Whack a cracker.

Everyone is lined up with their newspapers and ready to play our game!

Yes, this sounds like a mistake from the start, but I thought it would be fun. Here are the things I was thinking that would make this fun:

  • Preschoolers have short attention spans.
  • This group of kids likes to hit things – bonus points if that thing is a person.
  • Preschoolers have way too much energy and they needed to be worn out.
  • They needed a game that wasn’t too involved with too many rules (like tag).

So, born out of these things came “Whack a cracker.” It is actually something my mother-in-law did with the whole family (kids, adults and all) and they loved it. So I thought it would translate well.

Basically, the goal is to hit everyone else’s crackers and not get hit.

I gave the kids newspaper and the rule was, you had to hit with the newspaper and aim for the cracker. Surprisingly, this worked. No one hit anyone anywhere except towards where the crackers were. Newspapers (rolled up) were a lot less painful – pain free actually – than anything else.

Crackers are all tied onto the preschoolers and everyone is ready to run around for our game.

The kids ran around like maniacs screaming and yelling and having tons of fun.

No one cried about getting hit, no one cried about their crackers.

The funniest part was watching them run around and try to hit each other. At first they all clumped up in the middle of the yard all together. But then someone hit someone else’s cracker and they all watched it fall to pieces. Then, all of a sudden, they were running around and screaming like mad people. I was a little worried my neighbors might think something odd was going on around the house, but they should be used to the noise a bunch of preschoolers make by now.

It was a ton of fun watching them all run around the backyard with newspaper trying to whack crackers off each other!

It was a blast. It did meet all my goals. I had 6 sweaty kids at the end. They all drank their milk (and water) without a problem after that. I even set out a batch of ice cubes in a bowl that they happily played with for about 2 minutes. It was great. When it was time to come in, everyone was exhausted and they settled down to listen to some stories. It was a perfect game to have and play.

It helped that they were all about the same size and ability level. It also helped that no one tried to break the rules. If there had been any danger, I totally would have stopped it. But there was no harm in this so they enjoyed it.

And they finished off the game by trying to “collect” the cracker pieces and daring each other to eat them. That was a little gross, but a little dirt never hurt anyone.

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