As a member of the GenX cohort, I was very much a PBS kid growing up. I watched Sesame Street to learn things. Mom parked me in front of Mr. Rogers in the afternoon while she was making dinner to wind me down and chill me out, because Fred Rogers was one of the most wonderful, gentle, soothing people on the planet.

The next step up from Sesame Street in the PBS roster of shows was Zoom. It was a great show of both fun and educational segments and it was completely hosted by kids. One of its biggest draws was viewer participation by postal mail. I’ll never forget the zipcode for Allston, MA (02134), where WGBH received mail for the show because it was sung as part of reading out the address.

One segment that stuck with me into adulthood was a game sent in by a viewer. The game is called Cracker Whistle and it’s very simple. Two people each shove four saltines into their mouths, chew them up and the first one who’s able to whistle wins. They don’t really show it in the segment, but the real fun of this game is that you’re going to get cracker crumbs everywhere as you try to whistle.

I loved this game so much that, being an excellent uncle and perhaps not the best brother, I taught my six year old nephew how to play it. I did, at least, make sure to stress that it is a game to be played outside.