"Wind the Clock" Water Balloon Toss

Can the players catch the balloons and keep them circulating around the clock?
Buckets of pre-filled water balloons
5 hula hoops

1. Have all the players form one big circle.
2. Place a hula hoop in the center of the circle. Place the buckets of water balloons in the center.
3. Designate a "time keeper." Have them stand in the central hula hoop.
4. Define your "clock." Place a hula hoop over one player in the circle; they are now 12:00
5. Directly across the entire circle from the 12:00 time zone, place another hula hoop. This is the 6:00.
6. Lay out the remaining hula hoops as you would a clock, creating the 3:00 and 9:00.
7. Make sure everyone knows where the different time zones are located.

How to Play

1. The time keeper yells out a time and throws a water balloon to that time. For example, he or she may yell, "12:00!" The time keeper would then underhand toss a water balloon to the player standing in the 12:00 time zone.
2. Once the balloon has been caught (the time keeper keeps throwing them until the player catches it) the 12:00 player tosses the water balloon to the next player in the circle in a clockwise direction. Players keep passing the water balloon around the clock, going as fast as they can.
3. If a player drops the balloon, they must sit down in their spot. The only exceptions are the players in the hula hoops.
4. At any time, the time keeper can call out another time zone (e.g., 3:00, 6:00, or 9:00), and add another water balloon. Play continues as in step 2.
5. Continue playing until the only players left are the 4 time zones. Once only those 4 are left, they may be eliminated if they drop their balloons.
6. Play until only 1 player is left besides the time keeper.


Once folks have the hang of this you can add some extra twists. Play stays the same as above, just add these elements in...
1. Wind the clock: This allows you to switch up those folks playing the time zones. At any time, the time keeper can yell out "Wind the clock!" Everyone in the circle moves one space clockwise. Everyone moves, even those people who are already out. If someone who is out moves into a time zone, they stand up and become the time zone.
2. On the quarter hour: The time keeper can call out times such as "12:15;" at which point he will throw the water balloon to 12:00. Upon catching the water balloon, 12:00 will then toss the balloon to 3:00 (which would be the 15 minute mark). Once the player at 3:00 catches the balloon, they continue the balloon pass in the normal, standard, way. Make sure all of your players understand the basics of telling time, or this version will become too complicated for them!
3. Go back in time: If the time keeper yells out "Go back in time!" the players begin tossing the balloons in a counter-clockwise direction. When the time keeper yells "Go forward in time!" play resumes to the normal direction (clockwise). This can get very confusing, so make sure your players are pros at the game before adding this element.
4. Use big sponges or sponge balls and a big bucket of water instead of water balloons. The time keeper will just need to wet them really well each time!


1. You may want to put some "ringers" in the time zones, otherwise you might spend all day stuck in one time zone.
2. The time keeper needs to keep things moving. As soon as it's clear that the water balloon is moving along, the time keeper should yell out a new time.
3. Have a couple adult helpers on the outside of the clock encouraging the correct direction of the passes, acknowledging when someone is out and needs to sit down, etc.
4. Be sure to look at our downloadable diagram to further explain game play!

Activity Length
15 - 30 minutes
Either/or (can be played either way)
Attention, please! (a few rules to follow)
Mess Factor
Dustpan, please
Noise Level
Number of Players
10 to 20
As many as you can handle!
Prep Time
20 minutes or more
Team Division
Every man for himself (individual players)