1 baseball or softball
2 people (at least), preferably an adult* and child (or children)
1 baseball glove per person
1 yard without a lot of rocks or holes
* the adult must do a fun play-by-play with every play
Stand apart in the yard. The distance should be intelligently calculated by the adult to be appropriate for the age of the child. The first person, usually the parent, plays the imaginary role of a batter AND a baseman. The parent throws the ball in numerous ways to the child (smooth grounder, choppy grounder, fly ball, etc.), then magically becomes the baseman. The object is to throw the batter out and get three outs. Then the kid does the same thing to the parent. Back and forth.
So here's what it sounds like:
"Nobody on, nobody out. The first hit is a grounder to Adele. She scoops it up perfectly and fires it back to Daddy! Yeeeeeeer OUT! One away. Batter two comes to the plate. It's a mile high fly ball! She's under it. No sweat. Fielded nicely. Two out. It's a choppy grounder! She bobbles the ball, but fires it to first! Safe! Tie base goes to the runner. There's a woman on first, two away. It's a very slow grounder! Adele runs up to it, fires it to second for the force out. Yeeeeer OUT! Three away, and Adele's at bat."
The kids normally don't do the animated announcing, so the parent can even do it when the kid is "at bat". Any "hit" that was not particularly playable is a foul ball. There are a handful of things accomplished by playing a game like this. It's a self esteem builder, as they are guaranteed to improve with practice at home. The kids learn the rules of the game like tie base, or a force out, or how to turn a double play. And, perhaps most importantly, you are creating a powerful bond with your child by excitedly playing with them. Mothers, don't forget, just because you haven't played in a long time, many of you were excited, fun-loving softball players when you were younger. Don't have a glove anymore? Go buy yourself a good one. They are about the price of two or three tanks full of gas for your minivans. Better get after it, as time slips away like water through your fingers. You're almost out of time.