Hungry, Hungry Hippos… The Human Edition

You’ve probably seen the videos. It’s all the rage.. HUMAN HUNGRY HUNGRY HIPPOS. Remember that game from way back when?

Hungry, Hungry Hippos

Well, it’s back. And people have taken it to a whole new level. Just think of the board game, but in human form. So, in order not to miss out on the fun, we hopped aboard the bandwagon and whipped up a version of our own for Youth Group!


If you’re looking to try it with your group, here’s what we did:


We created a “ring” to contain all of the balls (aka. “hippo food”) during play. Essentially, we dragged a bunch of folding tables (on their sides) into a circle and left an opening for each team to shoot their “hippo” in and out of. After that, dump whatever you will be using as “food” (more on that in a second) into the middle and you’re good to go!

Human Hungry Hungry Hippos


Each team got a scooter with a piece of rope attached to the handle, a bucket to capture the “food” (this would be the equivalent of the hippo’s mouth), and a basket to corral all of the “food” that the team captures. In addition to this, we purchased 200 ball pit balls (like the kind at McDonald’s that you played in when you were little). Here’s where you can find each item:

  • Scooters- S&S Worldwide
  • Rope- Dollar Store
  • Bucket- Dollar Store (Definitely go cheap with these- we destroyed 5 of them, which was fine because they were only $1 each!)
  • Basket- Dollar Store
  • Ball Pit Balls- Amazon (I’ve also seen versions that just use balloons, so that’s an option too if you’re trying to cut costs)

IMG_3214Human Hungry Hungry Hippos


Divide group into teams- we tried to keep it between 3-5 people per team. On each team, there should be a “hippo”, 1-2 pushers/pullers, and a ball person. We encouraged students to switch between roles so that everyone got a shot at doing everything. The Hippo would lay on his or her stomach on the scooter, holding the bucket with the open side down. On “GO”, the pushers/pullers would push the Hippo into the middle of the ring. The Hippo captures their colored “food” by putting the bucket down on top of the balls. We had a rule that once the bucket was down, you couldn’t lift it back up to re-position and get more balls- your team had to pull you back in with whatever you got. The pushers/pullers than pull the Hippo back, using the rope. The ball person sorts the captured “food”. Any balls of their own color they would keep (this is where those extra baskets came in handy) and any colors that weren’t theirs would be thrown back into the pit. And then the process would start over. The winning team would be the first to capture all of their “food” in the allotted time.

Human Hungry Hungry Hippos


We changed the rules up each round to keep it interesting. Here are a few ways you could play:

  • Teams have to capture all of their color. First to do that wins, or team with the most after a certain amount of time wins.
  • Make all-girl teams and all-boy teams. Each team is still capturing their own color, but their total contributes to a girl vs. boy grand total.
  • Teams are going after any color. The team with the most after all the balls are cleared from the pit wins.
  • Teams are going after any color, but only their color counts toward their score. Team with the most of their own color at the end wins. There could definitely be some strategy and sabotage in this version!

However you play, I can assure you one thing. You might never laugh so hard in your entire life. We had such a fun time playing this and my abs were sore from laughing so much. There were train wrecks, crashes, and people flying into the walls… thankfully, no one is going so fast that any real damage is done. At least, none that I have heard about so far… :) The kids have reported some bruises, but they had such a blast that I don’t think they really care. And truthfully, bruises kind of come with the territory. #youthministry

Here’s a clip of just how much fun we had with this game. Enjoy!

Hope you have a GREAT rest of your day! Make sure to come back tomorrow because we’ve got something to share… the plans for our next adventure (2015 Thomas Family Vacation, baby!) are well underway! I can’t tell you what it is yet, but here’s a hint: let’s just say, the club can’t handle us.

Any guesses? No? You’ll just have to wait and see… Ooo, secrets! :)


  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I can’t wait to do this with our kiddos. Be blessed!!

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