This 2-Stick Ball Run challenge is all about finding the right mix between balance and speed. It also encourages creativity to invent level-up challenges that keep your family entertained for screen-free time. You’ll even have opportunities to talk to your children about resilience, priorities, and balance (see below!).
What You’ll Need
Everything you need for this game comes from the Game Pantry!
- Empty paper towel rolls
- Empty toilet paper rolls
- Empty wrapping paper rolls (optional)
- Ping-Pong balls or small balls
How to Play
- Hold one paper-towel or toilet-paper roll in your hand, and then stack a ball and second roll on top.
- Race from a starting line to a finish line without dropping the ball or rolls.
- Drop a roll? Restart from where it dropped. Drop the ball? Restart at the beginning.
- The first player to cross the finish line wins!
- Combine different ball or roll sizes.
- Make an obstacle course involving movement in many directions.
- Have older players use paper-towel rolls (a little harder) while younger players use toilet-paper rolls.
- Create a team relay instead of having all players compete individually.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, try these challenges:
- Spin in circles.
- Climb the stairs.
- Balance the roll in the palm of your hand or place two fingers inside its center.
- Use wrapping-paper rolls for extra height.
- Stack two balls between three toilet-paper or paper-towel rolls.
Share with us! What other level-up challenges does your family come up with? Leave a comment down below to inspire other families!
Invite your family to play a special level-up challenge: see how far forward they can walk while balancing the ball and rolls without looking at them. (It likely won’t be very far!) Talk briefly about how when we try to balance multiple responsibilities in life, it’s important to stay focused on what we need to accomplish. If we let distractions pull our focus in a different direction, it will be hard to reach our goals. Is there anything you can do as a family to help one another stay focused on your goals?
Why This Activity Matters
Two reasons this game is worth playing:
- It’s great for reducing screen time or for days when the kids aren’t in the mood for family time. This game can start out as a 5-minute family activity (to help draw your family together without much up-front commitment) but quickly turn into much longer play! Once your family starts playing, they’ll likely want to keep playing for a while because they’ll want to try new tricks and level-up challenges. The game often leads to team play as well, where two or more people will need to work together to complete a trick (not just for a single-person balance challenge anymore!).
- This game is a great opportunity to teach resilience. For some children, this activity will be an extra challenge, and they may want to give up when they see their family members completing it before they do. If this happens, take a moment to talk about ways to keep going when times are hard; it doesn’t have to be a long discussion—just a 30–90-second reminder can be another drop in the bucket of reinforcing resilience.
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