Themes

Theme of the Week – All Ball

Does your camp have theme weeks or theme days? In this series of posts, I give you 5 ideas for different themes. Check the comments for more ideas and to add your own.

Below are my five suggestions. What’s yours?

TRADITIONAL BALL SPORTS

Of course, you’ve gotta go for the low hanging fruit and play traditional sports. There are so many to choose from.

  • Basketball
  • Football
  • Lacrosse
  • Volleyball
  • Soccer (Futbol)
  • Tennis
  • Golf

And how about the traditional playground sports.

  • Kickball
  • Dodgeball
  • Four Square
  • Whiffle Ball
  • Gaga Ball

But there are also those sports that use balls but aren’t so traditional, at least in North America.

  • Bocce Ball
  • Cricket
  • Broomball

“BALL”ROOM DANCING

Unless your campers have been through a Cotillion program, they probably have never been exposed to ballroom dancing. 

Once you have the steps down, many ballroom styles are quite simple. I don’t mean the campers are going to be ready to compete in a ballroom dance competition, but it wouldn’t take too much practice to be able to do the Waltz at a wedding reception.

There are a lot of benefits for kids learning ballroom dancing. Besides increased balance and coordination, it also helps to straighten one’s posture and helps develop social skills like a greater sense of trust and cooperation with a partner.

For those boys who scoff at dancing and only want to play sports, let them know that ballroom dance has been proven to help develop endurance, speed, focus, discipline, and dexterity.

Here are the easiest styles to learn for beginners.

  • Waltz
  • Foxtrot
  • Paso Doble
  • Cha Cha
  • Swing

JUGGLING

This is one of those activities that most people wish they had the basic skills to do. What better place to learn than camp?

There are tons of videos and written tutorials online that will teach you how to juggle. My favorite way, though, is to use scarves before moving on to beanbag type of balls. That’s how I learned.

Once you have learned the basics, or if you already have someone on staff that is a juggler, sit the campers down and begin the instruction. Here is a great video using this technique.

POPCORN BALLS

A theme week of All Ball doesn’t have to just be about physical activity. There are crafts you can do with pom poms, magic tricks you can learn using sponge balls and cooking recipes like Popcorn Balls.

I could lay out a recipe for you here, but it seems much more efficient to link to a great recipe for Popcorn Balls that also includes a few variations. So here you go.

THROWING BALLS AT A DUNK TANK

Dunk tanks are great. Especially if you have someone that the campers want to get wet, a favorite staff member, the camp director, the staff person that always seems like a buzzkill or serious all the time, or the counselor who never wants to get wet.

Whether this is for a camp carnival or other special camp event, the trick is to have different lines for campers to throw from. The younger the camper, the closer the line. And you always want to give them a bucket of balls to throw for their ticket.

However, renting a dunk tank can be quite expensive. Depending on where you are the fee can be $175-$300 for one day. You might want to consider purchasing an alternative dunk tank for a one time fee that you can always have at camp. 

KO Water Games Soak 'N' Wet (Alternative Dunk Tank)
  • Less expensive and safe alternative to a Dunk Tank.
  • Indoor use as well using a portable pool to catch water (Pool NOT included). Great for all...

 

14 Comments

  • OK, how about swapping the ball from basketball and baseball…nerf is safer.
    How about ball(oon) volleyball(oo) or dribbling a golf ball or a jacks ball or ?????

    • You are giving me ideas, Peggy. How about putting tokens with pictures of different kinds of balls (basketball, baseball, golf ball, volleyball, dodgeball, etc.) into a bag. Then choose a sport to play. Let’s say baseball. Now have someone reach into the bag to choose a random token. Whatever ball is on the token that is the ball you play with for that sport. “Uh oh, looks like we are playing baseball with a kickball. Thank goodness we didn’t pick out the bowling ball”.

    • Chanelle, there are a ton of games books you can get at Amazon or your local library. Look for any game with a ball and you’re good to go. Or be a bit creative and take a game that you like and doesn’t involve a ball and then add a ball giving the game a twist. Take a game like tag. You can add a ball a couple of different ways; the chaser has to dribble a basketball while running or kick a soccer ball, the chaser has to tag someone by trhrowing a Koosh or Gator ball at someone, when someone gets tagged they freeze in one place until they juggle three balls for 5 seconds. That’s just a quick, off the top of my head, example.

  • You could even expand the All Ball to include arts and crafts only with balls. For example make animals with pom pom balls, styrofoam balls, plasticine balls, etc (can you make a duck, a pig, a cow, only from balls?) Using Pilates balls can also make traditional games and races funny. What about a marble hunt – like an Easter egg hunt but instead the kids have to see how many marbles each team can find. What about a dance contest where each team has to use minimum 2 balls each in the dance choreography? Or make a mural using different sized, painted balls and throwing the balls at very large piece of paper on the ground (just make sure the paint washes off clothes).

  • Obstacle courses with a ball having to accompany you every step of the way…either with partners, linking arms and carrying the ball between you back to back, on all fours moving the ball ahead of you with your head/nose, running with ball between your knees…..

  • Another idea that would work along this theme is something that we’ve done in our camp a couple of times. It’s a take on ‘marble painting,’ where you put a piece of paper in a tray, put some paint on it, and roll marbles through it. We super-size it! We put a large piece of paper in a sensory table and use tennis balls in place of marbles. The kids love it and they can use teamwork to move the table around and create a large masterpiece!

  • How about dodgeball or castles & wizards (dodgeball with a “wizard” hiding in/behind a castle and able to revive participants).

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.