The other day one of my staff asked me for $45 so he could get a bean bag toss game for camp. After I approved it I asked myself if $45 could be put to better use. So I grabbed my wallet and drove to the nearest dollar store. After spending an hour in Dollar Tree I left with a variety of items. Here’s what I was able to do with only $23 +tax…
1. Sports Bucket Toss
This can be a carnival game, a theme challenge or just a cabin group game.
- 1 soccer bucket $1
- 1 basketball bucket $1
- 1 set of mini plush soccer balls $1
- 1 set of mini plush basketballs $1
- Stand 5+ feet away.
- Toss the balls in the bucket.
- After 4 tosses the next person goes.
- Too easy? Step further back.
2. Fill the Tube
Campers go head-to-head trying to fill the tube to a certain line using squirt guns.
- 1 pack of plastic plant pots $1
- 6 pack of plastic shot tubes $1
- 1 pack of rocks $1 (These are to weigh down the plastic pots. If you have rocks around camp you won’t need to buy these.)
- 3 water guns $3 (They sell smaller water guns in packs of 3 but they leak a lot. It’s best to buy the bigger water guns individually.)
- Each team gets a squirt gun and a colored tube.
- Stand 3-5 feet away.
- On “Go!” one person from each team begins squirting the gun trying to fill the tube. This is not easy.
- After 30 seconds the next person on each team goes.
- The first team to fill their tube to the line wins. (Use a small piece of colored tape to mark a line on each tube.)
If you still find this to be too difficult then turn the tubes upside down and have the campers shoot them off the table.
3. Bandana Toss
This can also be a carnival game or it can be a fun time filler for cabin groups. Each player/team gets a specific number of plastic jewels to toss onto the bandana for points.
- Bandana $1
- 4 packs of plastic jewels $4
- Each player or team gets a specific number of plastic jewels. There are four different colors – 1 color for each person/team.
- Players take turns tossing the jewels onto the bandana.
- Points are as follows
- Not on bandana – 0 points
- On outer edge of bandana – 10 points
- In paisley area of bandana – 25 points
- In center of bandana – 50 points
- After all the jewels have been tossed tally up the points.
- The winner is the one with the highest score.
Counselors should keep a pack of these with them.
- 1 pack of 8 tops $1
- On “Go” each camper spins their top.
- The last one standing wins.
5. Net Catch
Campers find a partner. One tosses, one catches.
- 1 pack of four colored Wiffle type balls $1 (These balls have a tendency to come apart. Use some Scotch tape around the seam and you’ll be good to go.)
- 4 nets $4
- Four pairs of players start.
- One player holds the net.
- One player stands 10+ feet away and tosses the ball to their partner.
- If the ball is caught in the net it is returned to the thrower who then takes 3 steps back and tosses again.
- The team that is able to successfully toss and catch the ball from the furthest distance away wins.
6. Rock Signs
Using rocks create a sign in front of your cabin (or in another location if you run a day camp) to welcome the “Cleanest Cabin” judge.
- 1 pack of smooth rocks $1 (zero cost if you have your own rocks around camp)
- You can make all kinds of welcome signs
- We are the Best
- Camp Rainbow is Awesome
- Our counselor rules
- This way –> for fun times
- We love the Cleanest Cabin judges
- Please take off your shoes before entering
- Happy Birthday, Lucas
7. Fling It
Using hair ties, campers try to fling their tie in a pot, circle or vase.
- 1 pack of 30 colorful hair ties $1
- 1 pack of plastic plant plots or 1 pack of smooth rocks or 1 glass vase $1
- 6 campers each get 5 hair ties of the same color.
- They take their shots from 5+ feet away.
- The camper that gets the most hair ties in the object wins.
Into the plastic plant pots
Into the rock circle
Into the glass vase
8. Mini Trophies
- 1 pack of 4 mini trophies $1
- Counselors can give their campers a trophy for accomplishing something…anything.
- Use a label maker to personalize the trophy if you’d like.
- Campers can give each other trophies for something they appreciate about them.
- Trophies can be given out to campers for clean cabin of the week awards.
9. House Points
In the cabin is a glass vase. Fill it by being good campers and there will be a reward.
- Vase $1
- 1 pack of smooth rocks $1 or 4 packs of plastic jewels $4
- Mark a line on the vase with a Sharpie or tape.
- Let the group know that if they get enough rocks (or jewels) in the vase to reach the line they will be rewarded.
- Each time someone does something good another rock is added to the vase…
- a kind word
- doing a chore
- accomplishing a task
- being quiet
- getting to an activity on time
- winning clean cabin of the day
- If the group gets to the line or fills the vase they are rewarded…
- sleep in
- after lights out dessert bar
- special hike
- special gifts from the counselor
- get to stay up late
- extra kayak time
10. Toss Across
- 1 pack of plastic plant pots $1
- 1 pack of Wiffle style balls $1
- 1 cardboard box $0 (Here’s a used box from a delivery. You can also get these boxes at the post office for free, but I don’t think the USPS would appreciate you not using them for their intended purpose.)
- First, decorate the box if you want. I didn’t do it on this one obviously, but I will for the next one.
- Also, next time I will make sides and a back by taping cardboard strips onto the box.
- Turn the pot upside down on the box and trace around the edge of the pot.
- Trace out all the holes before you cut.
- If it looks good then go ahead and cut the holes. An X-acto knife is probably the best tool for this job. I used a box cutter, since that was all I had nearby. Next time I’ll find the X-acto knife.
- Do not cut on the line – cut well inside the lines so the pots will not fall through the holes.
- Place the pots in the holes and get ready to play.
- Each player gets 4 balls. (Use Scotch tape around the seam of these dollar store balls as they tend to come apart.)
- A prize or points are given depending on the number of balls that go into the holes.
- Or you can paint the top edge of a couple of holes and the player must get the ball into one of the colored holes to win.