Catch the Magical Creatures

The magical creatures have escaped! Catch them all to keep the magical forest a secret. Children learn how to overarm throw in this imaginative game to challenge all abilities.

Set up

Scatter ~10-15 hula hoops (adjust this to suit your group size) in a small, flat space.  In each hoop, place 1-3 objects (e.g., a ball, beanbag, cone).  Place an empty bucket or hoop behind the throwing area (this will be the castle). Each child starts with a beanbag.

Examples of magical creatures include;

  • Witches hat = unicorn
  • Tennis ball = slime ball
  • Animal beanbag = an animal
  • Foot marker = giant's footprint
  • Star marker = shooting star
  • Skipping rope = snake


How to play
Step 1
  • Explain to children that they are the ‘Magical Creature Catchers’ and all the Magical Creatures have escaped and need to be returned safe to their home before the humans find them!
  • Children spread out in a line facing the hoops, about 3-5 metres away
Step 2
  • Upon the educator's instruction of "Ready, Aim, Fire!" the children overarm throw their beanbag 
  • If they land in a hoop with a magical creature, they choose one animal to collect and return it to the castle
Step 3
  • Once everyone has thrown, children collect the beanbags and return to their marker to throw again
  • Continue working as a team and return all the creatures back to the castle before the magical forest is discovered!
Make it easier
  • Move hoops closer
  • Set up more hoops
Make it harder
  • Move hoops further away
Activity information
Age: 3-5 years
Participants: 1 +
Equipment: Beanbags, Hoops, Variety of objects
Duration: 10 minutes
Skill focus
Explore these skills for teaching tips
Skill teaching

Before starting, demonstrate how to throw and practice throwing without a ball. Use the throwing teaching cues:

  1. Ready: Stand like a surfer (side-on)
  2. Aim: Make a muscle arm (throwing arm bent up above shoulder), Point other arm at target
  3. Fire: Step on the star (step with opposite foot onto star marker) and throw
Activity summary
Physical literacy tips
  • Have hoops set up at a variety of distances to challenge all children
  • Build the story behind this activity to engage children even more
  • Work as a team to rescue all the creatures together