How to play Steal the Bacon

A simple game with many variations, the Game of the Week is… Steal the Bacon!

Group Size: 

 Any size

Age Group: 

 Pre K/K

 Grades 1-2

 Grades 3-5

Length of Activity: 

 10 minutes or more

Developmental Goal: 

 To develop teamwork, listening skills and number recognition.



 Tennis Ball or other item

Before You Start: 
Skills Practiced: Running, body and spatial awareness, following directions and evasion.
Equipment Needed: Any object or ball (rubber chicken, cone, tennis ball, etc) to be the “bacon.”
  • Describe the rules and demonstrate running into the center, grabbing the “bacon”, and running it across their team’s goal line (one at each end of the playing area). 
  • Ask the students to describe the rules of the game back to you. 
  • Remember that younger students may have a difficult time remembering their numbers.
Set Up: 
Large rectangular area, such as a basketball court or field. Designate clear boundary lines.

How To Play: 
  • Divide the students into two to four groups; each team sits on a boundary line.
  • Give each student a number, each group should have a one, a two, etc.   
  • Place the “bacon” in the center of the playing area and assign each team one goal line at either end of the playing area.
  • The adult calls out a number and all students with that number run to pick up the “bacon.” 
  • The student who gets the “bacon” first tries to run across his/her team’s goal line without being tagged. The student whose number was called who did not get the “bacon” should try to tag the other player before they get across the goal line. 
  • Once someone is tagged or gets across their goal line, the round is over. All the students who played in the round give each other high-five’s and they go back to the boundary line with their teams.
For older students: 
  • Use addition/subtraction, multiplication/division to call out the numbers; “the players with the number that is equal to two plus three.” 
  • Call more than one number at a time and require students to pass the bacon once before they can score.
  • Add a traditional sport skill, such as dribbling a basketball or soccer ball back to the line.

For Pre-K:

  • Have students stay seated while they are waiting for their turn.
  • Use a washable marker to write their numbers on their hands.
  • Place two balls/objects in a hula hoop in the center and make sure each team knows which ball and which goal is theirs.
  • Before playing, demonstrate how to stand up, get the ball, kick/throw/roll it through the goal, retrieve the ball, put it back into the hula hoop and sit back down.


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