12 Fun Games For Kids With A Basketball (2023)

If you are looking for ideas or new ways to play the game of basketball and keep it fun for the young players or even for yourself, you have found the right source. These games are a great way to relax, have fun or spark your competitive edge in a different way.

Here are 12 Fun Games For Kids With A Basketball that they can play at a gym or even in their own backyard with a friend. Each game has a couple of variations to it that I have suggested underneath the rules of that game. Any of these games you are free to experiment and add or take away any rules you like.

You may even create your own game in the process of playing some of these games. I am going to categorize these fun kids games in 3 separate categories beginner, intermediate and hard games. Some of these games you may already know and have played but are named differently. Take a look at the variations and see if there is a new way to play the game you never knew about.

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If your child is new to the game of basketball, stick to this category. Use a ball that they can handle and shoot without a problem. These games are made to be fun and for a child to be active.

Basketball Obstacle Course

You are going to have to get your creative juices flowing for this engaging and fun obstacle course. The obstacle course will be great for a bunch of kids to play and see who get can get the best time. Such an obstacle course can include anything really, For example, you may want to include an agility ladder, where they run through, dribble the ball 10 times, skip rope 5 times, do a layup and then dribble around some cones and ending it off with a shot from the free-throw line.

Player’s: 2 players or more

Equipment: A basketball and hoop, some equipment.

Rules To Obstacle Course

  • There really are no rules.
  • Keep track of time.
  • End on a made basket.

Notes: May need more than one ball and try to make use of the space that you have.

Mini Dunk Contest

What kid doesn’t love playing and dunking on mini hoops with their friends and imitate their favorite players in the NBA. Kids love jumping around, let’s make it safe for them to do so, here’s how. If you are playing on a small plastic hoop indoors put some pillows around the base to keep the area safe. Do not allow hanging or pulling on the rim.

Players: 2 or more

Equipment: A hoop low enough to dunk, a mini ball, some scorecards.

Rules To Mini Dunk Contest

  • Decide who goes first and keep the order.
  • No hanging on the rim.
  • 3 tries to make a dunk.
  • Parents hold up score cards after a dunk from 8 to 10 no low numbers.

Follow the leader

This a beginner game that you would play on the schoolyard where you line up with the other kids in a single file and the leader or first person in the line would do whatever they wanted and the others kids behind the leader would follow the leader and mimic his every move.

In this case you the leader has a basketball and can dribble as many times as you want and shoot or do a dunk if possible, It is a fun way to learn new tricks and skills that a kid can pick up just from copying their friends.

Player’s: 2 or more

Equipment: A basketball for every player, a hoop, no hoop not a problem.

Rules To Follow the leader

  • Everyone playing needs a ball.
  • Decide who goes first.
  • Take Turns.
  • Be creative and have fun.

Notes: No hoop, you can use a big enough space and just dribble the ball, this is also fun. As kids, we use to shoot on a no parking sign (not recommended but you get the idea).


For the player that has some skills and is looking for a challenge but at the same time is having fun doing it. Skills will get better and the player won’t even realize it. At this stage, the player can see that there are other forms of basketball games to play when you are tired of the same old 5 v 5.

Bump or Knockout

Player’s: 3 or more

Equipment: 2 Basketballs and a hoop with a marked free-throw line.

The game of bump is a lot of fun and kids love this game but it can be confusing to a child if they never have played it. The basic rule is this, the player in the front of the line and must make a basket starting from the free-throw line before the player directly behind him makes it to stay in the game. If the second player in the line makes it before the first player, he/she, therefore, bumps the player that was in front of him/her out of the line and out of the game.

Rules To Bump

  • Decide the order of the line and stand in front of the free-throw line in single file facing the hoop.
  • Two balls are needed and given to the first two people in line.
  • The first person shoots from the free-throw line. If they make the basket, the player retrieves the ball and passes it to the first person in line without a ball. If they miss the shot from the free-throw line, they will need to rebound their miss as fast as possible and put the ball into the hoop from wherever they want.
  • While the person that is shooting first has shot the ball, the second person in line may shoot from the free-throw line only after the first person has shot their ball (but not before or at the same time). They will try to sink the basket before the player in front does, so they can try to bump the player out of the game.
  • Anytime a player that is behind you sinks the basket before you do you are out.
  • If both players miss their shots they continue to try and make the basket after rebounding the ball, they, however, are not allowed to touch, hit or throw the other players’ ball on purpose.
  • You continue the game until there is only one player left.

Variations of Bump

  • Weak Hand
  • Three-point line
  • Granny shots
  • Hit another player’s ball with your ball.

Note: Sometimes players get confused, let them know all they have to remember is not to let the player behind them score before they do or they are out.

H.O.R.S.E. Or P.I.G.

Player’s:2 or more

Equipment: Basketball and hoop

Every basketball player knows the game of horse, for kids, this may be new if they are new to the sport. I can remember countless hours playing this game when I was younger and trying to create new trick shots to make it difficult for my opponent to make.

The game of H.O.R.S.E or a shorter version of it is P.I.G. if time restricts you, it doesn’t have to be complicated trick shots for young kids. It can be any kind of shot, layup, free throw, a couple of dribbles then shoot. That’s why this is a classic game that can be played at any skill level. It is universally known around the world.


  • Decide who goes first.
  • Player 1 shoots a shot anywhere on the court. If player 1 makes it, he then visually marks the spot where he made it from. Such as free throw, right-hand layup, etc.
  • The second player must shoot the same type of shot from the same spot that player 1 made it from.
  • If the second player misses the same shot that player 1 made, player 2 gets a letter >H <. The beginning of spelling out H.O.R.S.E.
  • The first player to spell out H.O.R.S.E. loses, which means that he missed 5 of the other players made shots.
  • If player 2 makes the shot he does not receive a letter, but player 1 continues to shoot until he misses.
  • A player does not get a letter for his turn on a shot that he misses that was intended for the opposing player to shoot the same shot.
  • If the player has H.O.R.S. and needs to make a shot to avoid getting another letter which in this case is >E< in order to avoid elimination, the player is given two tries to make the opposing player’s shot.
  • A shorter version of H.O.R.S.E. is P.I.G. In P.I.G. Same rules applies in P.I.G.

Note: If playing with more then 2 players, decide what order each player goes in and only when a player misses his created shot does the next player in the order takes his turn.

Variations Of H.O.R.S.E.

  • Only trick shots
  • Weak Hand Only
  • Only Dunks
  • Only Layups
  • Team H.O.R.S.E. with 2 players on a team


This is another classic game with a couple of different ways to play the game. This game starts at the free-throw line and works well at improving your free throw shot.

Player’s:2 or more

Equipment: Basketball and hoop with a marked free-throw line.

Rules Of 21 Two Ways To Play

Now there are two ways to play, so you must decide in advance how you want to play it. You can either Break The Ice, which means you must make your first basket from the free-throw line before you can count any points towards your score. Or to play it as simply hit or miss you continue to play without Breaking The ICE and count the score immediately.

Break The Ice

  • Decide who goes first.
  • The first player shoots from the free-throw line and if they make it on their first shot, this is known as Breaking The Ice. This first shot that is made is only worth 1 point. All other shots at the free-throw line are worth 2 points thereafter.
  • If the player instead misses the shot, player 2 attempts to Break The Ice at the free-throw line.
  • When the player Breaks The Ice, they continue to shoot from the free-throw line adding two points to their total, if the player misses and the opposing player has not broken the ice, he continues to try from the free-throw line.
  • If the player who has not broken the ice misses the other player will rebound his shot and shoot from wherever on the court he caught the rebound. These shots after the free-throw line shots count as 1 point on a make.
  • The player will go back to the free-throw line and attempt a two-point shot.
  • Now that both players have broken the ice they continue to play by rebounding the missed shots from the free-throw line, on a make they shoot again at the free-throw line for 2 points.
  • You can not go over 21 points, this is considered a bust and you must get exactly 21 points. This means if you have 20 points and you at the free-throw line ready to shoot a 2 pointer you must miss or you will go back to 1 point on a miss.

The second version of 21 still follows the same rules above, but without Breaking The Ice, the game is played as follows:

  • Decide who goes first.
  • Whether the player misses or makes it from the free-throw line, the game continues on in the same fashion as if the ice is broken for both players.
  • In this case, the very first shot of the game only counts as 1 point from the free-throw line. So if you happen to miss the first shot, when you go back to the free-throw line to shoot it is now worth 2 points, not 1.
  • Apply all the rules above.

Variations Of the 21 Game

  • Every miss you deduct 1 point from your score.
  • Play from the three-point line instead of the free-throw line (more for advanced players).
  • Non-dominant hand only.
  • Loser does 10 pushups.
  • Best of 7 series.

Around The World

Player’s: 2or more

Equipment: A Basketball and a hoop with a marked three-point line.

Around the world is more of an advanced game as you play from the three-point line. You shoot from 5 different spots on the three-point line, starting from the corner, then the foul line extended, directly in front of the rim, then the other foul line extended and then the other corner. The idea is to travel around the three-point line from each spot there and back hitting each shot twice from every spot, totaling 10 made shots before the opposing player does.

Rules To Around The World

  • Decide Who Goes First
  • If you make the first shot you advance to the next spot, if you miss your first shot you do not advance and the next player shoots. Only on the first shot at the start of your journey around the world do you get one shot if you miss.
  • Every time you shoot and make the shot, you will advance to the next spot. If you miss your shot you will either say STAY,to stay at that spot you missed from or say CHALLENGE, to try again to advance. If you miss on a CHALLENGE attempt you will go back all the way to the beginning.
  • When you reach the second corner shot you must shoot twice from that corner.
  • The game ends when the first player makes it back to where he started from.

Variations To Around The World

  • Weak Hand
  • No challenge or stay.
  • Only one challenge.
  • Move-in closer, do not need to start from the three-point line.
  • May play by yourself.

5 spots

This is a game that you chose five spots on the basketball court and you count how many shots it takes to sink from all 5 spots. The player with the lowest amount of shots wins.

Player’s: 1 or more players

Equipment: A basketball, a hoop.

Rules To 5 Spots

  • Pick 5 spots on the court to shoot from
  • Decide who goes first
  • Shoot in any order you want from each spot
  • keep track of how many shots it takes to make it from all 5 spots.
  • The player with the least amount of shots wins.

Variations To 5 Spots

  • Best of 7 series vs
  • Rotate 5 spots.
  • Make last shot very hard like a half-court shot.
  • Use your weak hand.
  • Trick shots only, create 5 trick shots.

Notes: Write the shots you are going to take down or use your phone notes to keep track.


These advanced games are challenging and are competitive, the great thing about these games is they are still fun and you are improving your game at the same time. These games are for the seasoned vet, or someone whos been playing basketball a lot.


There are many names for this game but I call it bank, this is more of an advanced game that you can play from the free-throw line or the three-point line. Each player has 21 and shoots one shot each in order, the idea is that you count how many baskets are made in a row, when it reaches your turn and the player before you made their shot and you missed, you deduct the number of shots in a row that were made from your total. So if I started with 21 and there have been 2 shots in a row and now it’s my turn and I shoot and miss, I am down to 19. Every made shot adds to the bank.

Player’s: 3 or more

Equipment: A Basketball and a hoop with a marked three-point line.

Rules To Bank

  • Decide who goes first.
  • The game starts at 21 and if a player gets to zero he is out of the game.
  • You count the number of made shots in a row between players.
  • When it is your turn to shoot the ball and you miss you deduct the number of made shots that were made before you shot from your current score or bank.
  • If you make the shot you add to the total of made shots in a row, putting pressure on the next player to shot and make the shot.
  • If the total of shots made in a row surpasses the amount you have in the bank and you miss you will be out.
  • When a player has a zero or no more in the bank he is out.

Variations To Bank

  • Free-throw line
  • Weak hand
  • Higher bank
  • Give better shooters a smaller bank.

Note: You can play with two players but I would play up to 30 to 50 if that’s the case. The game will go fast if everyone has their own ball to shoot but it isn’t necessary.


The game of cutthroat is a one on one game involving 3 or more players keeping track of score that goes up to 11 points. Two players start playing one on one and whichever player gets scored on must come off the court. The player waiting to play, will play the player who just scored. Anytime you get scored on you switch off with the player waiting to get into the game.

Player’s: 3 or more players

Equipment: A basketball and hoop.

Rules To Cutthroat

  • Decide who is offense and defense first.
  • Every basket is worth 1 point and you may play to any score 5,7,9 and 11 etc.
  • The player that scores first remains on the court on offense while the other player who was scored on switches with the player that is waiting to get into the game. The player adds the total to his score.
  • Continue to rotate through until the first player reaches the final score.
  • You as the player may only shoot one shot on offense, sink or miss it is now the defender’s ball to be on offense and try to score.

Variations Of Cutthroat

  • You may rebound and try to score your missed shot.
  • If you rebound your opponents shot you bring it back out to the three-point line to clear the ball.
  • Rotate players regardless of make or miss. The offense becomes defense, the defense goes offense, the player that was waiting to get in the game is now on offense.
  • Two dribbles max etc.

3 zones

The game of 3 zones is a one on one game and is more of an intermediate to advance game. It involves splitting the court into 3 zones, behind the three-point line is one zone. Inside the three-point line, you have the left and right of the court as your second and third zone splitting it even down the middle.

You give your opponent a 1,2, or 3 points for each zone when he scores from one of the three zones he adds that to his total score. You want to be strategic that if he’s a good three-point shooter you may only want to give him a 1 or a 2 points for that zone etc. If he is bad going to the left give him a 3 pt for that zone. Some strategy is involved. Games can be played up to 11,15 or 21 points.

Player’s: 2 Players

Equipment: A basketball, a hoop.

Rules To 3 Zones

  • You must decide for your opponent what value of points for each of the three zones.
  • Decide who gets the ball first.
  • Playing one on one wherever your opponent scores from one of the three zones you had the value that was given to him to his score.

Variations To 3 Zones

  • More zones, use the inside of the key, be creative.
  • 2 v 2.
  • More than 2 players.
  • On a foul shoot from one of the three zones like a free-throw.

Notes: If your playing with more then 3 zones or more then 2 players, might be easier to write it down.

Golf Basketball

Golf is a game in which players take turns deciding which shots they want to shoot. The premise is exactly like golf the player with the lowest number of shots wins. When attempting to take a shot if it takes you 2 shots to make it from the spot, the par for that shot is 2. The next player will try and shoot par or better on the same shot you took.

Player’s: 2 or more players

Equipment: A basketball and hoop.

Rules To Golf

  • Decide how many shots you want to do, each shot is like a hole in golf. 9 or 18 in this case.
  • Decide who goes first.
  • The first player shooting takes a shot on the court and records the number of shots it takes to make it. However many it takes is the par for that shot.
  • The goal for the next player is to shoot the par or better. So for example, if the first player took 3 shots to make a shot, the par for that shot is 3. the next player makes it in 2 shots. The first player has 3 as his score and the second player has 2 as their score.
  • After the first hole or shot is done, players switch and the second player takes a shot from anywhere on the court and records the par (how many shots it takes). Again adding the number of shots they each took to their score.
  • After 9 or 18 holes, the player with the lowest number of shots wins.

Variations To Golf

  • Trick shots only
  • Weak hand only
  • You get a mulligan which means a retry and it doesn’t add to your score. 1 per 9 holes.

Notes: Once you attempt a shot at any given spot you must continue until you make the shot. You can not switch spots.



This game is exactly like it sounds and is an advanced game, this is a game myself and a friend made up one day in which you not allowed to take any steps. This game works on shooting in people’s faces, so that’s an added bonus. You basically start at the three-point line and play one on one without dribbling. Your thinking how? All I can do is shoot and the defender knows I can’t dribble so I have no room. You are going to have to be creative throw it off the backboard to get closer or off the player let it roll and shoot, trying to inch your way closer.

Player’s: 2 players

Equipment: A basketball and hoop.

Rules To No-Step

  • Up to 11
  • Three’s are worth 2 points everything else worth 1 point.
  • Decide who goes first.
  • Play one on one.
  • If a player Air balls a shot, meaning the ball does not hit the rim or backboard. The opposing player picks up the ball from wherever he wants and is allowed to dribble the ball for one possession or until he scores or misses the shot and the defender recovers the ball, thereafter he is not allowed to dribble the ball anymore.

Variations To No-Step

  • May be played with more than one player, player to get scored on sits off and then rotate in when next player gets scored on.
  • One dribble only.
  • Hitting the backboard counts as one point and hitting the rim counts as 2 points, a made three-point basket counts as 4 points, everything else that is a made basket will count as 2 points. Score to 21 points.

Notes: Can start at any spot on the court. It is a tough game don’t get discouraged.

That concludes this article hope you enjoyed it. If you have any suggestions or know of any basketball games not mentioned here send me a message, I would love to hear about it.

Further Readings:

  • 10 Games To Improve Basketball Skills with
  • 10 Must Have Basketball Accessories
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