How to Play: Four Square

Filed under: Kids' Games, Activities: Toddlers & Preschoolers, Activities: Big Kids, Activities: Tweens, Activities: Family Time

Even big kids love a good game of four square. Credit: Corbis

What you need: Four players, a square court divided into four equal quadrants and an 8 1/2-inch playground ball or a basketball.

How to play: Each quadrant in the square court contains one player, and each quadrant has a number or rank. The player in the highest square begins the game by serving the ball from the outside corner of his or her square, bouncing the ball and then hitting it into another player's square. Players must let the ball bounce in their square once and must then return the ball to any other player's square by hitting or striking the ball with the hands. Once the ball enters a new player's square, that player must return it. Play continues this way until a player makes an error and is eliminated.

The rules: The following errors result in elimination: failing to hit the ball after it lands in a player's square, carrying or holding the ball instead of hitting it, hitting the ball out of bounds, hitting the ball more than once before returning it to another player's square and hitting the ball in his or her own square.

How to win: The winner eliminates all players of higher ranks and advances to the highest ranking square and remains in that square the longest.

What else you need to know: If there are more than four people who would like to play, a new player may join once someone is eliminated. The new player will enter the lowest-ranked scale.

Related: More Kids Games

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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.