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Basket "Snow" Ball


If students are missing their basketball hoop this winter, here's a game they will love.


  • snow (see alternatives in the HERE'S WHAT YOU DO section below)
  • a plastic clothes basket


Nancy F. Castaldo is the author of many books packed with inspiring ideas for childhood discovery and learning. In addition to the three titles above, Nancy has written activity guides for teaching children ages 6 to 9 about the ocean, rainforests, deserts, and rivers. All of these titles are published by Chicago Review Press.

Click here to learn about these books and others by Nancy Castaldo.

Place the clothes basket on a flat surface.
If you do not live in an area where snow falls, this game can be played in the gym or outside. Instead of "snow" balls use balled-up white socks, crumpled-up white paper, or those Styrofoam balls that are always available around the holidays -- the ones that are used for making holiday tree ornaments.
Stand a few feet away from the basket and make a snowball. Pitch the snowball into the basket. Take some practice shots before you play a game.

When you're ready to start a game, gather students and have them each make a snowball. Mark a spot three steps away from the basket and have students take turns throwing the snowballs into the basket. Did everyone make a basket? All the players who have successfully tossed their snowball into the basket go to a new spot three more steps away from the basket. There they will take turns shooting baskets again with new snowballs.

Players continue to shoot baskets, moving three steps back from the basket each time they toss a snowball into the basket. The farthest student from the basket after everyone else has missed a shot wins the game.


You might adapt the game:
Arrange students into groups/teams. Have members of each team take turns taking shots from 3-, 6-, or 9-feet away from the basket. (Each student can choose a spot from which they will play the entire game.) Each snowball that lands in the basket from 3 feet away earns the team a point; each snowball that lands in the basket from 6 feet away earns 2 points; and each snowball that lands in the basket from 9 feet away earns 3 points. How many points does each team have at the end of a set period of play? Which team has the most points?


Education World's special Winter Lessons Archive


This activity is excerpted and adapted from Nancy Castaldo's Winter Day Play, which is published by Chicago Review Press. This lesson idea is one of more than 70 activities, crafts, and games from Winter Day Play that are sure to engage children as they discover and learn.

About the Author

A native of New York's Hudson Valley, Nancy Castaldo earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Marymount College and a Master of Arts from the State University of New York. As an environmental educator, author, and Girl Scout volunteer and board member, Castaldo has led numerous children's workshops. Her school programs include workshops on ocean creatures and other nature topics, creative writing, and pizza making/Italy. She has conducted programs at the Boston Children's Museum, Atlanta Zoo, and Tennessee Aquarium. Castaldo's books include River Wild: An Activity Guide to North American Rivers; Oceans: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; Deserts: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9; and Rainforests: An Activity Guide for Ages 6-9. She is also author of a historical-fiction picture book, Pizza for the Queen. To learn more about Nancy and her books, check out her Web site, www.nancycastaldo.com.

Article by Nancy Castaldo
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