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The Bag Game

There’s videos of this on YouTube to see it in action, where it will undoubtedly make more sense.

Alternatively, you can scroll down for a list of rules — reading through that may make more sense than here in paragraph form.

Take a paper (grocery) bag and place it on the floor, opened like you are about to put things into it.

Take turns trying to bend down, picking the bag up and standing back upright. 

The catch?   You have to use only your mouth to pick up the bag!   You cannot touch it with any other body part except your mouth – picking it up with your teeth or lips.


If you make it, the next person takes their turn. 
If you are unable to pick it up AND stand back up fully erect on the first try, you can try again twice more (for a total of three attempts) before you are “out” of the game.

When everyone has taken their turn, cut an inch or so off the top of the bag, shortening it.  Now everyone (Who is not yet “out”) tries again at this new height, again taking up to three tries to pick up the bag.  

Eventually, the winner is the last one able to pick up the bag and all others will have been eliminated from the game.

The other catch?  From the moment you start your turn, you must stand on one foot.  If any other body part touches the floor during that attempt, the attempt is immediately over (and if it was your third attempt at this bag height, you are out of the game).  Once your try/attempt is over, you can rest and put both feet on the floor.  But once that next try starts, back on one foot!

Please use common sense with this game!   
Obviously there is plenty of opportunity for injury here – falling on your face, etc.  I personally have not witnessed any injuries (usually people manage to catch themselves before face planting) but the potential is definitely there!  
We also move all the furniture back out of the way and almost always play in a carpeted room.


Saying it as a list of rules may make more sense:

  1. When it is your turn, you have three attempts to pick up the bag.
  2. You can only use your mouth to pick up the bag.
  3. You must be able to stand back up straight with the bag still in your mouth for the attempt to count as successful (in other words standing halfway back up before falling over does not count).
  4. You must stand on one foot for the duration of the attempt.  If any other part of your body touches the floor, that attempt is over.   
    Note:  You can stand with one foot atop the other, as long as only one foot is touching the ground.
  5. You may rest (on both feet) between attempts.  The group can decide what is a reasonable time to rest.  Suggestion: one minute.
  6. If you were unable to pick up the bag within your three attempts, you are out of the game.
  7. At the end of your turn, the next person takes their turn.
  8. If you still have players left in the game (successful at picking up the bag at this height) when this round is done, cut an inch or so off the top of the bag.
  9. Thus starts the next round at the new (lower) bag height.  Each player remaining in the game gets a turn (another 3 attempts) at the new height.
  10. Repeat until all but one player have been eliminated.
  11. If two or more players were successful at the last height, but none of them can get the bag at the new height, you can opt to allow a tie, allow more attempts for each player, or come up with an alternate way to break the tie. 
    Suggestion:  Take less off the height of the bag after each round when there are only a few players left and if they are all struggling.