Ball Scramble

Objective: Students will work in a team and get exercise while trying to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Hula hoops and lettered balls

The Plan: This game is played with 3 or more teams that are even in size.  The teams all begin standing behind hula hoops that are spread out equidistant from another hula hoop that is in the middle filled with a bunch of lettered balls.  The team should be back at least 10 yards from the center hula hoop.

  • Divide everyone into teams and get them seated behind their hoops.
  • When the game begins one person from each team can run into the middle hula hoop and steal one ball which they will take back and place in their team hula hoop.
  • Once they place the ball in their hula hoop the next player on their team runs out to steal a ball from the middle hula hoop.
  • Once all of the balls from the middle have been stolen then the teams begin stealing from the other teams’ hula hoops.
  • Nobody can defend or protect their team’s  balls.
  • The BALL SCRAMBLE  lasts for about 4 minutes until the leader blows a whistle and announces that the scramble is over.
  • The teams will then use those lettered balls to play SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER.

Variations:

  • Spread out the hula hoops to make everyone run farther.
  • Allow people to steal one ball with each hand.
  • Make people hop when they have a ball in their possession.
  • Make the teams be only 2 or 3 people.

Good Introduction: “Has anyone ever run a marathon?  Do you know how far a marathon is?  It’s 26.2 miles and when you finish you are exhausted.  Today you aren’t going to run a full marathon but you are going to run much faster for a much shorter distance.  The teams that refuse to quit are going to end up with the most lettered balls at the end of the scramble.”


Bucket Battle

Objective: Students will work in a team and develop their hand-eye coordination while trying to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Buckets or boxes and lettered balls 

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or 4 teams that are even in size.  The teams all begin by standing around different sides of half a basketball court.  Each team has a bucket in the middle of the area that they will be trying to fill with balls. 

  • Divide everyone into teams and get teams standing on different sides of the court.
  • When the game begins the leader will throw out the balls and teams will begin trying to toss or bounce them into their team buckets
  •  Players are not allowed into the court to shoot or retrieve balls.
  • Each team can have one designated KICKER.  Every couple of minutes the leader will announce that everyone needs to stop shooting for 15 seconds and the kickers will run in to the middle to try and kick stranded balls back to their team. 
  • After 15 seconds, the kickers leave the middle and the shooting resumes.
  •  When there are only a few balls left, the leader will announce that there are only 30 seconds left to shoot.
  • When time is up, everyone needs to stop shooting.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Move the buckets closer or farther from their teams.
  • Give each team multiple buckets.
  • Use hula hoops in place of buckets.
  • Make everyone shoot with their left hands.

Good Introduction: “Who here knows how to make a basket?  Here is what I know about making baskets-You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.  Even the best basketball players in the world miss most of their shots.  We are about to play a game where you will all have the chance to take dozens of shot at making a basket.”


Soccer Madness

Objective: Students will work in a team and develop their kicking skills while trying to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Cones and lettered balls

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or more teams that are even in size.  The teams all begin by standing behind 2 cones that create a goal for their team.  Each team has its own goal. 

  • Divide everyone into teams and get teams standing behind their goals.
  • Before the game begins the leader will scatter all of the balls out in the field.
  • When the game begins the teams will run out into the field to begin kicking the balls back through their goals.  
  • At least one player from each team will stay back to gather up the balls as they come through the goal.
  • Students are welcome to play defense or offense while the balls are in play.  This means that they may choose to block other teams from scoring in order to save more balls for their own goal.
  • After all balls have gone through the goals teams will begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Move the goals closer or farther from the other goals.
  • Only allow people to kick with their left foot.
  • Make each goal very small or very big.
  • Allow students to begin spelling as soon as balls begin coming through the goals.

Good Introduction: “Who here likes soccer?  Soccer is pretty exciting.  Who would be interested in playing a soccer that is even more exciting than regular soccer?  Today you are going to be playing a game of soccer with more than 60 balls in play at once.”


Hockey Noodling

Objective: Students will work in a team and develop their hand-eye coordination while trying to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Cones, Foam Noodles and Lettered balls

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or more teams that are even in size.  The teams all begin by standing behind 2 cones that create a goal for their team.  Each team has its own goal.  Every player has a foam noodle that they will use like a hockey stick to smack the balls through their goal.

  • Divide everyone into teams and get teams standing behind their goals.
  • Before the game begins the leader will scatter all of the balls out in the field.
  • When the game begins the teams will run out into the field to begin hitting the balls back through their goals. 
  • At least one player from each team will stay back to gather up the balls as they come through the goal.
  • Students are welcome to play defense or offense while the balls are in play.  This means that they may choose to block other teams from scoring in order to save more balls for their own goal.
  • After all balls have gone through the goals teams will begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Move the goals closer or farther from the other goals.
  • Only allow people to hold the noodle in their left hands.
  • Make each goal very small or very big.
  • Allow students to begin spelling as soon as balls begin coming through the goals.

Good Introduction: “Who here has played some form of hockey?   Hockey is great but there is usually only one puck for everyone to chase around.  Today we will be playing a type of hockey in which there are dozens of balls for you to hit with your noodle hockey stick.”


Rock, Paper, Scissors

Objective: Students will get some cardiovascular exercise while trying to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls, Buckets

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or more teams that are even in size.  The teams all begin by standing far away from each other.  Each team begins with 2 balls per player.

  • Divide everyone into teams and get teams standing so that they are far apart from all other teams.  A soccer field would be a great location with teams positioned in different corners.
  • Before the game begins all players will put one ball into their team bucket which is in their area.
  • When the game begins the teams will run into the middle of the field for a ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS BATTLE.
  • When players run into the middle they will immediately find someone from another team to compete with in ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS.  The winner will win the loser’s tennis ball.
  • After one round of ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS the winner each run back to their buckets.  The winner deposits one of the 2 balls she now has and the loser grabs a replacement ball from the bucket.
  • The game continues for several minutes with players running back and forth from their bucket to the area where they compete.
  • After several minutes have passed and the teams look like they are getting tired the leader can blow the whistle and have all teams move in closer with their bucket of balls so they can begin spelling.
  • The teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Move the teams closer or farther away.
  • Allow winners to stay in the middle with any balls they have won, but they will forfeit all of them if they lose.
  • Let players play the best 2 out of 3 to give them a break between running back to their buckets.
  • Tell people who are winning that they need to keep collecting balls from people they defeat until they have collected 5 and then they can run them back to their buckets.

Good Introduction: “Who here is awesome at playing ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS?  I know a lot of you are very experienced and have your own special techniques.  Today we are going to put you to the test and see how you do in the biggest baddest ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS BATTLE ever!”


Bring Me

Objective: Students will collaborate as a team in order to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls

The Plan: This game is played with 3 or more teams that are even in size.  The teams will be spread out on a field so that each team is equidistant from the leader who is in the middle of all teams.

  • Divide everyone into even teams and have team members count themselves out so that everyone in the team is assigned a number beginning with 1, 2, 3….  This means each team will have one person who is 1 and one person who is 2 etc.
  • Before the game begins the teams will spread out to their own areas on the field.
  • The leader will be in the middle of the field with all of the tennis balls and he will call all of the number 1’s to the middle of the field.  On the next round he will call the 2’s and then the 3’s.
  • The leader will give the 1’s a list of things they need to get from their team and bring back to the middle.  The first person back will win 5 balls for their team.  2nd place will win 3 balls and 3rd place will earn 2 balls.
  • After bringing the items back to the middle they can take the balls back to their team area.
  • Below is a list of some of the things that the leader may tell the runners to retrieve.  All runners must head straight to their teams so that teams can assist them in getting the requested items.

-Something green-Something round-Something metal-pebble-leaf-piece of paper-something plastic-One brown hair-How do you say THANK YOU in French?-Something square-twig-How many months are in 12 years?-Who wrote HARRY POTTER?-White sock-3 different shoes-What is the capital of Japan?- hat-watch-something purple-Who is the governor of this state?-Something stretchy-14 X 14=?

The leader can send the runners to get 1, 2 or 3 of these items at a time.  The leader should also be creative and add their own items that need to be collected.  

In order to keep everyone involved the leader can occasionally tell the runners that while the items are being collected the entire team must do any of the following tasks.

-Dance the hokey pokey-Sing Ring Around The Rosie-Dance the YMCA-Do jumping jacks-Hug a tree-Spin around-Do push-ups-Sing Happy Birthday to the runner-Line up in order of height-Sit back to back

Runners can only get their tennis balls if the team is doing the required task.

  • After all team members have had their chance to be a runner then it is time teams to get seated in a circle. 
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Move the teams closer of farther away.
  • Each team sends in 2 runners at a time.
  • Change how many balls are awarded for finishing in 1st, 2nd or 3rd.

Good Introduction: “Who knows what a scavenger hunt is?  Today you are going to be doing a miniature scavenger hunt and you are going to rely on your team to help you find what you need?”


Ball Brigade

Objective: Students will work in a team and develop their hand-eye coordination while trying to successfully throw and catch as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Cones, buckets and lettered balls

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or more teams that are even in size.  The teams all begin by standing in a line so that if they put their arms straight out, they barely touch fingertips with the team members they are next to.

  • Divide everyone into teams and get teams standing in parallel lines that extend into the field.
  • When the game begins each team will have a bucket of balls on one end of their line and an empty bucket on the other side.
  •  Teams will try to toss a ball from person to person all the way down the line.
  • Any ball that makes it all the way down the line without being dropped will be placed in the empty bucket.  Dropped balls are left on the ground.
  • After a few balls are passed at this close distance everyone in the line needs to spread out so they are now a yard farther from the team members on their sides.
  • A few balls are passed at this distance and then the leader keeps making the teams spread farther and farther apart until many of the balls are being dropped.
  • The challenge should continue until each team has at least 15 letters.
  • When the leader decides that the tossing portion is done the teams should sit in a circle.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • All throws and catches must be done with only the right hand.
  • Everyone must clap while the ball is in the air before they catch it.
  • Make everyone throw with their left hands.

Good Introduction: “Who here has ever seen a fire brigade?   A fire brigade is where you have a long line of people passing bucket of water.  Today you will be doing a similar thing as you try to fill up a bucket with tennis balls.”


Noodle Duel

 

Objective: Students will get exercise and enjoy the challenge of the noodle duel.

Materials: Half-length foam noodles (2 to 3 feet), hula hoops, lettered tennis balls

The Plan: This game is a challenging competition between players who are all equipped with a half-length noodle.   The players are competing to see who can be the first one to tag the other players shoe with their noodle.

  • To begin this game you will divide your group into 2 teams. 
  •  Each team will have its own color of noodle.
  •  The 2 teams will form 2 lines.
  • The 2 lines are facing each other and each student begins with a noodle in one hand and a tennis ball in the other.
  • Behind each line is a bucket of 15 balls.
  • Behind those buckets are 3 hula hoops.
  • Each student should be standing across from one other student.
  • These pairs of students will be dueling with their noodles and they should spread out in order to make room for the duel.
  • In order to begin, all students hold up their noodles towards their opponents and touch the ends together.
  • When the duel begins both students are trying to touch their opponent’s shoe with their noodle before their opponent hits their shoe. 
  • Once a shoe has been touched then the competitors reset by coming back to the starting position with their noodles up and touching.
  • Once someone has hit their opponents shoe twice they have won his tennis ball.
  • They take the ball and try to toss it so it lands in one of the 3 hula hoops behind their team bucket.  If it lands in a hoop that ball will become the property of their team.
  • The person who lost will go to their team bucket and take out a new ball so they can go duel some more.
  • After the initial duels , everyone duels someone else from the opposing team.  This happens several times and the balls from the hoops get placed in the buckets.  The balls that miss the hoops are out of play.
  • When the leader decides that the tossing portion is done the teams should sit in a circle.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Change how many shoe hits are required to win a tennis ball.
  • Have the winners step up a few feet from the bucket and try to toss their new ball into the team bucket.
  • Have students duel once and then the losers sit down and the winners stay standing and find another winner to duel.  Every time someone loses they need to sit and the winners need to pair up and duel.  Do this until there are only 6 people left.  The final 6 people all win 8 balls for their team.

Good Introduction: “Who here has ever been in a sword fight?  Good, I’m glad to hear you avoid sword fights.  How many of you have eaten noodles?  Well today you are going to get to have something like a sword fight but it’s going to be a duel with noodles.”  


The Big Juggle

Objective: Students will work on their hand-eye coordination and communication in this fun challenge.

Materials: Lettered Tennis balls, buckets

The Plan: This challenge is played in a circle with teams of 10 to 25 students.  The challenge is to see how well the group can pass multiple balls through everyone in the circle without dropping a ball.

  • For a group of up to 12 students you can have all of them be one
  • Get students seated into circle of 6 to 20 people.
  • Give one student in the circle a tennis ball.  That student is the starter.
  • The starter needs to pass the ball across the circle to someone.
  • That person should put then stand up and lob the ball to someone else who should then stand up as well.  This continues until the starter is the last one to get the ball back. 
  •  Students need to remember who they passed the ball to.
  • Have groups practice passing one ball through the same pattern several times.
  • In order to make sure people know the order have everyone pause and point at the person they pass to.
  • Have the starters get the balls back.
  • Tell the teams that their objective is to keep passing the balls through the same order of people who are going to stay in the same place without anyone dropping the ball. 
  • Give the starter a bucket of 20 balls and another bucket that is empty.
  • The starters will pass one ball and the team will see if it can successfully pass it through the established pattern without dropping it.  If it returns to the starter with no problems it can go in the empty bucket.  If it is dropped it is just kicked to the side.
  • The team will try to pass all 20 balls through the pattern and they will place the balls that make it through into the bucket that began as empty.
  • When the leader decides that the tossing portion is done the teams should sit in a circle.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Tell everyone they must stay seated.
  • Tell students that they must always catch with both hands.
  • Limit what hand can be used to throw.
  • Tell teams to get 4 balls going simultaneously.  Any of the 4 balls that stay moving in the pattern for one minute can go in the collection bucket.  Try it again with 5 and then 6 balls.

Good Introduction:

“Juggling is tough.  Juggling more than 3 objects is almost impossible.  Today we want to see everyone working as a group to juggle several different objects at one time.”


Lay Up Race 1.0

Objective: Students will run and practice making lay-ups in order to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls, basketball hoops, buckets

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or more teams that are even in size.  In order to make this game as fair as possible, the players should be paired up with a competitor from the other team who is of comparable size and skill.  The easiest way to do this is by counting off people into the different teams.  The leader simply assigns numbers to people and sends them to their teams.  For example,

BLUE TEAM        RED TEAM

#1 Jorge                 #1 Doug              Both are smaller kids
#2 Dave                 #2 Barry              Both are older, athletic kids
#3 Sally                 #3 Audra            Both are 6 year old athletes
#4 Hector             #4 Maria             Both are reluctant older kids
#5 Lily                   #5 Fred               Both are competitive 8 year olds

  • Each team will be in a line on one side of the basketball court with person #1 at the beginning.
  • Each team will have a bucket of 25 balls at the front of their line and an empty bucket behind the hoop at the opposite end of the court.
  • The game begins by having the two players who are #1 grab a ball and run down to the end of the court to try and make a basket before their competitor.
  • Whichever player makes a basket first wins both balls and gets to put both of them into their empty team bucket.
  • The two player who were just shooting then run back to the end of their line and the next 2 competitors grab a ball and run down to begin shooting.
  • This continues until the two buckets of balls at the beginning of the line are empty.
  • Once all of the balls have been won the teams will sit down with the bucket of balls they earned. 
  •  Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Move the teams closer or farther away from the hoop.
  • If the game is too slow the leader can send in 2 people from each team at a time and the winner gets all of the balls.
  • People must shoot from the free-throw line.
  • The 2 teams could be divided by age and the older team has to shoot from farther back than the young team.  The older team could also be limited to shooting with their left hands.

Good Introduction: “Who knows what the easiest shot in basketball is?  That’s right.  It’s called a lay-up.  A lay-up is done like this(DEMONSTRATE) and people who practice it make it almost every time.  You are going to be practicing lay-ups today in order to win as many balls as possible.”


Lay Up Race 2.0

Objective: Students will run and practice making lay-ups in order to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls, basketball hoops, buckets

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or more teams that are even in size.

  • Each team will be in a line on one side of the basketball court.
  • Each team will have a bucket of 25 balls at the front of their line and an empty bucket behind the hoop at the opposite end of the court.
  • The game begins by having the first player from each line who grab a ball and run down to the end of the court to try and make a lay-up.
  • Players can take up to 3 shots to try and make a lay-up.  If they make a basket then they can put their ball into their team’s empty bucket and return to the back of their line.  If they miss 3 shots in a row then they simply return to the back of their line with the ball they were shooting.
  • After the first shooter from a team has either made their basket or missed 3 times, the next person on their team runs down with a ball and starts shooting.
  • The teams are trying to earn as many balls as they can before time runs out.
  • The leader should not call that time has run out until everyone has had a chance to shoot and each team has won at least a dozen tennis balls.
  • In order to amp up the excitement the leader can announce, “You only have 2 minutes left to make your baskets!”
  •  Once the leader announces that time is up, the teams sit with the bucket of balls they have earned. 
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Only give people one shot before they must return to their line.
  • Have all teams shooting at different hoops.
  • Have several teams shooting at the same hoop.

Good Introduction: “Today you are going to get to practice the easiest shot in basketball.  Now basketballs can be a little big for some people so you are going to be practicing with these miniature basketballs that look exactly like tennis balls.”


Golf Mayhem

Objective: Students will practice throwing at a target in order to earn as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls, colored hula hoops, buckets

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or more teams that are even in size.  The teams will be competing to see how many tennis balls they can successfully throw into their team’s hula hoops.  The game begins with the leader placing several hula hoops out into the middle of the field.  Each team is assigned to the color of one of the hula hoops.  If there are 3 teams, there would be 3 different colors of hula hoops.  For example 3 red hoops, 3 white hoops and 3 blue hoops out in the same general area of the field. One team will line up at the edge of the field and they will all have tennis balls in their hands.

  • The first team will have 3 throws to land their tennis balls in their hoops.  Once a ball is sitting in a hoop it belongs to that team and cannot be removed.
  • Players 2nd throw must be taken from behind where their first throw lands.  Their 3rd throw must be taken from behind where their 2nd throw lands.
  • After one team has taken their 3 throws, the next team gets to throw.
  • After all teams have thrown, the balls that landed in the hoops are put into buckets for the teams to spell with at the conclusion of GOLF MAYHEM.
  • Several rounds of this can be played until each team has won enough balls to be able to spell.
  • The hula hoops can be moved between rounds.
  • When the leader decides that enough rounds have been played, teams will get seated with the balls they have won.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Move the hula hoops closer together or farther apart.
  • Have the hula hoops spread out and separated by color so that all teams can throw at the same time without hitting each other with balls.
  • Make the teams kick the balls instead of throwing them.

Good Introduction: “How many of you have ever played golf?  Golf can be pretty slow and you’re supposed to wear fancy pants and shoes.  Today we are going to be playing GOLF MAYHEM which involves tennis balls, hula hoops and no fancy pants.”


Survivors

 Objective: Students will practice running and kicking balls at a target in order to win as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls, buckets, polyspots 

The Plan: This game is played on a field with 2 or more teams of equal size.  The game begins with all players standing on the edge of the field looking away from the field with one foot on a tennis ball.  In the field are a bunch of polyspots(approximately 1 for every 2 people) that the leader tossed into the field when players were facing away from the field.  When the game begins everyone will start kicking their tennis ball trying to find an empty polyspot in the field in order to claim it and survive.

  • When players find an empty spot they need to kick their ball onto the spot and step on it in order to survive.  Once they have claimed the spot they sit down on the spot.
  • Once all of the spots have been claimed then the people who survived should bring their polyspot and their tennis balls back to the starting area. 
  • The tennis balls go in a team bucket for them to use later and the polyspots are given to the leaders to reposition in the field.
  • The people who did not survive can come back to the starting line and get ready for the next round.
  • Before beginning the next round, all of the survivors will need to get a new ball to kick.
  • Everyone turns away from the field and the leader tosses the polyspots back into the field.
  • Several rounds of this can be played until each team has collected at least 15 balls.
  • After the last round teams will gather around their bucket of balls that they won.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Allow each spot to accommodate 2 survivors.
  • Allow select students to spread the spots all over the field.
  • Have students use foam noodles to move the balls.
  • Change the number of polyspots to increase or decrease the number of survivors for each round.
  • Limit who can use certain spots.  For example, BLUE SPOTS CAN ONLY BE USED BY GIRLS.  GREEN SPOTS CAN ONLY BE USED BY BOYS.  YELLOW SPOTS ARE FOR ANYONE.

Good Introduction:

“Today we are going to test your survival skills.  We are not going to be sending you off to a desert island but you will be trying to survive out in the field by finding a polyspot before they all get claimed by other people trying to survive.”


Sweep the Floor

Objective: Students will practice running and hitting balls with an implement in order to win as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls, chalk, buckets, foam noodles

The Plan: This game is played with 2 or 4 teams that are even in size.  If there are only 2 teams, then the game can be played on a standard basketball court with each team claiming one side of the court.  If there are 4 teams then the leader can draw a chalk line lengthwise from hoop to hoop so that the court is now divide into 4 rectangles of equal size.

  • In this fast-paced game, all players begin on the outside of the court and they are holding foam noodles.
  • When the game begins the leader throws out scores of tennis balls and the players try to get them into their section of the court.
  • The players can only use the noodles to move the balls.
  • The game only lasts for a couple minutes and when the leader blows the whistle the time is up and everyone needs to freeze.
  • When time is up, all of the balls that are in a team’s rectangle get collected in a bucket.
  • The balls that are not in a rectangle go back to the leaders.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Draw a huge X on the black top area so that any ball on the black top will be in some team’s area.
  • Limit how many people can leave their team’s rectangle. 
  • Throw all of the balls outside of the court and don’t allow teams to enter another team’s area.

Good Introduction: “Who knows how to sweep a floor?  Normally when you sweep a floor you are trying to get stuff out of your house.  Today you are going to be sweeping the floor but you are going to be trying to gather as much as you can into your team’s area.”


Flyswatter

Objective: Students will practice dribbling balls while trying to evade an opponent in order to win as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls, buckets

The Plan: This game is played with 4 teams that are even in size.  The game is played on a large area of pavement such as a basketball court.  One of the teams lines up on the long side of the court with all members of that teams holding a tennis ball in their hands.  That team will try to run across to the other side of the court while dribbling the ball.  If they make it across without stopping their dribble or getting the ball swatted away then they will win that ball for their team.

  • One team lines up and when the leader says GO they begin trying to dribble across to the other side of the court.  If they make it across while dribbling then they put the ball in their team bucket.
  • The 3 teams who are not dribbling across are spread out in the middle of the court and they are trying to knock away the tennis balls of the people who are dribbling.  They are allowed to pivot and swat with their hands but they cannot walk or run.  They need to avoid bumping the dribblers.
  • After the first team tries dribbling across, the next team gets a chance to try doing the same thing. 
  • Several rounds of this can be played until each team has at least 16 balls.
  • After the last round, the leader will instruct the teams to have a seat with their bucket of balls.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Have 2 teams run at a time.
  • Make the dribblers go over and back to win their ball.
  • Allow the swatters to walk.
  • Make the playing area huge and allow the swatters to run.

Good Introduction: “Who has ever swatted an insect?  Today you are going to be doing a lot of swatting but it’s going to be tennis balls instead of bugs and people are going to try to protect their tennis balls from your swatting hands.”


Number Jumble

Objective: Students will get exercise and work on their communication and memory as they try to win balls during the NUMBER JUMBLE.

Materials: Lettered balls, hula hoops, bubble cones with numbered color dots on the underside.  There should be complete sets of 1-8 in four different colors.  Each cone only contains one numbered color dot.

The Plan: This game is played with 4 or more teams of equal size.  Teams are spread out around the outside of an area covered with dozens of dome cones with tennis balls underneath them.  Each team stands around the perimeter of the cone area.  Everyone on the team has their foot on a hula hoop.  Two people from a team will run in to find matching numbers under the various dome cones. 

  • Partners need to run in and pick up different cones and then shout what number they have found to their partner who will also be holding a cone. 
  • If the numbers are the same (two 8’s for example) then the partners get to take the balls from underneath the cones and put them in their team hula hoop.  They also take the cones and stack them near their hula hoop.
  • If the numbers don’t match they need to put the cones back on the balls and keep looking until they find a match.
  • Once the partners have found a match and put the balls in the bucket they get back on their hula hoop and the next two partners run in to find a match.
  • The game continues until all of the balls have been claimed.
  • After the last match has been found, the leader will instruct the teams to have a seat around their hula hoop.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • You can make it much harder by only counting cones as a match if the sticker color and the number both match.  For example RED 5 and YELLOW 5 would not be a match.  RED 5-RED 5 would be a match.
  • Only allow partners to flip one cone and then they must go back to the hula hoop empty handed if they do not get a match.
  • Make it easier by counting anything as a match if the sticker color is the same.

Good Introduction: “Who here knows they have an amazing memory?  If you have good memory then this next game is going to put your brain to the test because there are dozens of cones that contain specific numbers and you will need to remember where they are.”


50 Yard Dashball

Objective: Students will work in a team and get exercise while trying to collect as many lettered balls as they can.

Materials: Lettered balls

The Plan: This game is played with two or more teams that are even in size.  The teams all begin standing behind a line with their foam mat. The lettered balls are all spread out across the field or gym approximately 10 to 100 yards away from the teams.  

  • Divide everyone into teams and get them standing behind their mats.
  • When the game begins everyone can race across to pick up one ball and bring it back to their team's mat.
  • Once they place the ball on their mat they can run back to get another ball. 
  • Nobody can throw, kick, pass or roll the balls.
  • Once all the balls are collected the teams will use those balls to play SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER.

Variations:

  • Spread out the balls to make everyone run farther or shorter.
  • Allow people to grab more than one ball at a time.
  • Allow people to pass the balls to their teammates.  
  • Only allow each team to have two runners going at a time.

Good Introduction: “In order to be successful at this game you will need a bunch of those balls across the field.  This is true for all teams and when the game begins everyone is going to be competing to try to get those balls.  The harder you work and the faster you move the more you will collect.”


Circle Catch

Objective: Students will work on throwing, catching and communication in this fun challenge.

Materials: Lettered Tennis balls, hula hoops

The Plan: This challenge is played in a circle with two or more teams of students who will be throwing balls to the team member who is standing in a hula hoop.  The team members in the hula hoop will be the catchers and they need to stay in their hoops.  The hoops will either be in the middle of a large circle or rectangle or behind a line that the other players cannot cross.  

  • Divide students into teams and have them choose a catcher. 
  • Place the catchers in hula hoops that are behind a line that the other players cannot cross.
  • Scatter the lettered balls far away from the catchers.
  • When the game begins the players who aren't catchers can run out and grab one ball at a time.
  • They run back to the throwing line or the edge of the big circle and they throw the ball to their catcher.
  • If the catcher successfully catches the ball then they get to place it in their hoop.  If they drop the ball then it cannot be used and does not go into the hoop.
  • The game continues until all the balls have either been caught or dropped.
  • When the leader decides that the tossing portion is done the leader should remove the dropped balls and the teams should sit around the hoop with the balls they earned.
  • Teams will then begin playing SMARTOPOTAMUS BRAIN BUILDER with the balls they have collected.

Variations:

  • Tell everyone they must throw with their left hands.
  • Tell the catchers to only catch with their left hands.
  • Tell students that they must only throw when they are seated.
  • Move the catchers further back from the throwing line.
  • Allow players to retrieve balls that have been dropped in order to throw them again.

Good Introduction:

“Some people think it can be tricky to catch a ball.  Professional baseball players only have to worry about catching one ball at a time.  You are about to play a game in which the catcher has to worry about catching dozens of different balls.”