Having a basketball hoop in the driveway is one of the simplest investments you can make to ensure countless years of fitness and fun. With endless games that you, your kids, and all of their friends can play, a basketball hoop brings everyone together, regardless of age, size, and skill level.
In addition to being a great after-school or weekend break for the whole family (you can play a game in less than ten minutes if that’s all you have), basketball, in its many forms, keeps us active, builds team-building skills, and lets us cut loose and just have fun.
If you have a hoop in your yard or at a park close by, try these easy games your whole family can enjoy.
HORSE (or whatever animal name you choose) is simple to understand but can be as easy or difficult as you choose, making it ideal for all ages or players who may have mismatched skill levels. Players take turns shooting a basket from wherever they want. If they make it, everyone else has to shoot the ball from the same spot (or even the same style). Whoever misses gets a letter, and the first to have a full HORSE is out.
Fun for the whole family, a game of HORSE is full of surprises, as you never know who’s going to sink that swish shot from the far end of the driveway. Plus, it helps kids (and adults) develop coordination and strength, and pay attention to detail. Did the shooter balance on her right leg or left? Did the ball hit the backboard or the rim? Does he have HOR or HORS?
Lightning is another game
with a simple concept: the first person to make a free throw gets the point. All players stand in a single file line behind the free throw line, and as soon as the first player shoots, the second player shoots and tries to get the ball in before Player 1. If you out-shoot the person in front of you, that person is out.
In this game, the whole family has to act fast—like lightning—to fire off a shot. In doing so, you’ll not only improve your aim but also learn to play under pressure and be a good sport.
3. A game of pick up
Let’s not forget the fun of a good game of pick up or one-on-one. As parents, you can scale the competitive aspect up or down, and start to teach your kids and their friends some traditional basketball rules. All the while, they’ll develop more technical skills and learn how to play as a team.
Before you start your pick up game, figure out some ground rules. Do you have to take the ball back when you get a rebound? What happens when someone fouls, and where are the boundaries? Your kids will have fun setting the guidelines—and calling you out with you “travel” or double-dribble.
4. Free play
Games are great, but unstructured free play can be just as exciting. Working on dribbling, bouncing the ball, and doing tricks like dribbling between the legs or shooting backwards can keep your kids busy for just as long as a regular basketball game. These free-play sessions teach your kids how to direct their own free time. And who knows what new skills they might pick up?
The next time you or your kids need a break, head out to your hoop and try out one of these games. No matter your kids’ (or your own) ages, basketball never gets old and can provide years of entertainment, activity, and fun. So go ahead—get out there and work on your shot!
Already know these games and looking for more options? Try some of our other suggestions.Tweet