Modification of Simon Says with the educator casting spells as a witch. When the witch drops the wand, children must run to the safe zone (castle) to avoid being caught.

Set up

Start in a designated area with children spread out. Nominate a castle area e.g., a tree, wall, or cubby house in your environment. Educator has a pole (wand) and a witches hat on their head (optional).

Note: Wicked Witch can be used for any skill focus by adjusting the activities you do. See Wicked Witch (Catch), Wicked Witch (Balance), and Wicked Witch (Kicking & Dribble) activity plans for more ideas.

How to play
Step 1:
  • All children are in the designated area and the witch (educator) holds a pole as a wand. The witch holds the wand up in the air and calls out the spells - "The Wicked Witch casts a spell on you to..." (complete a challenge, turn into an animal, etc)
  • Ideas of 'spells' to cast, include;
    • Jump around the square – jumping as far as you can
    • Small fast jumps on the spot
    • Run around in the direction the witch calls (forward, backward, left, right)
    • Skip around
    • Hop on one leg – change legs
    • Hop in a circle
    • Jump up to the sky as high as you can
    • Run backward
    • Run with high knees
    • Run on the spot
    • Run at different speeds the witch commands (super fast, super slow)
    • Turn into an animal, and move like that animal
Step 2:
  • After calling out several spells, the witch drops the wand, and the children race to the castle as the witch chases after them
Step 3:
  • Once all the children are 'safe' in the castle, the witch becomes friendly again, and the children are free to return to the square. The witch continues with the commands
Make it easier
  • Start with commands everyone can do e.g., jump on the spot, run to a tree, turn in a circle
  • Play in a small contained area
Make it harder
  • If children are caught by the witch they need to do 5 frog jumps
  • Move the castle further away
Activity information
Age: Three year olds, Kindergarten / Pre-school, Foundation, Year 1, Year 2
Participants: 2 +
Equipment: Hurdles (optional), Witches Hats (optional), Poles (optional)
Duration: 10 minutes
Skill focus
Explore these skills for teaching tips
Skill teaching

Before starting, have a turn at jumping as far as you can. Focus on starting with arms behind like a super hero cape and swinging and springing forward. Try again and see if you can go even further this time.  Remember the jumping teaching cues:

  1. Land like you are riding a motorbike – arms forward, ankles, knees, and hips bent, feet apart
  2. Start with your arms stretched behind you like a superhero
  3. Swing & Spring
  4. Reach for a star and bring it down again (for vertical jumps)
Activity summary
Physical literacy tips
  • Let all children have a turn being the witch
  • Try changing it to 'Friendly Pixie' or 'Cheeky Fairy' if children are scared of the 'Wicked Witch'
  • Allow more hesitant children to become the witch's assistant