Couchball: A simple indoor game from stuff you already own

two potatoes on the couch

We considered naming our son Calvin, and it would have made sense. He is a natural Calvin-ball player. (In Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes, they make up a game called Calvin-ball with ever-changing rules. It’s impossible to understand, but it’s a whole lot of fun.) Sometimes a homemade game is all you need to have a great time.

This week, on a rare lazy Saturday, he asked, “Mommy, do you want to play a game? We throw balls at the couch!” Prepared to be utterly horrified, I asked how to play. Couchball turns out to be a pretty good game. He helped me type the rules in a Google doc:

What you will need

  • 2 different balls
  • A couch


First, pick a player to go first. Next, the first player throws their ball at the couch and tries to have the ball stay on the couch. If the ball stays on the couch, the other player gets to throw their ball at the couch. If their ball also stays, no one gets a point. If the other player’s ball doesn’t stay on the couch, the player who threw the ball first gets a point. If the first player doesn’t make it keep playing and it is the other player’s turn. First to ten wins.

We used a Minion hacky sack and a magenta rubber bouncy ball, throwing about 6 feet away from the couch. Yes, in the living room. Since the goal is to have the ball stay on the couch, it doesn’t end up all over the place.

How to adjust the game

  1. Different balls bounce differently. Try a few to decide which are easier and which are more challenging.
  2. Adjust the distance to the couch.

Making up your own games is a great way to be creative together. Do you have a favorite homemade game?

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