Paddle Ball

Indoor ‘Ball’ Games

Paddle BallWinter weather calls for some creative thinking for indoor party games that keep rambunctious kids both entertained and sufficiently active, without tearing the house down. Here’s 3 that fit the bill, all very loosely derived from the old standby paddle with a ball on an elastic string.

Thanks to for their ideas on cheap birthday parties.

The first easy indoor ‘ball’ game uses marshmallows instead of balls and string instead of elastic. Play around with your birthday child to determine the best length of string to use here- not too easy yet not too hard for the kids you’ll be hosting. Tie that length of string around big marshmallows- preferably two for every party child. Working in pairs, which can be one from each of your two party teams, and standing less than string distance apart, one child tosses the marshmallow and the receiver has to catch it in his mouth. And, of course, then eat it. Yea- they’ll be a little dirt ingested; they say we all need to eat a peck of dirt in our lifetimes anyways, so why worry about it. If a team competition, the first team to get all their marshmallows consumed wins.

Ball game #2 takes big popsicle sticks from the craft store, paper plates, and either balloons or more marshmallows. Staple the plates to the popsicle sticks to make paddles.The kids may decorate their paddles as a mini-craft activity. Then, working again in pairs or pairs representing teams, the bat the balloons or marshmallows back and forth. Set a goal of 15 or 20 back-and-forths, or, give each team 10 points and they lose a point every time the balloon or marshmallow hits the floor.

Ball game #3 is a kids, dry version of beer pong! You need the big plastic beer cups and either ping pong balls or, you guessed it, more marshmallows. The kids are again in pairs or pairs from your two teams.Everybody has a cup, and each pair has a ‘ball’. Standing¬†behind two lines on the floor (use duct or masking tape for the lines), they toss the ball and their partner has to catch it in the cup. Then back the other way. Again, give each child 10 points, with a point (or 2) lost every time the ball hits the floor.

Lots of fun and laughs from these silly ‘ball’ games, and some energy burned off¬†too, even when they’re stuck inside. Do clear your game area of anything and everything breakable or valuable- best to play these games in the basement or garage. Your space constraints will determine how many kids at a time can play, so lower the starting points as needed so everyone gets into the game quickly, then rotate them through.

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