Maddie organized a game night, and Hot Potato was one of the games. We used a very real-looking potato from this Melissa & Doug set and played this song (search “salsa freeze dance”) on YouTube (also embedded below), which has built-in stops so everyone can play. There are many choices on YouTube, but Joseph was doing the searching, so you know nothing with lyrics or remotely identifiable was going to be played. (The kid sticks to gunslinger ballads, electronica, jazz, and actually has a playlist of YouTube rights-free audio files.)

The rules start out simple:

  1. Pass the potato and if you have it when the music stops, you’re out.
  2. Repeat forever because the kids never get tired of it.

As you play, you will find you have to enhance the rules:

  1. No pegging the potato.
  2. No deliberate bad tosses.
  3. No volleyball-style spiking the potato.
  4. If you throwing the potato past someone it counts as you having it (and thus getting out if the music stops) until they get it.
  5. No licking the potato.

When they needed a break to move around, we played freeze dance using the same music. Normally, if you move you’re out, but they were fine with a simple dance/freeze rotation and everyone stayed in and no one cried for getting out. Win!