Back Garden Games

Ball games are a great way to get active as a family! There are tons of fun but simple games that can be played in your back garden or local open space, with most only requiring a single ball.

Below you will find some simple game ideas, that can get the whole family active and involved:

Gaga Ball

This game is a back garden variation of the official Gaga Ball game and can be played with a single football sized foam or rubber ball (multiple balls can be used).

Firstly, a circle game area is set out on a piece of grass, which all players have to stay within (If you don’t have cones, don’t worry, jumpers or tree sticks will do!). Each player can only use one hand to hit the ball inside the game area, and the ball must be hit with a fist. The other hand must stay behind your back.

The aim of the game is to hit another player, below the waist, with the ball. If a player gets hit, they must stand outside the game area. The out players can then retrieve any balls which go outside the circle, and may use both hands to throw the ball at any players inside the circle. If they hit a player inside, they swap places and the hit player is out.

This continues until only one player is left inside the play area- they are the winner!



Dodgeball is a fantastic game which is enjoyable for everyone! One or more rubber/foam balls are required for this game.

To set up a game of dodgeball, first mark out a rectangle playing area. In the middle of the rectangle, you should mark out a horizontal line; this is your dividing line. Place the balls along the dividing line and each team starts at the opposite end of the rectangle.

To start, the players must run in and grab the balls, which they can then throw at the other team from behind the line. If a ball hits a player below the waist, without bouncing, they must do a forfeit and the team who threw the ball gets a point. Some examples of forfeits include star jumps, push ups or a couple of laps of the garden! Points can also be won if a team catches a ball which has been thrown by the opposite team. The player who threw the ball must also do a forfeit.

At the end of the time set, the team with the most points wins!

Dodgeball Set up:


Group of Adults playing Elephant Football

Elephant Football

Elephant football is a circle game which can be played with 4+ players and a single football sized foam/rubber ball.

To start, players stand in a circle with their legs open and feet touching, to form a complete circle. The ball is placed in the middle and players must hit the ball using either hand in a fist shape. The aim of the game is to hit the ball through another players legs. If the ball goes through a players legs, they receive progressive forfeits each time it happens:

1st forfeit- only one arm can be used.

2nd- player must play backwards, facing away from the ball.

3rd- Player is out.

The last player remaining is the winner!


A really simple game, but one that’s a lot of fun and works on your throwing and catching skills!  All you need is a tennis ball/foam ball.

Get everyone taking part to spread out in a large area and then choose one player to stand at the front of the group with the ball. This player must then throw the ball into the air. As the ball begins its descent shout out how many points the ball is worth. Whoever catches the ball wins those points and becomes the next thrower. But, if you try to catch the ball and drop it, you lose however many points that ball was worth!

Make sure the ball isn’t thrown too high or far away so the other players have a realistic chance of catching it, increasing the size of the ball may also help for younger children.

Wall Ball

This game is best suited to older children and adults. It requires little space and equipment, just an outside wall (house wall is the best) and a tennis ball!

To set up the game, mark out a rectangle box behind the wall. The box should be the length of the wall and have a width of about 3m or whatever space you have;  this is the playing area. Two players compete against each other at one time.

To begin, one player starts by the throwing the tennis ball at the wall. The other player must then catch the ball without it bouncing. Players then take it in turns to throw the ball at the wall for the other player to catch. Points are won if your opposition fails to catch the ball, or if their throw goes outside the bounds of the playing area.

The winner is the first player to reach a set amount of points.


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