Indoor Ball Games for Kidsby Jaime Smith ; Updated September 22, 2017
Playing ballgames indoors with children should be well supervised to ensure the safety of the children and of the surroundings. Choosing a game with structure is best, but also consider the age group and activity level of the children before deciding on the best game to play. Playing games with balls can be a fun way for kids to keep entertained if they are confined indoors.
Clap ball is a seated game that can be easily played indoors with a small to large group of children. Seat children in a circle facing each other and give one child a small beanbag filled ball (like a hackey sack) to start. The first child throws the ball up in the air and must clap once before catching the ball. He then passes the ball to the next child who must do the same. The ball continues around the circle until it gets back to the first child, who then must clap twice before catching the ball and passing it. Continue to increase the challenge by adding claps in between catches. For competitive play, eliminate players from the circle who fail to clap the required amount of times or who do not catch the ball, until you have a winner.
Horse is a game traditionally played with a basketball and net, but can easily be adapted for indoor play. Two players are required to make the game challenging, but the game is best played in small groups. Give children a small ball to use or you can also use a wadded piece of newspaper as a ball to keep play as safe as possible. Use a laundry basket, large cooking pot or big empty bowl as the "net". The first child starts by picking any location in the room and trying to throw the ball into the net. If he succeeds, the next player must stand in the exact location and throw the ball the same way (underhand, overhand, over the shoulder, through the legs, or however the first player chooses) If the second player misses, he is assigned the letter "H" and the next player can throw however and from wherever he wishes. If the second player makes it in the net, the next player takes a turn from the same location and must also make it in, or is assigned a "H". If the second shooter misses the net, he is assigned a letter. When a player has all the letters in the word "horse" he is out. This game is fun and competitive, but when played with a soft ball and some rules, it is also worry-free.
Bowling is a fun activity for kids of all ages and can easily be played indoors. Set up some empty two-liter soda bottles in a triangle formation to act as the bowling pins. Give children a lightweight ball to roll in the direction of the pins. Fill the soda bottles with sand or water to make them a little more challenging to knock over for older kids. Let them take turns seeing how many pins they can knock over. Keep score and challenge them to beat each other and their top scores. Because the ball is being rolled and not thrown, it is safe for young children and for playing indoors where the luxury of space is not an option.