Whether you're teaching volleyball in P.E. or looking for new ways to practice your favorite sport, volleyball games for kids can be fun and educational. Games that include volleyball exercises keep kids engaged and prepare them for playing the game.
Easy Volleyball Drill Games for Beginners
Passing, setting, serving, spiking, and blocking are the main skill areas you'll want to focus your games around. Games that resemble simple volleyball drills can make learning the sport more fun for beginners. Consider using unconventional "balls" to help ease players into using hard volleyballs. Each game should focus in on one particular skill.
Team Serve Challenge
Teams of two will compete in this simple game to see how many times they can serve before time runs out. If you have a small group and a large space, everyone can play at once. For larger groups and smaller spaces, you may want to time one team at a time.
- Split the group into teams of two. Each team needs one ball.
- Set a time limit of one, three, or five minutes.
- On "Go" the first person from each team needs to serve the ball to their teammate.
- The teammate must retrieve the ball and serve it back to their teammate.
- Each time a player serves the ball, they shout out the count for it. For example, if it's the fifth serve for the team, the server should yell "Five" right before serving.
- When time is up, players report how many serves their team got.
- Take the top four teams and repeat the game to determine semi-final winners.
- Finally, the top two teams will compete to see who can get the most serves.
Balloon Bump Shuffle Race
Help kids learn the feel of bumping with a balloon instead of a ball. The slow movement of the balloon also forces players to pay attention and wait for the right moment to bump. You'll need one inflated balloon for each team of two and a long, open space.
- Partner kids up into teams of two.
- Designate a starting line and finish line that creates a long, narrow path for each team.
- On "Go" each team must bump their balloon to volley it back and forth to each other as they both shuffle sideways from their starting line to their finish line.
- If a team's balloon touches the ground or a team member has to come out of their shuffle stance to get the balloon, the team goes back to start.
- The first team to successfully volley their balloon while shuffling to cross the finish line wins.
Four Square Volley
Turn the classic kids game of Four Square into a volleyball drill game when you alter game play slightly. You'll need a four square court and one volleyball. Kids will learn to communicate with each other and control the ball.
- Start with one player in each square of the court. The rest of the kids line up behind Square One, just as they would in a regular game of Four Square.
- The player in Square One starts with the volleyball or a softer training ball.
- Player One calls out the name of one other kid on the court, then bumps the ball to that person.
- If that person successfully bumps the ball to another player, both Player One and Player Two stay in the game.
- If Player One bumps the ball outside Player Two's square, Player One is out and the first person in line takes their square.
- If Player Two touches the ball, but doesn't successfully bump it to another player, Player Two is out.
- Game play continues as long as the kids want to play.
- Every time someone gets out, they go to the end of the line, a new player steps onto the court, and everyone on the court rotates clockwise to a new square.
Fun Volleyball Games for Individual Kids
From warm-up games to boredom busters, some kids may want to practice their skills on their own, outside a group setting. These Minute to Win It style games for kids are either timed or rely on counting to pit a player against herself. You can also use these mini games together as part of an obstacle course or as practice stations with a larger group.
Set, Spike Challenge
Kids will practice setting and spiking in this timed challenge. The goal is to set and spike as many times as you can in one minute. Since you'll be setting for yourself, a good strategy is to spike as close to straight down as you can to keep the ball close by.
- Find an open space where you won't accidentally hit someone or break something.
- Start your timer.
- Set the ball for yourself then spike it. This counts as one rep.
- Retrieve the ball and repeat.
- When your minute is up, write down how many reps you got.
- Play as many times as you want to try and beat your own score.
Set it Through the Net
Your outdoor basketball hoop at home can also work as a volleyball practice tool. This game helps you practice accuracy and setting while you race against yourself.
- Set your adjustable basketball hoop down to around seven feet; the standard height of a high school volleyball net is seven feet, four inches for girls and seven feet, eleven inches for boys, so that's your desired height.
- Stand about a foot or two from the hoop with your volleyball.
- Start the timer and set the ball into the hoop as many times as you can in one minute.
- Each basket counts as one.
- Repeat to beat your own score.
Practice your serve accuracy by creating a target with a bullseye you'll aim at. You can create a bullseye on the ground using various sized hula hoops set inside each other or with jump ropes.
- Create a target on the ground where you would typically aim your serve.
- Set a time for three minutes to allow ball retrieval time.
- Stand where you would on the court to serve and serve toward the target.
- Every time your serve hits the bullseye, it counts as one point.
- Retrieve your ball after every serve.
- Serve as many times as you can in the three minutes.
- Repeat the game to beat your own score.
Creative Group Volleyball Games for Kids
Almost any gym game can be modified into a volleyball game for elementary students or older tweens. You can also invent your own unique games that incorporate important volleyball skills.
Help kids understand how rotations work in a real game of indoor volleyball with a game of Battleship Volleyball. You'll need a volleyball court with a net and a volleyball to play. The object of the game is to knock out as many opposing team battleships as possible.
- Split the group into two equal teams.
- Line each team in an equal number of rows, both horizontal and vertical, on their side of the court.
- Play according to normal volleyball game rules.
- Players who touch the ball without returning it, sit out of the game.
- When it's time to rotate, teams rotate all players clockwise, leaving gaps where any player was already knocked out.
- Any two open spaces directly next to each other in one row is one battleship sunk.
- Any three open spaces directly next to each other in one row is one battleship sunk.
- The first team to sink their opponent's two-person battleship and three-person battleship is the winner.
Shuffle Bump Relay
Relay games for kids are great because they require teamwork and can include large numbers of players at once. You'll need a large, open gym and a volleyball for each team to play. Kids will learn how to shuffle their feet for positioning and how to bump the ball.
- Split the group into equal teams of four to seven players.
- Line up each team in a horizontal row with about two to three feet between players. All players on a team should be standing facing forward so their teammates are to their left and right.
- The second player in the row should start with the ball.
- On "Go" the first player from each team runs to face the next player, they should stay at least two feet in front of the player.
- Player 2 should toss the ball to Player 1 and Player 1 should bump the ball to Player 3.
- Once Player 3 has possession of the ball, Player 1 shuffles in front of him.
- Play continues down the line until Player 1 has received a toss from everyone on his team.
- The whole team shuffles down one space and Player 1 becomes the last player in the row.
- Game play continues with each player taking a turn shuffling down the line.
- When Player 1 gets back to his original position in the row, everyone sits down.
- The first team to sit down wins.
Spike or Pass Tag
The gym teacher works with the kids to keep everyone focused and working as a team in this unusual game of tag. Rather than trying to get everyone else out, the goal is to keep all your teammates in. Kids will practice staying focused in the midst of activity, passing the ball, and spiking the ball.
- To start, kids should run around the gym like they would in a game of tag while the teacher holds the volleyball.
- The teacher will call out "Spike" or "Pass." All kids should stop when they hear one of these words.
- On a "Spike" call: The teacher sets a spike for one player who must spike the ball to the ground.
- On a "Pass" call: The teachers also calls out a number. He passes the ball to one student and the kids must pass the ball enough times to equal the called number before rolling the ball back to the teacher.
- If a player does the wrong move, she sits out for the rest of the game.
- On a "Pass" call, the player who rolls the ball to the teacher before the allotted number of passes sits out.
- The ball is rolled back to the teacher, and the game continues until everyone has had at least one chance to touch the ball.
- If all players are still in, the group wins.
Volleyball Video Games
Like most sports, volleyball is featured in several video games for different gaming systems. If you're looking for a way to learn the rules of the game, volleyball video games can be fun and helpful.
Play virtual volleyball using a PC gaming controller with your computer when you buy Spike Volleyball for $40 on Steam. The game is also available for the PS4 and Xbox One. You get to manage your own indoor men's or women's volleyball team as you learn the ins and outs of the game.
Super Volley Blast
If you've got a Nintendo Switch, try your hand at Super Volley Blast. This simple animated volleyball video game is rated E for everyone and only costs about $5. This beach volleyball game can include up to four players at once with custom avatars and a variety of courts.
Big Beach Sports
Wii owners can grab a copy of Big Beach Sports, which includes beach volleyball, for under $20. This is the closest you'll get to actually playing volleyball in a video game since the Wii requires actual physical movement from you.
If you're into the newer VR (virtual reality) gaming scene, you can play Volleyball Fever for about $7. The game is currently in early access mode, but it has decent reviews from users. You can play online or on your own using the Oculus Rift or Oculus Rift S VR system.
Get Your Volley On
Whether you're just learning how to play volleyball or want new ways to practice, volleyball games for kids are useful and fun. From gym class to your own driveway, you can play volleyball games indoors or outdoors and practice for games in either type of location.