Thursday, March 1, 2012

Life-sized Hungry Hungry Hippos

Remember this game?

Here's how you can take the funnest hippos God ever created to the next level of fun. It's about to get REAL in here.

In a large, flat playing area, mark the ground with a circle divided into quadrants.

For a group of about 60 kids, a 30' diameter circle is sufficient.
Choose four kids to be hippos. Make them wear bike helmets with taped on construction paper hippo faces.

Here's a template for the hippo faces, if using templates is your thing. No matter what you do, a pink hippo will always look like a pig, but here's an example of how the finished helmets will look.

Direct each hippo to stand in a different quadrant. The lines of that quadrant are that hippo's boundaries.

The rest of the kids are marbles. They can run in any part of the circle at any time. The diameter of the circle is the marbles' boundary.

The hippos "chomp" marbles by tagging them. If a hippo chomps a marble, that marble stands outside the quadrant of the hippo that chomped it. A hippo can chomp a marble in another quadrant if the hippo can reach the marble to tag it without stepping outside of the hippo's boundaries. Regardless of the quadrant a marble is in at the time of being chomped, that marble will stand outside the quadrant of the hippo that chomped it.

If, in the course of running, a marble steps outside the circle, that marble must stand outside the quadrant he or she was last in, among the other chomped marbles for that quadrant. That marble will then count as being chomped by the hippo of whose quadrant the marble is standing outside.

The last three marbles to get chomped will be three of the hippos in the next round. The hippo who has chomped the most marbles gets to choose who the fourth hippo for the next round will be.

Game continues until the children begin overheating or you can't stand their shrill shrieks anymore.

Note: this game is really awesome, so if you're planning several games, make this one last. I almost made the mistake of playing giant Connect Four after this one, and that would not have been an exciting transition. Save the awesome for last!