Monster Ball, a simple game I play with my children, stands out as exceptionally fun for them. They seem to get a bigger kick out of this game than just about anything else (even video games). I’ll lay out my description of the basic game and the variations we’ve come up with below.
You need two or more small balls or other soft but easily throwable objects and one or more kids (obviously). This seems to work best when an adult is permanently the monster, but you could try letting kids be the monster too. We play this game in a large open area away from cars and other dangers, like a park. Most versions are played in an area with lots of obstacles to climb, run around, and hide behind. The adult (monster) gets the most exercise in this version of the game, as he needs to run after the kids to keep them excited and have a good chance of hitting them, but if a high level of excitement is kept up (easy to do with an active/involved adult), then all players get a workout. Let kids take breaks as necessary or set up a base where they can rest as they feel the need.
This variation involves the adult playing a vampire and each person who is hit (bitten) by the ball turns into a vampire and joins the adult in throwing balls trying to turn the rest of the players into vampires.
Bear Ball is very similar to Vampire ball. My son Joshua created this variation and I’ll use his words to describe it here. Bear Ball involves the person who’s “it” tagging others and each time he tags someone, they join his group and try to tag other people, and once everyone is tagged the game starts all over again. The last person that has been tagged is the new “it”. The new “it” can pick an “it” partner if he wants since he won the last game.
Just like freeze tag, with balls. When the adult hits someone, they are frozen until another player can run by and touch them to unfreeze them. When the adult successfully gets all the players frozen at the same time, the game starts over (with the last kid frozen of course getting some bragging rights).
This variation depends on an adult sitting or standing in a stationary position (hence the “lazy” in the name) and kids rushing in or past on dares to flirt with “danger” and avoid being hit. You also need a rule where the kids kick or throw the expended balls back to the adult sitting in the middle to keep the game going. If the game slows down or the kids are not egging each other on enough, the adult can heckle the kids to get them more involved.
We hope you have as good a time with this game as we do.