When kids have very little equipment to play with and lots of play time, they get pretty creative. Here’s a game I watched evolve over the course of the last three months at Farragut Elementary School in Culver City, CA.  It’s active, fun and addictive. Give it a try if you’re looking to add a new active game to your repertoire.


Materials: One picnic table, one playground ball (a handball works best)

Area: A picnic table that is unobstructed on the long ends by about 30 feet.

Number of Participants: Two teams of 2 – 3 players each.

Set-up: None

How To Play: Teams stand opposite each other at the long ends of a picnic table (“long end” means the part you don’t sit at). One team starts by bouncing the ball off the table top towards the other team. If the other team doesn’t catch the ball before it hits the ground on their side, the throwing team gets one point.  If the ball doesn’t hit the table top first, the receiving team gets the point. Players may throw the ball as hard or as soft as they want. Play continues until one team reaches 15 points.

I’ve seen kids throw the ball as hard as humanly possible without injury. I’ve also seen spectators sitting at the table on the bench part without incident. Once a team wins, the next challenging team may step in to play against the the winners.


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