After-School Games


After-school games for kids are the perfect way to get outside and have some fun. Your kids probably have some favorite games already. Why not help them try some new games? There are lots of new after school games they can play by themselves or with some friends.

The best part is you probably have everything your kids need to play these games. Follow these links to learn about fun, new after-school games:

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Flying Disk Game

It's not a flying saucer, but almost as much fun. Visit the next page for more details about the Flying Disk Game.

Going Solo

Fore!

Frisbee™ golf is a fast-growing sport. Learn more about playing Fore! here.

Hop-Along Wrestling

Hop-Along Wrestling has your kids balancing on one leg. Here is how to make it work.

Football Measure-Up

Your kids compete to see how far they can toss, run or kick the football. Find out how to play football measure-up here.

Soccey

Soccey is a little hockey, a little soccer, and a lot of fun. Learn more about how to play soccey on the next page.

Tree Branch Golf

You and your kids can create a tree branch golf course in your backyard. Go to the next page for ideas.

Beanbag Volley

This is a new twist on a family favorite. Learn how to play beanbag volleyball on the next page.

Bike Hike

What can your kids find in the neighborhood? Click for new ways to explore on bike.

Shoot the Shoebox

It is skee ball using a shoebox and skill, not luck. Details about shoot the shoebox are available on the next page.

Basketball Bundle

Your kids can play basketball without the bounce. Click to learn how it works.

Sardines

Sardines is a new twist on hide 'n seek. Click to learn how to play.

Trailblazing

Keep reading for fun with the Flying Disc game.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Flying Disk Game

Don't let the rainy weather stop your kids from having fun! They can play an exciting game of indoor Frisbee™ flying disk golf.

What You'll Need:

  • 1-inch thick urethane foam (available at fabric and hobby stores)
  • Blunt scissors
  • Marker
  • Transparent tape or string
  • 3 paper grocery bags
  • Newspaper

Step One: To make the flying Frisbee™ disk, cut an 8-inch circle in the foam. Decorate it with markers.

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Step Two: To make the golf markers, stuff grocery bags with newspapers. Tape or tie the bags closed.

Step Three: Decorate the bags with funny faces or a bull's eye design.

Step Four: To play the game, place a target bag in a room and stand a distance away from it.

Step Five: Throw the foam circle until you hit the target.

Step Six: Count how many throws it takes to hit the target, and write down the score.

Step Seven: Place the next bag in another room, and try to hit the target.

Step Eight: Finish the game with the third bag in another room.

Step Nine: The person with the lowest score wins.

Some games don't need a friend to be fun. Learn more about how your kids can have fun Going Solo.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Going Solo

Your son or daughter wants to play catch, but no one is around. No problem with Going Solo. All your child really needs are two hands and a lot of energy!

What You'll Need:

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  • Net or rope
  • Tennis ball

Once you set up this simple game, your child will entertain himself or herself for hours.

Step One: Tie a net or rope onto two objects, so your child is able to get underneath it easily.

Step Two: Stand on one side of the net. Have your child use his or her left hand to throw the tennis ball up and over the net.

Step Three: Then as quick as a flash, have him zip under the net and try to catch the ball with his right hand.

Step Four: If he catches it, he'll stay in the spot where the ball was caught and throw it back over the net with the same hand.

Step Five: Now your child can catch it on the other side of the net with his left hand.

Step Six: Continue the game and keep score for each hand. Which of your child's hands makes it to ten points first?

The next game you'll learn about will keep your kids flying high.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Fore!

Fore! There are no golf clubs or holes in this game. When your kids play Frisbee™ golf, all they need is a flying disc and an open space. Gather their friends together and pick out some targets around your yard. A target can be anything from a garbage can or a tree to a fence post or a big rock.

Be sure to steer clear of windows and other breakables. The last sound you want to hear is "crash!"

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What You'll Need:

  • Frisbee™ flying disc
  • Open space

Step One: Decide the order in which you want to hit the targets.

Step Two: One at a time, each player should try to hit the first target with the Frisbee™.

Step Three: If a player misses, pick up the disc and throw it again from where it landed until it hits the target.

Step Four: Once all the players hit the first target, move to the next hole.

Step Five: Keep track of how many throws it takes for each player to hit each hole. Once all the targets have been hit, the player with the fewest throws wins the game.

Keep reading! The next game will have your kids standing on one foot.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Hop-Along Wrestling

There are no body slams allowed when you get into the ring for this wrestling match! Don't let the name fool you. Hop-Along Wrestling is nothing like those wild matches on TV.

What You'll Need:

  • Partner
  • Grassy space

Step One: For this match, your child will need to round up a friend.

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Step Two: The two of them should find a patch of grass or a lawn to stand on.

Step Three: They'll face each other and join right hands just like they would if they were shaking hands.

Step Four: Now each one of them should raise their left foot behind their backs and hold it up with their left hand.

Step Five: Once they're in position, it's time to wrestle! Both of them should start pushing and pulling the other person with their right hand. They can hop if they want to.

Step Six: The person who remains standing without letting go of their left foot is the winner.

Learn more about how the next game helps your kids measure up to their football idols.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Football Measure-Up

How close can your kids come to their NFL heroes' personal bests? Are they jocks? Sports fiends? Football wannabes? Then maybe it's time to see how they measure up to the pros.

What You'll Need:

  • NFL record book (from the library)
  • Football
  • Tape measure
  • Paper pen

Pick their strongest football talent. It could be kicking off, passing, blocking, running, field goals, or any other part of the game. Now take have them take their best shot and measure the distance that they run, toss, or kick. Keep notes and compare them with how the professionals do. Don't expect your child to be John Elway; it took him years and years of practice to snag back-to-back Super Bowl wins. Even Elway will say that if your child keeps doing his best, he's already on his way to some championship moves.

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The next game mixes two fast-moving sports. Click to learn how soccey works.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Soccey

Do your kids love both hockey and soccer? Then why not mix them up for a fun new adventure called Soccey? The next time your kids are dying to move that soccer ball down the field, let them do it with hockey sticks. The next time they want to slam that puck into the net, let them slam a soccer ball instead.

What You'll Need:

  • Playing field
  • Soccer ball
  • Hockey sticks
  • Other players

It's challenging to try and balance out the rules, but the change of pace will be fun and will help you appreciate the wonder of each individual game. Just be careful they do not to "stick" their fellow players when they are trying to move the ball down the field. It's a game, not a way to collect other people's teeth.

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Find out how the next game will keep your kids swinging through the trees.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Tree Branch Golf

Your yard can be your children's driving range in Tree Branch Golf. Pros like Tiger Woods use expensive golf clubs to shoot for that hole-in-one. But your kids can play their own crazy game of golf in the backyard.

What You'll Need:

  • Yard
  • Large, sturdy stick
  • Pine cones
  • Sand

Step One: Use a long, sturdy tree branch (one already broken off on the ground) for the club, a pine cone for the ball, and small piles of sand to represent golf course holes.

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Step Two: Be sure to set up the course using hills and rose bushes as hazards that they want to avoid.

Step Three: Keep track of how many strokes it takes to get from start to finish.

Step Four: Don't forget to scatter the piles of sand once the game is finished.

Find out how the next game gives a new twist to volleyball.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Beanbag Volley

No more sore fingers with Beanbag Volley! Millions of Americans love playing volleyball. But the hard surface of the ball can be tough on young fingers and fists. So why not let your kids volley one of their favorite beanbag-stuffed animals instead of that hard-to-handle ball?

What You'll Need:

  • Beanbags or bean-filled stuffed animals
  • Volleyball net

Adapt the rules a little to allow for the fact that the beanbag won't always "bounce" as high as the ball would. Make it legal to toss the stuffy overhand, as long as it's not held for more than three seconds. Then have fun!

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Find out how the next after-school game takes your kids on a bike adventure.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Bike Hike

Take bike hikes with your family and watch your miles add up! If your family is into biking, try planning some bike hikes. One great incentive to keep everyone biking is to plan an imaginary trip. Find out how far your "destination" is, then see how long it takes to bike that many miles. Everyone can keep adding up the miles to see how long it takes to bike around the country -- or the world!

What You'll Need:

  • Bicycles
  • Helmet for each rider
  • Water bottle
  • Snacks
  • Notebook
  • National or world map
  • Push pins
  • Marker

If you're going to be out more than an hour, bring water and snacks. Use a map to plan your route and figure out how many miles you will travel. After a while you'll get pretty good at estimating how far you've biked. After each hike, record your mileage in a notebook. On a wall map, mark your town (and your "destination") with push pins, then use a colored marker to note on a highway the number of miles you've biked.

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When biking, be sure to observe these safety tips:

1) Inspect your bicycle before each ride. Inflate the tires, check the brakes, and lubricate the chain properly.

2) All riders, both adults and children, should wear helmets. Make sure your helmet protects your forehead. Always buckle the straps and make sure they fit snugly.

3) Remember, your bike is a moving vehicle. You must follow the rules of the road. Ride on the right-hand side. Obey all traffic signs and signals, using hand signals to indicate when you turn.

4) Be alert for cars at all times. Always assume that the driver doesn't see you. Watch for cars turning at corners or backing out of driveways.

Read more to find out how the next after-school game puts your kids in a friendly skee ball contest.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Shoot the Shoebox

You may have seen skee ball, where players bowl wooden balls up a ramp, at an arcade. Shoot the Shoebox is similar, but relies on skill, not luck. Your kids can play with one friend, or in a larger group. The materials are inexpensive and the game is easy to make.

What You'll Need:

  • Hard, smooth playing surface
  • Shooter marbles
  • Shoebox
  • Safe scissors
  • Pen or marker
  • Chalk

Step One: Turn an empty shoebox over and mark various-sized holes on one long edge. One hole should be just big enough for a shooter to go through. Another should be so large that it would be hard to miss. Make the rest of the holes various sizes in between.

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Step Two: Cut out the holes with scissors and mark points over them. The largest hole should score zero points. The smallest should have the highest point value.

Step Three: Set the box upside down on a hard surface.

Step Four: Chalk-mark a shooting line five feet away (more for skilled shooters).

Step Five: Each player gets ten shots at the box. If a marble passes through a hole, the shooter gets the number of points marked over it. The player with the most points wins.

On the next page, learn how to keep your kids busy by using old rags to shoot hoops.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Basketball Bundle

This rag-tag replacement will score a few laughs with your kids and their friends. It's easy to play and fun to watch. Imagine your child thinks he's Michael Jordan. He grabs the ball and heads down center court. He's dying to make that famous "Air" Jordan dunk. Then he realizes the "ball" he's palmed won't even bounce.

What You'll Need:

  • Basketball court
  • Bundle of old clothing
  • String
  • At least one other player

This time, he's playing basketball bundle, and his ball is a well-tied lump of old rags. No fear of double dribbling during this game. No traveling is possible when the ball won't bounce. So just carry, kick, or throw the bundle down the court, shoot and -- hopefully -- score. Then be glad that rags aren't part of the ordinary NBA plan.

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Some old-fashioned games just need a little updating to keep your kids entertained. Learn more about another fun game on the next page.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Sardines

No, your kids and their friends don't have to chow down on li'l fishies to win this fun-filled Sardines game. It's a new twist on hide-and-seek! Ready or not, here I come!

What You'll Need:

  • Friends

Step One: For this game of hide-and-seek, you'll need at least four friends. To get started, one player should be given a chance to hide.

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Step Two: The other players should spread out and try to find the pal in hiding.

Step Three: Here's where the twist comes in! When a player finds the pal's hiding place, he or she must hide with that player.

Step Four: Both players must stay where they are until another player finds them. Then that player hides there, too.

Step Five: The hide-and-seek fun will continue until the last person finally finds everybody. At that point, everyone will be squished like -- you guessed it -- sardines!

Learn how to to blaze new trails with the after-school game on the following page.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out:

Trailblazing

Your kids can add new life to an old favorite with another cool variation of hide-and-seek.

What You'll Need:

  • Three or more players
  • An outdoor area with hiding places
  • Chalk or sticks for each player

Step One: Begin by choosing an "it." Have "it" close his or her eyes (or stand where other players can't be seen) for a specific length of time.

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Step Two: The rest of the players run off in the same direction to find hiding places, but must mark their paths by chalking arrows on paved areas or placing arrows made of sticks on the ground. Marks should be several yards apart.

Step Three: When the players reach a good hiding place, they leave arrows pointing in four different directions. At this point the players scatter and find hiding places within twenty paces of the mark.

Step Four: "It" follows the trail and tries to find all the players.

In a more active version, called "Hares and Hounds," players divide into two teams. The "hounds" close their eyes while the "hares" run together in a particular direction, leaving chalk marks or stick arrows along the way. After a ten- or 20-second head start, the hounds chase the hares. The round is over when the hounds spot the hares. The hares must lay trail markers at least every ten yards.

For more ideas to keep your kids and their friends busy, check out: