7 Tennis Games For Kids

Tennis promotes balance, coordination, agility, and speed. You can enhance these skills by playing a regular tennis match, but you can also get your child excited about the sport with tennis games! Try these seven simple tennis games for kids.

1. Hit & Catch

This is a good tennis game to try with young kids who aren’t ready to use tennis rackets. Line up partners across from each other. One player throws a ball to the other, who lets it bounce once and then catches it. The catcher now throws the ball back to their partner, who catches it after it bounces once. This continues for as long as you want the game to last.

To switch things up, have the players catch the ball in unique ways. You might give each player an orange cone to catch the ball in, or have them wear an oversized T-shirt they can use as a net. Players can also catch the ball by balancing it on their racket or sandwiching it between two rackets. Feel free to get creative to keep the players’ interest.

To make this tennis game competitive, see how many catches each pair of players can make in one minute. And to ramp up the difficulty, have the partners take a step back after each successful catch.

2. Bounce & Count

Two players work cooperatively to get a rally going. When the ball bounces, each player should shout “bounce.” And when a player hits the ball, they should count the number of volleys they’re on. So it sounds like, “Bounce, one, bounce, two, bounce, three,” and so on.

This tennis game for kids helps players concentrate on the ball at all times rather than just when they’re hitting it. 

3. Twister

Players rally from the back of the court while the coach calls out commands about how they must hit the ball, such as “both feet on the ground,” “left-handed,” or “while making a silly face.” The commands can be as simple or complex as needed based on the players’ skill level.

4. Around the World

Players line up at the baseline, half on either side of the net. The first player serves the ball, and the rally plays out. However, after each shot, the players must run to the opposite side of the net. This classic game gets players’ heart rates up in no time.

5. Ball Balancing/Ball Bouncing/Ball Dribbling

Each player lines up on one side of the court, holding their racket in front of them and placing a tennis ball on top. Then, the players race across the court, balancing the ball without touching it with their hands.

When they reach the other side, the players must start bouncing the ball on their racket a few inches into the air. They continue this action while racing back across the court. For the final pass, players must dribble the ball between the court surface and their racket. Whoever completes all three drills first wins.

6. Hungry Crocodile

This volley drill teaches young players how to concentrate on and anticipate the ball. Start by lining up players in front of the net. Say a player’s name and quickly hit the ball in their direction. They must be ready to volley it back.

If they miss, they “lose a limb” to the hungry crocodile. First, they lose an arm, meaning they must now hit with their non-dominant hand. If they miss again, they lose a leg and have to hop on one foot. Then, they lose the other leg and go down on their knees. The last player not to get “eaten” is the winner.

7. Target Practice

Set up a target on the opposite side of the net from the players. This may be something you lie flat on the ground or an obstacle the kids try to knock over—your choice. Have everyone take turns trying to hit the target, resetting it if necessary after each successful hit. Whoever hits the target the most in a set amount of time wins the game.

Sign Up Your Child for Youth Tennis

At i9 Sports®®, we offer age-appropriate tennis instruction for boys and girls ages 5 to 14. We design our program to suit players based on age, skill level, and developmental readiness to ensure a safe, fun time for all! If your family is ready to enjoy The Way Youth Sports Should Be®, please browse our programs or find an i9 Sports® office near you to learn about enrolling your child.

Young boy in an i9 Sports tennis shirt playing tennis on a green tennis court.