Cover your nose in vaseline. Race as a relay team to transfer cotton wool balls from one end of the room to the other!


- A jar of vaseline or petroleum jelly
- Cotton balls: a bag of them. You will need about 10 per team
- Prizes for the winning team: a box or bag of sharing sweets
and this list, for each team
- Two plastic bowls: or plastic food containers
- A plate for the vaseline
- Face wipes to clean up with
- 2 tables
- Disposable cover for the tables

PLAYERS: 6 or more

AGES: 7 upwards

This game is super popular for both kids and adults: brilliant for Christmas and for Thanksgiving. We are playing it this weekend at my daughter’s 13th disco party.
You may have seen a version of it on "Minute to Win It”.
It’s good because it’s simple to setup, and a whole bag of fun!
Fab to play and also great for photographs and spectators.


This is easy to prepare for.

1 Do some math
Before the party, work out how many people you have, and rough team sizes.
Ideally you should have at least two teams of 4 to 10 people per team.
More teams is more fun, but needs more helpers.

Each team relays between two tables.

2 Set up the Cotton Ball tables
Set up a large table, (or a bunch of tables) at one end of the room, for the cotton balls.
For each team:
– Place a bowl of 10 cotton balls on the table
– Nearby, put some vaseline on a plate, ready for people to dip theirs noses into

3 Set up the Home tables
These “Home” tables are where the teams start from, and bring their cotton back to.
They should be a short run away from the Cotton Ball table.
Have space for the team to line up by their Home table.
Put an empty bowl on each Home table: to drop the cotton wool into.

4 Put out some wipes
Your guests will care about their looks!
Put out some face wipes for people to clean up with.


At the party, split up your people into equal teams. Easiest way to do this is to “number off”.
So for three teams, you would point at people in, and say Team 1, Team 2, Team 3, etc in sequence.

Line teams up in rows, standing by their Home table.

On the word go, the first player from each team

– runs to the Cotton Ball table, place hands behind their back
– dips their nose in the petroleum jelly / vaseline
– attempts to pick up a Cotton Ball with their nose only (no hands)
– runs back to their Home table, and place it into the empty bowl
– hands over to the next player.

The next player can only start once you’ve transferred a cotton ball.

If you drop a cotton ball you need to knell down and retrieve it with your nose.
First team to bring home all the cotton balls wins.


Make sure each bowl has the same number of cotton balls
Have a disposable tablecloth on the tables to simplify your clean up
Have a couple of helpers ready to assist, watch for any cheating 😉
Don't forget to take photos!

Here’s a great Youtube video of Cotton Ball Relay: