Length: 10 minutes or more. If it's a hit, there will be repeat performances.
Parental Involvement: Explain the activity, share ideas as to how to play.
Kids Should Be Able to: Coordination, motor skills needed. This could be good, though, for kids who do not feel confident doing other sports.
My son made this game up, and I think its great! It just shows that if you supply the opportunities to allow kids to be creative, they can make their own fun with just about anything.
My lovely wife was saving a few empty oatmeal containers for some sort of school project when our son got his hands on them. He had been throwing a hackey sac around, and when he saw the empty containers, inspiration stuck. He combined the hackey sac and the empty oatmeal containers to create a Jai Alai or scoop-ball-type tossing game that was the perfect way to pass a Saturday in the backyard.
To play, you throw and catch the ball using the empty can – it is just that simple! It took a little practice, but once we got the hang of it, we were able to create several variations that made the game even more fun. We counted to see how many times we could toss the ball back and forth without dropping it, then we marked out a rough court and played a game where one player tries to throw the ball over a line while the other player tries to block it. Then we created another version of the game where one player tries to throw it as high as he can and the other player catches it.
The game was great for practicing coordination and sportsmanship (because, yes, sometimes someone has to lose.) Best of all it was a very creative way to pass an afternoon.
Thanks to my son for this fine and fun game!