Balloon Stomp Legacy


A variation on a noisy classic.


A relatively cumbersome preparation is much easier when you know the player count in advance. Mind that number of players as you will need as many:

  • balloons,
  • pieces of strings,
  • printed and cut out instructions from the top of the Pair Cues deck (as many pairs as pairs of players from the top),
  • if your player count is odd: a printed instruction from the bottom of the deck linked above.


The game is played without talking, establish three cues for communication (here with examples):

  • repeat (circling a forearm),
  • deny (waving an open "stop" hand),
  • success (thumbs up).

Establish the target zone, it will be an area where pairs will arrive in succession and stay in line to show the final results of the game.

Agree on a signal for starting (blowing the whistle is especially fitting), a group count down is good too.
Everyone, tie a balloon to your leg and spread around the room — the game may now start with a signal.

Gameplay instructions

The game has three stages and the progress is done as a race (not synchronized):
1) Get your instruction.
2) Find the partner (unless you are one "odd").
3) Go to target zone to score as a pair.

Instruction. To get your instruction you need to stomp on somebody else's balloon and get it from there. Fair play rules oblige. You shouldn't make body contact and you can't hold your balloon in your hands nor between the legs.

Finding the partner. Unless you are an odd player, someone in the room has an instruction that fits yours. Find that person. You can't talk and show your instruction, the allowed way is to try to realize your instructions together. Use the three defined cues to your advantage.

Success. If you are happy with the try, show a success cue to your partner. If you both show the success cue, go to the target zone.

Game end

For a smaller group (≤10 Players) play until every pair is found. For bigger groups, a set amount of pairs (for example 3 first places) will be enough.

(Scoring, optional:) The pair that arrives the first wins the game (equal two first places, individually). The win condition for an odd player is to arrive before the third pair, then the win is shared between three players.

Editor's notes

This activity is untied, variants appeared in education.

Photo used: "The Goat-Footed Balloonman Whistles Far And Wee" by Tom Waterhouse, CC BY-NC 2.0

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