This activity is an amazing relay/team race activity that, with a little prep, can amp up your next overnight, retreat or party. My teens love it, and it usually fills 10-20 minutes, depending on the group size, number of rounds, enthusiasm, etc.
Go to Walmart/K-Mart/Target/Costco/local retail venue? and purchase a few sets of the largest sweat pants and matching sweat shirt you can find. You’ll need at least two, but if you have a large group, you can get more. Then head to the party supply aisle and buy a pack of balloons. You now have all the necessary equipment – simply lay out the sweatsuits and start blowing up balloons. For every suit, you should blow up AT LEAST 25 balloons depending on how large you make them, so maybe have a helper help you, or at the very least to watch to see if you pass out.
After your teams have been formed (4+ is good), have them choose one volunteer to put on the oversized sweatsuit. When you say “Go!”, they are to put as many balloons in their team’s suit. You can have a time limit or until they think they are full or when you run out of balloons, that’s your call. I like to use the amount of balloons as a time limit, so it’s a battle to get more balloons from the other groups, though I specify you can’t remove balloons from another team’s suit. After the time (or balloon supply) has run out, each team counts their in-suit balloons and the team with the most wins.
There are a couple of great variations to make this game even crazier. First, depending on the space, you can fill the balloons with helium first, making it much harder to grab quickly. Another variation is giving different color balloons different point values, so that there is some strategy involved. Another is adding a few dodge balls into the mix, encouraging the teams to target the other teams’ suiters, forcing them to move around or balloons to pop. The last, and possibly my favorite variation, is you can partially (or fully, who am I to limit you?) fill a few balloons with shaving cream, as occasionally balloons pop at all stages of the process, and the shaving cream spatters all over, though this works best in an outdoor or tile floor setting. To see our technique for filling the balloons with shaving cream, check out our post here.