Fun Outdoor Ball Games

Boys and girls running

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In good weather, children head outside to play, and almost all of them enjoy playing with a ball -- for a while. When children get bored with kicking or tossing the ball, you can teach them some organized games. Many games are easy to adapt, depending on the balls you have available.


In Categories, players stand in a circle, with one player holding a playground ball. The player holding the ball names a specific category, such as animals or TV shows. She bounces the ball to another player in the circle. The player catching the ball names something that fits within the category, such as penguin for the animal category. She then bounces the ball to another person who names something else that fits the category. A player is out if he can't think of something new that falls under the category or if he takes too long to answer. A new category is selected to start the next round.

Ball Relay

Relay races offer a classic outdoor game option. Adding a ball to the mix provides more entertainment and an extra challenge for the relay participants. There are several ways to integrate a ball into a traditional relay race. The Amazing Moms website suggests having the kids walk with a small ball held between their knees. Other options include dribbling a basketball or kicking a soccer ball through the relay race course.

Name Ball

This outdoor ball game works best with a large group of kids. The players stand in a large circle. One player holds a ball. He tosses it high into the air as he calls another child's name. The child whose name was called runs to catch the ball before it hits the ground. He then gets a chance to toss the ball and call out a new name. Instruct the kids to select different names so all of the kids get a chance to catch and toss the ball.

Tunnel Ball

The tunnel ball game works best on a flat surface. The players stand in a row with their legs spread slightly apart to create a tunnel. One player rolls a ball so it goes completely through the tunnel. She then joins the line and another child takes a turn at rolling the ball through the legs. Once all of the kids complete the round, move the rolling line back further so the kids have to roll the ball harder to get it completely through the tunnel.