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Cheap and Easy Team Sports for 5- to 10-Year-Olds

Keep kids entertained -- without breaking the bank.
parents and sports

Team sports are a great way for your kid to make friends, learn about group dynamics, and build character. However, they can also be a pain in the neck. Organizing players takes time, as does driving to the sports court or field, and equipment can be expensive.

Here are five team sports that are safe (non-contact), cheap, easy, and fun, and your kid can play them in the backyard or park with very little equipment and only a few other teammates or opponents.

Whiffleball
The plastic bat means no one can get too hurt and the perforated ball allows kids to hurl breaking pitches without throwing out their arms. Games can involve as few as two people: a pitcher and a hitter. A home run is over the tree; catching a fly or fielding a grounder cleanly is an out. Doubles and triples are up for discussion.
Cost breakdown: Plastic bat and whiffleball, $10-$20

Ultimate Frisbee
Also called Frisbee Football, this is a great team game. The object is to advance the frisbee into the opponent's end zone by passing it to teammates. The minimum number of players is four, with each team needing one person to pass and one to catch.
Cost breakdown: Frisbee, $10-$20

Kickball
Another baseball alternative, kickball requires little beyond a makeshift diamond and a textured rubber ball. A pitcher rolls the ball and the kicker kicks it as far as possible. Kickball is a bit friendlier than whiffleball in that it is more difficult for a kicker to miss.
Cost breakdown: Kickball, $5-$20

One-Wall Handball
This two-player game requires nothing more than a small rubber ball and a wall. Players use either hand to slap the ball against the wall, trying to prevent their opponent from keeping the ball in play. Great for developing ambidexterity.
Cost breakdown: Handball, $5-$10

Pickle
Also called Run the Bases, Monkey in the Middle, or Rundown, this surprisingly fun game requires nothing more than a tennis ball and two bases. The base runner tries to run between the two bases without getting tagged out by the defensive players.
Cost breakdown: Tennis ball, $2.50-$5

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