Fun Basketball Games for Kids
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Basketball tests players' hand-eye coordination along with ball skills while teaching teamwork, discipline and responsibility. These common attributes shared by athletes in every team sport represent important character-building skills for kids of all ages to learn. Kids like to play fun-sounding games; learn a few variations on the game of basketball to provide them with an enjoyable experience while teaching them the core values fostered by team sports.
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Passing teaches players teamwork as well as unselfishness—another characteristic of all great athletes.
The hot tamale game teaches passing skills and hand-eye coordination to players of all ages. Two players pass the ball back and forth as they sidestep the length of the court without losing control of the ball. Whoever drops the ball is out of the game and must sit out. Those remaining after one successful trip down the court can repeat the exercise but make them shoot a jump shot as they reach the other basket. This will speed up the elimination process. Monkey in the middle has one defender try and intercept the pass of the two offensive players as they progress the length of the court. If the defender intercepts the pass, the two offensive players are eliminated from the drill. Have them get in the middle, or have them run a lap or two. Award the defender with praise and have her become an offensive player. Again, if few eliminations occur, end the drill with a lay-up. Allow each player to participate in the drill.
Make the bounce pass drill fun by giving it a creative and fun name like the bounce step. The children can perform it like a dance move, stepping one foot forward and performing a bounce pass to a player standing next to the basket ready to make a lay up.
Finally, the the old-fashioned chest pass can become the strongman pass. One set of players lines up under the basket and the others at the free-throw line. Each player has a passing partner across from him. The players practice throwing the ball back and forth for a few minutes with emphasis on the speed, accuracy and strength of the pass.
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The lay-up drill incorporates two offensive players who dribble and pass the ball down the court; the last one to touch it shoots a lay-up. Give it a fancy name like Race to the Finish.
For the three-point contest, kids line up for a three-point shot (or, for smaller children, a deep jumper around the top of the free-throw line) and each player shoots a ball from five areas on the floor. The highest scores advance, and the rest of the team can rebound balls or do laps. This game will assist the coach in finding the team's best shooters while teaching competitiveness in moderation.
In Horse, one player first takes the shot of her choice; if she makes it, every other player must shoot from that spot. If the player misses the shot, the shooter receives a letter of the word "horse"; if she makes it, players continue on without a letter. The player with the least amount of letters at the end wins.
Fourth, play Around the World. Pick spots on the court for players to shoot from; the first player to make shots from all the spots wins. Optional: Players receive a chance shot but only after that player makes the first Around the World shot. This will slow or speed up the pace of the game.
Next, the players can practice the run-and-gun game. The drill uses two offensive players and one defender. It goes the length of the court and ends with a long pass and shot, or multiple passes and a lay-up.
Finally, the children can engage in a free-throw contest, wherein they shoot free throws and whoever makes the most in a row wins.
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Playing defense teaches athletes the discipline required to be successful athletes. All-star defender, for one, works identically to the run-and-gun game, except the object here centers on playing defense and stopping the offensive players from scoring. Further, Ethe game of Eyeball trains players to see the ball. Have players defend the ball carrier tightly up and down the court and contest the ball carrier's shot. The goal of the drill centers on forcing a turnover or missed hoop.
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Dribbling a basketball is quite the challenging task for beginners. Dribbling games teach players hand-eye coordination. First, try playing the dribbler. Have players practice dribbling the length of the court, then switch hands as the player goes back toward the start point.
For the spinner game, set up cones on the baselines and have players dribble to the baseline, spin when they hit the cone and finish with a lay-up or other shot.
Finally, King of the Glass has players line up in a single-file line. Each player throws the ball off the backboard, and the last one in line shoots the ball. Optional: Make two lines and have one player throw the ball off the backboard and the other rebound and shoot it in the basket. The glass drill will increase players' stamina and overall athleticism.
Jay Bradley has been writing professionally since 2009. His articles appear on eHow. Bradley holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and secondary education with a minor in psychology from Saginaw Valley State University.