What it is: A lung-powered cross between air hockey and ping-pong, played around a table

Best for: 4 to 8 players, divided into two teams, and any age

What you need:

  • A table big enough for all your players to gather around
  • A ping-pong ball
  • A drinking straw for each player (optional)

How to play: First, set up your playing area. Divide the table in half, one half for each team. If your table has a seam down the middle, that’s nice and convenient. You could also use a strip of masking tape. Then have your players surround the table. You want players’ heads to be at table level, so the best way to do this is have players kneel around the table. Young children might stand. If you’re using a coffee table, maybe players could sit.

If you don’t have enough players to completely surround the table, stack books or lay another type of barrier across the open sides.

Once you have your teams assigned and your players in place, put the ping-pong ball in the middle of the table and say “go.”

The object of the game is to blow the ping-pong ball off the opposing team’s side of the table. So everyone bends down, takes a deep breath, and blows! The ping-pong ball will shoot around the table, being blown around until it sneaks past a player onto the floor. That player’s team loses the round, the other team gets a point, and a new round can start.

You can let players blow into straws (thick smoothie straws work especially well) if you want to let them more precisely direct the direction of their blowing. No straws works just fine, too. Try both ways and see which one you like more.

One rule: Players are not allowed to touch the table at all. So no hands on the table, and no pressing your body against the edge of the table to keep the ping pong ball from falling. (If you find the game too difficult this way, you can modify the rules to fit your players.)

It’s a game so fun, it will take your breath away! (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.) Seriously, though, it can involve a lot of exhaling. Make sure no one passes out! (Though I often end up laughing so hard I can’t blow the ping pong ball anyway!)

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