Hungry Human Hippos Game ~ Perfect for youth groups or family reunions
Remember the game Hungry Hippos, we use to play it all the time when we were kids. It is plastic hippos that chomp the marbles, and who ever gets the most wins. We turned that fun board game into a real life HUNGRY HUMAN HIPPOS GAME. We did this as a youth group activity at church, but it would be great for a family reunion or party as well.
That you need to play the game:
- Tape for the start line as well as a big X in the middle of the room
- Skate boards, scooters, furniture dolly or something with wheels to roll on
- Laundry Basket, or large plastic bucket we got ours at Dollar Tree
- Pad to put on top of scooter (optional)
- Plastic Balls or balloons
- Other items you might find helpful – marker to write numbers on kids hands to put them into teams. Stop watch to keep track each round. Chalk board to keep score. Whistle or horn to blow to end each round. Large broom to round up the balls. Treats for the winning team.
You can play this game indoors or outdoors, you will just have to modify it a little if you play outside. Split up into 4 teams. To stage the game you will need to put a piece of tape down in each corner of the room, this will act as your start line. You will also want to make a large X in the middle of the room, this is where you go to gather the balls. Teams start with one member laying belly down on the board, and another member of the team holding their legs.
Split up into 4 teams. Each round will last two minutes. Each team will start in their corner behind the tape line. One player with lay down on the scooter holding the basket and act as the hippos mouth to try and drag back as many balls as they can. Another player on that same team will push and pull the player laying on the scooter by their legs to help them get the balls. They will push their teammate on their scooter in a straight line to the middle of the gym (to the x in the middle of the floor), then pull that player back to their starting corner.
Once you are back to your corner you mush SWITCH people, and start with a new person on the scooter and a new person to push and pull them. You may ONLY use the basket to gather the balls, no hands or arms may be used to gather the balls. At the end of the two minute mark count up the balls that your team “chomped” or gathers as hungry hippos. Each two minute round you rotate stations so each team will play at all 4 stations over the period of the game. This will help keep it fair, in case one set of wheels or basket works better than another.
You can add BONUS balls for extra points. For example pick out 5 balls and add a gold star on them, these bonus balls will be worth an extra 5 points each!
* Remember fingers up off the ground to try and prevent them from getting rolled on. Helmets are not required but not a bad idea since you are going head first towards 3 other people.
This game can be played with balloons if you do not have Plastic Balls. But the balloons tend to pop and will not work for outside very good. If you do use balloons you will need a LOT of them so plan to have everyone playing the game blow up several of them. When we played we had 400 balls in the middle of the gym floor, it didn’t feel like very many balls in such a big gym but seemed to be about the perfect amount for a 2 minute round.
We found that a large sweeper broom worked great to gather the balls back up after each round. If you are playing this game in a church, most of them will have a large broom like this already in the building. If you are playing this game on carpet a large plastic rake works well too.
We also found that making the kids go in a straight line towards the X and a straight back was the safest way to go. When we let them run all over the gym, they ended up tripping over each other and we had several collisions. Have fun, be safe and hope you kids have as much fun with this game as we did!
More Family Reunion Ideas:
Outdoor games for summer party or family reunion
DIY ~ t-shirt using a stencil perfect for family reunions
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