Ball Skills Introduction

Equipment and Setup:

  • For Grades K-2 Use playground balls
  • For Grades 3/4/5 Use basketballs
  • Students spread out in their personal space
  • Adjust this list to the level of your students
  • Teacher up front to lead activities

Teacher Leads –  Students Follow

  • Foot Dribble: Bounce ball up to self using foot
  • Hold ankle dribble: Dribble ball while holding one ankle and balancing on one foot.
  • Heel Slap Dribble: Dribble with one hand while slapping your heel with the other
  • Massage and Dribble: Can you rub the back of your neck and dribble a ball?
  • Bounce High: Bounce ball high while ball doesn’t go above hand
  • Bounce Low: Bounce as low as possible
  • Catch while you’re off the floor: Throw ball and catch while jumping
  • Catch as low as you can: Bounce ball and catch as close to the floor as possible
  • Butterfly Drill: Hold ball between legs – do scissors – ball stays between legs
  • Throw back to front: Hold ball in back with both hands and throw in front to catch
  • Throw front to back: Throw ball up and catch it behind your back
  • Throw, jump 360, catch: Throw ball up and make a complete turn and catch
  • Roller ball: Balance ball behind your neck, let the ball roll down your back, then catch ball at your lower back.
  • Floor slap: Throw ball on the floor – slap both hands on floor – then catch
  • Stand to Lying Down Dribble: High dribble, medium dribble, sit on the floor and keep dribbling, then lie down on your back and keep dribbling. Keep dribbling and slowly begin standing up.
  • Homer Simpson: Run in a circle while dribbling your ball in the same place.
  • Monkey Walk: Walk while moving the ball between your legs
  • Crossover Dribble: Dribble right -left- right -left.
  • Heads Up Dribble: Watch the teacher move a ball side-to-side and move accordinglyHold ball in back with both hands and throw in front to catch
  • Homer Simpson: Run in a circle while dribbling your ball on an exact spot on the floor. Then reverse directions. Can you do it while skipping? Skipping backwards?

Basketball/Playground Balls Game and Activity Links

Dribble Train

Rotating/Stationary Line Passing

Recycle the Basketballs

Polyspot Basketball

Line Basketball

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Polyspot Basketball for Field Day

Setup and Equipment:

  • Polyspots are lined up in half/circle fashion around all of basketball hoops. Break the class into 4 teams. Put out as many spots as you can. Keep some on hand to throw out later if needed.
  • Set up the spots so that the green and yellow spots are at the taller hoops and harder shots. These spots are worth 20 points each. All other colors are closer and worth 10 points.
  • 20 points for yellow and 20 points for green, 10 points for all other colors.
  • For Grades K/1/2 put the spots up closer to the hoops. Put many spots around the “hopper” hoop in the center.
  • If time is short on this activity, it may work better just to have them count how many spots they can get.

Guidelines:

  • On the start signal, one player from each team will dribble to a spot and try to score a basket.
  • The players may have both feet on the spot, or one foot in back and one foot on the spot. No feet in front of the spot.
  • If the shot is missed, they must dribble back to their relay team and pass to the next player in line.
  • If the shot is made, the player should pick up that spot and dribble the ball in one hand and carry the spot in the other hand back to their relay team. Pass the ball to the next player in line and go to the end of the line.
  • A maximum of one polyspot per turn.
  • Each team will start a pile of spots and try to accumulate the most points.
  • Remind players that they must dribble to and from the polyspots.
  • At the end of the game, teams may count up their points.

The Most Fun Wins!

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Torch Relay for Field Day

Setup and Equipment

Sixteen golf tubes, four tennis balls, various cones, stepping stones, and hula hoops, etc.

  • Four Teams lined up behind their color team cones.
  • Line up some obstacles: cones, stepping stones and hula hoops and other items that you have in a line in front of each team’s starting cone. At the opposite end of the starting cones place a second cone for half of the team.
  • This a shuttle relay, so half of each of the four teams start at opposite ends (more turns this way).
  • The first two people in each line have a torch (golf tube) to start.

 Guidelines:

  • On the signal the first person on each team moves through the obstacle course while holding their torch (golf tube) with one hand while balancing the ball on top. Two hands can be used for the younger students.
  • If they drop the ball off of the golf tube, simply pick it up and return moving across the course.
  • If someone knocks over an obstacle, they must stop and fix it before moving on their way.
  • Once they reach the other side, they pass the ball to the first person in the line and hand the golf tube to the next person in line and go to the end of the line.

 Object of the Game: How many turns can each person get? How many turns can your team get in 5 minutes?

Additional Options: Balance other types of balls or other items.

  • Can you balance the golf tube on the palm of your hand and move?
  • Can you carry two golf tubes?
  • Additional balance items also available.
  • For some of the older grades, you could also dribble a basketball, or kick a soccer ball around the obstacle course.

The Most Fun Wins!

 

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Great Wall of China

Great Wall of China

Setup and Equipment:

  • Pick three people to be the taggers (guards) on the Great Wall of China (center line in the gym).
  • The taggers may only slide back and forth along the line. Both feet must stay on the line.
  • Taggers tag with a gentle touch with their hands.
  • Music: Frantic Dance of Golden Serpent 

Rules:

  • All other players line up across the end line of the gym.
  • When the music begins (Music of China) players try to cross the great wall.
  • Stop the music when the players have made it to the opposite end line.
  • When players are tagged they join the Great Wall of China line.
  • If students lag in getting to the other end, the teacher may want to count down from five to one.
  • When music starts, players try to cross the “Great Wall” and return to the other side.
  • Continue until the “Great Wall” is impossible to cross.
  • Pick new guards and play another game.
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Pac-Person Tag

Setup and Equipment:

  • Yarn balls (taggers)
  • Connecting lines on the gym floor
  • Chose 4-6 people to be the ghosts (taggers)
  • Everyone else spreads themselves out with both feet on a line on the gym floor.

Guidelines:

  • Four to six students are the ghosts and they can move anywhere in the gym and try to tag the Pac-people. If you have the class divided into six groups, then you can have students from one group at a time be the taggers.
  • The pac-people can only move while they are on the lines on the floor. For gym floors that do not have a lot of lines, you may need to allow some jumping from one line to another.
  • When one of the pac-people are tagged by a ghost, they stop and balance on one foot and raise their hand in the air.
  • To be freed from this frozen position, one of their fellow pac-people will give them a high five. They can now return to the game.
  • After one or two minutes, stop the game and choose new “ghosts”

 

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Recess Games and Activities

Tetherball – You are out if you:

  • Touch the pole
  • Touch the rope
  • Cross the center line
  • Rope/ball is wrapped around pole
  • Server may only serve two times, then must go to the end of the line.

Four Square

  • Underhand only
  • Lines are in
  • For Disputed call – The “judge” is the next person in line
  • The “judge” makes all calls: overhand hit, ball out, line (redo called only if cause is interference)
  • Please, no teaming or arguing
  • When a player is out, they must go to the end of the line and players move up to fill vacated square.

Climbing Structure

  • Slide down the slide on your bottom.
  • Walking and climbing only-no running or chasing
  • Stay on the inside of the structure
  • No jumping from the top

Parallel Bars

  • Only 4 kids on at one time
  • No standing on top of or jumping off of the bars
  • 2 tricks each, then give someone else a turn

Swinging Gate

  • One person rides
  • One person pushes 20 spins equals a turn.
  • After completing 20 spins, the next person in line begins turn.
  • Stand in line on the blacktop until it is your turn.

Jump Rope

  • 2 misses is an out.
  • Rope turners turns for 2 people.
  • Jump ropes are for jumping only.

Hula Hoops

  • Each person should have their own hula hoop to play with.
  • Hoops are for spinning and balancing
  • No catching students by looping the hula hoop over someone’s head.

Dunk Basketball

  • 3 players VS. 3 players only
  • Practice shots O.K.
  • No hanging off the rim

Backboard Basketball

  • 5 players vs. 5 players maximum.
  • Even number of players on each team.
  • Follow official basketball rules

Wall Ball

  • One person is pitcher.
  • All other kids are on the wall between the lines.
  • Pitcher rolls the ball like you are bowling.
  • If you are hit with the ball-go out and stand at the side.
  • When 2 people are out, a new game starts
  • The pitcher chooses a new pitcher from the kids left on the wall.
  • Boy chooses girl or girl chooses boy.

Soccer, Football, and Kickball

  • Follow standard rules
  • Safety and Fairness must be maintained at all times.
  • Game will be discontinued if arguing replaces play.
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Hoop d’Jour

Setup and Equipment:

  • Equipment: Hula Hoops and a sash or jersey for the “its”
  • Twenty five – thirty hula hoops are spread out across the floor.
  • Four – Six students are designated as “its” and stand in the middle of the gym. They will be kicking any of the hoops to try to get them to slide across the floor to hit the players that are running across the floor filled with hoops.
  • The rest of the class starts the game at one end of the gym.
  • This is a a tag game that lasts for one – two minutes for each set of taggers. It works best to make sure that everyone gets a turn. They really enjoy the way the hoops slide on the floor.

Rules:

  • The teacher starts the music and  the runners will try to navigate themselves through the hoops without stepping on or being being tagged by a sliding hula hoop.
  • Players that touch or are tagged on the feet by a moving hula hoop must stop running and stand frozen and balance on one foot inside of a hoop. They can be defrosted and return to playing when one of their classmates gives them a high-five.
  • When the runners have made it to the other side or are frozen and balancing on one foot the teacher stops the game. When everyone is standing on the end line, restart the music and the players will try to run back their original starting line.
  • Continue having students run back and fort for a couple of minutes, then choose new taggers to kick the hula hoops.
  • Repeat the same game format for each new set of taggers until everyone has a turn.
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Fill the Bucket!

Setup and Equipment:

  • Four empty water buckets: One for each team at the opposite end (20 ft.)
  • One big container of water in the middle
  • 16: Small cups to carry the water in
  • One red, blue, yellow, and green cones or spots to designate teams.
  • Line up, relay style behind the cones, with all teams facing  the buckets at the other end.

Round One: Run to fill the Bucket:

  • Teams line up behind the cone or spot of their color team for directions:
  • The first person on each team has a cup to carry water in.
  • “Go”
  • Run to the center water container, dip your cup to get some water, now run to the bucket at the opposite end and dump it into the bucket.
  • Run back, hand the cup off to the next person in line and go to the end of the line.
  • Continue until one team fills the bucket.
  • Remember the most fun WINS!
  • When the cup gets to the last person in the line, they run all the way back up to the front, where the pattern of over/under passing continues.
  •  When everyone on the team has returned to their starting positions, they should sit down.
  • Continue to take as many turns as you can in five minutes.
  • You can do some comparison of the buckets to see who has the most, if it seems important to the group.

 Round Two: Bucket Brigade:

  • Team members stand side to side, next to each other:
  • One full bucket at one end. One empty bucket at the other end.
  • “Go”
  • Pass the full cup of water down your line, passing side to side.
  • When it gets to the last person in line, they put the water in the bucket, then run with the empty cup to the opposite end and fill the cup with water and send it down the line.
  • You may want to add additional cups, to fill the bucket faster.

Additional Ideas: If you finish the relays, you could repeat one of them, to see if they could do it faster.

Pass the Water over your head and to the person behind You.                           Good for Hot Day!

 

 

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Limbo and Hula Hoops

Limbo dancing is a dance that is originally from the island of Trinidad, although Hawaii is often mistakenly referred to as the birthplace of the Limbo dance.

 

 Setup and Equipment.

  • Limbo Pole 3 ft.
  • Limbo Music
  • Single file line starting with the Green, followed by yellow, blue, then red

 Guidelines

  1. Stand two feet from the stick, bend your knees, and lean backwards so your chest is facing up. Inch your way toward the stick
  2. Shimmy your body back and forth while leaning backwards. Try not to touch the stick or lean forward.
  3. Once you’ve made it through, you may circle around back to the end of the line and try going lower.
  4. When you  miss (everyone will eventually!) Just cheer on your classmates or try some hula hoop tricks.

Depending on Time: Leaders might want to have the Yellow and Green teams do the limbo and the Red and Blue teams hula hoop for a couple of minutes, then switch. 

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Oompa Loompa Tag

Setup and Equipment:

  • Oompa Loompa Music from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
  • Golden tickets: Yarn balls will work
  • Four to five players are chosen to be taggers.
  • Taggers have the “golden ticket” and attempt to tag the other players.

Guidelines:

  • When a player is tagged, they lean down and hold onto their ankles and become an Oompa Loompa.
  • Now, they begin to look for other Oompa Loompas.
  • The Oompa Loompas find each other by walking while holding their ankles.
  • When two Oompa Loompas find each other they hold their hands high and make a bridge.
  • When a third Oompa Loompa walks (while holding ankles) under the bridge, then all three of these players become free and return to the game.
  • Play continues for one to two minutes.
  • The next game starts after the “old taggers” hand their golden ticket (tagging ball) to the”new taggers”.

Alternative Base: Set an area in front of each wall with cones about 10-12 feet apart and 3-4 feet in front of the wall. Students may rest for 3 seconds for a base. They can stay for 10 seconds if they move next to the wall for calf, hamstring or quad stretching.

 

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