With school holidays extended by two weeks, chances are your children might be going a little stir crazy at home. Luckily, children usually love running around and playing outdoors! Outdoor games are a great way to practice the skills learnt throughout school sport (and TAS) and they’re also a great activity for the whole family to enjoy.
To help curb the boredom, here are four fun sporting games for all ages. With inspiration from some of our favourite TAS sports, there’s something for everyone. Happy playing!
Netball: Cone Carrying
In this game, two teams compete against each other to try and take cones from their opponent’s area and place them behind their line. Each player is only allowed to take one cone at a time but you can choose to play as a relay or all at once. It’s a great game to play within a time limit and see which team has the most cones when the time is up.
This game is excellent for budding netballers because it teaches them about their position in relation to other players while encouraging speed and agility – skills that will naturally transfer to competitive play. It also sharpens on-court performance and reinforces footwork fundamentals for stepping, landing and pivoting while in possession of the ball.
Soccer: Alien Tag
Alien tag will have your children flying around and crashing their spaceships, all in the name of soccer. Perfect for junior TAS players, start by creating an area in your backyard called Mars. Two players will be soccer balls, and they will be the aliens. The remaining players will stay inside Mars holding pool noodles in front of them for their spaceships. It sounds a little farfetched, but stick with us! The aim of the game is for players to avoid the aliens who are kicking “spare rocks” (soccer balls) at them, if an alien hits the spaceship with the ball then the spaceship spins out of control and crashes into the ground. When a spaceship goes down, that player then becomes an alien and the last player left driving their spaceship is the winner!
This is a great game for young children learning how to dribble and aim the ball as controlling the ball is an essential skill in soccer. By focusing on agility, vision and awareness you can learn to read your opponents and learn the fundamentals for communicating with your teammates. It also helps with positioning on the field — another essential skill — as smart opposition know to look out for players with limited room.
Cricket: Non-Stop Cricket
In this knock off of the classic backyard favourite, each team is allocated a time for batting, with the batsman running regardless of whether the ball is hit or not. As soon as the batsman is caught out, or if they get to a maximum of 20 runs, the next player quickly takes their place to start the next non-stop round. And the winning team is the one with the most runs.
This fast-paced game is a great way to practice batting, bowling and fielding skills – all of the essential cricket skills. Players will develop confidence in their batsmanship including the right batting stance and learning to hold the bat correctly Any cricketer will tell you that a good cricket team is also never complete without strong fielding and wicket-keeping. This quick game will certainly encourage your children to practice their reflexes as they chase the fast-moving ball.
Volleyball: Piggy in the Middle
Similar to a traditional game of piggy in the middle, use cones to create two small boxed areas about 10 feet apart. Put one player in each box and a player in the middle so all players are in a row. The players in the boxed areas volley the ball back and forth and the middle player tries to block the ball. The volley team gets 1 point for 5 consecutive volleys without either player leaving their box while the blocker gets a point for every block. The first to 5 points wins.
This game teaches hitting, blocking and defending skills which are crucial components to winning a successful volleyball match. Children can practice making quick decisions, whether that’s effortlessly shuffling and jumping or strategically bumping the ball. Hand-eye coordination also comes into play as they’ll need to move quickly to meet the ball and redirect accurately to their teammates.
Have fun playing these games and get creative with making your own versions. Using fundamental sport skills in play will not only improve your child’s abilities but it will also give them an idea of what TAS school sports they might like to play this year.