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How to have fun with balls, by Karen Little

Abstract Clover by Karen Little of

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Play is a big component of building a happy life, and bouncing, tossing, and kicking a ball has been a part of playing since the beginning of human history. Think I'm kidding? Just read the list of ball games compiled by Wikipedia, and keep in mind that Wikipedia doesn't even include ball games you can make up and play by yourself! I derived the following list of ball activities by searching for "ball types" in Amazon and Walmart's websites. That said, even if you habitually play "toss the crumpled paper into the trashcan," with ball in hand, you position yourself for countless hours of fun, with or without buying a thing.

Based on the ball-types I found listed, here are 21 ball game ideas you can play with or without others. A video reference for each ball type follows this article.

  • Tennis Balls: Yes, these balls are used for racket and team play, but given their size, they can also be tossed from hand-to-hand, bounced against walls with or without rackets, juggled, used for target-practice, and inspire a friendly game of catch. Sit at a desk for hours a day? Toss a tennis ball back and forth between hands for five minutes every so often, and feel your shoulders and neck relax!

  • Ollyball: This 12-inch ball was designed to withstand "full force" playing (kicking, throwing, etc.), inside your home or apartment without destroying furniture or other delicate things. Its patented construction absorbs force and no matter how hard you boot it, it glides gently over to its target.

  • Zuyee Wrist Return Ball: This 2.5-inch round ball is attached to your wrist by a Velcro bracelet and a 35-inch stretchable cord. Playing by yourself or with others, the cord prohibits the ball rolling away from you, which make it perfect to play within tight spaces.

  • Sticky Balls: When thrown to a wall or ceiling, these 2-inch "glow in the dark" balls stick to the surface! Use for fun or target practice or just squishing in your hands like stress balls.

  • Puffer or Squishy Balls: The surface of these balls is covered with rubber "hair-like" fingers, making them fun to feel for stress relief, as well as tossing and juggling.

  • Bouncy Balls: These very bouncy rubber balls are available in a variety of sizes for use by people of all ages. They are good for any throw and catch games, as well as light kicking for indoor soccer.

  • Kick Balls: In the USA, kick balls are called "soccer balls." They can withstand very rough team play as well as the solitary activity of foot-juggling and target practice.

  • Sensory Bouncy Balls: These are like standard bouncy balls, except their surfaces are covered with little bumps. These balls provide touch stimulation for an added pleasure when playing standard throw-and-catch games, or rolling over your body for a massage.

  • Beach Balls: These light-weight, fun-colored vinyl balls come in a variety of sizes. Filled with air, you can toss them around inside or out, without fear of busting items or giving your mate a black eye.

  • Sling-Shot Balls: This variation of a sling-shot features foam balls that can travel at a distance of 25-feet when slung. Best, these balls can be slung at friends without doing any damage, as well as slung around your home without too much fear of wrecking furniture.

  • Cup and Ball Game: This is a great "partnerless" game played with a ball attached by a string to a device holding a cup. Toss the ball up, then catch it with the cup. Miss and the string keeps the ball from rolling away. Lots of creative time can be spent dreaming up your own cup and ball contraptions, without having to purchase a thing!

  • Water-filled Bubble Balls: These 47-inch bubble balls can be filled with air or water. Given their size and light-weight, they are fun to toss around outside, especially when a breeze is present. When filled with water, they make the perfect surface for flop and splash activities.

  • Toss-and-Catch Paddle Balls: These balls are covered with soft, fuzzy material that, when caught by a specially prepared paddle, stick to its surface.

  • Wiffle Balls: These hard plastic, 9-inch balls are fabricated with holes around the surface. When the balls are tossed, the holes buffer the air, causing them to slow down. Good for motion control and also throwing in the house!

  • Pickleball: This is a more gentle form of tennis (along with its own rules) played with a ball that is similar in travel to a Wiffle ball.

  • Huge Exercise Balls: These really big balls can hold up to 2200 pounds when compressed. Coming in a variety of sizes to fit your need, you can sit or roll around on them, as well as perform a number of exercises that answer all sorts of physical issues.

  • Hopper Balls: These are exercise balls with handles. In addition to sitting on them to perform a number of bouncy exercises, by holding onto its handle when you bounce on it, it becomes a riding toy!

  • Groovy Wubble Bubble Balls: These are very large, water-filled balls. Push it around as it "wubbles" around the yard, or simply enjoy it for doing belly flops.

  • Nurf Basketballs: Nurf balls, like wiffle balls, are extremely light-weight and can be tossed around inside or out without fear of damaging the surrounding area. Add a basketball hoop to any available surface inside or out and you can do jump shots without fear of damaging your wall.

  • Pit Balls: These balls are used by the hundreds to fill a "pit" or container into which kids, adults, and even pets can jump into, then roll around or bounce upon.

  • Dodge Balls: These balls look like bouncy balls, but they are designed to keep bouncing to a minimum so that their trajectory is kept low to the ground.

This concludes my roundup of ball types and the games you can play with them.

Keep in mind that once you handle a ball of any type, you will intuitively figure out how to have fun with it. But for hundreds of additional ideas, visit YouTube. Search on such topics as "ball exercises," "ball sports," "ball play with bats," and "ball play with pails." You'll be surprised at what you'll find!


There are numerous videos for every one of my suggestions above. Stimulate your imagination and begin to play!

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Written by Karen Little of Sketch-Views

I hope you find my Blogs helpful! If so, help me by "liking" my illustrations in my two Redbubble stores and even consider buying from them! Littleviews features Dog and Pet illustrations, and Sketchviews more General Illustrations.


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