Posted on April 5, 2020

Box-It Ball

🔅 Recommended Daytime Activity

James Naismith was a physical education teacher. One cold winter, he was asked to create a game that his students could play indoors … and he invented basketball! The first baskets were peach baskets that did not have a hole in the bottom; when someone got the ball into the basket, they had to use a ladder to climb up and get the ball out of the basket to keep playing! Each team had 9 players not 5 like we do now. “The invention of basketball was not an accident. It was developed to meet a need.” — James Naismith


James Naismith invented the PAW-fect indoor game — basketball, and now you and your little inventor can create your OWN version of this game! Let’s play indoor “box-it” ball!


☑ A box (a cardboard box or any other container you have at home)

☑ A soft ball

Printable (optional)

Set Up 

Here’s how to explain this activity to your child:

  • James Naismith invented the PAW-fect indoor game: basketball! He’s the one who inspired Skye’s skyhook, Rocky’s spin and shoot, and Marshall’s Dalmation Dunk! Let’s create our own indoor basketball game — box-it ball — inspired by this incredible inventor.
  • First, let’s find a box and a soft ball that is small enough to fit inside the box. If we don’t have a ball, we can put one sock inside of another to create our own ball.
  • Now, let’s stand facing the box and take three steps back. How many times can we shot our ball into the box from here? Let’s take another step back. How many baskets can we make from here?
  • Now, let’s create our own rules for our indoor “box-it” ball game!

Extend the Learning

Warm-up by watching the pups practice for a big basketball game, print a scoreboard for your refrigerator, and learn a few jokes that’ll cause the competition to giggle.

Words to Use 

  • Basketball – a ball that is thrown into a basket in a game called basketball
  • Invent – to come up with a new idea
  • Indoor – inside, not outside
  • Inspire – to fill someone with the urge or ability to do or feel something
  • Shooting – throwing a ball into a basket, like in the game of basketball


Stand next to the basket and throw the ball into the box together. How many times can you get the ball into the box?


Make the game more challenging. Move farther away from the box or try putting the box higher up (like on a chair or on a counter). If each time you get the ball in, you make 2 points, how many points do you make?


  • Counting helps your little inventor understand that numbers go in order.
  • Playing basketball builds coordination and strong muscles!

Conversation Starter

Try asking these questions at lunchtime or dinnertime:

What will YOU invent? What will it do? What problem will it solve?

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