Hit the Penny

Hit the Penny is a favourite South American game from the country of Brazil.

Age: All ages

No. of players: Any number

Equipment: A stick (old broomstick or a piece of thick dowel); coins

Time: 10+ minutes

Aim: To gain the most points by knocking a coin off the stick.

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To prepare for this game, cut a stick to a length of 30 to 40cm (12 to 16 inches) long. Draw a circle on the ground about 60 cm (two feet) in diameter, and hammer the stick into the centre of it. Place a coin on the top of the stick.

1. To play Hit the Penny, stand all the players in a line about one metre (three and a half feet) from the edge of the circle.

2. Players take turns throwing a coin at the coin on top of the stick. They must try and knock it off the stick and have it land outside the circle. If they are successful they can have another turn and continue until they miss. If not, the next player has his turn.

3. Players receive one point if they successfully knock the coin off the stick so that it lands outside the circle.

4. The winner is the player with the most points at the end of the game.

Source: Adapted from "Games Around the World" UNICEF New York

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