Cricket is a great game for children to play in the garden or the local park. As well as developing their physical fitness, balance and hand-eye co-ordination it can improve social skills because it’s a team sport.
Another reason to encourage children to play cricket is because of the positive role models like James Anderson and Heather Knight. We all know that good role models for children are not always easy to find in the sporting world!
Being outside in the fresh air with a bat and ball is what summer holidays were made for. So, read on for some cricket games to play at home with family and friends.
What equipment do you need?
All you need is a garden cricket set with a soft ball (not a hard cricket ball), which you can buy for a few pounds online or in a shop like Home Bargains.
Cricket games to play at home
- French cricket
French cricket is very easy, and any child can play once they have learnt to throw and catch a small ball.
All players stand in a semicircle around the batsman (the person with the bat). The batsman holds the bat in front of their legs and uses it as a kind of shield. The other players take turns to have a go at getting the batsman ‘out’.
To get the batsman out a player must throw the ball at the batsman and either hit them with the ball beneath their knees or catch the ball. The player who gets the batsman out is the next batsman.
2. Fielding game
One person is the batsman, one person is the bowler and everyone else is a fielder.
All players make a semicircle around the batsman (the bowler stands in the semicircle opposite the batsman). The bowler throws the ball to the batsman who must hit it so one of the fielders catches it. The batsman must try to hit the ball so that every fielder has a turn catching it.
Once all the fielders have caught the ball, change players.
3. Roll and stop
This is a game that can be played with only two players – a batsman and a bowler. The batsman stands with their legs apart and holds the bat between their legs.
The bowler rolls the ball along the ground to the batsman who must try to stop it with the bat (without moving their legs). It’s a great game for developing hand-eye coordination.
4. Caterpillar catch
Divide players into two teams. The teams stand in parallel lines facing each other. The teams need to stand a good throwing and catching distance apart.
Team A (it doesn’t matter which team this is) starts with the ball. A player standing on one end of the line in Team A throws the ball to the Team B player standing opposite them. As soon as they’ve thrown the ball, they run to the other end of the Team A line. They must run on the outside of the line rather than the inside, so they don’t get hit by the ball.
As the Team A player runs to the end of their line, the player in Team B who caught the ball throws it to the next player in Team A (who is standing almost opposite them in a diagonal). The Team B player now runs to the other end of the Team B line.
The game continues until the Team A and Team B players who started the game are at the front of their lines again.
5. Cricket rounders
Play rounders but with a cricket set!
6. Garden cricket
For garden cricket you need a cricket bat, ball and stumps. You can use a jumper or a coat for the ‘base’ that the batsman runs to.
For clear instructions, watch this YouTube video, How to play cricket.
Is your child interested in cricket?
If your child wants to learn to play cricket, here are some local clubs you could check out:
City of Cambridge Cricket Club, City of Ely Cricket Club and Newmarket Cricket Club. All three clubs offer coaching to children of school age and the emphasis is on socializing, having fun and learning new skills.
All Stars Cricket. This is for children aged 5-8 years old. All Stars run clubs across Cambridgeshire during cricket season. We recommend looking at their parent’s page where they share lots of games and tips.
Dynamos Cricket. This is like All Stars Cricket, but it’s for 8-11-year-olds. Dynamos play countdown cricket which is a simplified and fast-paced version of ordinary cricket.