first wins possession for his team.

He then throws it at the opposing team players. If the opposite team player is hit with the ball, they are eliminated, but if they catch it, the player who threw the ball will be out of the game.

#9: Keep Away

This game can be played in the backyard and requires three players. Two players stand at two ends while the third player stands in the middle and tries to intercept the ball.

If they intercept successfully, they replace the person who threw the ball. And the person who threw the ball comes in the middle. If the person in the middle has a relatively short height, you can change the rules to balance the game.

Instead of throwing it to each other, you can let it bounce once before catching, thus accommodating the person with the shorter height.

#10: Ball Tag

In ball tag, the classic game of tag is played with balls instead of hands. To ensure no child is injured while playing ball tag, use a softball and make it a rule not to aim above the shoulders.

One child is called “IT,” and they have the ball. The other players run around the field while the “IT” child tries to tag them with the ball.

To make it more interesting, allow multiple kids to be “IT” and give all of the balls to tag other children.

#11: Flinch

One child is chosen, “IT,” and they gain possession of the ball – preferably a softball. All the other players stand in line with their arms folded.

It is up to the “IT” player to either throw the ball or pretend that they are throwing the ball to confuse them and make them flinch.

When the “IT” player fakes a throw, the players in line should not move but must catch it when they throw the ball.

If the player flinches or fails to catch a ball, they earn an F, the next time L and so on. The child to first earn the letter F-L-I-N-C-H loses the game.

#12: Through the Hoop

For this outdoor game, you need a Hula Hoop. Place it on the ground and ask your child to stand a little distance away from it.

Challenge your child to drop the ball in the hole like golf, or you can hang the Hula Hoop from a tree and try to hit the ball through the Hula Hoop.

This game helps your child improve their aim, which is handy in baseball games.

#13: Say and Catch

Before starting this game, the children need to decide on a category. For example, they choose ‘fruits.’ The players form a circle and toss the ball to each other.

However, the player must say the fruit’s name before catching the ball. If they drop the ball or cannot come up with the name of a fruit or repeat a fruit that has already been said, they are out of the game.

#14: Battleship

Two teams play this game on opposite sides of a partition. This partition could be a tall row of trees, a fence, or anything that ensures that the two team members cannot see each other.

The players then lie down on either side of the barrier except for one child selected to be the bomber. The bomber throws the ball over the barrier, preferably a softball, and tries to hit the battleships (the players lying on the other side).

Once a player is hit, they become a bomber as well.

#15: Sidewalk Targets

Create an obstacle course with the help of sidewalk chalk so that your child can bounce the ball on it. This game’s objective is not only to improve the aim of throwing the ball but also to provide food for your child’s imagination.

Draw circles around the driveway and number them randomly. Then ask your child to bounce the ball in numerical order. You can also create different scenarios by imagining the circles as spaceships or lily pads.

#16: Over the Line

The skill of bouncing the ball at the right height and speed comes in handy when playing ball games like ping pong, tennis, and even volleyball. First, draw a line using chalk or a jump rope.

The players bounce the ball to each other while making sure to bounce once on their side and once on the other side. The player who misses the bounced ball first loses the game.

#17: Box Bowling

Box bowling is played by recycling a large box. Cut out a semi-circle in the side of a large cardboard box, ensuring that it is bigger than the ball.

Place the box in your garden and challenge your child to stand at a distance and roll the ball into the opening — the player who manages to get the most balls inside wins.

You can decorate the box by sticking pictures of colorful animals or famous cartoon characters to make it more interesting.

#18: Bottle Bowling

Another outdoor game for kids that uses recycled materials is bottle bowling. You can use soda, milk, or juice cans to create ‘bowling pins’ for your game.

Arrange them in bowling formation, make a pyramid in your driveway, and use a ball to topple them. The player who manages to hit the most balls in the least tries wins.

You can make the containers fancy by wrapping them in colorful wrapping paper or keeping them simple.

#19: Ball Relay

Racing is something that every child enjoys, as it is a terrific outdoor game option. You can integrate a ball in the traditional relay race to add an extra challenge for the participants.

Children can walk with a small ball squeezed between their knees, or they can kick a soccer ball throughout the relay race.

Kids can also dribble a basketball and pass it to their teammates while running the racecourse.

#20: Name Ball

This is a fun outdoor game best enjoyed with a large group of kids. All the players stand in a circle. One player tosses the ball high in the air and calls out the name of another player. The child whose name has been called out must run forward and catch the ball before it hits the ground.

Once they catch the ball, it is their turn to toss it and call out another player’s name. Instruct the children to call out different names so that every kid gets a chance to play.

You do not need extensive planning or fancy sports equipment to keep your child active. You can also encourage your children to make up new varieties and twists for the options above to build their interest.

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