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by Youth Specialties, Youth Specialties Staff

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Containing a huge supply of how-to ideas for youth ministry, this book from The Ideas Library will provide countless hours of gaming entertainment.See more details below


Containing a huge supply of how-to ideas for youth ministry, this book from The Ideas Library will provide countless hours of gaming entertainment.

Product Details

Zondervan/Youth Specialties
Publication date:
Ideas Library
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Zondervan Publishing
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File size:
5 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

For over thirty years, Youth Specialties has worked alongside Christian youth workers of just about every denomination and youth-serving organization. We're here to help you, whether you're brand new to youth ministry or a veteran, whether you're a volunteer or a career youth pastor. Each year we serve more than 100,000 youth workers worldwide through our training seminars and conventions, resources, and on the Internet.

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Copyright © 1997 Zondervan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0-310-22030-0

Chapter One


Twice the fun of a church board meeting with only half the hot air, balloon games are an inexpensive good time. Whether the object is to keep the balloons afloat or pop them like pimples on prom night, most of these games work with any size group. For even more balloon games, simply adapt some of the ball games in this book by substituting a balloon for the ball. (For water balloon

* * *


This game is like volleyball, but it's played with a balloon and without a net. To set up use masking tape to make a straight line across the middle of the playing area. The length of the line in feet should be twice the total number of players on both teams (for example, for 10 players use a 20-foot line).

center for Team A [arrow down]


X ------------- ---- [arrow up] TEAM B O O O (O) O O O

Divide into two teams, and have each team stand facing the other across the line (as if it were the net) in a single row on each side. Players should stand four feet apart from teammates, and two feet back from the line. Players cannot move from this position during play, though one foot may leave the floor to kick the balloon if the other stays in place.

The object is to volley a balloon back and forth across the line without allowing it to touch the floor on your team's side. The balloon can be batted with hands or kicked. As with the ball in volleyball, contact with the balloon may alternate between players on the same team, but the balloon cannot be touched by the same player twice in a row. Unlike volleyball, however, teams are not limited to three contacts in order to get the balloon back over the line to the other team.

The middle player in each team's line is the "center." Each round begins with one of the centers serving by tapping the balloon across the line to the other team. The team that won the point in the previous round gets to serve. A team scores a point when the balloon touches the floor on the opposite team's side of the line. There is no out-of-bounds play, so if the balloon is batted over the heads of players and out of their reach, the opposite team scores a point. A team also scores a point when a player on the opposite team makes contact with the balloon twice in a row or moves out of position.

You'll need extra balloons in case one bursts and a referee to make sure players stay in position. Phil Blackwell

Balloon Balance Relay

Form teams and give each team one baseball cap or painter's cap. The first player from each team dons the cap and balances an inflated balloon on the bill (bouncing on the bill is permitted). The players then walk to a point 10 feet away and back again while balancing the balloon on their hats. Then, using their hands, they pass the balloon and hat to the next players in line, who do the same thing.

A player whose balloon falls to the floor or is held up by any part of the body has to start over. (No fair blowing on the balloon to keep it in place.) The first team whose players all complete the circuit are declared the uncontested balloon balance relay champions of the world. Michael Frisbie

Balloon Basketball

Divide into two teams with an equal number of players. Arrange chairs as shown in the diagram, back to back in rows except for the two outer rows that face inward. One team faces in one direction, the second team faces the other direction.

After all the players are seated, toss a balloon into the center of the chairs. Players aren't allowed to stand as they try to bat the balloon with their hands into the end zone that the teams face. As soon as the balloon drops into an end zone over the heads of the last row of people, the appropriate team scores two points. If the balloon goes out of bounds, just throw it back into the center. Play ends at 20 points or after 15 minutes, whichever comes first.

Balloon Bat Relay

Teams line up, single file, with kids as close together as possible. There should be a space between the legs to bat a balloon down the line, through the legs, with the hands. This is not easy if all the kids are standing close together. The person at the front of the line starts the balloon back and when it reaches the last person, he takes it to the front and continues until the team is once again in starting order.

David Parke

Balloon Smash

Tie an inflated balloon around your waist and let it hang from behind. Try to break everyone else's balloon with a rolled up newspaper without allowing someone to bust your own balloon. You win if you are the last person wearing an inflated balloon. (Newspapers are the only weapons allowed.)

Balloon Stomp

Blow up a balloon and tie it to your ankle with a piece of string. Try to stomp and pop everyone else's balloon while keeping yours intact. You win if you are the last person wearing an inflated balloon.

Or try Balloon Stomp Flickers-same game but played under a strobe light. (By the way, a strobe light is a great variation for air hockey, Ping-Pong, and pillow fights.)

Or make it a team game with Technicolor Stomp, for which you'll need lots of colored balloons. Divide into teams and assign each team a color-red, blue, orange, yellow, etc. Then give each team an equal number of balloons of its color. For example, the red team is given, say, 20 red balloons. They begin by blowing up all the balloons and tying them off. When the actual game begins, the balloons from all the teams are released onto the floor, and the object is to stomp on and pop all the balloons that are not your team color while attempting to protect your own team's balloons. After the time limit is up (two or three minutes should do it), the popping of balloons stops and each team gathers up its remaining balloons. The team with the most balloons intact is the winner. David Coppendge and Christine R. Rollins

Balloon Bust

Here is a creative way to pair up people for competition. Half of the group members write their names on small pieces of paper, which are then put inside balloons (one name per balloon).

Blow up the balloons and tie them off. The rest of the kids randomly grab a balloon, pop it, and pair up with the person whose name is found inside the balloon. The last two people to pair up lose.

Balloon Bump

Here's an indoor game for moderately sized groups (20 or more kids). Divide players into groups of four to six or so; place about as many chairs as there are groups randomly around the room; place lots of deflated balloons on each chair; then instruct each group to form a huddle of people, arms around shoulders, in the middle of the room.

On "Go!" each huddle shuffles to a chair. One person from each huddle grabs a balloon, blows it up, ties it off, and drops it into the middle of the huddle. Players in the huddle must keep the balloon from touching the floor by pressing against the balloon with their stomachs. As they do so, they must move toward another chair to repeat the process. At the second chair they visit, they must blow up two balloons; at the third chair, three balloons, etc.-all the while maintaining their huddle and keeping their balloons from falling to the floor.

If a balloon falls, the huddle must stop and put it back in the middle again (which takes time). A huddle cannot visit a chair where there is already another huddle working. Call time at three minutes, count how many balloons each huddle has in its middle, announce a winner-and play again! Michael Capps

Balloon Pop Relay

Teams line up single file at a starting line. Place a chair about 30 feet away. Give each team member a deflated balloon. One at a time, kids run to the chair, blow up a balloon, tie it, pop it by sitting on it, and go to the end of the team line. First team to pop all of its balloons wins.

Balloon Bomb

Remember the leftover party balloon that you'd bounce around in the air when you were a child, trying to keep it from hitting the ground? What was rainy day entertainment then still works with youth groups today.

Formalize the game a bit-form two teams that try to hit the balloon away from the opposition, require that teams alternate hits (only one hit per team), and forbid hitting the balloon directly at the floor. Scoring can run like this: Intentional grounding scores a point for the opposition, as does two consecutive hits by members of the same team. If the balloon touches the ground, the point goes to the opposition of the team that hit it last.

Variation: Instead of the two teams intermingling in the playing area, put them on opposite sides of a six-foot-wide dead zone, and permit-volleyball fashion-two hits per team (by different players) before returning the balloon across the dead zone. More than two hits per team or more than one hit per person scores a point for the opposition. If the balloon lands in the dead zone, the point is scored against the team that last hit it. A team serves until it loses a point.

Balloon Bomb Dress-up Relay. For this variation of Balloon Bomb, each team needs a dress-up box with the same number and kinds of objects-old coat, gloves, hat, scarf, boots, etc. As teammates take their turns racing to the box and then dressing and undressing with the old clothes, they must keep a balloon in the air. If the balloon touches the ground, they must start their dressing over again. Julie D. Anderson, Karen Friday, and Len and Sheryl DiCicco

Balloon Burst

Divide your group into two teams and pick a captain for each. Arrange teams as shown in the diagram. Each team tries to hit the balloon in the direction of its captain, who then tries to burst the balloon with a pin. One point is scored for each popped balloon. Players must stay seated and use only one hand. Kathie Taylor

Balloon Pin Throw

Here's a crazy little game for as few as four people, or it can be used for larger groups in a relay style.

Each team has one of its members sit down in a chair, wearing a baseball cap with a stick pin taped to the bill, protruding just a little bit. If this is done as a relay, each person on the team has a balloon with a piece of string tied to it and stands a short distance from the person who is seated in the chair wearing the hat. Players then try to toss their balloons toward the hats, so that the pins will pop the balloons. They hold on to the piece of string so that they can retrieve the balloon if they miss the pin. As soon as a balloon pops, the next person on the team does it, and so on until everyone on the team has popped a balloon.

You might test this a few times before you play it so that you can determine the proper distance from the foul line to the chair. It should be a challenge to accomplish but not impossible. Ira Pacheco

Balloon Sucking Relay

Before the meeting cut off a small (about one-quarter of an inch) portion of the tip of cone-shaped drinking cups, and blow up several six-inch balloons. Divide your youth group into two equal teams arranged in parallel lines. Hand out one cup to each student. Place one balloon at the feet of the first person in each line. Place tape or some other marker about 30 feet away from the two lines.

At the sound of the whistle, the first person in each line must bend over, inhale through the small end of the cup to suck up the balloon, and stand up straight. Students may not tip their heads back. The players must then race to the goal line and back, passing the balloon to the next person in line. No hands are allowed during the transfer. If the balloon is dropped, the runner may only pick it up by inhaling through the paper cup. The team that finishes first wins. Tony Avila

Balloon Sweep

In this relay players maneuver a balloon around a goal and back using a broom, sweeping the balloon along the floor. It's much harder than you think. Run small groups of players in each relay.

Blind Balloon Hunt

Begin by placing a number of balloons in random locations on a large floor or field (if on a field, they may need to be anchored). A person is selected from each team to be a hunter. Two additional people from each team are selected to be the guides. Blindfold the hunters. At a signal the hunters proceed to locate as many balloons as possible (all teams going at the same time). The guides may not touch the hunter or the balloons. They only give verbal commands to lead the hunters to the balloons. Allow as much time as you feel necessary. The object is for the hunters to locate as many balloons as possible and bring them back to a starting point (unbroken). They must bring them back to the starting point to count. Keeping them informed of time is important in this event. Doug Dennee

Balloon Drop Relay

All you need are 40 or more inflated balloons (round ones) and two or more teams; each with a "dropper" (person who drops balloons) standing on a folding chair. Place the balloons in a box, line up the teams, and you're ready to go.

The idea is to get the balloon to the other end in the fastest time. Before you start, the dropper positions herself up on the chair with the balloon ready to drop to the floor. Two teammates sit on the floor in front of the dropper, back to back, leaving enough room for the balloon to slip down between their backs. The pair then carefully stands, keeping the balloon between their backs and shuffles their way to the other end.

Upon arrival the next balloon is dropped to the next pair and so on until the entire team reaches the other side. If the balloon should burst or fall to the floor before reaching the finish line, the pair must return and start over. The dropper may drop as many balloons as needed in order to get one positioned just where the pair wants it. The dropper is the only one allowed to touch balloons with her hands. This relay game is just as much fun to watch as it is to play! Tom Bougher


For this simple game, have two people stand facing each other about four feet apart. Blow up a round balloon and have one player bump the balloon off his head to the other player. The second player bounces the balloon off her head back to the first player and so on, back and forth. See how many times they can bounce it without dropping it.


Excerpted from Games Copyright © 1997 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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