With this game, a few things are guaranteed; you will laugh, get some exercise, and anyone who tries to walk through the center of your ‘balloon swat circle’ will get a playful swat (likely on the rear end) from at least one of the residents.
Oh, and I should warn you that the sweet little lady who you think is going to barely make contact with the balloon, is likely to be that one resident who is going to smack it so hard you’d think she was competing for a spot in the Olympics.
How to play:
-Have the residents sit in a big circle, making sure to leave a fair amount of space in between them. Residents tend to get excited, and competitive during this game.
-Hand each resident a fly swatter.
-Place yourself, standing, in the middle of the circle.
-Using your fly swatter, hit the balloon to a random resident, and hope that they aren’t going to smack you dead in the face with the balloon on the first pass of the game.
-You may need to keep the balloon going the entire game, or if you are playing with higher functioning residents, they may be able to keep the balloon going on their own for the most part, leaving you vulnerably dodging balloons in the middle of the circle. This only makes the game more enjoyable for the residents that are impatiently waiting for their turn to swat the balloon.
-Make sure to use colourful balloons to make it easier for the residents to keep track of.
-Warning: The balloon might pop, and when it does, it will scare the daylights out of you, and all of the other players. It won’t happen when sweet little Doris pummels you with the balloon as hard as she can though, so be ready, because that thing is going to pop extremely loudly, and completely unexpectedly, one of the times when it delicately touches the floor. So, make sure to bring back up balloons for when this happens.
Some great things about this activity:
-It is extremely affordable. (all you need are balloons, and fly swatters.)
-It is a great alternative during flu season, because unlike regular ‘balloon toss,’ no one is actually touching the balloon, and unintentionally spreading germs as a result.
-It is nice for residents with limited range of movement in their arms, as they only have to be able to move their wrist to hit the balloon with the fly swatter.
-Residents who are not physically capable of playing the game, still have a great time watching the chaos unfold.
I highly recommend you give this game a try, whether it’s one on one, or in a group setting, it’s a whole lot of fun!