Movement, games, sport: 04) Witches [Video]

Terre des hommes Ukraine
Date published: 
16 Jan 2019

9 years and older

An excellent game for getting started playfully. Special chase game, in silence, with walking instead of running and with the introduction of physical contacts requiring a certain level of trust between players.

This game requires a fairly large area which is clearly defined and known by the players.
In the beginning the players (minimum eight) are standing in a circle and the animator gives the following instruc- tions:
There are witches and honest citizens in the game.The aim for the witches is to bewitch all the citizens by simply touching them. The bewitched citizens must then stand still. The aim for the citizens is to escape from the witches and free the bewitched citizens by hugging them.The game ends when all the citizens are caught bewitched.
Rules: no running and no talking, everything takes place in silence.
The animator moves round the group, standing in circle, eyes closed, and chooses the witches (approx. one for every five players) by touching them discretely on the back. Everyone opens their eyes and the game can begin.

Psychosocial: to develop respect and trust through physical contact, as well as honesty and responsibility. To increase cooperation and strategic thought on two levels: between the witches and between the citizens.
Physical: everything happens at a fast walking pace which requires quick reactions and changes of direction.
The animator must make sure that the game space is respected and that play- ers stay within the limited area. He must also remind them of the rules: no running, no talking.
Children tend to accuse others of having run or spoken, instead of taking responsibility for being honest in the game.The animator is there to remind them that everyone is personally responsible for sticking to the rules. For example: anyone who has been touched must stand still, anyone who goes outside the limits or starts run- ning is automatically bewitched and stands still without being told so.
It is not easy for children not to run, but this gives the game a different energy from normal tag games: the fact that they are walking gives them more time to observe and think of group strategies (witches or citizens), by communicating non-verbally.
It is useful to stop the game fairly quickly to ask the children what strate- gies they are using; if they are playing individually (trying not to be caught) or as a group (freeing friends). Insisting on cooperation is essential to the smooth running of the game.

Physical contact can be difficult for some children (hugging is not easy, especially for pre -adolescents). In this case ask the children to find another way (creatively) to free bewitched cit- izens (e.g. crawling under their open legs).  However,  remember  that  the idea of hugging is part of building relations and confidence. A freed citizen can also thank whoever hugged him for putting him back in the game.

-    Was it difficult not to run or talk? Can you explain?
-    Was it easy to be honest all the time? Can you explain?
-    What strategies did the witches use? And the citizens?
-    Was it difficult to give friends a hug to free them? Was that physical con- tact nice or unpleasant? Can you explain?
-    Did you choose the people who you wanted to free? Can you explain?
-    Etc.

This project is funded by: