For young children, summer’s a rollicking good time to be filled with memories that can last a lifetime. Going to summer camp, it’s an exciting and anxious time. Give children the chance to connect with others and to express themselves by providing them fun summer camp activities and games. Here’s a quick list of our favourite fun summer camp games any camp counselor or parent can use to keep the good vibes going.
1. Obstacle course
Visiting a local Walmart or similar general store, you can find a variety of things which you can manufacture into an obstacle course. For a camp with a focus on fitness or who want to have something more challenging to do, an obstacle course can be a nice way to spend an afternoon. By using teams, it can also be an excellent way to build camaraderie and give everyone there the chance to meet others in the summer camp group.
Put on some tunes and enjoy a classic old-time family game at camp. Limbo tests flexibility and strategy, and requires nothing more than a broomstick. Challenge each person to do their best and see how low you can go.
Cornhole is a game a lot of us know which can be a nice thing to take out at summer camp to help keep everyone occupied and having fun with something easy. Cornhole uses beanbags, tossing them into a hole in an angled wooden box.
4. Alphabet game
The alphabet game involves starting with a letter and saying, ‘I’m going to summer camp and I’m taking…’ and then you say your lettered response. The next person repeats the same thing and adds their own contribution with the next letter. This pattern continues on and on, constantly repeating word-for-word what came before them. Those who can’t mess up the order or who can’t remember, they’re out! The last person left in the game wins but only if they can complete the full list!
5. Musical chairs
Musical chairs allows the children to share some of their favourite music a la everyone picks one song. Then, the game itself can help be a fun way to spend an afternoon. Musical chairs starts with everyone walking around in a circle of chairs as the music plays. When the music stops, everyone sits down. Those who don’t have a chair have to leave the game. Consolation prizes can be a fun way to keep things light.
Charades normally relies on celebrities and entertainment but at summer camp, this game’s about using what’s around you. Think animals or things appropriate to the setting. Add an educational component to it, if you want. For this one, it might take some time to write out camping-related animals and insects so you’ll need to plan ahead. They are also fun party games to play with adults as well.
Telephone is a calm close-to-bedtime sort of summer camp game. Everyone sits in a circle. The first person whispers something into the ear of the person next to them. Then, that person whispers the same thing to the person next to them. This continues until the end of the line. The last person who receives this information must stand up and recite it. This can be a fun summer camp game to wind down with or use on a rainy day when the outdoors can’t be accessed.
8. Scavenger hunt
Let’s be honest. Scavenger hunts are fun and perfect for any age group. Write out a list of things around the campsite you can use. Give everyone a list and a bag to gather everything. Assign teams and give children the chance to search together. At the end of the scavenger hunt, you can reward the winners with a snack of some kind. So easy!
9. I am
‘I am’ is a game only requiring some paper and tape. Put some nouns down on paper, either people, places, or things. Then, every person draws a piece of paper and tapes it to the forehead of the person to their left. From there, go around turn-by-turn. A person can ask as many questions as they want, on a time limit, to find out the noun taped to them. After a person guesses their person, they take the paper off and then they receive another paper. If you’re looking for fun summer camp games for teenagers or older children, this can be a very fun way to spend an afternoon or evening.
Hopscotch only works if you have some pavement to draw chalk squares on. If you don’t have some pavement to work with, scratch this one off the list. That said, you can put together some hopscotch rings on cleared ground as well. No matter where you put your hopscotch, give everyone the chance to put down their own rings. Anyone who completes the course or who makes an attempt to complete it can put down the next ring. It can get real fun working on a complex course.