You need to assign participants to play the witch, the mother, and the babysitter or oldest child. Assign the childrens' home and a witches house - you will need a clear path between the two.
The rest of the participants will play the children.
The mother says to the babysitter.
"I'm goin' to town to smoke my pipe,
I won't be back til' Saturday Night.
Don't let the beans burn and don't let the witch get you
Or I'll whip you with my old red and white shoe!"
The mother leaves the area. The witch sneaks to the house and steals a child. Younger groups won't tire of it, but with older teens it might be a good idea to take more than one child at a time so the game goes faster.
Once the witch absconds with her stolen children the remaining children and babysitter yell, "Beans are Burning, Beans are Burning!" This causes the mother to return.
The mother repeats her song, and leaves again. This repeats until all children and on the last turn the babysitter too, shouting "Beans are Burning, Beans are Burning!" as he or she is taken away.
Each time the mother is singing her song, the witch is assigning her latest kidnap victims new names. It can be fruits, candy bars, vehicles, vegetables, restaurants, colors, actors, book titles. Anything that people can come up with several of. Don't name the two children with the same name.
The mother begins to look for the children, she knocks on the witch's door. The mother says,"Have you seen my children?" The witch replies, "Yes, but I have given them new names, before they can go home you must guess their new names." (when we played this as children, the witch sent the mother on a couple of wild goose chases first, "I saw your children going down Thorns and Briers Lane." OR "Oh, I remember now, I sent them down Tar Pits Drive." etc. etc. The mother had to walk the length between the witches house and the children's home like they were in briers and thorns or sticking in tar. Then the witch would finally admit she had them.
The mother steps to the side and the children are lined up, on go. The moment their new name is guessed they have to try to run back home with out mother catching them. (Capture the flag belts would be ideal for this.) The game is over when all the children's new names have been guessed.
Played this game hundreds of times as a child, after doing some research on this game it sounds like some version of it has been around since the 1600's. Have seen "and if you let my muffins burn, I'll spank you blue" etc.
Submitted by mom22manyboyz on 10 Apr 2013 12:00:00Has this game been helpful?