Family Games for the Summer Holidays

Studio 5 Contributor, Kiersten Blanchard, reveals four family favorites to keep everybody entertained from dinner to fireworks.

Minute to Win It – Home Edition

With supplies that are often found around the house, the fun television show is the perfect last minute addition to your barbeque. There are seventy-five games (with instructions and supplies needed) listed on the following website:

Here are a few favorites:

• Junk in the Trunk

• Elephant March

• Bite Me

• Dizzy Mummy

• Penny Hose

• Face the Cookie

• Sticky Situation

The contestants of the show have time to practice. If several attempts fail to produce a winner, you may want to increase the time a little bit – or just go for the contestant with the best time.

Marshmallow Tag

Using a bit of PVC pipe and some miniature marshmallows, give the old game of tag a new twist your family will never forget!


• Plastic PVC pipe (1/2-inch diameter)

• 2-90 degree elbow pipe connectors

• Pipe cutter

• Mini marshmallows

• String

How to make it and play:

1. Cut the straight pipe into an 8-inch, and 2 4-inch lengths. (These don’t have to be exact)

2. Attach the 2 elbows to one of the 4-inch pipes, pointing opposite directions. Attach the remaining two pipes to each of the elbows.

3. Set a perimeter for the game using a rope or string.

4. The person who is “it” will take must tag somebody else with a marshmallow by blowing it through the shooter. Once someone is hit, that person becomes “it.”


You can make a single shooter (and wipe off the mouth piece between users) or make shooters for each player to be used only when they are “it.” A fun variation requiring several shooters is a war. Divide into two teams. Each team shoots at the opposing team. When a player is hit, they must fall down. The team with the last person standing wins.

Balloon Stomp

This is a simple competition with a lot of POP. Keep your own balloon (tied to your ankle) from popping while popping everybody else’s. Don’t forget to capture the fun on a camera.


• 1 balloon for each player (blow them up ahead of time)

• 1 piece of yarn for each player (cut these ahead of time to uniform length)


Have players tie one end of their string to the balloon and the other end to their leg. The longer the piece of yarn, the harder it is to keep the balloon close to you. You can give players two lives by starting each player with a balloon attached to each leg.

Ice Cream Toss

This year, skip listening to the endless whir of the ice cream maker. Instead, try shaking things up a bit. A few simple ingredients in a bag and less than ten minutes of tossing are all you need to make homemade ice cream.

This homemade, creamy treat is almost as fun to make as it is to eat.


• 1 tablespoon sugar

• 1/2 cup milk or half & half

• 1/4 teaspoon vanilla

• 6 tablespoons rock salt

• 1 pint-size Ziploc food storage bag

• 1 gallon-size Ziploc food storage bag

• Ice cubes

• Plastic spoons for tasting

How to make it:

1. Measure milk, vanilla, and sugar into the small bag, and seal it.

2. Fill the gallon-size bag half full of ice; add the rock salt.

3. Place the (sealed) small bag inside the large one, and seal it carefully.

4. Throw the bag around a circle until the mixture is ice cream, which takes about 5-10 minutes.

5. Wipe off the top of the small bag; open it carefully. (It will be soft) Enjoy!


This recipe will make about 1 scoop of ice cream, so double the recipe if you want more. Don’t increase the proportions more than that. For more ice cream, make add more bags to your toss. If you’d like a different flavor, use different extracts. You can also add-in treats to complete the ice cream. (Anybody for crushed Oreos?) As the ice melts, it may leak a little.

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