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Summer Camp Game Ideas-Something New


Table Top Ball


This is a great game, that doesn’t require a lot of equipment.  I taught this to my 2nd graders and to my surprise I found out the middle school Phys. Ed. teachers were still playing this game.


Equipment: Tables at least 3 ft X 5-8ft. Wood top tables are the best, but plastic will work. 8-12″ kick ball/4 square ball.



Grades: 1st-8th






  • Each player stands at the far end of the table (3 ft side)


  • Server bounces the ball once on the floor and than with an underhand strike the ball is hit onto the table.


  • The serve must go off the far end ( 3 ft side) of the table.  The other player must let the ball bounce on the ground once, before they hit the ball onto the table again.


  • After the serve, the ball may be struck underhand, overhand and sideways.  The ball is now allowed to go off any side of the table, except the side it just fell off.


  • The ball may bounce unlimited times on the table, but only once off the table before it’s struck. At times it may even roll on the table and that’s within the rules.  Of course for younger students/campers you may allow more bounces on the floor.


  • Tip: Allow 1st & 2nd grade campers/students to catch the ball after it hits the floor and than throw the ball back on the table or bounce again and serve.  This is great for 2nd graders on their first time playing.  If you dare to attempt this game with first grade, I highly recommend allowing the catch.


Table Top Video




  • Let’s say you have 12 tables set up.  Players closest to the wall stay at their table and players on the inside of the court rotate.  Not necessary to play to a specific score.  Rotate the kids every 5 minutes.  If they’re winning at the time of rotation, than they won the game.  If it’s a tie that’s okay.


  • Make sure the kids keep track of their losses.  They will keep each other honest.


  • Once the kids play a few games, I ask them to raise their hand if they have no losses and than I match up the undefeated players. I than ask the players with one loss to raise their hand and I do the same thing.


  • Matching up undefeated and one loss players keeps the tournament going, but it’s important to realize that you now will be matching up the less skilled players.  This gives them more enjoyment t0 play other kids at their level.


  • Tip: You don’t have to play a tournament.  You can rotate the kids every 5 minutes and never mention anything about keeping score or a tournament.  Although most kids like to keep score and that is fine, but it doesn’t have to be a tournament.


  • Tip: To avoid confusion when kids are rotating make sure you practice the rotation before you start play.  Also, always have the player that rotates take the 4 square ball or kick ball with them.  The rotator always serves first.


  • Tip: It’s impossible to watch every game at the same time.   I tell my campers/students when there is a disagreement try to solve it on your own.  If you can’t than call a coach/counselor over to your table and explain the issue.  If I can decide who was correct than I’ll give them the point and if not I simply make them re- play the volley.


  • Option: This game can be played 1 v 1, 2 v 2, 3 v 3 and 1 v 1 v 1.  You could even play 4, 5 and 6 players with no teams, meaning for example 5 players in a 1 v 1 v 1 v 1 v 1.  I recommend that you wait until 4th grade before you attempt playing 2 v 2 3 v 3 or 1 v 1 v 1.


  • You can also use a smaller ball or smaller table to challenge older students.


If you like this post, CLICK HERE  & learn a similar game of Two Squares, Four Squares and Six Squares


I hope you enjoyed this game.  Please feel free to leave a comment or question below.


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  1. Diane Wehi

    I really like this idea, Michael.
    And I also like that not only is it fun, you also teaching them a life lesson, try and solve any issues on their own first 🙂
    Well Done and very clever 🙂

    Di 🙂

    • Mr. L.

      Thank you! There’s too much adult of kid all the time in this day and age. It’s not normal now a days for kids to go outside and organize their own game of “kick the can” or “man hunt” (dating myself lol). Kids have very little experience solving issues on their own, so any chance I can give them that experience, I will.
      Have a great Day!


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