To play, you simply need a deck of cards and enough spoons for one less than the number of players. (So, if you have five players, you only need four spoons.) The deck is shuffled and four cards are dealt to each player.
The goal of the game is to collect four of a kind. You draw from the stack and discard any card you wish: either from your hand or the one you drew. You can never have more than four cards at a time in your hand. Your discard stack becomes the next person’s drawing stack and it goes on and on around the table.
The object of the game is to move very fast–the faster the better. When a player gets four of a kind, he picks up a spoon from the table. Other players may follow. The last player will be left without a spoon. He then gets a mark against him: the letter “s.”
You keep playing rounds, collecting letters for the one without a spoon, until someone spells the whole word “spoons.” That person is out. The game can continue without him and with one less spoon.
1. Balloon Keep-up: Don’t let the balloon touch the floor. See how long the family can keep it in the air (hint: station big people closer to little people).
2. Balloon Hockey: We used the paper plate “paddles” for this game, but you can also use kitchen utensils. Players had to try and hit the balloon into their team’s “goal.” I made goals out of laundry baskets and placed them across from each other in the living room.
3. Balloon Tennis: Using the “rackets,” bump the balloons back and forth to your partner. Open-ended games are better for younger children, but you could keep score, giving points to the other team when their opponent’s balloon hits the floor.
4. Balloon Hula: Two players hold up the hula hoop for others. The object of this game is to use the paddle to hit the balloon through a hula hoop. For little guys, I just let them toss it in with their hands.
5. Balloon Waddle: Stand two kids side by side and place the ball between their hips. Now send them across the room and see if they can get there without dropping the balloon.
6. Balloon Catch: Give half of the players a large mixing bowl and half of the players a balloon. Have them toss the balloon to see if they can catch it in the bowl. You can also fold a piece of cardstock paper into a cone shape and catch the balloons in the cone.
7. Balloon Head Bump: Players must keep their balloon in the air and off the floor only using their heads. If the balloon falls to the floor they are out. Last one with their balloon in the air wins. You can play this multiple times; it will go quick.
8. Balloon Finger Balance: Players have to balance their balloon on their finger. Their finger must be in contact with the balloon at all times.
9. Balloon Volleyball: We used our couch as a net and hit the balloon across to each other. Each team will hit the balloon and score points when they are able to get the balloon to hit the ground on the opposite side. If a balloon is popped, the team who popped it loses a point. You can set a point value to reach for which team will be the winner.
10. Balloon Pop: At the end of the night, let the kids race to see who could find the secret messages that you hid in the balloons before blowing them up. After they pop one balloon, they have to run a lap around the couch before popping another one.