- 10 FUN GROSS MOTOR BALLOON TENNIS GAMES
- Supplies To Make A Balloon Tennis Set
- Balloon Tennis Instructions
- Balloon Tennis Rules 10 Fun Ways To Play!
- Six At-Home Tennis Activities to Bust Boredom
- BORED? HERE ARE 20 GAMES TO PLAY WITH A BALL
- Tunnel Ball
- Over and Under
- French Cricket
- Knocking down Tin Cans
- Backyard Tennis
- Say and Catch
- Keep the Ball
- Capture the Flag
- Piggy in the Middle
- Clap Catch
- 11 Fun Tennis Games for Kids [Tennis Drills for Kids]
- 1. Dodge Ball
- 2. Tidy/Messy
- 3. Sending and Receiving Game
- 4. Tennis FourSquare
- 5. Ball Balance
- 6. Up and Down
- 7. Partner Ball Pass
- 8. Squash Ball
- 9. Royal Court
- 10. Toss and Catch
- 11. XXL Shirt
- Volleyball Drills and Games for Students from K-12
- 8 Drills & Mini-Games for Building Volleyball Skills
- Keep It Up
- The Shephard
- Passing 21
- Volleyball 4-Square
- Volley Tennis
- The 3rd Degree
- Royal Court Tournament
- No Playdate, No Problem: Games Kids Can Play Alone
10 FUN GROSS MOTOR BALLOON TENNIS GAMES
If you’re anything us then you’ve been enjoying the highlights of the lawn tennis season this Summer. Our whole family loves to watch the action while munching our easy to make fruit packed Strawberries and Cream Popsicles, yum! Tennis and strawberries just shouts Summer doesn’t it!
Much as I love to get outside with the kids to play games, get some exercise and let off steam, sometimes the weather just doesn’t play ball, especially here in the UK! We have had such a wet Summer so far! Bleurgh!
You don’t need to worry about the weather with these 10 Fun Gross Motor Balloon Tennis Games to play indoors! They’re all really quick to set up and great games to turn to to stop everyone going stir crazy when outside play just isn’t an option. Kids and grown ups can enjoy a game of indoor tennis without the worry of damage to ornaments and windows that a real tennis ball would cause!
Balloon tennis gives kids all sorts of opportunities to exercise their gross motor skills as they jump, leap, stretch, balance and lunge in the style of their favourite tennis heroes.
If your kids are anything mine then they’ll love to exercise their vocal chords too, adding in grunts and groans to match Federer’s and Murray’s!
Of course all of these 10 fun gross motor balloon tennis games can be played outside too if it’s not windy!
Supplies To Make A Balloon Tennis Set
(This post contains affiliate links.)
- Yellow/Green Balloon US / UK
- Sharpies US / UK
- Jumbo Popsicle Sticks US / UK
- Paper Plates US / UK
- Sticky Tape
Balloon Tennis Instructions
To make your own ballon tennis set simply tape the jumbo popsicle sticks onto the back of the paper plates to make your racquets, and blow up the balloon to make your tennis ball! Simple.
To make ours a more authentic looking tennis game we used sharpies to draw a tennis ball design onto the balloon and racquet strings onto the paper plate.
Balloon Tennis Rules 10 Fun Ways To Play!
You can make up all sorts of balloon tennis rules to suit the number and age of your players.
Here are 10 fun gross motor balloon tennis games we enjoy playing:
1 Down On One Knee (When you miss a shot you have to balance on one leg, then kneel on one knee, then kneel on both knees, then sit on your bottom, then you are out.)
2 Smash Down (Players start with a set number of lives, 3 or 5 work well. A life is lost every time an opponent manages to get the balloon to the floor on your side of the court.
3 Keepy Uppy (Players bat the balloon to and fro between them and lose a point every time they fail to keep the balloon off the floor. The first to 5 is the loser.)
4 Keepy Uppy Solo (Each player has their own balloon tennis ball and repeatedly hits it up into the air. The first person to let their balloon touch the floor loses.)
5 Circle Tennis (This balloon tennis game is great if you have a number of players. Players stand in a circle and pass the balloon tennis ball around the circle playing any of the games above.
6 Name Race Balloon Tennis (Players stand in a circle and hit the balloon into the centre of the ring while calling out a players name. The player called plus the person standing on the right of the server must try to catch or hit the balloon. The winner serves the next ball.)
7 Cog Wheel Tennis Game (Players stand in a circle. The server sends the balloon ball to the player opposite. The player opposite returns it to the person on the servers left.
The player on the original servers left then send it to the person on the left of the player that served it to them and so on and so on around the circle. A life is lost every time a player misses the return.
This can also be combined with Down On One Knee.)
8 Piggy In The Middle (For three of more players. One person is the ‘piggy’ in the middle of two or more players. They must try to catch the balloon when the other players bat it to and fro between them. When the piggy catches the ball they swap places with the person they captured the tennis ball from.)
9 Dodge Ball Tennis ( One player stands in the middle with a racquet. All other players stand around them with a racquet each and any number of balloon tennis balls you .
The more balls you have the harder it is for the person inside. The outer players must try to hit their balls at the inner player.
The inner player must avoid being hit by dodging the balloons and hitting them away with their racquet.)
10 Target Balloon Tennis ( Players set each other challenges to hit certain targets in a certain number of shots. For example, hit the right hand table leg in three shot or hit the back of the door in 4 shots etc.)
Kids and grown ups can enjoy these 10 Fun Gross Motor Balloon Tennis Games all year round. They’re a great way to get active, let off steam and have fun together!
(Warning: Balloons can still knock ornaments etc over, please make sure fragile items are safe.)
More Fun Ideas For Play:
More Outside Inspired Posts To Explore:
Six At-Home Tennis Activities to Bust Boredom
As a mom of two active little boys, I am a firm believer in getting outside each day to burn off extra energy. We run around the yard, play games, take walks – whatever we can do to get the house, move our bodies and have some fun.
I don’t know about you, but we just cannot stay cooped up in the house all day long. On those days when we do, the tranquility of our family room quickly turns into a disaster area with couch cushions strewn about, toys everywhere (and I mean everywhere), boys running room to room racing to see who’s the fastest, and sporting equipment flying. Did I mention that my boys are active?
During the colder months when the temperatures dip too low to go outside for long periods of time, I desperately search for activities we can do inside that are engaging and get my kids moving with as little destruction as possible.
My older son has recently found an affinity for tennis (hooray!) thanks to his recent participation in the TGA afterschool tennis enrichment program. He wants to play all the time.
And I couldn’t be happier about it! With equipment sized right, tennis is fun for kids of all ages and skill level and it boasts numerous benefits such as learning lessons in teamwork and sportsmanship as well as building physical strength and endurance.
Considering he is just a very early beginner, I definitely want to keep his interest and give him the chance to have fun with tennis when he wants. That got me thinking: what tennis activities could we do inside at home while we wait for sunnier days and warmer temps more accommodating for time out on our local tennis courts.
So I went right to USTA Mid-Atlantic’s own resident expert on playing tennis in non-traditional spaces (aka our manager of school programs) Alicia von Lossberg. She assured me that, very easily, everyday spaces can turn into the perfect places for tennis fun for you and your children.
She explained that all of the activities are suitable for a basement, playroom or even the garage and that activities range from racquet and ball handling to fitness fun.
You don’t even need to have a net! You can get creative with items you ly have on hand at home. Masking tape or painters tape is perfect for marking the perimeter of the “court” on the floor or simply mark a line for where a net would be.
You can also use two chairs with tape stretched between them as the net.
This is just the solution I want to have at the ready should we find ourselves indoors but chomping for an activity.
So, the next time you are stuck inside more than you and you hear “I’m bored,” for the umpteenth time, grab your racquets and foam balls and try these six fun tennis activities at home to break up the monotony and calm the crazy.
Ball balance, tap downs and bump ups are all great activities to practice racquet and ball handling. For ball balance, have your little tennis star try to balance the foam ball on the strings of the racquet while touching the floor with their opposite hand.
Tap downs are when you bounce the ball down at waist level and bump ups are when you bounce the ball (carefully) up at eye level without letting the ball hit the ground. Have your child do as many of those as they can.
You can even do these activities with your child and see who can do the most in a row or go the longest balancing the ball.
Helpful hint: if this is too hard for them, try a beach ball or balloon for quick success before moving on to the foam ball.
Partner up and practice hand-eye skills. Put some tunes on and partner up with your child or partner your kids up to work on hand-eye coordination.
A fan favorite is ball pass where you work together to pass a ball back and forth “catching” it with the racquet. For each catch, keep stepping back a step and see how far apart you can get.
Set a record and see who can break it.
Helpful hint: for younger kids, use a bean bag to pass instead.
Get in a rhythm with “drop, hit, catch” and “toss, hit, catch.” These games are sure to bring a smile to your child’s face and even work their rhythmic pattern skills! Partner up with them and have them gently drop the ball and hit it toward you so that you can catch it – drop, hit, catch, and repeat.
Every catch is a point! After six hits, change roles and see who can get the most points. Try toss, hit, catch to work on forehand and backhand skills. Begin about three steps apart from your child and toss the tennis ball to the forehand or backhand side and have them rally the ball back to you to catch it.
Toss it six times and switch!
Helpful hint: Give your child a target ( your knees or hat on your head) to keep balls from being hit home runs.
Rally over the net.
Remember those chairs with the tape (or rope, ribbon, or streamers) stretched between them? Set them up as the net and work with your child to rally the ball over to each other.
You can make this activity easier by rolling the ball on the ground or make it harder by switching between forehand and backhand off the bounce. See how long you can rally with each other.
Agility, footwork and speed are all valuable skills for tennis that can be worked on at home. If you are playing in a more open space of the house, a few minutes of jump rope is a great way your child can work on footwork moves. See how long each of you can jump without stopping.
Hop scotch is also a great game to work on balance and agility by hopping on one foot and then two. But the best game of all IMO is the “Ball Kid Burst.” Put imagination to action and pretend to be a ball kid dashing to grab the tennis balls for superstars Rafa and Serena during an intense match.
Place a racquet on the floor and then place a pile of tennis balls directly across from the racquet, about 10 to 15 feet away. Get your stopwatch ready and race to grab one ball at a time and place them on racquet. Record the time and see how fast you can get all the tennis balls picked up. Take turns to see who is the fastest.
Try this one at the end of play time, when all the foam balls are scattered about. This is a GREAT way to make clean up fun.
Strategize a new game. Tennis is all about game strategy so work those intellectual skills and have your child invent their own tennis game that can be played indoors.
Kids love to make up their own games, and you never know what kind of creative ideas they will come up with that can work a new tennis skill.
Just make sure you remember it for next time to add it in the rotation.
Hopefully you found this list to be a handy reference so that on the days when you just can’t get enough outdoor time or make it to the courts, you can still work with your child on their budding tennis skills and love of the game! And speaking of love of tennis, don’t forget, kids 10 and under new to the USTA are eligible for a free junior membership. Find out more and sign up!
What fun tennis activities have you tried with kids? Share them with us on , and Instagram.
Lauren Hoffmann is the director of marketing, communication and membership at USTA Mid-Atlantic. She would write a really clever little line here but she’s a mom and she’s exhausted.
Illustration images are from the USTA Kid’s Tennis Clubs Organizers Playbook. Illustrations are thanks to Skillastics, Inc.
BORED? HERE ARE 20 GAMES TO PLAY WITH A BALL
A large amount of equipment is not required to have fun playing ball games, in fact, most of these can be played with just one ball and two people.
Everyone has played handball at some stage or another, but as a refresher; handball is played between two people with a line between them. The ball is hit once in one’s own square before it must cross the line and be hit by the opponent. The game stops when an opponent messes up the pattern.
Played with a group of people who have their legs spread standing in a line. The person at the front rolls the ball to the back person who grabs the ball and runs to the front of the line, beginning the process again.
Everyone knows what 10-pin bowling involves, but if you don’t feel making a trip to the local bowling alley, lining up 10 other items (think cans or other containers) and rolling a ball to knock them over is just as fun.
Try playing modified soccer by sticking to the rules: ‘you can’t touch the ball with your hands’ and ‘if you get the ball in a certain area you score a goal’. Soccer is a simple and enjoyable game, especially with these modified rules.
Over and Under
Similar to tunnel ball, players line up in a line with their legs spread. The first person passes the ball over their head and the second underneath (through their legs). This continues until the last person receives the ball, who then runs to the front of the line, starting the game again.
A modified version of cricket that is similar to catch. A player throws a ball to the batter, who bats with an upturned bat. If a fielder catches the ball the batter is out and it’s the fielders turn to bat.
The simple game of catch can also be very fun. Try throwing different kinds of balls depending on sporting interests. A netball, tennis ball, football or even a large beach ball are some ideas.
Learn how to juggle! Start with two balls and once you get that down move on to three or more.
Knocking down Tin Cans
Place tin cans in a line and attempt to knock them over with a tennis ball. This is a great game for target practise.
Can be modified to be played at home, place cups on the ground and try hitting golf balls into the cups.
A modified game of tennis to play at home, uses two tennis (or squash or ping pong) rackets to continuously hit the ball between a pair or group of people. See how long you can pass for until the ball hits the ground.
It can be violent if not played properly, but extremely fun when it is! Gather several soft balls and have a line between the two opposing teams. If you’re hit with a ball you’re out. Continue playing until there’s only one team left.
Say and Catch
A modified version of catch played with a number of people. At the start of each round one player must announce a category such as ‘animals’. Before the next player receives the ball they must announce something in that category. People are out when they cannot think of something to say or say the same thing as someone else beforehand.
Another variation of catch, the aim of this game is to catch the other players off guard by throwing the ball quickly to them. Each time a player throws a bad pass or drops the ball they gain another letter in the word ‘donkey’. When a player reaches the full word of ‘donkey’, they are out.
Is played with a hoop and a basketball or one similar in size. Take turns attempting to get the ball in the hoop and when you’re successful take a step back. See how far back you can go and get the ball in the hoop!
Keep the Ball
Players divide into two teams and set a time limit for the game. When attacking, teams must pass the ball between themselves and when defending attempt to intercept a pass from the opposing team. One cannot pass it back to a person they just received the ball from and the team with the ball when the time is up is declared the winner.
Capture the Flag
Players divide into two teams with a line between the teams. Each team hides a ball from the opposition on their side of the line and attempt to capture the other team’s ball on their side without getting by the other team when in their half. The first team to claim the other team’s ball is the winner.
E well-known game in France, Petanque is similar to lawn bowls. It is played between two people who each have a large ball and the aim is to throw their ball as close as possible to another smaller ball.
Piggy in the Middle
Played between at least 3 people (if there are more, than there is more ‘piggies’ in the middle). The ball is passed between the two people on the ends and if it is caught by someone in the middle they swap out with someone on the end. If the ball is dropped an intense scramble follows, to see who can grab the ball first.
Yet another variation of catch, this can be played between a group of people who must clap before they receive the ball from another player. To increase difficulty players can clap several times before the ball is received. A player is out when they do not clap as many times as agreed on before they catch the ball.
Need a ball? Get it here.
11 Fun Tennis Games for Kids [Tennis Drills for Kids]
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Tennis Games for Kids
Searching for tennis games for kids? Look no further. These 11 fun tennis games and drills for kids are great activities to incorporate into your child’s tennis warm-ups.
So, your child has expressed interest in learning to play the game o
f tennis. You’ve been through this before where your kids want to play a sport, but suddenly lose their enthusiasm, so is this a phase or something you should consider?
You can start by asking them if they understand what tennis is and where they learned about it. Take them to a local park where people are practicing and watch their reactions to the game. You know your child better than anyone, so you will be able to tell if this is a long-term interest or not.
If your child expresses interest in anything that keeps them active, then you shouldn’t ignore them and at least give them a chance. Any sport, including tennis, is great for the mind and body, so go ahead and give them a chance at tennis.
Some people raise the question of what age is the right age to get them started. There is no definite answer to this question; some of the best players have started as early as 2 years of age.
That always raises the next question of how do you get a 2-year old to understand they are playing tennis? They don’t understand the game, but with the proper coach, your 2-year old, and even your 12-year old will stay interested in the game.
How do you ask? The right coach knows how to create an atmosphere t
hat will allow the child to believe he/she is playing a game. They set up an area with drills and games that are fun, but yet the child will be learning the fundamentals of tennis without even knowing.
So that you will have a better understanding, we have prepared a list of 11 fun tennis games for kids that are easy enough for you to play with them in your own backyard or neighborhood park. We have also included some additional tips and ideas that will prepare you to further your child’s interest in the game.
1. Dodge Ball
This game is played much the traditional game except this time you will be using the net, a racket, and tennis balls. Gather at least two kids and have them stand on the opposite side of the net from you.
Gently hit the balls to the other side using your racket as the kids try and avoid getting hit by the ball. If they get hit with the ball, you get the point.
This game is an excellent exercise for quick reaction and footwork practice.
This game will require the use of 12 tennis ball cans with lids. Set up the cans on one side of the court scattered within two vertical rows; 6 cans with the lids up and 6 cans with the lids down.
Two children will compete for one minute flipping the cans on the opposite side until they have all been turned over in the opposite direction. The person who gets the most completed wins.
This game will build endurance and strengthen their dynamic balance.
3. Sending and Receiving Game
This game can be played in a few various ways and will work great with children between the ages of 5 and 7. To set up the game you will need to place 5 cones on each side of the court. The first variation of the game is played with the coach on one side of the net and the kids on the other.
Each side takes a turn tossing the ball to the other side keeping it inside the bounds. Each ball that remains in bounds gets placed on a cone and the side who gets the first 5 balls on the cones wins the game. The next variation is played with two kids, one on each side of the net.
They toss the ball just the first variation except for this time they will try and hit a cone for a point.
The next variation of this game is played with one child tossing the ball to the other side where that child will hit the ball with the racket and the last variation of the game will end with both players using a racket.
4. Tennis FourSquare
If you’ve ever played this game on the playground you will understand the rules are played the same except you will be using a tennis ball and racket instead of a handball. The four squares should be numbered from 1 to 4 clockwise so that the numbers are diagonal from each other i.e. the number 1 and 4 will be diagonal.
The server will be the player standing in the highest numbered square and he/she must serve to the lowest numbered square. The receiver must allow the ball to bounce inbounds once before hitting the ball to the square of their choice.
When a ball bounces bounds that player is eliminated until there is only one person left on the playing field. You can mix it up a bit by starting the kids with tossing the tennis ball before using the rackets and you can start from the lowest to the highest number if you wish.
You can also rotate the kids around the squares when they get hit to keep them in the game. This is great for an eye-hand coordination exercise and balance.
5. Ball Balance
This is a simple game of balance much an exercise that’s done in basketball. Holding the racket out in front of the child’s body, they can practice balancing the ball on top of the racket.
They should start by standing still and then gradually building up a pace of walking as fast as they can without dropping the ball. Practice exercises such as squats and touches without dropping the ball.
This game will help to build wrist strength and coordination as well as balance and eye-hand coordination.
6. Up and Down
Much ball balance, this game is played the same except this time the ball must be bounced up from the racket while walking around the court.
Practice squats and touches while bouncing the ball and then switch it up by dribbling from your waist to the floor just dribbling a basketball. Run around the court dribbling the tennis ball without losing it to avoid getting eliminated.
This is another game that will also help with wrist strength and balance while practicing eye-hand coordination.
7. Partner Ball Pass
This is a great team-building exercise used with the racket and the ball. Each player will take a turn tossing the ball from their racket to their partner’s racket without letting it hit the floor.
This game is not meant for hitting the ball but rather tossing it back and forth with the racket between the players. For smaller children, or for those who have difficulty keeping the ball on the racket, you can use a bean bag in the place of the ball.
Not only is this a team-building exercise but it is also perfect for balance and coordination.
8. Squash Ball
This fun and simple game is perfect for small beginners between the ages of 4 and 6. Using a racket one player will roll the ball to the other they would do in mini golf. The other player will then stop the ball and squash it with their racket. They will take turns rolling and squashing while exercising eye-hand coordination and testing their reflexes.
The following video will give you a perfect demo of this game as well as some other fun games for ages 4 to 6.
9. Royal Court
This is not only a good game to test their eye-hand coordination, but it will help them learn specific tennis footwork, it will test their attention skills, and it’s a great anticipation game. Line the kids up on the opposite side of the net from the coach with their rackets on the ground beside them.
They will wait with anticipation for their names to be called as the coach will call them one at a time when it’s their turn. The coach will hit the ball over the net as he calls out a name. The child who is called must wait for the ball to bounce once and then catch it.
When the ball is caught properly, the child must place the ball on their racket and the first person who collects 5 balls wins. For a challenge, the coach can hit the ball high or low, fast or slow.
10. Toss and Catch
An excellent game to use in tennis training with kids 10 and under is the toss and catch game. Just give each player an orange cone and have them to stand on the opposite side of the net from the coach.
Once everyone is in position, the coach, standing on the opposite side of the net should toss the ball over and after it bounces once the kids should catch it in the cone. This is great training just before they begin to use the racket.
Once they are comfortable with the game, the kids can take turns tossing the ball over the net for the others to catch in the cone. That’s a good way for them to learn the concept of serving the ball.
11. XXL Shirt
Wearing an adult sized shirt, this game is played similar to toss and catch. The coach should toss the ball over the net and after it bounces, the player should catch it with his/her shirt just a bowl. The kids can take turns tossing and catching, so they can get a feel for the court and learn to work together as a team.
The following video explains some of the games we have described for you as well as a selection of different games in case you are looking for more.
Additional Tips and Ideas
Before setting out on your mission to find the best instructor for your child consider his/ her age and who wants them to play; is this something you have agreed on mutually, or is this more for you than your child?
If your child isn’t interested, then you will be wasting your time and money trying to get them involved. As you already know, children change interests all the time, so you might want to consider the beginning as a trial before you invest a lot of time and money into the sport.
Look for programs that are well organized and ready to teach kids of all ages. The ideal programs are those that are focused on fun learning activities while promoting sportsmanship and the basics of tennis. It’s hard to keep a 3-year old focused, but when they think they are throwing a ball for fun, you will keep them occupied a bit longer than you might expect.
Also, keep in mind that your children will stay interested longer when you get involved with them. If you’re a tennis player yourself, that’s great! Maybe you can get them involved while you play, and they can learn from you, but if that’s not the case, no worries, there are other ways you can get involved.
Consider coaching a squad or hosting an after-game party. You can set up a carpool or take the group for ice cream after practice. If you have a large backyard, consider inviting the team over for a day of practice and drills. No matter what you choose to do, stay involved and your child will enjoy the sport.
If you’re not familiar with the sport you might want to consider learning some of the basic rules of the tennis game so you can help your child learn to play. You will also need to understand some basic tennis terminology when it comes time to communicate with your child about the game.
Once you understand how to play, you can help your child practice using some of the fun games from our list, but before you set up the field remember these simple things:
- Limit the games to no more than 15 or 20 minutes a session. Kids can get bored and lose interest if you don’t change things up occasionally.
- Make the games fun, exciting, and welcoming for the whole family.
- Reward your young player with positive encouragement so they will feel good about the game and want to practice more.
- Kids love to be a part of a team, so gather as many kids during practice as possible, and they love to wear a uniform, so consider getting some special tee-shirts for your family team, and last, they love to root for each other, so keep up the chanting and they will chime right in!
There you have it, 11 fun tennis games for kids. Check out our other fun gym games.
Volleyball Drills and Games for Students from K-12
Fall is coming and that means a whole new set of sports will be played on fields and courts around the US. Some of the most popular ones in America’s high schools and recreation leagues include cross-country, field hockey, tennis, volleyball, football, and basketball.
The following drills and mini-games will help your students prepare for volleyball. Volleyball is a fun and very active sport that takes teamwork, strength, agility, communication, and, depending on the level of play, the skills of passing, setting, spiking, and serving.
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8 Drills & Mini-Games for Building Volleyball Skills
The following 8 activities are designed to help your students build those skills, beginning with volleying and striking balloons in K-2, to learning the forearm pass in 3-6, applying skills into mini-games in middle school, and finally playing volleyball with a focus on various strategies in high school.
Keep It Up
This is a great activity to introduce volleying and striking to your K-2 students. Scatter students throughout the area (best indoors to avoid wind), each with a balloon, punchball, or beachball.
Give some time to explore playing with their balloon and teach them what to do with it on your stop signal. Then introduce Keep It Up where the object is to keep the balloon in the air as long as they can by volleying it with various body parts.
Add partner challenges to introduce volleying with another player.
Once your K-2 students can volley and strike their balloon with some control, try applying that skill to a little game called The Shephard. In this game, 3-5 students are designated as “sheep dogs” that stand in the center of the area.
The other players line up on an endline, each with a balloon. They are the shepherds and their balloons are the sheep.
The object is to volley their sheep continuously as they walk through the “pasture” without allowing a sheepdog to tap their sheep away.
For students in grades 3-6, introducing the volleyball forearm pass can be tricky. Allow students to use slower-moving balls such as volley trainers or even beachballs to allow them time to get into the correct position under the ball.
In Passing 21, after you’ve taught the forearm pass (or bump), allow them to practice in small groups of 4-5 in a circle. Always begin with an underhand toss to someone in the group and have them practice keeping it up.
The object is to score 21 with 3 points made for every pass made from the air and 1 point if it bounces.
When your 3-6 graders have some control with their forearm passes and sets, Volleyball 4-Square is a fun way to practice those skills. Create a 4-square court with 2 students in each square.
The object is to try to move to Square #1 by passing to other pairs in the square. When a pair makes an error (can’t pass the ball into another pair’s square), they move to Square #4 and all others move up a square.
It is played 4-square, but using volleyball passing, setting, and serving skills.
This is a fun activity for middle schoolers who are still developing their passing skills and want to play a game with their emerging skills. In Volley Tennis they play a mini 3V3 game using a low net (tennis height) or a line of cones.
The object is for each player on a side to hit the ball (3 hits) before sending it over the net to the other group’s court. The ball may bounce between each hit if needed. Use a ball that has a decent bounce for this activity. Players may use passing, setting and serving skills.
If they are ready, you can add the spike!
Once your students have the skills to hit the ball without a bounce, they are ready for Mini-Volleyball. This game involves 6 students per “court” where 2 hold a rope for a net, 2 are on one side of the net, and the final 2 on the other.
They play for 10 serves or so, then switch net-holders. It’s super fun and challenging and an Extension makes it even more so, by challenging students to play without a bounce between hits.
That is a great way to differentiate for students’ skill levels.
The 3rd Degree
When your high school students have their passing, setting, and hitting skills and are ready to apply them in a game setting, The 3rd Degree is a great one. This game focuses on using all 3 hits each time the ball is on one side of the net. In fact, they can only score by using the 3-hit sequence.
Royal Court Tournament
When your class has progressed and is ready for some competition with each other, try the Royal Court Tournament. This is appropriate from 5th through 12th grades.
Whatever game you are playing, use this type of tourney to help students play others who are similarly skilled. In this tournament they play for a specified time period, say 5 minutes, and keep score.
On the stop signal, if they were ahead, they move up one court closer to the “Royal” court. If they were behind, they move down. If tied, do a rock, paper, scissors to determine.
No Playdate, No Problem: Games Kids Can Play Alone
There are many fun and active games that kids can play alone, so solo doesn't have to mean sedentary. These activities are suitable for a party of one and allow kids to get some physical activity each day without having to find a play partner.
It is nice to have moms and dads get involved with the activities as well. Not only does it motivate the young ones, but you also get some exercise, too. Yet, that's not always possible or necessary. In those times, suggest one of these fun and simple games and your child can have a great time.
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Does your child play basketball or soccer? They do not need teammates to practice skills. Shooting baskets is a great game for kids to play alone. So is practicing soccer skills dribbling or shooting on goal.
If you have a rebounding net, kids don't need a partner to play catch with a football or baseball, either. Also, a pitching machine is an inexpensive way for kids to put in some extra baseball practice.
All your child needs is a ball and some open space for this classic, active game. It challenges them to master increasingly complex skills. It's a great outdoor game or it can be played in your basement, garage, or anywhere that doesn't have breakables.
Yes, tennis and badminton can be games for kids to play alone! They can volley tennis balls off a wall, bounce them on the ground with the racket, or bounce balls and birdies up from a racquet held horizontally.
How many can they get in a row? Can they top their personal best? It's actually a great way to hone their hand-eye coordination, which is useful for many other things.
Kids can practice hula hooping indoors or out. Challenge them to count how many revolutions they can do or how long they can keep the hoop spinning without dropping it.
Watch a few hula hooping videos online so your child can see what kinds of tricks are possible, too. For instance, they can try to master the technique of working the hoop from the hips to the neck and back down.
Did you ever hear the expression, “dance no one's watching”? Many people are nervous about dancing in public, but you can encourage your child to dance alone and work on some confidence-building skills. All it takes is music. You can also use games, such as Just Dance or Zumba classes. These can help kids build a repertoire of moves.
Encouraging your child to go on a little bike or scooter ride is a great option. It's also a perfect solo activity. You will need to set boundaries and make sure kids know and obey safety rules before they set out, though.
Art and craft projects can keep kids busy for hours. If your son or daughter has a creative streak, give them some supplies and let them explore their imagination. A larger mural or a 3-D sculpture offers plenty of physical activity.
While you probably don't want your child to spend all their playtime in front of a screen, setting them up with motion-controlled video games will definitely get them moving. It may even inspire activity away from the TV.
Got dirt, sand, or snow in the yard? Equip your child with some simple tools shovels, pails, and maybe a few molds and let them dig and build to their heart's content. It's easy to spend hours crafting a castle, a roadway, a snow creature, or even a flower garden.
Volleyball is usually a team sport, but it's a lot of fun for one, too. All you need is a balloon and, with a few boundaries set, it can be an indoor game.
Set up a ribbon to act as a net and blow up a balloon for a ball. Then challenge your child to play volleyball—on both sides of the net! They hit the balloon up and over the ribbon, then scoot under to hit it from the other side, and so on until the balloon wafts to the ground.
On a nice sunny day, a tub of sidewalk chalk can keep many kids busy for a long time. They can use the chalk to make hopscotch, mazes, obstacle courses, and much more. You might even show them photos of amazing sidewalk chalk art by professional artists to inspire their own artwork.
Even when there are no playmates available, kids can stay entertained and active with a little encouragement. It challenges their creativity and offers many possibilities for growth and development on a very personal level as well.
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