Preschool Outdoor Games: Ball Games for Young Kids

By Keren Perles

Most preschoolers love playing with balls! Here are some fun ball games that can keep a group of preschoolers as happy as ever, including Alphabet Ball, In and Out, Name Ball, and others.

Alphabet Ball

If your child has just learned his letters, Alphabet Ball is the perfect ball game for him. Toss a ball back and forth (or among several children), saying the next letter of the alphabet each time you catch it. If you’d like, sing the letters to your child’s favorite tune. When you reach “Z," whoever has the ball gets to sing the whole alphabet song from beginning to end. (For children who are not yet able to throw the ball accurately, try rolling it instead.)

In and Out

This preschool outdoor ball game works best with a large group of children. Have the children stand in a circle, holding hands. Place one child in the middle of the circle along with a ball. The child in the middle should try to kick the ball out of the circle, using only her feet. The goal of the rest of the children is to keep the ball in the circle. When the child in the middle succeeds, she can pick the next child to go into the middle of the circle. (Make sure that each child gets a chance before the other children can go back for seconds.)

Name Ball

Have the children stand in a circle around you. Throw a ball into the air as high as you can and call out a child’s name. The child who you named gets to try to catch the ball as it comes down. Then, he takes your place in the middle of the circle. Encourage children to call out a different name each time they have the ball.

Through the Tunnel

Stand with your legs spread wide, and challenge your preschooler to roll the ball through the “tunnel" that is formed. As she becomes better and better at this, stand farther away and see if she can still succeed. If you are playing with several children, challenge her to roll the ball through multiple “tunnels," with the rest of you standing in a line so that your legs line up.

Catch the Fish!

Have a group of children sit in a circle with one child in the middle. Give the children in the circle a ball and challenge them to catch the “fish," or the child in the center. To catch him, they need to roll the ball lightly and hit him, while he tries to avoid the ball. The child who finally catches the fish becomes the new fish, and the game starts anew.

Outdoor Ball Games are Fun!

Don't be surprised if it is difficult to get your little one inside for meals and bed time. These preschool outdoor ball games are so much fun, he or she will not want to stop playing all summer long!

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