Balloon popping games

MAKE SURE that anyone who is really uncomfortable to be close to balloons when they are popped is freely allowed to excuse themselves from any balloon popping games without any fuss or ridicule.


Each person ties an inflated balloon to one ankle. When the signal to start is given, the object is to burst other peoples balloons while keeping your balloon intact. The winner is the one with the last intact balloon.


Slips of paper with numbers written on are put into balloons before the balloons are blown up. Each person is given a balloon and has to pop it to get their number - and their number will correspond to a prize or whatever the host has planned. You could put numbers into blue balloons and repeat the same numbers and put them into pink balloons - the guys would get a blue balloon and the ladies a pink one - when the balloons are popped they all look for the person with the matching number who will be their partner for the evening.

People can take turns to pop or everyone can pop at the same time - they can sit on the balloons or stamp on them - balloons will need to be blown up fully or sitting would be difficult to do - keep a pin handy in case someone has an obstinate balloon or in case people are really too scared to pop the balloon themselves.

You should make sure that the numbered bits of paper are going to survive - blowing up the balloons by mouth there will be moisture inside the balloon so you'd best check that the pen you use has waterproof ink - a permanent marker will do the job. And if you use 'crystal' or see-through balloons then people will be able to read the numbers before the balloon is popped and that may not be part of the plan.


Usually played where there are just two teams, but more teams can be accommodated by slightly re-arranging the game. You will need lots and lots of questions and someone to keep score in this hectic game.

It is a race - how many questions can the member of one team answer - while a member of the other team blows up a balloon until it pops.

One member from each team comes to the front where the questionmaster and the scorekeeper are. One person is given a balloon and prepares to blow it up. A 'start' signal is given ( this can be done by the scorekeeper ) and the person with the balloon starts blowing it up and at the same time the questionmaster begins asking questions of the other person. Questions can only be asked - and answers given while the balloon is being blown up - as soon as the balloon pops no more answers can be accepted. The team score is the number of questions answered correctly.

Obviously each team should have the same type and size of balloon - and also the same color balloon too. ( The dyes used in the manufacture of balloons can also affect their elasticity and their strength and different colored balloons of the same type can be very different to blow up and pop.)

There are many variations - there could be just one person from each team taking part where the balloon used is a large one and therefore there is plenty of time for questions and answers - or the whole team could be allowed to answer the questions - or everyone could have a turn where smaller balloons are used. As the balloon gets close to popping make sure you close your eyes or wear goggles.


MAKE SURE that people shield their eyes with one hand when a balloon is about to pop.

Balloons are blown up until they pop. Each person is given a large balloon and at the starting signal everyone starts blowing - the winner is the person who pops their balloon first - there's no need for everyone else to pop their balloons once the first one has popped - if the rest of the balloons are blown up to a good size and tied then they can be used for a different game or used as decorations or general fun.

A variation involves splitting up into equal teams - in this case the game is a relay race and small balloons should be used instead. If you can supply protective goggles for this game then these can be easily included in the game itself - you will need one pair of goggles for each team. At the starting signal the first person in each team blows up their balloon until it pops - then the goggles are passed to the second person and they also blow up their balloon until it pops and so on - the winning team is the one that blows up and pops all of their balloons first.

There may be many requests that this game is played again - so have plenty of balloons available.


You will need enough balloons already blown up and some kind of cushions or padding to ensure that no injuries occur.

The group is divided into teams and lined up at one end of the course with whatever is to be used for padding in front of them - the balloons are placed at the other end of the course in some kind of container - netting or paddling pools will work fine. At the start signal the first person from each team runs up the course and collects a balloon. They run back to their teams and burst the balloon by sitting on it using the padded area. When the balloon bursts then the next member of the team can run up the course to collect their balloon and so on. The winning team can be the one where all its members have popped one balloon each - or the game can be run for two balloon pops for each person.

If it is not possible to split the party into equal teams then the game can be played for a fixed amount of time - say one minute, and the number of balloons popped by each team counted to find the winning team.

Variations can include almost any balloon game that is run over a course - Balloon Waddle - Balloon Hop etc - see the RACING GAMES section for ideas to include at the time everyone is running back to their team with the balloon.

Use balloons that are at least nine inches in diameter and make sure that they are all well inflated and reasonably easy to pop - modern balloons can be surprisingly strong so there are almost bound to be some 'difficult' ones that will cause both fun and frustration as people try to pop them. If you use a form of padding that is too soft or bulky then that will make it much harder for people to pop the balloons - a thin pad such as a camping bed roll is much better. Use discretion in allowing younger children to play the game - they may not have enough weight to pop the balloons so this may lead to some unfairness towards the younger children in a mixed age group which should be avoided.