What it is: A quiet, low-activity big-group game of speed

Best for: Older kids and up, and at least 10 players

What you need:

  • A dice
  • Two balloons

How to play: Divide your players into two even teams. Have one team sit cross-legged on the floor in a line, side by side, creating one long line. Have your second team sit the same way, with their backs to the first team’s backs. So you should have two parallel lines, one line for each team, with their backs to each other.

Next everyone holds hands with the two teammates on either side of them. Go to one end of the lines where each team will have an end person. Say, for example, Team 1 has Nicolas and Team 2 has Inez. Give Nicolas and Inez each a balloon to hold in their free hand. They should hold the balloon in their hand but keep their hand and balloon down on the ground beside them, not in their lap.

Go to the other end of the lines, which will be the starting point. Eric on Team 1 and Louise on Team 2 are there. You as referee sit next to Eric and Louise with a dice in your hand. Start rolling the dice, making sure to hold it where only Eric and Louise (by turning their heads) can see it.

As soon as you roll a 1, Eric and Louise each squeeze their teammates’ hand. Those teammate number 2s will pass the squeeze on to the player next to them, and so on and so on down the line, until, like an electric current, Nicolas and Inez will feel their hands squeezed.

As soon as Nicolas or Inez feels a squeeze, he or she holds up their balloon high as quickly as possible. The first team to raise their balloon wins. (You as referee make the call.)

Have everyone rotate (so Eric and Louise would move to the end of the line, holding the balloons, and those teammate number 2s move up to be the first in line, the players watching the dice). Then go again.

That’s your gameplay! Play until each player has had a chance to be both the balloon-holder and the dice-watcher, then tally up each team’s points and declare a winner!

One rule is no talking is allowed. Players should not be clued in that an electric current has started before it reaches them. (So Eric and Louise should refrain from gasping in excitement if the referee rolls a 1.)

Variations: Instead of rolling a dice, you could also flip a coin. When it lands on heads, the first players start passing the squeeze down.

And instead of having players hold up balloons, you could put only one hand-sized object, like a water bottle or a tennis ball, at the end of the line, equidistant from Nicolas and Inez. Whichever of them grabs and holds up the tennis ball first wins.

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