If your kid is going to sleep away camp any time soon, teaching them a few camping games can be a great way of helping them make new friends.
Team games can help to enhance friendships, but there’s also nothing wrong with a bit of healthy competition!
Here are 8 excellent games your kids should try to introduce during their next camp away from home.
1. One Fat Frog
This game requires nothing but a circle of happy campers – and some sharp wits (it’s a lot harder than it sounds).
One playing starts by saying the word “one.” The next player says “fat.” Keep going around the circle until the whole sentence is complete, one word at a time: “One fat frog sitting on a log.”
Then it gets more difficult. There are now two fat frogs sitting on a log. And the number of times each word is said (by different campers) matches the number of frogs. So it becomes:
Camper 1: “Two.”
Camper 2: “Two”
Camper 3: “Fat.”
Camper 4: “Fat.”
Keep going until someone messes up their counting – they’re the loser and the group starts over. How many frogs can your kid count?
A kid’s classic, again requiring nothing but your voice.
The first person says a sentence, and whispers it – once only – into the ear of the next camper. Who passes on the message to their neighbor.
Once it’s gone all the way around the circle, the first player says the message out loud, as well as their original sentence. It’s often quite amusing how things have changed.
Best played in a big group for maximum message distortion.
Tell a story together, with hilarious results. You’ll need pens and paper for this one.
Each player gets a pen and a sheet of paper, and writes down two or more adjectives to start. Then passes the sheet to their left, and takes the sheet from their right.
Then add these parts on the subsequent turns, to create the next phases of the story, and pass the sheets further around the circle each time.
- A man’s name
- One or more adjectives
- A woman’s name
- Where they met
- What he gave her
- What he said to her
- How she replied
- What did they do afterwards?
When you’ve got through all 9 steps, the kids take it in turns to unfold the pages and read out the results. Prepare to laugh!
4. Camping Songs
Not quite a game, but still great entertainment around the campfire.
There are loads of easy songs to sing along with, for all age groups.
Whether it’s the latest pop hits or solid campfire classics like the hokey pokey, it’s all in good fun. The best camps will have staff at the ready who already know all the words. So you don’t have to!
5. Twenty Questions
Time for some detective work.
Someone think of a person, object, or place, and the others have to find out what they’re thinking about. Take it in turns to ask questions – but they need to be questions that can be answered with a “yes” or “no.”
So you could ask “Are you thinking of a man?” But you couldn’t ask “Who are you thinking of?” as a follow-up.
By working your way through lots of questions, you can build up a more specific picture. And then after twenty questions (or before, if they’re real hot-shots), your kids can guess at who, what, where – or whatever – the answer is.
Whoever guesses correctly gets to think up the next answer for the group to guess.
Card games are great when you’re camping – a deck of cards doesn’t take up much space in a backpack, and they’re an easy way to break the ice.
Snap is perhaps the simplest card game out there. So it’s perfect for kids.
One player is the dealer, and deals cards (face down) to every other player, as evenly as possible, and making sure that all 52 cards have been dealt.
The stacks of cards stay face down in front of each child.
Each player, starting from the left of the dealer,
If they get tired of snap, they can always move onto another easy card game. There are so many, they won’t be getting bored for a while!
Everyone sits in a circle, and passes around an imaginary ‘zip’.
The zip goes to the left, but someone can say ‘zap’ to pass to the right. Everyone needs to be on their toes – undue delay is a ‘strike’. So is pointing the wrong way when you zip or zap. After three strikes, you’re out!
The game then resets.
Just to confuse the issue, players can also say ‘boing’ to either a zip or a zap – but they don’t point. This sends the zip/zap back to the player who sent it, who then has to think really fast about passing it along!
For an extra challenge, try to play the version where laughing also counts as a strike. This tends to end the game rather quickly though!
8. Duck Duck Goose
Another easy ‘in a circle’ game.
One player walks around the outside of the circle, tapping heads, saying “duck” every time they tap.
But when they reach their chosen player, they yell “goose” – the player who was tapped needs to stand up, fast(!), and chase the picker. If they catch up with them and tap them on the back, the picker stays in their role for the next round.
If the chosen player doesn’t catch up, they become the picker. Simple!
Camping Games: Great Fun for All
Nothing beats camping games for inclusive fun during a sleep away camp.
But when things wind down for the evening, nothing beats curling up with a good book, so your kid has their energy back for all the fun and games the next day!
Follow our blog for more great advice on what to take to camp, how to prepare your kids, and how to make sure they have the best time of their lives.