How to Plan A Messy Game Day


Anyone who has ever been on a camp or retreat has likely experienced the visceral thrill of a messy game in which players tussle amid gallons of mud, whipped cream, slime, oil or food. These free-for-alls are not difficult to plan, and many of them work well for outdoor parties.

Messy Party Prep

  • If throwing a messy party, mention in your invitations that guests are likely to get messy and request that they wear clothing they don't mind staining. Place a layer of tarp over the room in which the games are held, removing furniture and other valuable items. Provide protective goggles for each guest. Fill a box with spare garments for players to change into when their clothes get too messy.

Whipped Cream Games

  • Plan a couple of messy food games using only spoons, whipped cream and jelly beans. In one game, players are given a mountain of whipped cream topped by a single jelly bean. As in the game “Jenga,” they must take turns poking away at the foundation with their spoons, a piece at a time. When the mountain crumbles, the player responsible dives in and attempts to locate and eat the jelly bean using only his mouth. In a variation, the first player to locate all 10 jelly beans hidden within a messy mountain of cream wins a prize.

Games with Eggs

  • For the “egg blanket game,” split a group into two teams, giving each team a blanket with an egg on it. With players holding the blankets at each corner, both teams must try to bounce their egg onto the other team’s blanket without breaking it. Once this is done, the teams switch eggs again so that they end up with their original eggs. Both teams win if, at the end of the game, the eggs have returned to their first owners without being broken. If a team in possession of an egg accidentally breaks it, that team loses points and a replacement egg must be introduced. In an "egg roulette” game, enough eggs are provided for each player in a group. All eggs are boiled except one, but the raw egg and boiled eggs are placed on a table together. On the leader’s signal, each person grabs an egg and smashes it against his forehead, quickly revealing the unlucky player who chose the raw egg.

Slip-and-Slide Games

  • Fashion a homemade slip-and-slide using a tarp covered with messy items like milk, oil, dry cereal, shaving cream and pasta noodles. Play a “slip-and-slide grab game” in which a dozen balls are placed along the slide and teams or individuals must take turns sliding across it, attempting to grab and hold onto as many of the balls as they can. If you have two tarps, split the group into teams and have the players compete against each other. Then have the teams play the slip-and-slide relay in which a large trash can is placed at the end of the tarp and players slide down the tarp armed with a small trash can or barrel. Each player attempts to scoop up the various items on the tarp as they go and place them in the can at the other end. The first team to completely clean its tarp wins.

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