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Summer Camp Game For Kids-How To Modify


In most Summer Camp games for kids, you have to modify the rules  as well as Physical Education class in order to increase fun & learning.   For example, If I have 2nd and 3rd graders playing a game of basketball, I can’t ref the game as if it’s a middle school travel game after school.  I would call travelling every ten seconds.  I need to make age appropriate adjustments.




Modified Basketball


  • Equipment:  The following  basketball games will require, BASKETBALLS, wrist bands or pinnies & a scoreboard.  I Highly recommend wrist bands for students/campers under 9 years of age.  You can use at any age, but it’s much easier to put on then a pinnie.


  • K & 1st: I wouldn’t dare attempt a basketball game with this age.  There’s plenty of games they can play to learn ball skills


  • 2ND & 3RD GRADE:  Travelling would be explained, but it wouldn’t be called unless they took more than 4 steps.  Remember this camps is designed for fun.  Even if your child is attending a Basketball camp, they still need to have modifications.


  • I actually play a sideline basketball game with this age, but they receive 1 point if they shoot and hit the back board. 2 points for hitting the rim and 3 points for a basket.  I don’t play out of bounds and after a shot, the other team gets the ball.


  • No stealing at this age.  They may block shots, steal passes, but no stealing off the dribble.  I teach them how to cover a player on defense. I teach them how to get open for a pass and use team work. Incorporation of may famous Shoulder Rule is always in affect.


  • SHOULDER RULE: If someone is covering you too close, you’re allowed to gently touch the top of their should to make them back up.  They’re still aloud to block and steal.  This a fun camp, not a camp for over achieving basketball players.


  • When playing sideline basketball, half of the team is on the court and half is on the sideline.  Court and sideline players are allowed to pass to each other.  Sideline players are never allowed to shoot.  Every 3 minutes rotate.


  • 4TH GRADE I would be stricter with travelling, but I would allow 3 steps without dribbling.  I would play out of bounds.  Shots must be made to score.  Not allowed to take 3 point shots (not necessary).  I still wouldn’t allow stealing off the dribble.  Shoulder rule still in affect.  Fouls would be called to teach how to get set up for foul shots.


  • 5TH & 6TH GRADE I would break into two groups.  The lower skilled group would play the 4th grade rules and the high skilled group would play the same except they’re allowed to steal off the dribble and travelling would be called.  3 point shots would be allowed but not encouraged. Shoulder rule would still be in affect.


  • 7TH & ABOVE: would be called as a real game.  Strict with fouls to keep things fun and under control.


  • Equipment: I recommend a foam soccer ball, especially if you’re playing indoors.  Pinnies or wrist bands, soccer balls, Cones to place on the 4 corners of the court and a score board.  For Soccer Hand ball you will need a larger ball.  See picture below.


Modified Volleyball


  • Equipment: Net, BEACH BALLS & score board


  • Grades: 2nd-8th


  • 7th & 8th grade enjoy the beach ball, but you can use a volleyball trainer for a challenge.


  • 16″ beach balls are the best size.



  • Rules


  • Unlimited hits for the team.


  • Double or triple hits for each individual.


  • Allow team to help the serve over the net.


  • No setting on serves.


  • No player can set themselves for a spike.


  • Lower the next so kids can spike.  Teach, setting, bumping, blocking, spiking.  If the net is lower than they can spike.  Once they get around the age of 10 they will start to bump, set and spike.


  • Allow the kids to touch the net during play within reason.  Use your best judgement.





  • Equipment: FOAM SOCCER BALL, 4 Cones, Wrist band or Pinnies


  • Grades:


  • Soccer is very easy to modify. K-9th can play my version of sideline soccer and they will love it.




  • You can play in or outdoors.  I prefer inside with this game.


  • Place large cones on the corners of the court.


  • Foam soccer ball in the center of the gym.


  • Give each player a number. Call 3 numbers at time.


  • The first player to the ball must perform a sole of the foot trap before passing dribbling or shooting.


  • NOTE: The trap rule helps to prevent collisions.


  • Object of the game is to kick the ball over the baseline of the other team.  The ball must be shot below head level.  I also designate a line aprox 3 ft in front of the goal line (base line) that is a crease for the goalies.  When their number is not called they’re a goalie. No punting.  Simple and fun!


  • Ball must be shot below head level.


  • I designate a line 3 ft from the goal line (base line) that is the crease.  This protects the children when they’re making a save.


  • Once a player’s number is called they’re no longer a goalie.


  • No punting.


  • SOCCER HAND BALL: Same set up, but with a lighter plastic ball that almost floats. Usually about the size of the larger pink ball in the picture below.  Players still must trap the ball, but their allowed to dribble the ball with their feet and hands, slap, punch and kick the ball.  Never allowed to hold the ball unless you’re a goalie and goalies are ALLOWED to punt in this game.


  • A big difference in this game is that the ball may be shot over the heads, but in order to be a goal the ball must hit the wall behind the goalies.  Set a designated height about 6 or 7 feet high.





  • Equipment: RACKETS & nets


  • Grades:3rd-12th


  • Don’t need real standard badminton nets.


  • You can make the court any size you choose.


  • I use chair and crates to adjust the height when needed.


  • They make shorter rackets for kids.


  • They can play 1 v 1, 2 v 2 or eve 3 v 3 with 1 player up front and 2 in the back.


  • You can allow double hits and partner assistance to get the birdie over the net.  Anything to increase skill and fun.


  • Players are not allowed to set each other for spiking.


  • Option: Pickle ball paddles will work in this game and they’re cheaper.



Modified Football



  • Equipment: Footballs, scoreboard & WRIST BANDS or Pinnies


  • Grades: 3rd-8th


  • Sideline football in the gym or field.  I prefer the gym for this game, but either way it works.


  • No tackling.


  • No two hand touch.


  • Shoulder rule is in affect.


  • Blocking and intercepting passes are allowed.


  • Any time the ball is on the ground/dropped it is considered a fumble and either team can go for it, Unless it’s in the end zone. If it’s on the ground in the end zone the ball belongs to the team that is not scoring in that end zone.


  • When a player has the ball, they have 5 seconds and 3 steps. This game is all passing and catching.


  • If a touch down occurs by catching a pass from in the end zone, that team will receive 6 points.


  • The player that scored the touchdown will have the option to hit the back board of the basketball court for an extra pt from behind a designated line.  2pt conversion if they hit the back board from a line further back.  3 pt field goal from another line even further back.


  • Variation: Designate a line further back to hit back board for a two point conversion and even further back for a 3 point field goal.


  • Variation: Allow unlimited steps on Kick offs.


  • Variation: Allow unlimited steps on laterals.


  • I play with all variations once I reach 5th grade (10/11 yrs old)


  • Note: Don’t let side line players throw touch down passes and make sure you rotate field and sideline players every few minutes.


Arena Football


Grades: 3rd-8th


  • This game has the same rules as the above modified football game.


  • Break your class up into 4 teams.


  • Your class will play two separate games at the same time.


  • This game is played on a very small field, so there will be a lot of touch downs.


  • Your half court line will separate the two games.


  • Each team is attempting to catch a touchdown pass over the sideline of the basketball court, so each team is going sideline to sideline to score.


  • Note: The ball may be caught off the wall and kick offs.



Option: Add unlimited steps on kick offs, punts, laterals and interceptions.  My advice would be to introduce these one at a time.  Below 4th grade should stay away from these options.


Modified Softball/Baseball


Equipment: Whiffle ball bat, SOFT BALLS & wrist band or pinnies


Grades: 2nd-8th


  •  You can use a wiffle ball bat, but not a whiffle ball.


  • A hard foam softball if my preference. It will go further and it doesn’t hurt to catch.




  • Rules: Underhand or overhand slow pitch. Grades 4th-8th  allow leading, but only stealing if the fielding team attempts to get the base runner out on a lead.  The lead must be half way or less.  Don’t allow tag ups.  It’s to confusing for kids that don’t play the sport.


  • 2nd & 3rd grade: No stealing, ,leading, sliding or bunting.


  • The teacher should perform a nice slow underhand pitch.


  • Work on batting stance and swing.


  • Option: You can play 3 outs or allow everyone to get up and throw it home on last batter at end the inning.


  • Make sure if you play the everyone gets up rule, that the next inning you go in reverse order.  #10 ill bat first and #1 will bat last in the 2nd inning.


  • No Bunting.


  • Tip: I use soccer corner flags in the outfield to designate a home run.  I use them for kick ball as well.  It’s nice for the kids to have a designated home run.


Six Goal Hockey Video


Modified Hockey



  • Equipment: Pinnies or WRIST BANDS, hockey sticks (foam or rubber head) foam softball or hockey ball, two goals , scoreboard and EYE GUARDS. My students prefer science lab goggles over actual hockey eye guards. Easier to see.


  • Grades 4th-8th

  • Rotation: Sideline to Defense, Defense to offense and offense to the sideline.  Goalies can be rotated and 2 or 3 rotations by the instructor.


  • Split the group into two teams.


  • Place one team  with half of them on the sideline and the other half on one half of the court with a goalie.


  • Once both teams are set up, place the offense near the mid line of the court.  On the face off, immediately announce for both offenses to cross over the mid line.  Once they do this they can’t go back.  This way you’ll have a defense and offense on each side of the court/field. This helps to prevent bunching.


  • Allow anyone to score in this game, sideline, defense, goalies and of course the offense.


  • Rotate players every 3 minutes.


  • Tip: Even though the kids have rubber/foam sticks and eye guards I advise to have a high stick rule.  If players raise the head of their stick over the shoulders, they get a warning, than out of game 1 min, 3 min, etc… Make sure they know this isn’t a time out but a power play for the other team.


  • Sideline Hockey


  • Played just like Sideline Soccer as mentioned above.  I make my campers/students place the head of the stick on the foam softball, just as I would a soccer trap when numbers are called to avoid collisions.


CLICK HERE to check out some cool out door games & more!


I hope you enjoyed the modified games and please feel free to leave any questions or comments below.


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