Exploding Straws
All you need is straws.
Just be sure you use the straight straws. You DON’T want the ones that bend.

Cut each straw in half.

Each person needs their own half straw.

Have each person stand in a circle facing inward. Have them place one finger pointing out on each hand. One hand faces up holding a straw; the other hand is on top of another straw facing down so that each person is working with the people at his or her sides to hold two straws. The people cannot touch the sides of the straws. Just the tops and bottoms of the straws with the tip of one finger.

Explain to your family that you are scientists that work in a lab. The lab stores nitroglycerin in test tubes (your straws.) While someone was walking through the lab, they tripped and all the test tubes went flying. You jumped to catch them (which is why they are in your hands now). You had to catch them this way because the sides are fragile and if you touch the sides, the tubes will break and explode.

It is great that you caught the tubes, but you can’t actually put them down until you have all turned outward. As a group, you need to turn around so you end up facing outward. You need to do this without dropping the straws or touching the sides of the straws. Otherwise, the test tubes explode and you have to start all over again.

The entire circle needs to stay connected to one another with their straws. While they are turning around.

This game is not only fun, but a great way for your family to work together, practice communicating and learn to be a team player.

Need even more challenge? Make everyone play without talking, or blindfold one of your family members.


Heather Ann

Homemaker, wife and mother. My husband and I have five children. On the side I am an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University where I received a Masters Degree in Youth and Family Recreation. Three times a week I endeavor to teach college students the importance of families doing things together. Then I come home and try to figure out how to implement what I just taught. Believe me I know, It is a lot easier said than done. I used to speak French, wish I could dance, and will almost always choose fruity over chocolate.  

Heather is the author of Family Volley, where writes about parenting, motherhood and relationships.