7 Fun Basketball Games for Kids Besides Horse

Basketball is an energetic sport that requires endurance, balance, and hand-eye coordination. But playing a high-intensity, five-on-five game isn’t the only way to enjoy the sport. There are plenty of other opportunities to spark an interest in basketball or hone skills among beginners and advanced players alike.

Most kids who play basketball are familiar with HORSE, a game aimed at polishing shooting skills. If your child and their friends are tired of this game, introduce them to seven others that require nothing more than a basketball, a hoop, and a group of eager participants.

Sharks and Minnows as a Basketball Game

This game teaches kids the concept of keeping the ball in control rather than letting it bounce away.

  • Choose one or two players to be “sharks.” The remaining players are “minnows.”
  • The two sharks stand at one end of the court without a ball.
  • Minnows line up at the other end, each holding a ball.
  • The minnows’ goal is to dribble the ball from baseline to baseline without the sharks stealing or knocking it away.
  • Any minnow who loses their ball becomes a shark in the next round.
  • How to win- the last minnow remaining is the winner.
  • When you start the next round, the winner becomes the shark.

Knockout: A Basketball Game & Drill for Kids

This fun basketball game is ideal for playing with a group of differently skilled kids because everyone gets a chance to shoot a basket.

  • Line up the players in two lines. The first player in each line has a basketball.
  • The first player in one line shoots the ball.
  • If they make the shot, they collect the rebound, give the ball to the player behind them, and go to the back of the line.
  • At the chance that they miss, the first player in the other line shoots and attempts to “knock out” the first shooter by making a basket.
  • If both players miss, they run for the rebound and shoot from anywhere until one of them makes a basket. Whoever misses is knocked out.
  • The game continues until all but one player has been knocked out.

Around the World: Basketball Shooting Skills Game for Kids

This game has many variations, but they all aim to improve shooting skills from various places on the basketball court.

  • Mark seven spots on the court with cones or something similar.
  • Each player starts at the first marker and must make a shot before moving on.
  • If a player misses a shot, they get a second chance. If they miss again, they move to the end of the line. The next player then steps up to the first marker and takes a shot.
  • The first player to make all their shots on the first or second try is declared the winner.

21 Points as a Drill for Kids to Learn Basketball

This fast-paced shooting game requires speed and concentration. Feel free to increase or decrease the points needed to win based on skill level and the number of players.

  • Line up the players behind a designated shooting spot.
  • The first player shoots.
  • If they make the shot, they get one point, plus the chance to shoot again for a second point.
  • When a shot is missed, the player collects the rebound and attempts a second shot. If they make the shot this time, they get two points. Missing twice in a row means the player receives no points, and the ball passes to the next player in line.
  • The first player to score 21 points wins. Any player who goes over 21 has their score reduced to 13.

Golf (The Basketball Game Version)

The object of traditional golf is to hit the ball into the hole with the fewest strokes possible. The same is true here.

  • Line up the players behind a designated shooting spot.
  • The first player shoots.
  • If they make the shot, they get a “hole in one.”
  • When the shot is missed, they must collect the rebound and shoot again from there. The score for each round equals the number of attempts it takes to make the basket.
  • After all the players shoot from this location, choose a new spot and begin again.
  • Whoever has the lowest score at the end of the game wins.

Musical Basketballs

This game is similar to musical chairs, but with basketballs.

  • Make a pile of basketballs in the middle of the court. There should be enough balls for each player to get one.
  • Instruct the kids to walk around the balls while music plays.
  • When the music stops, players grab a ball and shoot from anywhere they like.
  • Once a player makes a shot, they immediately sit down to show they are finished.
  • The last player standing is out.

Home Run: Dribbling and Shooting Game 

This fun basketball game for kids teaches dribbling and shooting skills.

  • Divide the players into two teams—dribblers and shooters.
  • Give each dribbler a basketball and line them up along a baseline.
  • The shooters should have one or two basketballs and be lined up a designated distance from the basket.
  • The dribblers’ goal is to dribble the basketball around the half-court line and back.
  • If a shooter makes a basket, they shout “stop,” and the current dribbler freezes in place. The next dribbler then begins.
  • Every time a dribbler makes it home, their team gets one point.
  • Continue until every dribbler is out, and then switch teams.
  • Whoever has the most “runs” at the end of the game wins.

Sign Up Your Child for Youth Basketball

Are you looking for a youth basketball league that meets your child’s needs and caters to your family’s busy schedule? Check out what i9 Sports®® has to offer. Our programs introduce kids to the sport and help experienced players hone their skills through fun, age-appropriate classes. We also emphasize good sportsmanship, both on and off the court. To us, this is The Way Youth Sports Should Be®.

Feel free to browse our programs to learn more. Then, find an i9 Sports® office near you when you’re ready to sign up.

Young basketball player dribbling a blue and white striped basketball down the court in a gray i9 Sports jersey.