Balloon races


This game can be played by two or more people - how many people take part at any one time depends on the amount of space you have available. You will need a starting line and a line to run to - if there is room for all the contestants so much the better - and the more confusion there is, the more fun it will be. If room is limited then divide everyone into two teams so that two people can compete at one time each followed by their teams in order.

Line up on the start line - when the game is started the contestants run for the other line where they will find an uninflated balloon which they blow up and then head the balloon all the way back to the start line. Rules can vary - strictly speaking hands should not be used - but the only real requirement is that everybody should be having fun.

The game organizer should tell the contestants about how big to blow up the balloons - if they try to save time by not blowing them up very much then they will be very much harder to head back along to the start line - if they blow them up too hard then they might burst and then they will have to get another balloon and start blowing all over again. If you make up a couple of 'jigs' to measure the size of balloons - for example get a piece of cardboard and cut out a balloon sized hole in it - the contestant has to keep on trying to put the balloon through the hole - when it is big enough it will no longer go through the hole - so it is time to tie the knot and start heading it back to the start line. Don't forget to make sure that there are no sharp edges on the sizing jig.

When the contestants get back to the start line the balloon can either be popped - this can be with a pin but sitting on them is more fun and more of a challenge - and another reason to blow it up as tight as possible in the first place - OR - if the balloons are saved - they can be put into two separate places - one for each team - the winners are the first team to get all their balloons back to the start line - OR the team with the most balloons ( if it's outside then a couple of inflatable paddling pools are ideal to put them in ).

Ok - if you haven't popped them you now have a lot of balloons blown up... ready to play another game such as floating balloons - OR - you can get the guests to put them up in bunches as party decorations and this can help people get to know each other too - it's an ice-breaker that allows the really shy people to stand back a little if they want to.


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A balloon is placed between the knees and the contestant either waddles or hops or jumps along with it from the start line along a course and back to the start line - the next member of the team takes the balloon and does the same until everyone in the team has had a turn - the fastest team is the winner.

There are lots of variations here - the balloons can be blown up already or blowing them up can be part of the game - but you will need rules as to how big they should be blown up - or something to 'size' the balloons as in the first game - you can have just one balloon per team - or one balloon for each person ( in which case you can do the decoration for the party or have a second kind of balloon game next ). If there is enough space to do it you can have one balloon per person and everyone competing as individuals all at the same time.

One of the best variations is to put the balloon between the knees of two people - it's like a three legged race without the adjacent legs being tied but those legs have to move together or the balloon will drop to the ground ( if it does it can either be picked up and the pair carry on from where they lost the balloon - or the have to go back to the start again - decide on the rules BEFORE the game starts and TELL everyone what they are ). The balloon could pop as well - it would be usual for the pair to go back to the beginning in this case. Arms around each other's shoulders for stability works well as in the three legged race.


Form two or more teams with equal numbers in each team - a balloon is given to the person in front of the team - the 'leader'. On the signal to start, the balloon is passed down the line until it reaches the last person in the team who takes the balloon and runs to the front and starts passing it back down the line again. This goes on until the original 'leader' is back at the front of the team - the quickest team wins.

There are lots of variations with this one too - chose a small balloon and pass it between each other by holding it under the chin. Normal sized balloons can be passed using knees or elbows, and if you get everyone to sit down then you can use ankles - all with no hands allowed of course - but no need to enforce the rules harshly - it's meant to be fun.

There is another variation but it is much too raunchy for this site...

Oh all right then...

Imagine the team members are numbered - number 1 is at the front, then number 2 and so on. The balloon is placed between number 1 and number 2 and it's held there by the two people sort of squishing it together - no hands allowed. On the signal to start number 1 sort of rolls away from the balloon while number 3 sort of rolls onto it to keep it supported against number 2. Then number 4 rolls on and number 2 rolls off, and so on until the last pair have the balloon supported between them. The pair have to walk to the front of the line without dropping the balloon - and then it starts all over again as the last pair transfer the balloon to 'the last one in the line' and number 1 again. The game ends when number 1 gets back to the front again, and the winning team is the first to achieve this.

If there are enough people to have even numbers in each team then this variation can be played with pairs - the first pair transfers the balloon to the second pair and so on. Small balloons are difficult to play with while larger balloons - twenty inch or larger - are more fun with this game.


Divide into teams of equal sizes and give each team a supply of balloons. At the starting signal each team blows up their balloons and then each team member in turn carries a balloon on a large wooden spoon from the start line to the finish line and places the balloons at the 'finish' end. The balloon should not be steadied by hand - just balanced on the spoon - and if the balloons drop - no - make that WHEN then balloon drops off the spoon then that player should return to the start line - but what the heck - it's only a game. Any team member can help another by blowing up a balloon for them - but remember that sharing the blowing up can also share infections.


The balloon is pushed along from start to finish using noses only, or elbows only, or anything except hands.


Divide into two teams. Each team will need a book and a walking stick and a blown up balloon. On the start signal the first people from each team walk down the course 'Chaplin' style - swinging the walking stick - with the book on the head and the balloon between the legs. When the end line is reached the first contestant runs back up the course to give the walking stick and the book and the balloon to the next team member for them to have their turn - the first team to finish, wins.

The course can be circular for this game so each contestant has to walk all the way 'Chaplin' style.


This is a blowing-up-the-balloon game that makes sure that the balloons are blown up to at least a certain size. You'll need an inflatable swim ring for each team - all the same size and already blown up. You'll need a supply of balloons which are also all the same size and which can be blown up to fit comfortably inside the ring so that the balloon will grip on the inside of the ring without popping.

For this game it is better to have a circular course - out to a pole in the ground, around the pole and back again - one pole for each team or one pole for all teams - whichever works best in the space you have available. On the start signal the first contestant in each team starts to blow up a balloon in the hole in the middle of a swim ring. When the balloon gets big enough the balloon will fill the hole and you'll be able to pick up the swim ring just by lifting the balloon. Make sure that the balloon is gripping the ring ok because when a ring drops off the balloon halfway along the course the player has to go back to the start again. Advise everyone as you explain the game that the best thing to do is to put in a couple more breaths after the balloon grips the ring just to make sure. When the blowing is complete it's important to remember NOT to KNOT the balloon.

As soon as the balloon is blown up enough to carry the ring, the player holds the balloon with the ring attached and runs around the course and back to the team. The ring is deposited by the player releasing the air out of the balloon - the first player keeps the balloon and the next player starts to blow up their own balloon inside the ring and the whole process continues until all the team have had their turns, and the first team to finish are the winners.





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