Basketball Drills and Instant Activities for Kids

The following basketball instant activities can be used to challenge your students to grow their basketball-related skills in fun and competitive ways. These activities also allow everyone to be successful at their own level as they work to be cooperative partners and teammates.

Stare Down Dribble Competition:

Students compete against each other to see who can dribble between legs, etc. without taking their eyes off their partner’s eyes.  First-person to lose the ball or look away from their partner loses.  Partners then give high fives and compliments to each other before moving on to a new partner to challenge.   

2 Ball Dribbling Drill:

Partners share two basketballs and take turns being the player and the coach (coach gives suggestions and encourages player).

Activities: 

1. Dribble two balls in place (same height, different heights, both low, both high).

2. Dribble two balls in place and do crossover dribbles in front, between legs, and behind back.

3. Dribble two balls across gym (slow and fast, cross overs while moving, etc.).

Rock, Paper, Scissors Dribbling & Shooting Challenge Game:

Players start near the center circle with a partner.  On the signal to start, partners play Rock, Paper, Scissors against their partner with one hand while maintaining their dribble with the other hand.  The losing player must dribble to the side of the court and do 4 crossover dribbles between his/her legs (or 10 regular crossover dribbles) and then return to the center to find another partner to compete against. 

The winner can dribble over to any basketball hoop and attempt to score.  If the shot is missed, he/she must dribble to another hoop and continue to go to a new hoop each shot until the ball goes in the basket.  Once a basket is made, the player scores one point and then dribbles to the center to find a new partner.  This continues for 3 – 5 minutes and then everyone must report how many points they scored.  Players must change dribbling hands every time they compete in Rock, Paper, Scissors. 

Variation:  Winner only gets one shot and if he/she misses then no points are scored and he/she dribbles to center to find a new partner.

High-Five Dribble Game: 

Players dribble around the court giving high fives to each player they pass.  Have a competition to see who can give the most high-fives without losing the ball.  Have players switch hands after every high-five. 

Variations:

1.  Dribble around cones that are placed in four corners and then dribble back to the center circle to find a person to give a high five. 

2.  Dribble to a wall and make wall pass before returning to give a high five.

3.  Dribble to make a basket at a hoop before returning to give a high five.

4.  Dribble to an end line and dribble between legs before returning to give a high five.

Dribbling Bean Bag Partner Catch:

Partners stand about 8 – 10 feet apart with each of them dribbling a ball.  Partners must play catch with a beanbag while they dribble the ball.  Which group can get to 10 catches in a row without losing the dribble?

Variation:  Perform 3 catches with a partner and then go find a new partner.

Dribbling Noodle Tower Catch

(partners each have a ball and a noodle)

Players each stand around 8 feet apart and stand the noodle up straight while dribbling.  When they communicate to switch, each player lets go of the noodle and switches to their partner’s noodle while dribbling.  The object is to catch the other noodle before it hits the ground.  Switch dribble hands and partners.

Noodle Catch while Dribbling

(partners each have a ball and one noodle per group)

Players work to play catch with the noodle while dribbling (switch hands). Rotate Partners.

Variations: partners use two noodles and communicate to throw the noodle at the same time to their partner.

Partner “Hot Noodle” Tag:

(partners each have a ball and one noodle per group)

With everyone dribbling, partners play catch with a noodle when the coach says “catch”.  When the coach yells “tag”, whoever has the noodle is “it” and must chase and tag their partner with the noodle.  If the partner is tagged, he/she must do 4 crossover dribbles in place and then become “it” and begin chasing. 

When the teacher yells “catch” all players stop running and go to their partner to play catch until they hear the word “tag”.  Remind students to be safe and watch where they are going when playing tag with partners so they do not run into other students. 

Variation:  players find a new partner quickly every time they hear the word “catch”.

1 on 1 Dribble Noodle Joust Challenge

(partners each have a ball and a noodle)

One on one dribble contest while trying to use the noodle to knock the ball away.  (noodles may not be used to hit your partner, only to poke their ball away) Keep track of points and switch partners every 30-45 seconds.

Team Noodle Frozen Tag

(everyone has a ball and half of the group has a noodle)

Staying inside the basketball court, the players with noodles must tag the other team to freeze them.  Players must work to free the other players by tagging them while dribbling.  Time how long it takes to get all non-noodle players frozen.  The noodle team must use a weak hand to dribble, while the non-noodle team can use either hand.

(change jobs)

The Ultimate Battle:

(all partners have a ball and one noodle per group)

Partners take turns battling others in the center of the gym (inside the volleyball court).  If tagged below the waist with the noodle or lose the ball, the player must stop dribbling and go to the side to switch jobs with partner.  Partner on the side (outside basketball court) must wait in an upper plank position with both hands on the ball (other ideas:  dribbling between legs, hopping on one foot, squat position dribbling, squat jumps with the ball).

If a player tags 3 people, they also switch jobs with their partner.

Do you have a favorite basketball instant activity that you’d like to shar with the group? Join the conversation and add it in the comment section below!

11 Responses

  1. These are great!!! Always looking for fun ways to challenge my older students with dribbling skills.

    1. Hi Cheryl! So glad to hear the activities were fun and challenging for your older students. Was there one that your students liked best?

  2. Thank you for these drills. The kids love them and they are challenging for scholars of all skill levels, which is great! It also give teachers a good way to assess the Critical Elements and the Grade level exit outcomes. I’m just trying to figure a way to save these videos so I can use them in the future. Thank you again! PE teacher from Maryland

  3. I love these activities. I’m starting our basketball unit on Monday when we get back from vacation. Can’t wait to use some of these for our instant activities each day.
    I have one that I love that is similar to the noodle activities. I use balloons and have groups of two and they have to dribble while keeping a balloon in the air together. They either count the number of hits or time how long they can keep it in the air while dribbling.
    This is a great activity when they first enter the gymnasium when waiting for other students are still getting dressed.

    1. Hi Terry,
      So glad you can use these basketball activities with your classes and I hope your students enjoy them. It is always fun to bring in new instant activities, especially using different equipment. I love your balloon dribbling instant activity! Thank you for sharing!

    2. I love these as well. I use the balloon activity with my student as instant activities when the students first walk in. I use this instead of free shooting time at the beginning when trying to teach the dribbling skill
      I love the noodle ones as they are great additions to use for the students as they enter as a quick instant activity
      thanks,

  4. These are great! It’s always fun to bring in a new activity and students love pool noodles.
    Thanks for sharing!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Featured Resources

Articles

5 Ways Small Sided Games Make a BIG Impact

Author: Jessica Shawley

The Role of Pedometers in Physical Education

4 Activities to Celebrate Native Heritage Month

Author: Mike Chamberlain

16 Parachute Team Building Activities

Author: Tim Mueller

Motivating Unmotivated Students​

Author: Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Jessica Shawley, and Tim Mueller

Promoting Activity and Success Through Adapted PE

Author: Dr. Robert Pangrazi, Marci Pope and Maria Corte

Bin Ball

Author: Randy Spring

Equipment

JOIN OUR NEWSLETTER

Sign up to receive the latest physical education resources, activities, and more from educational professionals like you straight to your inbox!