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Stick & Bottle
Sweetie Treasure Chase
Apple Bobbing and Sweet Dunking
Balloons Within Balloons
Autumn Hide and Seek
Conker Bowling
Tom Thumb Garden
Baby BBQ
Poppy People
Mini-Cooked Breakfast
French Cricket
Fizzy Drink Splutter
One-Metre Safari
Bubble Gum Competition
Whittle a Toasting Fork
Cream Chase and Shoot
Let Rip with the Hose
Flying Bubbles
Giant Bubbles
XXXtra Strong Bubble Mix
Geyser Gush

Balloons Within Balloons

Jane: In our downstairs loo, there’s a pile of Mal’s old secondhand books I’ve always ignored. But a while back when we were talking about old party activities we used to play, he pulled out one of these tattered tomes and handed it to me triumphantly. It was a 1960s book full of daft party games for adults and children - the sort you just know, no excuses, you're going to have to try out. So yesterday we had a go at Balloons within Balloons, a slightly more complicated version of balloon popping, with a group of Maudie's friends.

First we had to blow up two balloons, one inside the other – which thankfully is less complicated than it sounds. We’d bought strong balloons the same size but in contrasting colours. It’s easier if you blow them up a little first to stretch the rubber, then let the air out. Push one balloon inside the other, leaving the neck of the inner balloon protruding. Blow up the inner balloon three-quarters full, then tie it at the neck. This needs a lot of puff – I could do it, but the kids found it tough. Then we blew up the outer balloon to full capacity, and tied them at the neck. We made eight of these double balloons, which took a while – when the children got bored, they ran off to find a sharp stick each, with which they would later burst the balloons.

When we were ready, the kids divided into pairs. One person threw up a balloon, the other prodded it with the stick so only the outer balloon popped. This demanded quite a lot of skill and they found themselves chasing their balloon around the park, which was funny (they probably needed sharper sticks but we hadn’t brought a penknife). Although you know what’s going to happen, it’s still extraordinary to see a balloon pop and instantly see another in the air in front of you of an entirely different colour. We scored five points for each outer balloon you burst, with two points deducted if you popped both. The first team to reach a score of 15 wins.

The verdict: this an entertaining game, engrossing to play and funny to watch, that you could also play indoors in a party venue – just mind those sharp sticks.