9 Fun Basketball Games for Kids of All Ages

The role of basketball is more than just competitiveness and goal scoring. It can be a fantastic game to teach your children about the value of discipline and collaboration.

Hence, teaching basketball games to youngsters is an excellent strategy to instill these qualities in them.

In this article, you'll learn about various fun basketball games for kids to play. Not only will these games improve their talents, but they also ensure that your children have a good time.

9 Basketball Games for Kids

Instead of playing on particular teams, any number of children can play the following basketball games.

Another advantage is that some of these games do not require the use of a basketball court. 

So, the children can play these games in your backyard, front yard, or driveway. 

basketball kids game

1. Dribble Knock-out

Dribble knock-out is a fun game to play if you want to teach your kids how to handle and dribble a ball, as well as balance eye-hand motions.

There's no need for a basketball hoop, but you'll need two or more kids to play this game. Also, each player should have their own basketball.

Rules of Play

  • To start, mark the area where the game should be played. So, if a player's ball goes out of the designated area, it's considered out of bounds, and the player is eliminated.
  • Each player will start dribbling their ball from one side of the area to the opposite. 
  • The goal is to dribble the basketball while capturing others' balls and reaching the opposite side of the area. They can also knock other players' balls out of bounds.
  • Any player who has their ball knocked or captured is out of the game. 
  • Players who successfully reach the other side without having their ball knocked out go to the next round.
  • The game continues as the designated area gets smaller until just one person is left dribbling the ball.

2. Knock Out

Knock-out is a more advanced variation of the dribble knock-out. It's a popular children's game that requires basic knowledge of shooting a ball through the basketball hoop.

Since you only need to remember a handful of rules for this game, it isn’t too tricky for kids to learn. The goal of this game is to educate children on how to play under pressure while having fun.

Plus, it allows them to get a lot of practice shooting the ball through the hoop.

Rules of Play

  • All the players stand behind a free throw line while only the first two receive the ball. 
  • To begin, the first player aims for the basket. 
  • If he manages to make it, he gives the ball to the first person in the line and goes to stand at the end of the line. 
  • If he doesn't, the second player with the ball can knock him out by shooting into the hoop before the first player has the chance to get his ball and shoot again. 
  • However, if the first player makes the basket before the second player, he gives the ball to the next in line and stands at the end. 
  • The players continue the game until there's only one person left who hasn't been knocked out. 

3. O-U-T or H-O-R-S-E

Playing O-U-T or H-O-R-S-E is an excellent way for youngsters to improve their shooting abilities. Both games are pretty similar and have the same instructions on how to play them.

The requirements include having two or more kids and a basketball hoop. 

kids-basketball-games

Rules of Play

  • To start, choose a player who will be shooting first.
  • The player can choose any spot on the court from which they will shoot.
  • If the player makes the basket, the second player must stand in the same spot and shoot into the basket.
  • On the other hand, if the first player misses their shot, they get the first letter of the word "OUT," "HORSE," O, or H. The second player can then choose their own spot to shoot from. 
  • If the second player makes it, the third one takes their spot and shoots. In contrast, if the second player loses, they also get the first letter. 
  • In the next round, if any player misses, they get the second letter of the word. They receive the following letter in the subsequent rounds and so on. 
  • Any player who gets all the letters to "OUT" or "HORSE" is eliminated from the game.
  • The game continues until only one player remains.

Shooting is one of the basic skills needed for playing basketball. Check out what other skills are required by clicking here

4. Relay Racing

Relay racing is a fun game that teaches children how to dribble correctly and allows them to improve their ball-handling skills.

The requirements include basketballs and five or more kids. Moreover, having more kids participate in this game will make it more interesting.

basketball-games-for-kids

Rules of Play

  • To begin, split the players into fours or fives, according to the number of children participating in the game.
  • Have each team form a single line behind the baseline.
  • Hand the ball to the first player in each group.
  • The goal of each player is to dribble the ball quickly to the baseline on the other side. Then, bring it back to its original baseline. After that, they will pass the ball to the next player on their team, and so on.
  • The winning team is the one that has all of its players complete the relay race. 

5. Basketball Dribble Tag

This game on our list helps youngsters learn how to handle and defend their ball, which is necessary while playing basketball.

Basketball tag is essentially the conventional game 'tag' with the addition of a basketball. The game must be played on a basketball court with marked lines like the baseline, three-point line, etc.

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Rules of Play

  • The players can play this game individually or in two teams.
  • Every player should be standing on the marked line on the court with a basketball. Next, choose two players who will not have a ball and will be "it." These players will tag players with basketballs and eliminate them from the game. 
  • The objective of each player is to stay in their line while dribbling their balls as 'it' tries to tag them. 
  • Any player who falls off the line, lets go of their ball, or gets tagged will be out for the remaining game.
  • Taggers aim to tag those dribbling their ball and eliminate them from the game. 
  • The winner is the last one dribbling the ball after everyone has been tagged by 'it.'

6. Sharks and Minnows

Shark and Minnows teach kids of all ages how to defend the ball and keep it under control while on the basketball court. It's similar to basketball tag but has many rules that are pretty different.

Furthermore, having more players to engage will increase the likelihood of kids having more fun.

basketball kids 3

Rules of Play

  • Pick out one or two kids that will be the 'sharks' of the game. These are the only players who will be without a basketball. The remaining players will be considered the minnows.
  • The sharks will stand on the half-court line and face the minnows. In contrast, all the minnows will be present behind the baseline with their front-facing sharks. 
  • The minnows will begin dribbling their ball from one baseline to the opposite baseline. 
  • The sharks will attempt to get rid of the minnows. They can accomplish this by knocking balls out of minnows' hands or stealing balls as minnows go from one end of the court to the other.
  • Minnows must guard their balls at all costs against sharks. If they fail to do so, they'll turn into sharks in the next round.
  • The game is over when all of the minnows have become sharks except one, who is the winner.

7. Around the World

“Around the World” is a game that seeks to enhance kids' shooting skills. It is just as crucial to learn how to shoot a ball into the basket as it is to master how to dribble.

Not only that, but youngsters also practice shooting into the hoop from various locations on the court. Hence, this game is best played on a basketball court with well-marked lines.

Rules of Play

  • All players must shoot their shots into the basket from specific locations. For this reason, choose several areas on the court and mark them. These locations should be just the perfect distance from the basket, neither too near nor too far away.
  • The first player will take a shot from the first spot on the left side of the hoop. 
  • If they make it, they will continue to the following location and shoot again. If the player misses, they can 'chance it,' which means they can try to shoot into the basket again. 
  • However, if the first player misses again, they go back to the first spot to shoot. The ball is then passed on to the next player, who begins at the initial site.
  • The game continues until one person successfully shoots from all of the designated positions, after which they are declared the winner.

To understand it better, watch this video

8. Red Light, Green Light

"Red Light, Green Light" is a classic game that has been popular among youngsters for several years. And if you’re terrified of the game after watching Squid Game, then well, we don’t blame you.

But with the addition of a basketball, this game can turn into a fun activity for kids to learn ball handling. Also, kids can easily play this game in their backyard or driveaway as it doesn't require a basket.

Rules of Play

  • Choose one player to act as the traffic light. This player will stand at the end of the court without a basketball. 
  • The rest of the players will have a basketball and be present at the other end of the court, facing the traffic light. 
  • The traffic light will face the other way and yell "red light" or "green light." A green light means that the players can dribble their ball and move towards the traffic light. In contrast, the red light indicates that the traffic light can turn around and face the players. At the red light, players must stop dribbling and freeze in their exact position.
  • If the traffic light catches anyone still moving or dribbling, they will be out of the game. However, instead of being eliminated, the player will have to dribble from the starting line again to make the game enjoyable. 
  • The traffic light continues yelling "red light” or “green light." The game will finish when any player makes it to the other side of the court without being caught.

9. Swishes

Swishes or swishers, in basketball, are shots that pass through the basket without coming into contact with the basket's net or rims.

Furthermore, it takes a lot of practice and consistency to master. Hence, teaching it to kids from a young age can assist them in making great shots.

There are no strict requirements on the number of participants. Only two players can play this game as well. However, if more than six kids play, forming two or more teams will make the game more interesting.

basketball-kids-game

Rules of Play

  • The players from each team stand at least five feet away from the basket on the opposite side.
  • One player from each team takes turns shooting a shot, attempting to swish it through the net.
  • A player receives one point every time they make a swish. If they miss the basket, their score goes into the negatives, such as -1, -2, etc. However, their point is neither reduced nor added if their ball goes into the hoop without a swish.
  • The players from both teams take turns shooting. 
  • To become the winning team, the players must achieve a total score of 5. Also, the participants can pick the number of points they view as a victory.

Conclusion: Fun Basketball  Games

Several basketball games for kids will spark their interest and allow them to have a wonderful time with their friends.

In addition, these games will prove to be beneficial for them in the long run, as they teach teamwork.

Furthermore, it will teach them the skills of ball handling, dribbling, defending, and scoring shots.

You might also like:  Best Basketball Hoops for Kids

Joshua Bast


My name is Joshua Bast and I have been playing basketball ever since I was 7 years old. I love the game play, I love the feeling whenever I score a basket, but what made me fell in love was the camaraderie with my team mates. This blog is dedicated to help any up-and-coming basketball players maximize their potential.

Joshua Bast