Catch and Drop

  1. Autonomous/Self-access Games
  2. Ball Games
  3. Recess Games
  4. Rotational Games
  • Any Size

  • Ages 3-5

  • Balls

  • Less Than 10 minutes

Development Goal

To develop hand-eye coordination.

Before You Start

  • Explain how to hit the ball and where to place the ball.
  • Use volunteers to demonstrate.
  • Point out various rules and directions.
  • Choose several volunteer groups to demonstrate before having everyone begin.
  • Ask everyone how many bounces can occur in their square and to name three ways that play can be stopped.

Set Up

Use the four-square courts on the playground and/or draw new courts with chalk if needed.

How to Play

  • The game begins when one player serves the ball.
  • Players let the ball bounce once and then hit it into a different player’s box.
  • The receiving player must let the ball bounce once, and then s/he may catch it before, s/he returns the ball in the same manner.
  • Play continues until the ball:
    • Is hit outside the square.
    • Bounces twice before it is returned.
    • Is not allowed to bounce.
    • Is hit onto a line
  • When a player stops the play, s/he goes to the end of the line and a new player comes in square D. The remaining players close the gaps, moving up as necessary.


  • Instead of allowing a catch before the ball is returned, you can allow a variety of different techniques before each player returns the ball.
  • Examples are bubbles or spins.