Classroom Activities: Silent Ball

When playing Silent Ball, it's important to use a soft ball. A squishy ball like the one shown here, a beanbag, or another small ball works best for an indoor classroom setting.

When the weather outside makes the playground a messy or uncomfortable place to pay, having a list of indoor games that entertain as well as get kids active without raising the roof is a must. The silent speedball, cup game, heads up seven up game and alphabet bingo are great indoor activities for a large group of children. One of the best games for kids that keeps a large group relatively quiet is silent ball. The simple game can lead to a lot of indoor fun for kids itching to go outside when they simply can’t.

1 Rules of Silent Ball

The rules to silent ball are pretty straightforward. Children should have a good understanding of the rules before the first ball is launched into the air. To begin, grab a ball, either a dodgeball or small squishy ball. Players need to spread out in any available space and stand at the ready. The ball should be a good size for kids to be able to catch without knocking into each other. Choose a leader that will begin the game by counting down from three to begin the game.

The leader passes the ball to someone else in the play area. If the player drops the ball, makes an incomplete pass or makes any noise of any kind, they are out and must sit down in a designated area where they can’t be mistaken for a player. The play continues until the last person is left standing with the ball. This is an easy way to choose the next leader for another round of silent ball.

2 Benefits of Silent Ball

No rain, snow or cold weather snap can keep kids from expecting to be entertained at recess. The quick game of silent ball actually benefits kids. It helps to develop non-verbal communication as well as hand-eye coordination. It can assist with the fine motor skill needs of very young children depending on the size of the ball. Smaller balls require more attention and a quick reaction by tiny hands.

3 Variations of the Game

Sometimes even silent ball can get a little stodgy. If the game lags, add a challenge to the game. This could be limiting the time that a player has to toss the ball or creating a wider playing field. For a true challenge, have the players keep one hand behind their back throughout the game or they are out. For smaller children, the game can be played in a circle on the floor. Add more balls and colors and have players toss the balls in a certain sequence from player to player. You can also play thumbs up to choose a leader.

Kimberley McGee is an award-winning journalist with 20+ years of experience writing about education, jobs, business and more for The New York Times, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Today’s Parent and other publications. She graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from UNLV. Her full bio and clips can be seen at