15 Fun Basketball Games For Kids To Play

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Basketball is typically associated with high-intensity game-play, excellent hand-eye coordination, and ball skills that boggle your mind. It is also a great game for teaching teamwork and discipline. Teaching basketball to your children ensures their all-round development.

We have compiled a list of 15 fun basketball games for kids. These fun games can spark their interest and make the game more enjoyable. Moreover, you could play these games in your driveway, backyard, or community basketball court.

If your child is interested in basketball, or if you are looking to add some fun to your child’s regular basketball practice sessions, these basketball games for kids are perfect for everyone.

15 Basketball Games For Kids

Basketball is a high-intensity game that helps build team spirit in your child. If you wish to make their practice sessions exciting and engaging, these fun basketball games for kids will give a new twist to the regular game and up the fun quotient.

1. Passing

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If there is one game that develops your children’s hand-eye coordination, it is ball passing. Besides, passing helps develop a great sense of teamwork.

How to play:

  • Two players start the game by passing the ball between them as they move along the court.
  • If a player drops the ball, they are out of the game. The next player takes their place, and the game starts from the beginning.
  • For the next round, the ones who have completed one successful trip can compete.
  • You can also ask them to try a lay-up to make passing more enjoyable.

2. Monkey in the middle

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This is a passing game but with double the fun. It is useful for developing hand-eye coordination and helping the child anticipate the moves of an opponent.

How to play:

  • Two players pass the ball, and the third player tries to catch the ball as they pass.
  • Pass through the length of the court as you do this.
  • If the third player catches the ball, they take the place of the player who threw the ball before they caught it, and that player becomes the monkey in the middle.

3. Out

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If you want your child to improve their throw, this game is the best bet. It is quite simple yet challenging and is a great way for your child to exercise their muscles and calculate the distance and the angle of the throw.

How to play:

  • A player selects a spot to shoot the ball into the basket.
  • If the player puts the ball through the basket, the next player stands in the same place and attempts to shoot the ball through the basket.
  • If the player misses the shot, they get an O.
  • The next player selects another spot and throws the ball from there. If they miss, they get an O, and the third player takes over, and so on.
  • In the next round, every time a player misses a shot, they get a U and then a T in the subsequent round.
  • The player who gets OUT is out of the game. The play continues until one player remains.

4. Basketball toss

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Toss games are always fun. You can arrange this game at a practice session or a birthday party. It is easy and keeps children entertained for a long time.

How to play:

  • Draw a line on the ground. This will be the line behind which the children will stand.
  • Place a basket, bucket, box, or hoop some distance away from the line.
  • Each child gets three chances to throw the basketball into the container from behind the line.
  • For young children, you can give them crumpled paper balls or small plastic balls instead of basketballs.

5. Sharks and minnows

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Ball control is an important aspect of basketball. The sharks and minnows game teaches children the concept of keeping the ball in control during play instead of letting it bounce away.

How to play:

  • Select two players to be sharks. The rest of the players will be minnows.
  • The sharks stand at one end of the court. They do not have a ball.
  • The minnows line up, facing the sharks at the other end of the court. Each minnow has a ball.
  • The goal of the game is to let the minnows dribble the ball from one end to another without the balls getting stolen or knocked out by the sharks. The sharks look to eliminate as many minnows as they can.
  • Each minnow who loses a ball becomes a shark in the next round.
  • The first minnow who reaches the other end without losing the ball is the winner.

6. Dribble knockout

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This is another game that teaches children to handle the ball properly. In a basketball game, controlling the ball and protecting it are crucial for winning the game. This basketball game for kids helps children develop those skills.

How to play:

  • All the players start at one end of the court. Each player has a ball.
  • The goal of the game is to dribble and reach the other side of the court.
  • Each player also attempts to capture or knock out other players’ balls.
  • If your ball is knocked out or captured, you are eliminated from the game.
  • The players who finish the first round successfully go on to the second round and so on, until there is only one player left.

7. Around the world

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This is similar to the game “Out.” However, this game will ensure all-round practice for your child to accurately shoot a ball into the basket.

How to play:

  • Select seven spots on the basketball court and mark them. These spots should be at a distance from which your players can stand and shoot the ball into the basket easily. Placing them too near or too far might cause difficulties.
  • Each player starts at the first spot and moves in a counterclockwise direction.
  • Each player must throw the ball through the basket from each of the marked spots.
  • When they succeed from the first spot, they move on to the next.
  • If they miss the shot, the player can call “Chance,” meaning they get another chance at a shot.
  • If they miss the second shot too, they move to the end of the line, and the next player starts taking the shots from the first spot.
  • The player who manages to make all their shots is the winner.

8. Mikan drill

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Named after a popular basketball player, George Mikan, this game is great at developing your child’s upper body strength and teaching them to protect the ball from the opponents.

How to play:

  • Each player has to shoot lay-ups. If the player throws with their left hand, they should lift their right knee.
  • If the children are younger, they can shoot off both feet.
  • As the ball falls from the basket, the player should catch it at a height above their head, run to the other side, attempt the throw with their other hand, and lift the other knee. If the ball falls from their hand, they are eliminated.
  • Make each player do this exercise for 30 seconds in the beginning and extend it as you go.

9. Knockout

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If your players are below 12 years, they will enjoy this game immensely. It is a favorite and teaches children to play competitively and perform under pressure.

How to play:

  • The players line up at the free-throw line. The first two players have a basketball each.
  • The first shot is always from the free-throw line, but the subsequent shots can be taken from anywhere.
  • If the person behind you scores first, you are out of the game.
  • If you score before the other person, you pass the ball to the first person on the line and join the end of the line.
  • The player who remains after all other players are knocked out is the winner.

10. H-O-R-S-E

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This game is similar to OUT but is more demanding. If you want your players to polish their shooting skills, this game is a fun way to teach them.

How to play:

  • The first player selects a spot and shoots.
  • If the ball passes through the basket, the next player attempts the same shot, and so on.
  • If the player misses a shot, they earn a letter.
  • The players who earn all the letters of HORSE are out of the game.
  • You can make your own rules for the game and even select different animal names to make the game long or short.
  • If the first player takes a shot and the subsequent players choose an easy spot for shooting or fail to replicate the player, they earn a letter.

11. 21 points

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This is another fast-paced shooting game that requires speed and concentration — two things that are very important in a basketball game. You can increase or decrease the points depending on the players’ age or the amount of time you have.

How to play:

  • Make all players stand behind the free-throw line.
  • The first player throws the ball from the line. If the ball passes through the basket, the player gets one point and another chance to shoot from the free-throw line.
  • If they miss the basket, the player must run to catch the rebound and attempt another shot. If the shot is made, the player gets two points.
  • If the player misses the rebound shot as well, the next player picks the ball and starts over from the free-throw line.
  • The first player to score 21 points wins.
  • If any player scores more than 21 points, their points are reduced to 13.

12. The 1-3-5 game

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If you are looking for a challenging game to make your players achieve accurate results with the ball, this is the game you must make them play. You will need someone to keep score for this game, and lay-ups are not allowed.

How to play:

  • Select a spot for your players to stand. For younger players, select a closer spot.
  • Ask each player to shoot the ball.
  • If a shot is made in the paint area, the player gets one point.
  • If a shot is made outside the paint area but not at the three-point line, they get three points.
  • If a shot is made in any place outside the three-point line, they get five points.
  • You can encourage your players to use their off-hand to take a shot and give double points if they succeed.

13. Swish away

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Swishes are considered the best shots in basketball. They go directly through the net without touching the board or the metal parts. This shot requires a lot of practice to get it right. This game can help your children practice the perfect shot.

How to play:

  • Two players stand on the opposite sides of the court, six feet away from the ring.
  • They take turns in throwing the ball, trying to swish it through the basket.
  • For a swish, the player scores one point. If the ball goes through the net but does not swish, the player scores zero points. If the player misses the shot, they score -1 points.
  • The first player to score five points is the winner. You could also consider a five-point difference.

14. Five in a row

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If you want your players to improve their target, this game is perfect for teaching them to do so in a fun way. It develops their hand-eye coordination, and the more they practice, the more they can put the ball through the net.

How to play:

  • Each player has to shoot the ball through the basket five times in a row from a spot of their choice. They should stand a few feet away from the ring.
  • If they succeed, they should take a step back and throw again, five times in a row.
  • If you want to make it more challenging, have every player shoot at the same time.

15. Dribble direction

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This is a game that can improve the dribbling skills of your players during a game. Dribbling continuously without losing the ball gives you the upper hand in a game of basketball, and this game will teach your players just that.

How to play:

  • Give each player a ball and line them up on one end of the court. Stand at a distance away from them, facing them.
  • Ask them to dribble while looking at you.
  • Move in different directions. The players must change their direction and face you while dribbling the balls. Their eyes must be on you at all times.
  • As the players improve, you can increase the speed of your movement.
  • If a player loses the ball, they can take five shots and start again.

These games are entertaining and challenging. You will notice your children wanting to play basketball more often and their game-play improving significantly.

If you are a coach, you can alternate these games among your players to make your training sessions fun. If you are a parent, you can ask your children to play with a basketball in your driveway and watch them as their skills develop. You can even include some of these games during a birthday party or get-together.

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