My little girl is obsessed with the “balloon movie” right now – you got it, UP. She asks to watch it at lease 3 times a day. And every time we see a balloon in the store it is like the circus came to town. So balloons being my inspiration, we played all different balloon games at her birthday party. The main purpose of a party game to me is to unite the guests and make everyone feel happy. But I have run into the problem that a 2 year old does not find the same game exciting that an old grandma does. Luckily I think balloons in themself are pretty unifying. But I think an important part about throwing a party is to be prepared, but go with the flow – be flexible. So here are the balloon games I prepared, we did not play all of them and some of them we played over and over with different variations.
- Balloon survival: Everyone has a balloon and ties it around your ankle. Designate a certain area for your “playing field.” The goal is to be the last one with an unpoped balloon around your ankle. But at the same time you need to pop all of your components balloons with your feet. The last survivor wins!
- Team balloon races: I guess there are several of these we could do. My first idea would be to split up into 2 teams. Ideally there would be 4-6 on each team. Stand in a line with your team members and put a balloon between each member. Without using your hands you need to race as a team to a certain spot or run around a chair and back. I guess you could put the balloon anywhere, between your heads, tummy, or whatever. I think hip to hip would work the best, but play with it. You could also get on teams and take turns jumping with the balloon in-between your legs to an object and back before tagging your teammate to go next.
- Secret challenge: Have a secret challenge hidden in each balloon. Then throw up a few balloons into the group and tell them to keep the balloons in the air. If someone lets the balloon drop they have to pop the balloon and do the secret challenge hidden inside. When I did this with a group of teenagers I had dares like, go ask the cute neighbor boy if you could borrow and egg, or eat a teaspoon of salt… With a family group I think it would better for the challenges to be more uplifting, like give Sarah a hug or do a head stand. With a group of toddlers maybe you could put numbers in the balloons and that could be the order they get their cupcakes.
- Balloon Volleyball – This is our family’s favorite balloon game. Usually this is played during the week after the party with the extra balloons, but it would be fun during the party as well. All you need is some kind of line that separates the 2 sides. In my house it is where the carpet hits the wood floor. Then you basically play volleyball, adding your own rules to meet your group. Like sometime we will say only 2 hits to get the balloon to the other side if the space is small, or no spikes if little kids are involved…. It is fun to play 1:1 and have the winner stay in.
- How many hits: In my mind this game was created by my dad, but I am sure it comes naturally to a group of competitive people with a balloon. We would always challenge each other to see how few hits we could do to get the balloon all the way down the hall way or around a table. Our strategies would change between hitting hard really fast or letting the balloon drift down before hitting again.
- Balloon Grab – Put all of the balloons in a box. I recommend having at least 15 balloons for this game, all different sizes are fun. Have one person at a time run to the end of the room and grab as many balloons as possible within 30 seconds. They have to make it back to the other side of the room without letting any balloons drop. Count how many balloons they successfully carry back.
- Balloon Races – Get creative with this one. We have all the kids line up on one side of the room or yard. Have the kids race to the other side doing a variety of activities with the balloons: hop with the balloon in-between your legs, put the balloon in your shirt, balance the balloon on your head, 3 kids run holding onto the same balloon, kick the balloon across, do summer salts/roll with the balloon across the floor…. (these games were by far the most popular with the toddlers, gosh they were so cute).