Trash Can Basketball

  • Grades 1-2

  • Bean Bags

Development Goal

To develop memorization and strategic thinking

Before You Start

Equipment Needed: Cones; an empty trash can or container; and a soft ball, beanbag, or wadded up piece of paper.

  • Separate players into teams of 6-8 and have them line up behind the cones.


Set Up

Indoors. Set up one empty container, 2-3 cones to mark where students will stand in line, and three other markers of varying distances from the container.

How to Play

  • Ask a question related to something the players are learning in class (math problem, spelling word, etc.). Only the players at the front of each line can answer. If someone from the back of the line answers, that line is disqualified for that round.
  • Whoever answers the question first wins the right to shoot the “ball” into the container.
  • They have three choices:

1.     Shoot from the closest spot (slam dunk) for 1 point.
2.     Shoot from the medium spot for 2 points.
3.     Shoot from the farthest spot for 3 points.

  • After each round, the contestants return to end of the line.


  • If the shooter misses, the other players at the front of the line get a chance to shoot (greater involvement for everyone).
  • Give the shooters only one designated spot to shoot from (speeds up the game).
  • Let all students shoot (good for K-1st).