Fun Tennis Games for Children

By Michele M. Howard
Games make learning fun.
boy tennis player 3 image by Paul Moore from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>

Playing fun tennis games helps to hold a child&#039;s interest while learning important stroke and tennis fundamentals. Children can improve their hand-eye coordination skills and learn how to control their bodies while moving. Games teach children how to interact with others, how to be good sports while competing and how to cope with losing.

Around the World

This game can be played with 6 to 12 players. Divide the group in half, one half on each side of the court, standing in a line at the baseline. The instructor starts the game by feeding, or hitting, a ball to the first person in line on one side of the court. This player hits the ball across the net to the first player in line. Each time a player hits the ball, he immediately runs to his right to the other side of the court and behind the other line. After an error, the instructor starts another ball. Players are allowed three errors, or strikes, and when they get three strikes, they are out of the game. An error is hitting the ball out of the court&#039;s boundary lines, hitting the ball in the net or hitting the ball after it bounces a second time. When there are only two players remaining, they do not hit and run to the other side. They remain on their side, hit the ball, lay the racket on the court, spin around quickly, pick the racket up and try to hit the ball coming back across from the other player.

Jail

The object of this game is to stay out of "jail." All players line up at the baseline on one side of the court. The instructor feeds a ball to the first person who must hit the ball over the net and within the court&#039;s boundary lines. If he fails to do so, he must drop his racket at the net post and go to jail, to the other side of the court. The instructor feeds another ball to the next player in line. If the ball goes over the net and the person in jail catches it before it bounces, he is out of jail and the player who just hit the ball goes to jail. If the player in jail catches the ball after one bounce, he is out of jail and the player who hit the ball is safe. Play continues until everyone except one player is in jail and he successfully hits the instructor&#039;s last feed. This game can be played with as many as ten players and ages 8 and up.

Popcorn

This is a good hand-eye coordination game for children ages 4 to 6. Players are all lined up against the court&#039;s fence at the back of the court. They are facing the fence with their backs towards the instructor. The instructor stands near the service line with several balls balancing on her racket. There is one less ball than the number of players. The instructor throws the balls up into the air and calls out "popcorn." The children quickly turn around and run to catch a ball. The one who does not is out of the game, but gets to call out "popcorn" the next time.