Everyone knows that kids need lots of activity to keep them healthy, fit, and out of your hair every now and then! Team and individual sports are great for the physical aspects, plus they teach cooperation, competition, and a sense of achievement. However, sports aren’t limited to the big names of basketball, baseball, football and soccer–there are tons of great sports games your kids (and you!) can play at home with stuff you have lying around. A fun time awaits you!

Batty Bowling

This homegrown variation of bowling improves accuracy and coordination in kids. Get a few things from around the house that can serve as bowling pins: milk carton, empty cans, even stuffed animals, as long as they can stand up. Take ten such items and make a triangular formation on any flat, spacious surface, such as the driveway, lawn, the garage or back patio, etc. Back up several feet and either draw a line or use tape to mark the starting line. Use any ball you have around, such as a volleyball, basketball, or soccer. Let the kids bowl from the starting line and try to knock all the “pins” down.


If you’ve ever played HORSE basketball, you can play PIG. This only needs a half court to play. Get a few kids and a basketball. Select one kid to shoot the ball first. If he or she manages to sink the shot, the next player has to shoot the same shot. If the first kid misses, however, the second gets to make their shot from any point on the court. If the first makes the shot and the second misses, player number two gets a letter “P”. This continues until one player is left without all three of the letters spelling “PIG”.

Name-It Ball

This game will help your child think faster and improve their coordination. Take a group of kids and make them form a circle, and give one kid a ball. Have each of them choose a category, like “Movies”. On your mark, have the kid with the ball bounce it toward another member of the circle. That kid has to catch the ball and call out the name of any movie (or whatever) that they think of. If the kid drops the ball or doesn’t name a movie or even names one that has been named previously, he or she is eliminated.

Football Toss

Coaches and dads have used this technique to improve their child’s accuracy and control of the football for years. Take an old tire and suspend it from a tree branch with some rope. Or, if you’re feeling crafty, build a wooden frame to support said tire. Measure off a distance from the tire and draw a line, from which your child will throw the ball. Traditionally this is done with a football, but it also works with other balls. Allow every child three times to put the ball through the tire; if they manage to get it through the tire more than once, maybe you can give them a treat.