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- All participants sit in a circle.
- The leader starts the story with a sentence beginning with the word, “fortunately”.
- The next person continues the story with a sentence beginning with the word “unfortunately”.
- The pattern continues through the entire circle.
The goal is to create a story that makes sense and can be ended by the last person in the circle.
Example: Fortunately, my car started this morning. Unfortunately, my car was out of gasoline.
Fortunately, my friend showed up. Unfortunately, he got lost on the way.
Thanks to Elizabeth Owens for sharing this idea.
FIRST TO 100 DICE GAME
Supplies (per team):
- Blank Pieces of Paper
- One Pencil
- Two Dice
- Divide group into teams of 5, each player has a piece of paper.
- Teams sit around a table and take turns rolling the dice.
- The first player to roll a 2 (snake eyes) grabs the pencil and starts writing 1, 2, 3, and so on, up to 100 as fast as they can.
- Meanwhile, the dice gets passed to the next player, and the next player, etc. Each time a player rolls a 2; they take the pencil and start writing.
- The first player to get to 100 wins.
- There is only one pencil. You have until the next 2 is rolled to get as far as you can.
- The next time you roll a 2 and get the pencil, you pick up where you left off and continue as fast as you can.
You can change the number that you want them to roll to encourage adding or just do matching numbers.
Thanks to Sandra Clayton for sharing this idea.
HYPED UP BINGO
- A bingo kit with the balls
- Bingo sheets
- Chips or doppers to mark the numbers
The game is played as normal except that the caller is SUPER excited about which numbers come out. Picture a caller more like an auctioneer, shouting and pointing around the crowd at whoever gets the numbers.
It also helps to place counselors around the room to bump up the energy level and get the campers into the game. The heightened energy makes everyone feel like they’re playing a big stakes game and the winner will be pumped!
Thanks to Dr. VonSchteubenstein for sharing this idea.
- Whatever you need to make carnival booths
- We divide our children up into groups of ten or so (depends on your camp size)
- Each group is responsible for coming up with a booth idea that can be made from stuff they find at camp.
- The children are really creative and they have come up with many exciting and interesting booths over the years.
Now that there is Pinterest, you can find some games there that are easy and made with camp items.
Carnival Game Ideas:
- Make a skee-ball run out of a box (this is now on Pinterest)
- Ping pong ball toss into cups
- Punch bowls (tissue paper over cups or bowls. The children then punch the tissue paper and get whatever is inside)
- Paper bag piñata
- Pool noodle toss through a hula hoop
- Baseball throw
Thanks to Stephanie Powell for sharing this idea.
RAINY DAY CAMP RECORDS
We go for world records in:
- Keeping a balloon in the air—count how many times we can hit it before it hits the floor.
- Number of paper airplanes in the air.
- Biggest straw and pipe cleaner structure made (this is done in groups).
- Largest number of card houses up and stable at the same time.
- Most number of campers
- Standing on their heads
- Doing jumping jacks
- Balancing on one foot
Thanks to Johanna Sievers for sharing this idea.
- Send the kids to their cabins to get blankets, sleeping bags anything they can to make a fort and bring it to the dining hall.
- Split the hall into two teams.
- They can use the tables and benches to create their Fort.
- When finished, have one staff member go around and pick the best Fort, not just in design but for the story and creativity behind it.
- This activity kept the kids occupied for hours. Just play some music while they are building and who knows, maybe a dance competition could start on the new grounds of their forts.
Thanks to Courtney Smith for sharing this idea.
We have 5 different (special office only) stuffed animals that are office only toys.
- Before the campers arrive we hide them in different indoor areas of the camp.
- Elmo in the drama room dressed up so he isn’t that visible.
- Teeny (the elephant) in the gym up on the climbing wall.
- Bubbles (the fish) in a zip lock bag filled with bubble wrap in the nurses office.
- Jumpy (the frog) in the lunch room lost and found box.
- Wings (the bat) flying in the hallway.
- Then during round up we tell the campers that the animals are missing.
- After round up we tell them their mission is to find them—take a selfie with each one and make sure the entire cabin group is represented in the five photos and report back to the office.
- Once all groups have reported back we print the photos and then post them.
- Campers are given three stickers to put on the most creative picture, the silliest poses in a picture and the one they like the most.
- At the end of the day we announce the winning cabin group and they get an award.
Thanks to Johanna Sievers for sharing this idea.
AFTERNOON WITH THE OLD FOLKS
- Campers spend some time getting dressed up like old people. They love adopting
funny voices, talking about “the old days,” wearing wigs and granny shawls,
and making canes out of sticks.
- Afternoon entertainment includes games like Bingo! (Engagement in this game
skyrockets when campers are in character. Especially when they bring all of their
good luck charms along with them!).
Thanks to Ettie Cohen for sharing this idea.
- Place different colors/shapes/items in the corners of your room.
- Play music.
- While music is playing, let campers dance around.
- When music turns off, they must select a corner and get there before a counselor (or selected camper) counts to 5.
- Counselor, with eyes closed, then calls out a corner (i.e.: hula hoop!)
- All campers/counselors in that corner are “out”.
- Keep playing until there is a winner
Thanks to Sarah Carter for sharing this idea.
- Divide into small groups with 4-6 campers.
- Each group gets a box filled with the same supplies. It could be anything you have available. Some ideas are tape, Popsicle sticks, rubber bands, plastic cups, construction paper, etc.
- Give them an allotted time (about 45 minutes) to create a unique invention using only the materials provided.
- They also must create a commercial to promote their product.
- At the end of the time allow each group to present their products and commercials.
Thanks to Lisa Seligson for sharing this idea.
Looking for more great ideas? Check out my PDF ebook 101 Incredible Rainy Day Activities.