How You Can Have Your Own 'Human Hungry Hippos' FHE

by | Mar. 03, 2015


In a recent Church activity, the Syracuse Bluff YSA Ward went all out, creating a human version of the beloved childhood game "Hungry, Hungry Hippos." Latter-day Saint Tanner Nielson was on the scene to document the fun and the success of the game—just check out the video:

"I’ve been making videos of most of our activities," Nielson explains, "just because I want to increase the attendance at our activities. And it has worked AMAZINGLY."

His movies have done more than just increase activity attendance in Nielson's ward—the "Human Hungry Hippos" movie has all but gone viral this week, with thousands of people, including nonmembers, sharing the fun video with friends. "Now I see how much my efforts can affect not only those in my ward boundaries, but those of the world," he says. "I think the biggest message I want people to take away from this video: look at how much fun you can have without alcohol!"

Want to do this fun and exciting activity yourself? Here's what Nielson says you'll need:

  • 4 furniture dollies 
    • Nielson's tip: "We borrowed ours from a local furniture store, or you could get them from Harbor Freight for $11 a piece."
  • 4 ropes 
    • Nielson's tip: "Length varies depending on the size of the room where you are playing."
  • 4 cheap laundry baskets
  • 200 balloons 
    • Nielson's tip: "They will pop!"
  • 20 smaller balls 
    • Nielson's tip: "If you look closely in the video, you can see smaller balls as well. These counted for 5 points instead of 1.
  • 4 helmets (safety first!)
  • 4 couch cushions, to place on top of the furniture dollies
  • Painter's tape

You'll also need to do a little prep work, which Nielson estimates will take about 30 minutes:

  • Blow up the balloons!
  • Put down the tape to mark where each group's corner is

And don't forget to set some ground rules:

  • No leaving your team area (unless you're on your team's dolly of course)
  • No turning the basket upside down 
  • No stealing balloons from team areas
  • Play in 2-minute intervals
  • Teams get 1 point for every balloon and 5 points for every ball
  • Tally points at the end of each round for that round's winner
  • Keep track of team points across multiple rounds for an overall winner

Additional concerns Nielson outlines include having those with long hair tie it back to keep it from getting caught in the dollies, and also watch out for your fingers underneath those wheels!

He also recommends having a spiritual thought accompany the game about how we can each be "spiritually fed."

For more videos of fun activities (Nielson records many of his ward's weeknight gatherings), you can subscribe to his YouTube channel here

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