Looking for ways to add some movement and fun to your classroom? You may be surprised to learn you can achieve this with something as simple as a tennis ball.
This rubber ball can be used in a variety of games and activities for all age groups! Whether you're looking for educational or entertainment value, we've got 20 ideas you can add to your classroom.
Tennis Ball Games for Preschool
1. Monster Ball
This is a great activity for preschoolers to practice fine motor skills and grow hand strength. Cut a slit in a tennis ball for a "mouth". Make sure the slit is long enough that the mouth will open fully. Draw a face or hot glue eyes on it. Have your kids practice picking up marbles, rocks, or gemstones with their monster balls.
Learn more: Miss Clarkson xoxo and A Zest for Life with Steph
2. Crab Soccer
Crab crawling is a rite of passage as a kid. Combining crab crawling and soccer are great motor movement activities. To walk like a crab, crawl on your hands and feet with your back facing the floor. When your students conquer the crawl, it's time to add in the rubber ball. Students pass the ball between themselves while keeping their bodies off the floor.
Learn more: Tennis Games
3. Ball Bounce
Have your students practice their colors and vocabulary. Using different colored tennis balls, each student chooses a color and then tosses the ball toward the vocabulary flashcards. Whichever card the ball lands on, the student has to say that vocabulary word.
Learn more: Mooncake English
4. Preschool Warm-Up Activities
Coach Smith created a great video demonstrating 8 movements to work on mobility and hand-eye coordination skills. Project the video in class while you monitor and help your students.
Learn more: PE with Coach Smith
Tennis Ball Games for Elementary
Bananagrams is usually played with tiles, but we're going to play with tennis balls. Write one letter on each ball and put your students in pairs. Give them 9-10 balls and see who can create and connect all their words.
Learn more: Cira Ontario
6. Tennis Ball Tower
Students love building things, and Smart Chick created a challenge perfect for elementary students - a tennis ball tower. The students compete to see who can build the tallest towers using only straws and tape.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
7. Four Square
Four Square is a classic outdoor activity. Instead of using a soft playground ball, try playing with a tennis ball. Set up the four-squared court and let the kids find out who is king!
Learn more: Kid Activities
8. Silent ball
Silent Ball is the favorite game of many teachers. Students toss the ball to a classmate. They must stay silent, and if they drop the ball, they're out.
Learn more: Moogzilla
9. Tennis Ball Multiplication
Let's practice multiplication! Student one says a number and passes the ball. Student two says another number and passes the ball again. Student three must then multiply those two numbers and tell the product. Then the child starts over with a new number and repeats it.
Learn more: NZ Maths
10. Elementary Warm-Up Activities
We had some preschool warm-ups and now we've got elementary ones. These are best with tennis balls but can be done with any bouncy ball. This time, Coach Meger made the video. Walk around and assist your students in their exercises.
Learn more: Coach Meger
Tennis Ball Games for Middle School
This is an extra challenge your students will love! Challenge your middle school students to build a catapult to launch a tennis ball and hit a target five meters away.
Learn more: Burgundy Farm
This game is normally played with a basketball or a paper ball but who says you can't play it with different kinds of balls? You just need a trash can and your ball of choice. When students answer review questions, they get the chance to shoot a ball into the trash can for points.
Learn more: Books, Babbles, Bows
14. Tennis Hockey
The truth is, we can play most ball games with tennis balls and hockey is no exception. Instead of using a puck, use a tennis ball and instead of a hockey stick, use tennis rackets!
Learn more: Mr. Animate
A tennis ball might not be able to knock over a bowling pin, but it could knock over water bottles or plastic glasses. The key is to roll the ball slowly and not let it bounce too much.
Learn more: Healthy Living
16. Relay Races
Got a PE time with your middle schoolers or need them to get out some energy? Set up these relay races for them with tennis balls and cones. This is a fun activity for everyone!
Learn more: Children Workout Video
Tennis Ball Games for High School
17. Tennis Ball Bounce
Kevin Butler does a great job of coming up with games for his students! In Tennis Ball Bounce, students earn tennis balls for every correct answer they get during a review. They then try to bounce their ball into their bucket for points.
Learn more: The Kevin J. Butler
18. Choose Your Victim
This is a game I play during many of my reviews and no, it is not a painful game (most of the time). I give the students a topic such as pronouns and toss them the ball. They then create a sentence, toss the ball to another student, give that student a pronoun, and the process continues.
Learn more: Busy Teacher
19. Slope Line Graphs
Check out this activity from MathByDesign. The students graph how many times they can bounce a ball in one minute. Not only does it get your students active, but it also will make the concept of slope line graphs much more appealing to them.
Learn more: Teachers Pay Teachers
20. The Tale of a Ball
I love any activity that stimulates my students' creativity. The teacher gives a theme and the students build a story starting with "once there was a ball..." The students sit in a circle and toss the ball to each other and each student contributes a line to the story until the ball gets back to the first person. They then conclude the story and start over with a different theme.
Learn more: Great Circle
While curling is a pretty popular Olympic sport, it's possible your students are unaware of it. Introduce them to the sport and set up your own "field". Be aware of the distance and the speed!
Learn more: World Curling and World Curling TV