This game is best suited to elementary children in grades 3-6. Younger children do not always get the strategy involved in playing this game, although they do enjoy chasing each other!
This game can be played inside or outside. The only equipment it requires is the “bacon.” The bacon can be anything – a beanbag, glove, hat, keys. It’s a great choice to play as a last-minute game or emergency game because you can use basically anything you have on hand to be the bacon.
The object of Steal the Bacon is take the “bacon” back to your own side without being caught.
In this game, the kids are split into two teams. The players of each team are numbered, starting with the number one. Every player will have one player from the opposing team whose number matches their own.
They form two opposing lines and place the bacon in the exact center between them.
The leaders then calls out a number. The players on each side who are assigned that number are the players for that round. No other team members leave their side of the field.
Neither player may touch the other until someone touches the bacon. Once a player touches the bacon however, the other player may tag him/her.
If a player is able to grab the bacon and carry it back over to his/her own side, that team scores a point.
If a player is tagged after touching the bacon and before he/she returns their own side, the team that tagged him/her scores a point.
Note that the sequence of play usually involves the two kids running out and hovering over the bacon, waiting for a slight advantage to grab it and run back before the other player can react.
The game is over when a predetermined number of points are scored, or when all numbers have been called.
VARIATION: The leader can call more than one number, in which case several players from each side participate. When playing this variation, make sure players know if they can tag any player on the opposing team or only the player on the other team that they share a number with.
Reasons Why I Love this Game:
- All children play at the same time. No one is left out. You never know when your number is going to be called.
- It is easy to learn and simple to play, yet involves some strategy which is fun to watch.
- It is extremely versatile – it can be played almost anywhere, requires one piece of equipment (that can actually be anything to hand), and can be played with almost any number of children.
- I love watching kids eying each other up and trying to figure out when the other is going to make a move.
- If you have a larger group of kids, you can have 2 games going on simultaneously.