Best Basketball Games to Play in the Summer

9 Best Basketball Games to Play with Kids in the Summer

Looking for some basketball games to play? Here are 9 of the best games to play this summer.

It’s the summer and it’s hot out.

You want to get outside and, more importantly, you want to get your kids off of their devices to do something active outdoors.

And you want an activity to do with them.

One of the best and most fun things to do is play schoolyard basketball games. It’s easy and you don’t need a lot of stuff to shoot some hoops.

This is something I loved doing with my cousins when they were younger.

They would come to visit and we would go to the park and play basketball when video games got boring.

Now, I do it with my nephews and niece when they come over to visit. It’s just a great and fun way to get active and bond.

So, here are 9 best basketball games to play with your kids in the summer:


21 is a fun and easy game to play especially if you don’t play basketball often.

All you are doing is shooting the ball from various spots on the court and rebounding. It’s not that physical and all ages and levels can play.

In this game, you have to figure out who the first shooter is. Then, that player will shoot free throws until they miss.

Once a shot is missed, the other player has to rebound the ball and shoot from wherever they catch it.

If made, they go to shoot free throws. If missed, the other player rebounds and shoots from where the ball is caught.

You play until someone scores 21 points.

Around the World

Around the World is another easy basketball shooting game.

With this game, you have designated spots on the court (there are normally painted ticks that you can use) that you have to shoot from as you go around the paint (or the outside of the foul box).

Again, it’s not a physical game because you are just shooting. But it’s a really fun game, especially near the end when there’s a lot of pressure on you to make shots.

Click here to learn how to play.


Pressure takes a little more skill, but is still a simple basketball shooting game.

In this game, the goal is to not get any points by making shots. Every made basket is a point in the pot of gold and whoever misses a shot has to take all of the points in the pot.

Most people play this game around the three-point line. But it can also be played inside the three-point line.

It can get really competitive as the points in the pot rack up. But it’s not a physical game because you are just shooting.

Click here to learn how to play.

American 21

American 21 is different than 21 in that there is a one-on-one component to the game.

Instead of just rebounding and shooting, you also have to play a one-on-one game which makes it more physical and more competitive than 21.

So, basically, after every miss, a short game is played until someone makes a shot.

Then, you go back to shoot free throws until a shot is missed.

Then, another game is played and so forth and so forth until someone gets 21 points.

Click here to learn how to play.


Bump is a shooting game where players have to try to make a basket before the person after them.

But what makes this game fun is that they can use their basketball to bump their opponent’s basketball away so that they have a harder time scoring.

So basically, starting at the free-throw line (or three-point line), a player will shoot the ball, if they make it, they go to the end of the line and the next player shoots.

But if they miss it, they have to try to score as quickly as possible because if the next player scores before them, they get kicked out of the game.

Also, each “shooing” player can make it more difficult for the other player by bumping their opponent’s ball away.

This game is competitive and physical and requires a lot of running.

Click here to learn how to play.


HORSE is one of the most common basketball games to play in the summer.

All you are doing is trick shots and the goal is to make the other players miss so that they rack up the letters of HORSE.

If you want a shorter game, you can also do PIG.

So, one player will start by doing their trick shot. If they miss it, nothing happens.

But if they make it, the next player has to copy them and make the shot. If they miss it, they get the first letter.

Then, the next player does their trick shot and all of the subsequent players have to make it or they get letters.

You play it until there is one player left.

Click here to learn how to play HORSE.

Ladder (variation of Around the World)

This game is similar to Around the World, except instead of going around the rim, you just stand in front of it and you move backwards.

So, after you make the first shot, you take a step back and so on and so on.

This game, again, isn’t physical. But it’s still a fun game regardless because the further out you get, the more difficult it gets.

You play until one person finishes the course.

King of the Court

If your kids are a little older and you want a basketball game that’s more physical and competitive, King of the Court is your game.

Basically, it’s a one-on-one game.

But if you have more than two players, then after every made shot, a new player comes on to challenge the king for the court.

The player that reaches the goal score (normally 7) first wins and is deemed the King.

Click here to learn how to play.

Lay-up Contest

You know those Dunk Contests during the NBA All-Star Weekend?

This is like that, except you’ll be doing layups instead of dunks (because you and your kids probably can’t).

So, all you’re doing is trying to do the coolest-looking lay-up (maybe 3 of them) and you can have someone -like another family member- score it out of 10.

The best score wins.

Final Thoughts

Basketball is a great activity to do outside with your family outside.

As I mentioned earlier, it’s fun, it’s great for bonding, and it’s a great way to get active.

So, pick a handful of these games and go play them with your kids.