Silly String is a children's toy that shoots a long string of colored resin from a can. The string is slightly tacky, but will not stick and will shoot up to 12 feet. Silly String has been used to save lives. American troops in Iraq use the stuff to detect tripwires; they spray the stuff down corridors, where it hangs over any wires that may be attached to bombs. At home, it has a much sillier use: as a fun part of many games.
This game works best when you have a group of people and is fun for adults as well as children. You will need one can of Silly String for each person, and some paper or plastic plates. Place a paper plate around eight feet away from each person. Each person then holds a can of Silly String between their knees and tries to shoot the string onto the plate, moving their knees to improve their aim. They can only touch the can with one finger to press the trigger. The one who gets the most string on her plate is the winner.
This Silly String game works well at children's parties where you have a large outdoor space. It is a normal game of tag, but the person who is “it” is armed with a can of Silly String. One person is chosen as “it.” The goal is for the person who is “it” to hit another person with the string. Once he does, that person is “it” and takes the can. The game can continue until everyone is covered in Silly String.
This Silly String game is similar to paintball, but uses Silly String instead of expensive paintball guns and paint. It works for large groups of older children or adults, but requires a large outdoor space, such as a park, to play in. Place a flag or another object in one area of the park. The goal is for one team to capture the flag. Divide players into teams. The teams have five or 10 minutes to take up their positions. They then attempt to capture the flag and shoot members of the opposing teams with string. Once a player has been “shot” she is out of the game.
Although Silly String is often best used outside, where there is more room, you can also use Silly String games to prevent boredom on a rainy day. Place a sheet or large piece of paper on the floor, and use Silly String to play a giant game of tic-tac-toe on the paper. If you have several different colors of Silly String, you can draw Silly String pictures. Place a large piece of paper on the floor and challenge each person to use the string to draw a picture of an animal or object that you name. You can also draw an outline and have children color it in using Silly String.
Since graduating with a degree in biology, Lisa Magloff has worked in many countries. Accordingly, she specializes in writing about science and travel and has written for publications as diverse as the "Snowmass Sun" and "Caterer Middle East." With numerous published books and newspaper and magazine articles to her credit, Magloff has an eclectic knowledge of everything from cooking to nuclear reactor maintenance.