How to play this simplified version of playground game 4-Square.

The Game of the Month of October is Four Square! So this month, we'll be sharing difference versions of this fun playground game. To start off, this week's game introduces the game of 4-square stripped down to its simplest rules. The Game of the Week is Blank Slate Four Square!

Group Size:  4 or more

Age Group:   Pre K+
Length of Activity:   10 minutes or more
Developmental Goal:   To develop eye-hand coordination and strategic thinking skills.
Equipment:   A Bouncy Ball

Before You Start: 

  • One player is in each square and the other players wait in line and cheer on the group.
  • Explain and practice rotation: Players enter from square D, then go to C, C goes to B, B goes to A, and finally the player in square A goes to the end of the line.
  • Explain the rules of Blank Slate Four Square.
  • Check that everyone understands the rules.
  • Encourage players to pass out high fives and cheer each other on!

Set Up: 

A standard 4-square area is one large square, 10’ x 10’ divided into four smaller squares (5’ x 5’), and each box is labeled A, B, C, D or 1, 2, 3, 4.

How to Play: 

  • Play begins when the person who just entered the four square — in square D or 4 — serves the ball.
  • The ball can only bounce once in any square.
  • Each player must hit the ball with any part of their hand into an opposing player's square after it has bounced only once in their own square.
  • If a player makes a mistake, every player must rotate–D to C, C to B, B to A, and A to the line–and a new player enters into square D.
  • Mistakes include:
    • The ball lands on a line.
    • The ball goes out of bounds.
    • The ball bounces twice in one square.
    • A player catches or holds the ball.
    • The ball is returned before it is allowed to bounce.
  • After players rotate, play begins again with a serve from the new player in square D.


See the game of Four Square for many variations!

Find more new and exciting games in our games library!

Love implementing Game of the Week? Playworks offers professional development programs that will teach your staff to use recess and playtime to improve health and support learning. Curious to learn more? Submit the Training Assessment form and a local Playworks representative will respond directly.


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