We know camp games! Here is our ultimate list of our favorite camp games from across the our site. Whenever possible, we encourage you to play games that follow our “everyone’s engaged” philosophy that keeps all of your campers or groups of kids active, involved and happy.
You can certainly modify any of the activities as you see fit to accommodate all skill levels or abilities. Check out the different categories on our site to find ones that fit your group’s interest and personality. Enjoy!
Ultimate 40+ Camp Games List Overview
Holy Moly! This is a lot of camp games and just a sample of the thousands of activities on the site. Here is a quick overview of 40+ of our favorite games.
- Camp Games for Young Campers
- Camp Games for older campers
- Camp Games for Teen Campers
- Cooperative Camp Games
- Camp Games for Theater or Drama
- High Activity Games
- Nature Games
- Camp games for night time
- Parachute Games
- Quick and Easy Games
- Camp Games to Play Indoors on a Rainy Day
- Tag Games for all ages
- Water Games for Hot Days
- Camp Games for Children with Special Needs
Fun Camp Games for Young Campers
When leading games for younger campers, choose games with simple instructions and focus more on fun than competition. Younger campers also enjoy games that the primary goal is to find silly ways to be loud and get their energy out!
1-2-3 Look is a fun circle game that can include the entire group. This is the quiet version of “Scream Machine”
- Everyone closes their eyes and lowers their heads, the leader calls out 1-2-3-Look! As the leader calls “look,” the campers look up at one specific person.
- *Campers cannot change who they are looking at during each round.
- If that person is looking back at him/her, they each scream. If not, they put their heads back down. [Back to Top]
- Pick two unsuspecting older campers.
- Cut the legs off the hosiery. Use the two legs to place over the heads of the two contestants. Challenge them to chew up a banana in their mouths as gushy as possible. Then place the legs of the pantyhose completely over their heads. Hand them a cup and tell them that they have to push the banana from their mouths through the pantyhose into the cup they are holding.
- Of course, none will go through. For fun, pull the top of the legs as they are pushing to smear it all over their faces. It is one of the funniest pranks we have ever played. We use it every year to initiate our newest members! [Back to Top]
The leader starts with the name of an animal that starts with the letter “A.” From there, go around the circle and have each person say the name of animal each beginning with the next letter in the alphabet.
First see if you can get to the end of the alphabet and then see how many times you can complete the alphabet as a team. [Back to Top]
Bean Bag Bucket Basketball
- Set buckets/trash cans several feet apart with a rope or tape line about 2 feet away from “hoop.”
- The game is like basketball.
- Players with the Bean Bag cannot move/walk/run with the bag. They can either pass the bag to another player on their team or shoot for the bucket/can.
- If the bean bag falls on the floor, it goes to the opposing team. For example, if a player passes the bag to another player, and it is dropped. A player on the other team picks it up. This is also true for missed shots.
- Defenders can block or intercept the bag. However, defenders can not touch the person with the bag, or the bag while in possession. There is no stealing. [Back to Top]
Cooperative Camp Games
Cooperative Games are the best way to teach your campers or participants to develop problem solving and social skills. We believe that the primary goal of summer camps is to help campers develop independence and social skills. These activities promote team building , problem solving, and conflict resolution. Remember a few tips:
- Start with easier activities first to promote success and discussion.
- Discuss (or “debrief”) each activity to identify actions that led to success than can be built upon
- Modify the activities with increasingly difficult challenges based on your group’s age and previous success.
Bed Sheet Ping Pong
- The object is to get the ball to fall off of the other teams side, for a point.
- Form two teams.
- Each team holds an opposite end of a bed sheet.
- Place the ping pong in the middle of the sheet.
- Instruct teams that they can raise and lower as needed, but remind the players to be careful not to “launch” the ball (as they will be very inclined to do so).
- Place until the first team reaches 5 points or any number you choose. [Back to Top]
- Have the group get in a line.
- Tell them they must, in silence, get in order by height.
- Once they successfully compete this challenge, you can give the following line up tasks: line up by birthday month, first name, # of years at camp, etc. [Back to Top]
Elephants, Cows, Giraffes
- Arrange your group into a circle with one person, the caller, in the center.
- This person point someone in the circle and call out “elephant,” “cow, ” or “giraffe.”
- The person that is pointed at, as well as the person on each side of him/her, become an instant team and will have to coordinate their actions and make each animal as described below.
- Elephant: center will stick both hands in front of their nose in a cylinder to form a trunk. The partners on each side will form the ears by leaning over placing one hand by the center persons hips and the other by their head.
- Cow: center person will enter lock their fingers and turn them upside down so that the thumbs point down forming udders. The outside people will then milk the udders.
- Giraffe: center places their hands directly over their head and together forming the neck, while the outside two arch their backs touching the middle person’s toes to form the legs.
- If they do not get into this position by the count of 5 by the pointer then the last to get into position will become the center person. [Back to Top]
Games for Theater or Drama
Dramatic Games give all children a chance to express themselves and let some silly out. They also give great non-competitive and non-athletic options for all participants.
Auto Trip Drama Game
- This is a fun activity to get all campers engaged, even those who just want to sit out of the spotlight!
- Arrange players in a circle either on chairs or in front of a place marker, such as a backpack.
- Assign each an auto part name to each person (ie, hood, wheel, door, etc).
- The storyteller walks around the circle and invents and shares a story of an auto trip.
- As the player tells the story, the parts mentioned get up and follow him/her.
- When the storyteller yells “Blowout” each player scramblers for a seat.
- The one left out becomes the next storyteller. [Back to Top]
Manner of the Adverb
- Instruct two participants to leave the group momentarily. (It could be one person, but when two people go out, it’s more fun for them. No one is on the spot.)
- In the meanwhile, the rest of the group decides on a “fun” adverb – one they could all act out, and have fun with. Slowly is a good one. Nervously even better.
- When ready, the guessers are invited back in. They instruct any individual or group of individuals to do things in the manner of the adverb (hence, the name of the game). Their job is to guess the “manner.”
- For example: John, comb your hair in the manner of the adverb. Or, Tara, dance with Tim in the manner of the adverb. Or even, Frank, brush your teeth in the opposite manner of the adverb. I like to let people make as many guesses as they want. I even encourage the actors, when things look bad for the guessers, to offer their own clues. [Back to Top]
- To prepare Balloon Charades, write or type nouns (people, places, or things) on thin strips of paper. Fold them in half twice. Stick the folded strips in the mouth of a balloon. Blow up the balloons and tie the ends.
- Once completed, place the balloons in the middle of a group and have one child choose a balloon. The child will then pop the balloon and act out the noun on the paper.
- The child who correctly guesses the charade will be the next performer.
- Plays continues until you run out of balloons. [Back to Top]
High Activity Camp Games
Choose any of these active games to get your group moving and everyone’s heart rate up! After spending a school year walking in lines, camp is a great place to run, jump, and burn off some energy!
Indy Five Hundred
- To start the game “Indy Five Hundred,” arrange the group in a circle and assign players numbers 1-4.
- Give each number a name of a car. (ex. 1’s are Porches, 2’s are Ferrari’s… etc)
- The game leader calls a car name and those cars have to get up and run around the circle. The first person back to their spot wins.
- There is a twist to this game. The cars can have things wrong with them as the leader chooses. Some ideas are;
- FLAT TIRE (Hop around on one foot), RUN OUT OF GAS (Crab Walk), TURBO BOOST (run around), NO MUFFLER (noisy!)…etc [Back to Top]
- This game is played with 6 bases (see set up below).
- A player kicks the ball into the field.
- They have to tag all 6 bases to score. You may have up to three offensive players on any base. You are not forced to run to the next base.
- Outs occur if a kicked ball is caught in the air or a ball is thrown at a runner that is in between bases. There are no force outs.
- Throws must be chest level/below & not as hard as you can throw.
- I play that everyone kicks once per inning and then switch.
- You can play as many innings as you like, but I usually play three to five innings. [Back to Top]
Battleship (also known as Ships Ahoy, Poop Deck, Port & Starboard)
Battleship is also known as Ships Ahoy, the Poop Deck, Port & Starboard and other similar names.
- Explain to the players that the entire playing area is broken down into different parts of a ship. The leader explains the location of each part. For example :
- Bow: the front of the playing area
- Stern: the back of the playing area
- Port: the left side of the playing area
- Starboard: the right side of the playing area
- The game begins with everyone standing in the center of the area. When the leader calls out one of the above parts of the ship, all players must run to the designated area. The last person to reach the spot is eliminated, and goes to help the leader. Each time a different part of the ship is called, the last player reaching the site is eliminated, until one player remains.
- Once the players understand the parts of the ship, the captain calls out specific order/actions while the players are running. For example:
- Submarines: Players run to the centre of the playing area, lie down on back, and raise one foot in the air.
- Lifeboats: Players run to the location called form single line, sit down and begin to row.
- Hit the deck: lay down on your stomach (or if players don’t want to get dirty, they can crouch down)
- Visit page for all the commands and to continue reading… [Back to Top]
Games for Older Campers
Older campers, in grades 3-5 (or so), like to play games that are a bit more competitive and have more complex rues. They also like to play games that encourages play as a team with their friends. You’ll see this age group start to gravitate towards playing with specific friends versus playing with the whole group.
Older campers, in grades 3-5 (or so), like to play games that are a bit more competitive and have more complex rues. They also like to play games that encourages team building with their friends. You’ll see this age group start to gravitate towards playing with specific friends versus playing with the whole group.
- To play Alaskan Baseball, create two 2 teams.
- One camper is given a throwable object, their team then forms a circle around them and that person throws the object.
- After he/she has thrown the object then he/she runs around the circle. Every time the player makes it around the circle, that team scores a run.
- Meanwhile the other team is chasing the object.
- Once they pick up the object, everyone forms a line behind the first person that has gotten the object. They then pass the object between their legs until it reaches the last person, where it is then passed overhead back to the first person in line.
- When the first person gets the object the team yells out, and the other team stops counting runs.
- The first person in line that retrieved the object now has a circle formed around him and he throws the object and the process reverses.
- Play three rounds or as many as you like. [Back to Top]
Cat and Mouse
- To play Cat and Mouse, have everyone but two people forms a circle standing far enough away from each other so players must comfortably stretch arms to hold hands with the players next to them. The two outside players will be running through these spaces.
- One of the people outside of the circle is the cat and the other is the mouse. They will begin on opposite sides of the circle.
- When the game starts, the cat tries to catch the mouse. If either the cat or the mouse runs through one of the spaces in the circle, the space gets closed by the players who the cat or mouse just ran through. As the game progresses, more and more spaces get closed.
- The game goes on until all the spaces are closed. If one player gets trapped in the circle, the other player wins.
- If both players are trapped inside or outside the circle, the group counts to ten and the cat has that count to try to catch the mouse. If the cat catches the mouse, the cat wins, otherwise, the mouse wins. [Back to Top]
Monarch Dodge Ball
The game begins with one Monarch. This person starts with the ball and is technically the “It”. As the only Monarch, this person can run with the ball and try to hit another player with it. As soon as another player has been hit with the ball they become a Monarch as well and game play changes slightly. With more than one Monarch whoever is holding the ball can NO LONGER MOVE WITH IT. All the other Monarchs can move without the ball but the person with the ball must stand still. The ball can be passed from Monarch to Monarch in an attempt hit other players with it creating more Monarchs. Play the game until there is one person left. Use a lightweight ball or kickball when you play outdoors. You can also use a beach ball and play in the water, or with younger kids who don’t want to be hit with a dodge ball.[Back to Top]
Games for Teen Campers
These fun summer camp activities for teens focus on independent play and problem solving. They prefer games where they can be the leader or work independently, versus being led by a camp counselor. Oftentimes, campers look forward their whole camp career to becoming a Counselor in Training (CIT) and age-appropriate play is key to engaging this group.
Snaps is the name of the Game
At least two people need to know how to play this game.
One of the two who know how to would leave the room and the campers and other person will pick a celebrity.
When they bring the person back, there are three ways they can let them know what name they will be spelling out:
– When they say “Snaps IS the name of the game” they mean that they will be doing the name of the celebrity (ie Britney Spears)
– When they say “Snaps MAY BE the name of the game” they mean that they will be doing the common name of the celebrity (ie Madonna)
– When they say “Snaps ISN’T the name of the game” they mean they will be doing a character of a celebrity, or something they are well known for. (ie Laura Croft, which would be Angelina Jolie)
Here is an example. Let’s say someone is doing Laura Croft. They will say “snaps isn’t the name of the game”. So you know they’re doing a character.
Then they will say a phrase that starts with the letter “L” such as “Lets see if you can guess it.” And that’s how you do the consonants.
When you come to the vowels you snap 1-5 times depending on the vowel.
1 – A
2 – E
3 – I
4 – O
5 – U
Here’s “Laura Croft” as an example.
“Snaps is not the name of the game. Lets see if you can guess it. *one snap*..*five snaps* Really? you don’t get it yet? *one snap* Can you get it? Really try hard. *four snaps* For sure, you’ve got it now. Time’s almost up.”
Make sure you pause between each letter. Make it seem like you’re in disbelief that no one can guess what the trick is. [Back to Top]
Ah, So, Gi (or Ah, So, Koh)
Channel your inner samurai with this fast paced game. The perfect time filler and a favorite game of the Ultimate Camp Resource team!
Everyone sits in a circle, and learns the 3 commands and their movements.
- Ah! The person says “Ah” loudly, and puts their left or right hand across their forehead in a saluting motion, with fingers pointing at the person next to them.
- So! – the person says “So” loudly, and puts their left or right hand across their chin in a saluting motion, with fingers pointing at the person next to them.
- “Gi!” the person puts both arms together in front of them in a clapping motion and points to someone else, anywhere in the circle.
The phrases must always go in that order, and each phrase needs its correct hand motion. You go when you are pointed at by someone next to you using “Ah” or “So,” or by someone across from you using “Gi.” When you are “Gi”ed at by someone you start the sequence over again.
When someone makes a mistake (ie, goes out of order, uses the wrong hand motion, hesitates in confusion for too long) they are out.
When someone gets out, each member of the group puts a hands in the middle with thumbs up, and calls “You’re outta here!” – like a baseball umpire.
That person leaves the circle and the group closes in the space. The person who was on right side of the exited person starts the sequence again, by saying “Ah!” and pointing to the left or right.
The game continues until there are two people left. [Back to Top]
Capture the Flag
Set up the Capture the Flag Playing Area
This is a classic game at camp! Be sure to review all of the game rules and review with your teams.
- Divide the group into two teams; identify each by a set of arm or headbands.
- Define your playing area, ideally 1-2 acres of land with some natural cover or obstacles.
- Set up a visible middle line using cones or backpacks. You can use natural dividers, too, such as a driveway or trail in the woods.
- Set up a jail area (3- 4 square yards). You can use a picnic table, too.
- Determine a separate hiding spot for each flag on each side. The flags should not be visible from the starting point BUT should not be hidden from sight as you approach (ie, on the ground behind a tree, in a backpack, etc).
How to play Capture the Flag
- Have each team assemble on their side of the middle line so you can review the boundaries and rules, as well as handout headbands/armbands.
- Explain that the goal of the game is to sneak across the middle line into “enemy territory,” find the opposing team’s flag, and return it safely to your side without being caught.
- If you cross the middle line, you are on offense and your job at the time is capture the flag.
- Players can be rotate in between any role at any time on their team.
- If you stay on your side and try to catch players from the other team who have crossed over onto your team’s side of the playing area, you are on defense. You capture other players by tagging them. Please note, you can use water balloons, flag football belts or sock filled with flour, and more to capture players, but a simple tag is just fine.
- Any player tagged on the other team’s side is officially captured and brought to the enemy’s jail.
- A few jail rules:
- If you are tagged, you are required to walk with the person who captures you to jail – they do not need to keep an arm on your or otherwise restrain you.
- To get free from jail, a player from your team must cross into enemy territory and run through the jail or take the bench if you are using a bench. Everyone in jail is set free.
- Once in jail, you must stay in jail until released. Once released, you must return to your own side before attempting to cross back into enemy territory. You can not bum rush the flag from jail.
- Each side should assign a jail keeper or two to tag any opposing players trying to free prisoners. However, if needed, jail keepers can join the offense and be used to get the flag on the other side.
- Players who are freed from jail are given “free walk backs” to their side.
- A few jail rules:
- Each side assigns one or two flag guards whose specific job is to tag players attempting to capture the flag. They must stay back from the flag by 10 feet and cannot hold or touch the flag to protect it. If needed, they can join the offense and try to steal the other team’s flag.
- Aside from the jail keepers and flag guards, all players are either on offense of defense.
- Once a player steals the other team’s flag and safely returns it across the middle line, that round is over. If you have time, all players return to the starting points and you can play another round. [Back to Top]
You might think learning during the summer or play time would be “boring,” but these games trick your campers into learning by focusing on the fun first!
- The Game is begun by a leader shouting “camouflage” at which point the campers scatter and hide (dropping their packs if they have them). The leader counts to ten out loud with their eyes closed.
- After the count is over, the leader begins looking around. If the leader recognizes anyone not completely hidden, they call out the name and location of the camper. If they have correctly identified the camper, then the camper is out, if not, the camper does not have to reveal his or her true identity, and is still in play.
- Once the leader can no longer identify anyone, they call out “green light” (or any other silly word, such as ostrich, etc. which the campers pick). The leader counts out loud to five with his or her eyes closed. The campers have this five seconds to try and reach the leader, or at least get closer while still being out of sight.
- The first student to touch the leader without being seen is the winner.[Back to Top]
- The leader hides an envelope (the D’Juno!) that has information inside about something in our natural environment (see samples below). The object of the game is to use clues to discover the location of the envelope containing this new information about the outside world, thereby becoming the winner of the D’Juno Award!
- After the D’Juno has been hidden, the leader plants a clue (often rhyming couplets) for all to read. If, after ten minutes, no one has located the envelope, the leader posts another clue. Clues continue until someone discovers the award.
- SAMPLE CLUES: (Location of D’Juno is: taped to the back of a thermometer at the Weather Station) “I’ll brighten your day by degrees and degrees But leave me alone -don’t hug me please.”
- SAMPLE D’JUNO: “D’JUNO that some plants receive their nourishment by eating other plants and insects?” [Back to Top]
Food Chain Lap Sit
- Give each player a food chain card. Several chains may be created with the cards and number of people available. When all are ready, have each player find and join hands with the food chain member on whom he depends for survival.
- When all members of a food chain have gathered together, a circle is formed, and the group performs a lap sit (each person puts his hands on the hips of the person standing in front of him, and then everyone in the group lowers himself so that he is sitting on the lap of the person behind him -a self -supporting circle is created!)
- All members of a food chain are important. If your players don’t believe this, have one person representing an animal in the middle of the chain stand up! [Back to Top]
Camp Games for Night Time
Whether you are a resident camp, a day camp with an occasional sleep-over, or a family out on a camping trip, these activities are fun for everyone.
- Have two people come up and kneel on either side of a low table.
- Spread a bag of cotton balls on the table and have each person put on gloves.
- They are then blindfolded. Tell them they have to sweep all the cotton balls off their own side of the table.
- Quietly remove all the cotton balls and yell go. The participants wildly sweep an empty table as the group keeps screaming for them to hurry. [Back to Top]
- This is just like Limbo. Use a flashlight and turn off all the lights.
- Have someone take the flashlight and turn it on and hold it straight. Have each player take turns going under, and as the game goes on lower the beam.
- The winner is the person who can go the lowest without being directly struck with the light. [Back to Top]
Nothing beats a walk in the woods at night on an overnight! It’s a bit spooky and even trails or walks you know well seem like alien landscapes at night. To lead a Reflector Walk, hide reflectors along your path during the day by attaching them to trees, staking them away from the trail, or hanging reflective strips from bushes. posts, or other items. Hide your reflectors in creative spots to make the walk more challenging and fun.
Give each of your campers a flashlight and space the group out about 3 feet or so from the person in front of them. This will ensure each flashlight beam don’t wash out the other. Tell your group how many are hidden and see how many they can find as a group. [Back to Top]
In short, this fun game is the opposite of Hide-N-Seek…
The kids are all released to search for the ONE person. When they find that person they hide with them, becoming quiet and slowly all the “seekers” begin to disappear until one kid is looking for a large group of people!
You want to tell the kids that they are looking for the person on their own, not as a group and that the person can be anywhere (giving them their boundaries) and that they should all go in different directions.
Usually the last one to join the “hiding” group becomes the ONE to hide next time. [Back to Top]
Do you remember how special it was when your teacher took out the parachute when you were a kid? Well, kids today feel the same way! Parachute games are a great week to keep your group together, promote cooperation and motor skills, all while laughing and having fun.
- Wrap players in a “parachute mushroom” by filling up the parachute with air and closing on ground, with all the players on the inside.
- Once everyone is inside, start singing “Happy Birthday” while they try to move to the outside of the parachute without letting go before the song is finished. [Back to Top]
Cat and the Mice
- Choose several players to be “cats” who are on top of parachute and several mice underneath.
- Those around edge shake the parachute to make it billow up above the mice so they are not visible to cats.
- Cats try to catch mice. When caught they come out. [Back to Top]
- To begin, assign one player to be the first “caller.”
- On the word “mushroom” all players make parachute mushroom by lifting the parachute into the air and bringing it down to the ground.
- While parachute is in the air, the caller calls out a category (e.g. all those with white socks, who hate tea, with two ears) of people to run across to the opposite side before the parachute comes down on them.
- The last person to make it through (or some other arbitrary choosing method) becomes the new caller. [Back to Top]
Quick and Easy Games
When have just a few minutes to kill between activities, these no or low prop games are just what you need! Each game can be completed in just a few minutes, or you can play a few rounds if the group is having fun.
Great game – a camp classic! Bear with the long description, it’s worth it!
Everyone must either lie on their stomachs with their hands in front of them or sit at table with their hands in front of them, in a circle. Either way, have your hands ready to slap a flat surface.
Once everyone places their hands directly on the table or ground in front of them, move your right hand in between the person to your right’s hands. This create an alternating hand pattern. So, looking down onto the group the hands would look like this:
(From left to right) My LEFT hand, then the person on my left’s RIGHT hand, then the person on my right’s LEFT hand, then my RIGHT hand, and so on. Although it is hard to describe, it’s a really simple set-up…
To start, one person calls out the tapping direction, either Left or Right, and starts slaps their hand once on the ground/table. The hand closest to the first slap, in the named direction, slaps the hand, then the next closest, and so on.
If hand A slaps, hand B can either single slap or double slap. A single slap keeps the slap going in the correct direction, a double slap sends the slap in the opposite direction.
If someone slaps out of turn, they must remove that hand. All other hands stay where they are. When both hands are out, that person is out of the game.
The game is over when there are two people left.
Try and go faster as the game progresses. If you make a mistake, then you leave the circle. [Back to Top]
- Arrange players a circle and have one player go into the middle.
- Choose a topic. Give the rubber chicken to one person who will start to pass the chicken around the circle when you say “Go.” The person in the middle must list as many things as they can from the topic while the chicken makes one journey around the circle. When the chicken gets back to the starting point, the person must stop talking.
- A designated counter should be in the group to count how many objects they are able to list. The person that is able to list the most objects is the winner. Topic example: Chocolate Bars (ie) hershey, crispy crunch, aero etc. etc. etc. [Back to Top]
Five in Ten
- Campers have ten seconds to name five things that fit into a category of your choosing.
- Once you give them the category, “Five things you’d find in the sky” for example, begin counting down out loud immediately. Keep track on your fingers each one they get correct (it’s harder than you would think).
- Discourage others from chiming in answers while someone else is playing. The pressure of being on the spot and having the time counted down makes this game MUCH harder than you would think it should be.
- Make the lists harder/easier based on campers.
- You can also make this an ice breaker by having the kids name things that are true about themselves, or things they would like to do. [Back to Top]
Games to Play on a Rainy Day or Indoors
Sometimes you just need to be under cover or indoors due to weather or other program restrictions. We have an entire rainy day section on our site for you to review, but these are a few of favorites. Our number one recommendation, however, is to reserve some games in your “bag of tricks” just for rainy days to make them something your kids look forward to. We used to ask staff to pack a covered five gallons bucket with supplies that they could keep in the back of their car or under their bunk called “barrels of fun.” Counselors would fill them with a rain poncho (or big garbage bags), playing cards, markers, dice, playing cards, board games, lengths of string or rope, slips of paper, tennis balls, golf balls, Ziploc bags, and more!
Is this a stick?
- The person in the know will say clear their throat and then say the following while tapping the item “I can tap this (pencil, stick, etc) just right”
- They then pass the object to the next person to try to perform the action and words correctly. The trick is the clearing of the throat first – it does not matter how they tap the object.
- It is a fun game because people will be watching the positioning of your fingers on the stick or how hard to tap it etc and it takes a while for them to catch on to the clearing of your throat.
- Game continued until everyone is in on the secret. When down to just a few people that just aren’t getting it, make the “ahem” louder and more obvious. [Back to Top]
Counselor Extreme Makeover
- A perfect game for rainy days or sleepovers. This can be done in the evenings or at any other time during the day. Collect odd clothes, make up, hair gel, etc. Each group will choose a counselor they want to dress up.
- They are given “X” amount of time to “makeover” their counselors. After time is up the counselors will present their kids creations in a silly fashion show. Encourage the kids to pick a theme and to have fun with it.
- The head judges will be the directors and they will award the kids with various prizes for different awards such as (best hairdo, best makeup, strangest outfit, etc.). [Back to Top]
This might be one of the best games of all times and be our favorite activity on the site! FFEACH is a charades race and the categories are Fast Foods, Electrical Appliances, and Cartoon Heroes. Teams compete against each other to complete a predetermined list of items. We use the term “compete” loosely, as it is a charades team race, after all…
- Write your list down on a piece of paper.
- Dive the kids into teams of 6-10 participants each. You can have as many teams as are in your group.
- Ask one member from each team to come to the you.
- Whisper the first word into the ears of the volunteers, and release them to their groups at the same time.
- Once a member of the group guesses the word correctly, someone new runs to the instructor for the next word.
- That person then runs back to the group act out the word, and the game continues in this fashion until a team completes the entire list.
- Visit our FFEACH page for the full rules and sample list… [Back to Top]
Sports Oriented Games
Sports oriented games require more coordination and physical activity than lots of traditional camp games. All games can be modified to be as competitive as you like.
Steal the Bacon
- Split the group evenly into two groups and sit them with their backs turned towards the center line, approximately 20 feet apart.
- Assign numbers to each player on both sides from one to the final person. At the end, each team will have a number 1, 2, etc.
- In the center place a ball. When you call out a number, the goal is to be the first to reach the ball, and bring it back to your side without being tagged by the other person. If you make it back safely, your team scores a point, if you are tagged, the ball goes back in the middle, and a new number is called. [Back to Top]
Crab walk Soccer
- Two teams sit on lines a short distance apart. Players on both teams are assigned a number, starting at number one on each team.
- Place the soccer ball sits in the center. Official calls a number.
- The player from each team who is assigned that number crab walks to the center and attempts to get the ball over the opponents’ goal line.
- When a point is scored, the ball is returned to the center and another number is called. Team members may help but not score. [Back to Top]
Tag, you’re it! We’ve highlighted a few different tag games to ensure kids of all ages, agility, and speed can have fun and be successful. Be sure to check out our entire Tag Games section, too!
- Set a very small play boundary area.
- To start Blindman’s Buff Tag, blindfold one player and spin them around 3 times.
- The blindfolded player tries to tag one of the other players, who may crouch low, sneak up behind the “blindman” and yell “Boo”, or stand still and keep very quiet.
- Eventually though, someone will get careless and be tagged.
- That player is then blindfolded for the next game. [Back to Top]
- Everyone gets a partner and links arms and spreads out in the playing area.
- Two people are chosen to split up. One will be “it “and the other will be chased.
- Whenever the “it” links with a pair of players, the person on the opposite end must break off. They will now become chased by the “it.” If the person gets tagged, they become it.
- Variation: When the person on the opposite end breaks away, they become it and must chase the person who was originally the chaser. [Back to Top]
Everybody’s It Tag
- Have players spread out in a large playing area.
- Once the leader proclaims, “Everybody’s it!” the participants begin trying to tag others, while avoiding getting tagged.
- Once tagged, participants sit down, extend their arms, and try to tag those left running around.
- Decide beforehand if simultaneous tags result in both sitting down, or both remaining free.
- The last player standing wins. If you have two or three players remaining for thirty seconds or so, do a ten-second countdown for the final chase. If no one is caught, declare a tie! [Back to Top]
The one thing you can count on in the summer is that it’s going to be hot! Honestly, you can adapt just about any game to have some water fun. A couple tips to remember:
- If the game involves lots of activity and distance running, try to have your water or wet areas separate than the running area when possible, particularly when you are playing on grass.
- Water sponges make great alternative to water balloons. The can be recharged limitlessly and don’t leave a mess.
- Strategically place a bucket of water to make it convenient to resoak your sponge (or head).
- First begin by marking out a starting line and a finishing line approximately 50 feet apart.
- Find 5 or 6 obstacles that are large enough to be hidden behind, for example a table or a wheelbarrow. Place the obstacles approx. 10 feet apart in a zig-zag pattern between the start and finish.
- Assign two people to be the “Bombers ” and give them each a bucket full of water and about 10 small sponges.
- Place one of the “bombers’ 10 feet past the finish line and one halfway between the start and finish lines.
- The job of the “bombers” is to try and hit the runners. The “halfway bomber” is only allowed to try and hit the runner until the runner has passed them and then they must cease fire.
- For every obstacle that the runner gets to they receive an assigned point value. Their total points equals their score. Great game to play on a hot day! [Back to Top]
Blanket Balloon Toss
- The leader of the game (not holding blanket) will launch (by catapult or throwing) water balloons into the air.
- The team must cooperate to get under the balloon and catch the balloon and re-launch it into the sky.
- Give the group different challenges: launch the balloon as high as possible into the air, fling it into a garbage can, pass it to another team, or more. [Back to Top]
Firemen’s Water Relay Race
- To start the Firemen’s Water Relay Race, form a line with your first player positioned about 10 feet from a water hose. Each player is given a cup.
- One person controls the hose and is responsible for “passing” the water stream into the cup of the first person in line.
- The first person in line will pass the water by pouring the water into the next person’s cup, who passes it to the next person, until it reaches the last person. That person’s task is pour their cup into a bucket.
- Once the last person pours into the bucket, they rotate to the water hose position and everyone else shifts down one position.
- Continue rotating until the bucket is filled. The bucket can be dumped on someone, like your camp counselor. If you have two hoses, you can make this a race. [Back to Top]
Adaptive Games for Children with Special Needs
Whenever possible, work to make all of your games fun and inclusive for your campers of all abilities. Ideally, the game should be structured in a way that the adaptive rules apply to everyone and don’t single out any children with different abilities. For example, modifying a game so all players roll a ball versus catching is perfect. Having all players catch a ball, but giving one child permission to roll it is well-intentioned, but not as desirable. These select games are fun for everyone!
- This game is played the same as Ultimate Frisbee, except instead of playing with a Frisbee play with a hula hoop.
- Divide the players into two teams in a sports field with a center line. Each has an ‘end zone’ just like in football.
- The idea is to pass the hula hoop forward, player to player (without moving forward while you actually have the hula hoop, only passing) until you get it to a player in your team who is in the opposite teams end zone.
- Hula hoops are much easier to catch than Frisbees, all you have to do it get an arm inside it or even your whole body if you’re in a wheelchair. [Back to Top]
- Place a string on each child’s lap in the circle.
- The leader begins by placing one bead onto the rope and passes it to the child on his/her right.
- That child is instructed to pull/push it across the string to the person to their right and so on around the circle. Beads are continuously placed so that each child eventually has one in their hand they are trying to pass along.
- At the end each child states what color the bead is in front of them they are trying to pass along. [Back to Top]
- Everyone sits in a circle so that each person has a clear view of each other.
- Each person places their small plastic bowl in front of them on the floor.
- Each person is given 2 or 3 marshmallows in their bowl. The object is to aim and throw marshmallows into someone else’s bowl.
- A time limit can be given. For example, You have 10 seconds to have an empty bowl. You can also give variations, such as “throw to people with brown hair.” [Back to Top]