I first played this game at a young adult retreat in Texas, and I’ve been hard-pressed to find a more fun use for pool noodles. This is a great game as a high energy introduction activity, a one-on-one upfront game or a giant free for all. It’s not a leadership developing game or a team-building game, it doesn’t develop better communication skills or provide an illustration for the Holy Spirit, The Great Commission or the Easter Bunny. It’s just stinkin’ fun, which is something we should be doing a little bit more of.
Each youth will need a pool noodle (full length, thin) and something small like a paper cup. The first time I played this, we used a noodle cut into 2 inch sections, which is pretty ideal, but on a moment’s notice, you can use a paper cup or an empty soda can. The youth will balance the cup/can/noodle chunk on their flat palm, though I have used the back of the hand sometimes, to discourage cheating. The goal is to make sure that cup/can/noodle chunk stays balanced on their hand and not knocked off by another person’s noodle, all while also trying to knock other people’s cup/can/noodle chunk off of their hands. Youths cannot hold, cup or grab their cup/can/noodle chunk, only balance it. Rounds very in length depending on the size of the group, the noodle-wielding skills of the group, how aggressive or bashful a group is, etc.
There are lots of add-ons and modifications, some of the ones I’ve used is filling the cups with water, creating an added bonus to knocking the cup over, filling the cups with water AND having the youth balance the cups on their heads – those were pretty quick rounds with lots of accidental cup falls, and having each youth wear an eye patch during the game, which gives everyone a blind side, creating a new level of difficulty and paranoia. But don’t stop there – there are plenty of other ways to amp up this already crazy activity, experiment!