Fun fact about frisbees (’cause who doesn’t love a fun fact?). The name “frisbee” came from Frisbie, an American pie company. When the bakers were on break, they’d throw pie pans back and forth. A sport with its roots in pie—yes please!
Frisbees, or flying discs, are fun, inexpensive, and easily portable. And there are so many games and activities you can play with them. Preferably outside. Because—you know—windows and all that.
But first: how to throw a frisbee?
- Hold the frisbee with your thumb on top, your index finger on the side, and the rest of your fingers underneath.
- If you’re right-handed, put your right foot in front, facing forward, and your left foot behind, facing sideways.
- Cross your right arm across your body with your elbow just above your belly button and curl your hand backwards.
- Move your arm forward and just before your arm is straight, flick your wrist and release the frisbee towards your target.
Now that you’ve got the basic throwing motion down, how can you use a frisbee for more fun activities?
Hokey name. Awesome game. Set up two cones or outdoor chairs spaced widely apart and see if you can throw the frisbee between them. As you master throwing, move the objects closer together and see if you can make a successful toss.
2. Minute to Spin It
With a partner, see how many times you can throw the frisbee back and forth in one minute. Can you beat your score on your next try?
3. Frisbee and Ball Relay
Set your kids up in two even-numbered lines and provide the first child in line with a frisbee and a ball. The ball should be just big enough to reach the lip of the frisbee with the open side facing up. (Frisbees are generally 8 to 10 inches, wide so a 6-inch soft ball would be a good choice).
Set up a start and a finish line and have the first child move from the start to the finish and back with ball balancing in the frisbee. If the child drops the ball, they must return to the start and try again. When they finish their back and forth walk/run, they pass the frisbee and ball to the next player in line who repeats the same drill. The first team that has all players finish the relay wins.
4. Frisbee Balloon Keep-Up
Using the flat side of a frisbee, see how long your child can tap a balloon to keep it up in the air. (Side note: did you know there is a Balloon World Cup?)
Use a rope to hang a hula hoop from a tree branch or climbing frame. Set up a line where your child can stand and see if they can throw their frisbee through the hoop. To make the game more challenging, move the line further away.
6. Keep Away
At least three players are required to play this super fun game. Choose at least two players to be the throwers while the others will work to try to intercept a thrown frisbee. The throwers can choose to throw it high or low and in any direction. If one of the other kids catches the frisbee, they then change places with the thrower whose toss they caught.
7. Disc Golf
Disc golf is basically the same as regular golf in terms of attempting to sink an object into a hole. In both games, you aim the object towards the “goal” and continue your shots from where they land until you’ve completed the task. Instead of using a set of golf clubs to hit a golf ball though, disc golf involves throwing a frisbee into nets or baskets.
A player stands in a tee box and throws their frisbee towards the basket. They then pick up the frisbee where it lands and throws it again, getting closer to the basket with each throw. Scores are kept based on the number of attempts it takes to sink your frisbee. The person with the lowest number of shots wins.
Some of the advantages of disc golf versus ball golf are that it’s far less expensive, the equipment is much lighter, it takes less time to play 18 holes, and it can be played year-round. Snow disc golf for the win! Disc golf courses can often be found in local parks or you can make your own in your backyard or open grassy area. Use laundry baskets, inflatable pools, or garbage cans as targets.
Click here to find a course near you.
8. Plate Spinning
I have a faint memory of once seeing someone at a circus balancing plates on some sort of long sticks. Your child can become a circus performer by walking (or running or skipping if they get really good!) with a frisbee balanced on top of a pool noodle.
Set up a start and finish line and have your child race against their friends. If the frisbee falls off the noodle as they’re moving, they must pick it up and start from the beginning. The first player who crosses the line with the frisbee still on the noodle wins.
Paddidling, also known as spinning an object on one finger, is challenging but once mastered, it’s like riding a bike. Once you figure it out, it’s hard to remember not being able to do it at all.
Have your child place their middle finger about an inch from the centre of the inside of the disc. Get them to spin the frisbee towards themselves with the opposite hand and make tiny circles with their hand as the frisbee spins.
The aim of the game is to be the first player to reach a certain number of points. Choose one person as a thrower. The rest of the kids must then stand about 15 feet away. The thrower faces their friends and launches the frisbee towards them. As they throw, they call out a point value, such as 50 or 100.
The throw can be up in the air, low to the ground, to the centre, left or right. The person who catches the frisbee (or retrieves it from the ground) gets the number of points the thrower called. The first person to 500 is the winner and then becomes the thrower. To make it easy for the younger crowd, each catch can be worth one point and the first one to 10 wins.
11. Frisbee Bowling
Pull on your fancy bowling shoes (or just wear your runners) and play this fun take on a classic game. Line up six empty water bottles with a small amount of water in the bottom of each to keep them from falling down easily. Space out three bottles in a line, with two in front of them and one at the head of the group.
Have your child stand approximately 15 feet away from the “pins” and use their frisbee to try to knock them down. Can they throw a strike and knock them all down at once? A spare and knock them down in two tries?
To make the game more challenging, space the bottles further apart or have your child stand at a greater distance away from the pins.
12. Ultimate Frisbee
Ultimate is a fantastic game that will get your kids running, throwing, jumping, and having a blast. The game is played on a rectangular playing area much like a football field with two end zones. The rules at their most basic level are pretty simple. The aim of the game is to have one of your team’s players catch a frisbee in the opposing team’s end zone.
The game starts with each team standing at the end of their end zone. The game can be played with as few as two players per side but is typically played with seven.
One team starts on offense and one on defense. The defense begins the game by throwing the frisbee (known as “pulling”) towards the offense. When a player catches the frisbee, they have 10 seconds to pass it to a teammate without running. The team continues to pass the frisbee upfield and if a player catches the frisbee in the opposing team’s end zone, the team scores a point.
If the frisbee isn’t caught or goes out of bounds, the defense then gets possession of the disc. After each score or dropping of the frisbee, the possession of the disc changes to the opposing team. For more about the game and how to play with your kids, read this.
13. Tricky Throws & Catches
Once your child has mastered the basic throw with their frisbee, have them use their imagination to change up how they throw it or catch it. Can they jump with their legs far apart as they catch it? Can they throw it under their leg?
14. Frisbee Water Relay
This game is so fun to play on a hot day! Fill two large buckets or other containers with water at a start line and set out two empty clear containers at a finish line. Mark a line on the empty containers approximately halfway up.
Set up the kids in two lines. On the count of three, the first person on each team fills their frisbee with water and carries it to their empty container. They then dump as much water as they’ve managed to keep in their frisbee into it. The first team to fill their container up to the marked line wins.
Are there other games you would add to the list? Let us know in the comments!