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These games are for larger groups. Groups of 15+ are ideal. If your group and another group, or two, are sitting around waiting for the next activity, talk with the other leaders and get the kids together to play one of the games.
Everyone loves to play games. These games are geared towards the small group of 8 to 12 players. Try not to over play a game. You don’t want your group to get bored of it.
The team building activities require props. Having your group participate in these activities can be very beneficial to the group dynamic, especially in the beginning of the group’s formation (i.e. the first day). Pay attention to the roles each child takes. Who are the leaders? The quiet ones? The thinkers? Who needs constant attention? After each activity debrief with the group. Ask questions like: How do you think that went? What could have been done better? Did anyone have a suggestion that was ignored? How did that make you feel?
Stuck inside? Here are some great indoor games!
Large Group Games
Start with 2 teams. One team is given an object, their team then forms a circle around them and that person throws the object. After he has thrown the object then he goes around the circle saying everyone's name in order of the circle. Every time he makes it around the circle it counts as a run. Meanwhile the other team is chasing the object. Everyone forms a line behind the first person that has gotten the object. They then pass the object between their legs until it reaches the last person, where it is then passed overhead back to the first person in line. When the first person gets the object the team yells out, and the other team stops counting runs. The first person in line that retrieved the object now has a circle formed around him and he throws the object and the process reverses.
Divide children into two equal groups. Each group should have the same amount of balls to start the game. Have the two groups stand on opposite sides of the center line. The game leader shouts "All Over" to start the game. The balls can be passed to the other side by being kicked, thrown or rolled. As soon as there are no balls on one side of the center line, the game leader shouts "All Over" to signal the end of the game. When using a large amount of balls, we would end the game after a few minutes and the group with the fewest amount of balls on their side wins.
You need soft objects that can be used as “Stingers”. Give 2 people the “stingers” and these people are the bees. All the other people are the butterflies. The bees must go around stinging the butterflies (hitting them on the legs with the soft objects). A butterfly that has been stung must stop where it is and freeze. For a butterfly to heal, 2 untagged butterflies must link arms around the injured butterfly and escort them to a designated area in the middle where the bees cannot go. The injured butterfly will count out loud to 5 and then can get back into the game. The game end when all the butterflies are stung or when it gets boring. A few things to note: Butterflies that are escorting another butterfly cannot be tagged. No butterfly can hide out in the safe area.
Divide the children into two equal teams. Have teams face each other across from an imaginary line. You could use a rope divider if you like. Assign one side to be "Crows" and the other to be "Cranes." The leader stands at the end of the group in the center so all players can see and hear him/her. The leader calls out either "Crows" or "Cranes." If "Crows" are called, the Cranes must turn and run a short distance to their "base" before the Crows tag them. If any Cranes are tagged, they become Crows, and head to the other side for another round. The same applies when "Cranes" are called. Play until everyone is on one side.
Two people are it. They hold hands and chase people. Any person they catch joins the chain by linking hands. When another person is caught they can stay together or spilt 2 and 2, but they must split even numbers and can link together at will. This game is played until nobody is left.
A tag game that will wear your kids out!! Make really big boundaries. One person is "it." This person has to chase the others. When he tags someone, that person must lay down with both hands and feet sticking straight up, like a dead ant (because everyone knows that's what dead ants look like). In order for the dead ant to come alive, four people must tag one limb each. Once someone has been a dead ant three times (this is on the honor system), they are now "it". It's always possible to have multiple people being "it" and makes it crazier when you don't know who to run from!
Divide campers into two teams. Campers form two lines at opposite ends of the playing area, and march towards each other until they reach the center of the field. The counselor in charge tells them to “HALT!” Each player should be facing a player on the other team. On the count of three, the campers perform one of three motions (the whole team doing the SAME motion): DRAGON (arms raised above head, growling) PRINCESS (arms low at side like you're twirling a skirt, saying “oOOOOooOOO” in a girly voice) KNIGHT (arms held in front like you are gripping a sword) (Dragons beat princesses ; Knights beat Dragons; Princesses beat Knights) The team that wins chases the losing team back to their starting position (find some way to mark this area). If a losing team member is tagged, they join the other team and the whole process starts all over.
Divide your group into two lines facing each other about 30 feet apart. The leader stands in the middle of the lines and serves as the "caller." The leader calls out something about people in the group, such as a color they are wearing, a month they were born in, etc. If the characteristic is true about a participant, they must try to run to the other side without getting tagged by the caller. If someone is tagged, they kneel down where they are tagged and try to tag others who are running by. You can also have tagged players become movable helpers if you choose. Once a call has been made, and everyone who has safely made it to the other side are settled, the caller continues to call out new characteristics. Regardless of the side a player is on, they run to the other side if the item called is true about them. If the leader calls "Fanuary," everyone standing runs to the opposite side.
Choose 2 people in the group to start as “The Jokers.” The rest of the group become the “Immobile Bovine” and must lay down on their backs. The Jokers walk from Bovine to Bovine trying to make them laugh without touching them. Once a Bovine laughs, they stand up and become a joker. The game continues until there are only two Immobile Bovines left.
Create boundaries for a playing area. Make it big enough for the group to have enough space to run around safely. Choose a ball that is heavy enough to be thrown but not so heavy that it could be painful to the players. Gator balls work very well. The game begins with one Monarch. This person starts with the ball and is technically the "It". As the only Monarch, this person can run with the ball and try to hit another player with it. As soon as another player has been hit with the ball they become a Monarch as well and game play changes slightly. With more than one Monarch whoever is holding the ball can NO LONGER MOVE WITH IT. All the other Monarchs can move without the ball but the person with the ball must stand still. The ball can be passed from Monarch to Monarch in an attempt hit other players with it creating more Monarchs. Play the game until there is one person left. Occasionally, it will be necessary to find out who the Monarchs are and who they are not. The leader of the game will call out "Monarchs show yourselves!" At this point, the game is paused and everyone who is a Monarch must crouch down and touch the ground. The game continues when the leader says "Monarchs go get them."
To play this game you will need a fairly open area (ie: a lawn) and pre-set boundary lines. One player is chosen at random to be the “Park Ranger”. This player begins in the center of the lawn.(if the group is very large two Park Rangers can exist at once.) All other players stand in a line (shoulder-to-shoulder) facing the Park Ranger. All of these players choose an animal. This animal becomes your identity and there is no need, though it is not forbidden, to tell anyone else what your animal is. The Park Ranger then says a characteristic that the other player’s animals may have (ex: “If your animal has a beak…feathers…four legs” etc.) If a player’s animal does have the feature mentioned they must run across the lawn without being tagged or going out of the boundaries. The Park Ranger tries to tag as many people as possible. If a player is tagged they become a “Tree”. Trees freeze where they are tagged and though they cannot move their feet they can sway and tag others as they run past. If a Tree tags you, you too become a tree. The last player who is not a tree wins and gets to be the Park Ranger for future rounds.
Everyone stands in a circle around or in a line in front of one person with the Boffer (pool noodles are great!) far enough away as not to be hit. The Samurai swings at the group, either high, at head level, or low at ankle level. If he swings high, the group ducks. If he swings low, the group jumps. He is not actually supposed to hit the participants with the sword, but if someone jumps when they are supposed to duck or vice versa, they are “out” until the one left is the next Samurai.
Have the group stand in a circle. One player is sent out of the circle. The leader chooses one player to be the “Chief”. The “Chief” starts doing a motion (i.e. clapping hands, foot stomp, a dance, etc.). The group does everything the “Chief” does. The player on the outside is asked to rejoin the circle and stands in the middle. The player gets 3 attempts to guess who the “Chief” is. The “Chief” must frequently change the motions.
Ship/Shore is similar to Simon Says. There is one person that is IT (a.k.a. Simon). IT stands at the front of the group and calls out commands that the rest of the campers must do. If a camper does the wrong action, or if it is an action that requires them to get into groups and there is a person without a group, then they are out. Some of the actions are: 'Ship' all campers move towards the ship (one side of the playing field) 'Shore' all campers move towards the shore (the opposite side of the playing field) 'Man overboard' 2 person action. One person gets down on hands and knees. The other person puts one foot on the back of the person on the ground and shades their eyes like they are looking into the distance for someone. 'Crows nest' 3 person action. 3 campers get together with their backs towards each other and lock arms. 'Captain's coming'. Each person must salute. Campers cant move from 'captains coming' until IT calls 'at ease'. If a player moves, they are out. (similar to in Simon Says when IT says 'jump up and down' rather than 'simon says up and down') 'At ease'. All campers put their hands at their sides and can continue when the next action is called. 'Hit the deck'. All campers lay down on their bellies. 'Three men in a boat'. 3 campers get in a line and squat. They must act like they are rowing a boat while they sing "Row Row Row Your Boat". 'Octopus'. Campers must lay on their backs with their arms and feet waving in the air.
Have the group get in a circle. The first person starts by saying “Ah” and placing their open palm hand across their chest. Depending on where their fingers are pointing, the person to either their right or left will go next. The next person says “Soh” while placing their hand on their head with fingers pointing to either their right or left. Whichever person their fingers are pointing at will go next. That person will say “Ko” while pointing with their open palm (the Zen clap) to anyone in the circle. The selected person can either start again with “Ah” or they can raise their hands to their face (like they are crying into their hands) and loudly saying “No!” If the player says “No!” then the “energy” passes back to the previous person who said “Ko”. That person will now start again with “Ah” If a player takes to long, does the wrong action or says the wrong word they are out. Players who are out can move around the outside of the circle “heckling” or try to confuse other players.
This game is best played in a large group. Sit all of the children in a circle, and have them all put their heads down. Tap one person on the head, this person is the ‘assassin’ and has to eliminate the others by winking at them. If you are winked at, silently count to 10, then safely fall down. If you think you know who the ‘assassin’ is, before you get eliminated, you can say you have a suspect. If you are wrong, you are out. If not, you win and the game begins again.
Divide the group into 2 teams. Each team sits in a line, shoulder-to-shoulder. Teams face each other. Players hold hands. All players, except the first and last player of each team, must close their eyes. The last player keeps his/her eyes on the “object”. The “object” can be anything; backpack, Frisbee, stuffed animal, shirt, acorn, etc. The leader flips a coin. If it’s heads the first player of each team gently squeezes the hand of the next player on their team. The 2nd player sends the “impulse” down the line by squeezing the 3rd player’s hand, and so on. The last player grabs the object when their hand is squeezed. The team to grab the object first wins 1 point. The first team to 10 points wins. Teams lose 1 point for grabbing the object early. This usually happens when the flipped coin is tails and the first player mistakenly sends the “impulse”. No one should talk during the game. This is to prevent players from tipping off the last person. Change the order of players frequently. While this game can be played with a small group it’s more fun to play with a larger group. Have everyone get in pairs. The leader (the person who does not have a partner) calls out a “connection”, for example “hand to hand”, “knee to knee”, “toe to toe”. The partners perform the connection. So if knee to knee is called the partners connect their knees. When “people to people” is called then everyone has to find a new partner. The person who is left without a partner becomes the leader or “caller”.
Designate boundaries of a field. Inside the field is the shark. At one end of the field are the minnows. When the leader says “swim” the minnows try to get to the other end of the field without getting tagged or “eaten” by the shark. If a minnow is tagged they become a shark. All the sharks are able to move around the playing field. They cannot, however, go into the minnow “safety areas” on either ends of the field. The minnows go back and forth until there is one left. Variation: The minnows that get caught must freeze where they are and try to tag the remaining minnows as they ”swim” by. The shark is always able to move around the field.
Mark off three sections on the ground with tape, chalk or in the dirt. The three sections are the Poop Deck, Main Deck, and Quarter Deck. Everyone starts on the Poop Deck. The leader calls the name of a deck and all the players run to that particular area. The last player to reach the deck is out. If the leader calls the same deck that the players are already in any player that crosses the line into a different deck is out. The game continues until there is one player left.
Divide the group into 2 teams. Teach the three characters: Giants (stand on their toes, stretch their arms over their head and growl.) Wizards (hunch over, cast a spell by wiggling fingers and say “Abracadabra!”) Elves (crouch down, cup hands for big ears and squeals.) Teams line up facing each other. Teams decide as a whole what character they want to be; Giants, Wizards, or Elves. Teams then face each other while the leader counts down 3...2...1...Go! Teams imitate the characters they have chosen. Giants beat Elves. Elves beat Wizards. Wizards beat Giants. The winning team then chases the losing team and attempts to tag as many of them as possible. The losing team races to their safety zone (a line that is 30’-60’ away) to avoid getting tagged. The tagged players become part of the other team. Continue until everyone is on one team.
(fast food, electrical appliance, cartoon hero) This is a charades game for 2 or more teams. Each team should be far enough from the other teams that they cannot hear their answers. The leader (counselor) stands at a spot that is equal distance from each team. The first player of each team stands next to the leader. The leader gives the players their first word and the players run to their groups to act it out. Once a team has correctly guessed the word a new player from that team runs to the leader, tells the leader the word, and gets a new word. Each player must go at least once. The team that guesses all the words first (without cheating, of course) wins. Sample List of Words: McDonalds Wonder Woman Refrigerator Fried Chicken Scooby Doo Toaster Taco Bell Superman Microwave French Fries Jimmy Neutron Blender Big Mac Bugs Bunny Can Opener Burger King Danny Phantom Air Conditioner Onion Rings Batman Dishwasher Pepsi Incredible Hulk Washer/Dryer Choc. Shake Spiderman Vacuum Burrito Kim Possible Coffee Maker Whopper Homer Simpson Iron
This game is played with a large ball, each kid picks a number in the beginning of the game. Then the game is started by one person throwing it up in the air and calls out a number. The child whose number is called, grabs the ball and yells ‘freeze’. Then the child with the ball takes three steps toward another player and throws the ball under arm at that player. If they are hit, the child gets a S, but if they miss the thrower gets a S. Each time there is a mistake, a letter is given out, until someone is a S-P-U-D.
Get everone in a circle with one person in the middle.
The person in the middle walks around inside the cricle while eveyone else sings, “Little Sally Walker walking down the street. She didnt know what to do so she stoped in front of me. (at this point, the one in the middle stands in front of someone and does a dance move)
(Still singing….) Hey girl, do that thing do that thing and switch! (the the person that got picked does the dance move) (still singing) Hey girl do that thing do that thing and swich!
The new person now walks on the inside of the circle and continues the game.
Small Group Games
Two players stand on “stage”. The first player starts doing an action. For example, she starts brushing her teeth. The next player asks, “What are you doing?”. The first player replies with an action other than brushing teeth. For example the player brushing her teeth might say, “I’m jump roping of course.” The second player must now do that action while the first player leaves the stage. As the second player is “jump roping” the next player comes up and asks, “What are you doing?” The player responds with a different action of his or her choice, “I’m acting like a monkey of course.” The new player must now act like a monkey...
Break the group into 2-4 person teams and have them act out a scene from a movie or TV show. Give them a few minutes to practice. When everyone is ready have the teams go in front of the group to act out their scene. Teams get points for correct guesses. Go three rounds. During round 1 the players can talk. During Round 2 the players can make noises but cannot say words. During round 3 players must do their scene in complete silence. If the kids are too young or shy for this activity have the leaders act out the scenes.
For this game you will be using a ball that the kids can hit with their head. Soft dodge balls, foursquare balls and beach balls are good depending on the ages of the kids. Have the group stand in a circle. The leader stands in the middle and tosses the ball to a player saying either “Head it” or “Catch it.” If the leader says “Head it” the player must catch it without dropping it. If the leader says “Catch it” the player must head it (hit it with their head). It’s a simple game of opposites. The leader is the one who always tosses the ball and calls out an action. Players who do the wrong thing are out until the next round.
If you have over ten people, break the group into two groups. Each person needs to think of 2 truths and 1 lie about themselves. They then tell the group two truths and a lie and the group tries to guess which one is the lie. Once the group guesses, the person tells them which one is a lie. Everyone gets a chance to tell about themselves including the counselors.
Everyone starts as an egg by squatting down. On “Go!” everyone finds another egg. Each pair will play rock, paper, scissors. Winners go up the evolution chart and losers go down. The winner becomes a chicken, standing up with their arms like wings and walking like a chicken. Chickens become Dinosaurs by placing their hands near their chest like little arms and roaring. Dinosaurs who win become humans by placing their hands out like they are Superman flying. Once a player becomes human they must play rock, paper, scissors one more time. If they win they have evolved out of the game. The loser, of course, goes back to being a dinosaur.
Have the group sit in a circle. The leader chooses a number. Seven is the most popular number for this game. So any time a number with a 7 or any number divisible by 7 comes up it needs to be replaced by the word “buzz”. The leader begins the round by saying “1”. The next person in the circle says “2” and so forth. If a player takes too long or doesn’t say “buzz” at the right time is out. Variations: For younger kids 5 is a good number to use. You can also have two numbers like 5 and 7. The number 5 would be “bizz” and 7 would be “buzz”. Yikes!
Have the group stand in a wide circle. Two players are inside the circle. One is the bat and the other is the moth. Bats have bad eyesight. Blindfold the bat. Bats use echolocation to find their prey. The bat moves around the circle and says “Bat”. As soon as the bat says “Bat” the moth must immediately reply with “Moth”. The bat tries to tag the moth by listening to where the moth is. He or she continues to say “bat” every few seconds or so. (Do not allow the bat to say “Bat, bat, bat, bat...in rapid succession.) The rest of the group should remain quiet. When the bat tags the moth change players.
2 players Place 15 rocks in 5 rows: 5 in the first row O O O O O 4 in the second row O O O O 3 in the third row O O O 2 in the fourth row O O 1 in the fifth row O Two players alternate taking rocks. Each player can take away as many or as few rocks as they like during their turn, however on each turn the rocks must be taken from the same row. For example, a player can take three rocks from row 5, but cannot take two rocks from row 4 and one from row 2. The player to take the last rock loses..
Have the group sit in a circle. The first player starts off with a word, any word, and then starts counting to five. Before reaching five, the next player must say a word that starts with the last letter of the previous word. For example, if the first player said “cow” the next player must say a word that starts with w (wild, worm, whip, etc.). Then the next player goes. Words cannot be repeated. If a player does not say a word before the count of five or repeats a word, he/she gets a strike. Three strikes, you’re out. The leader may adjust the count to make the game easier or harder.
The leader begins by saying, “I’m going on a picnic and I’m bringing _________”. The first letter of the item must start with the first letter of their name. For example, if the leaders name is John he can bring Jell-O or jambalaya. If the leaders name is Sarah she can bring a salad or sandwiches. Going around the circle, each person tells the group what they are bringing. The leader will either say “Yes, you can come to the picnic”, or “No, you cannot come to the picnic with that” Make sure the players know not to tell the secret once they’ve figured it out.
Have the group get in a circle. The leader starts the count at 1. Then one of the kids, anywhere in the circle, says “2”, the next one says “3”, and so on. Nobody knows who is going to say the next number. If two or more kids say the same number, the group starts again at 1. The kids try to get to 20 without talking over each other and saying the same number. As with any game, continue as long as the group is enjoying it (or you get to 20).
Great for a hot day. Played the same as Duck-duck-goose, but instead of touching the heads of those not picked they have a little bit of water from a cup dropped on their head. The person picked gets the rest of the cup poured on their head.
Get into a circle with one person in the center. This person will then call out elephant, cow, or giraffe. The person that is pointed out, as well as the person on each side of him/her, will have to coordinate their actions and make each animal as described. Elephant: center will stick both hands in front of their nose in a cylinder to form a trunk. On each side of them they will form the ears by leaning over placing one hand by the center persons hips and the other by their head. Cow: center person will enter lock their fingers and turn them upside down so that the thumbs point down forming udders. The outside people will then milk the udders. Giraffes: center places their hands directly over their head and together forming the neck, while the outside two arch their backs touching the middle person’s toes to form the legs. If they do not get into this position by the count of 5 by the pointer then the last to get into position will become the center person.
Two or more children, depending on the size of your group, are chosen to stand up and all the others put their heads down with their eyes closed and thumbs sticking up. The two left standing must then creep around and gently touch one person each on the thumb. Everyone is then told to open their eyes and the children who were touched stand up and try to guess which child touched them. If they get it right the children swap places if not the children have another go.
Team Building Activities
Have the group get into a circle. Each kid should raise their left hand and grab another person’s left hand. Now have each kid raise their right hand and grab the hand of a different person. The group now untangles themselves without letting go of each other to make a circle again. Variations include not talking, having one or two players blindfolded, or not allowing the obvious leaders to talk; giving the quieter kids a chance to lead. Talk about Communication.
Have the group line-up by their height. This should be fairly easy. Now have them line-up by their birthdates or by shoe size without talking. Talk about communication. Variation: Blindfold everyone or have them close their eyes. Talk about “accountability” if they are just closing their eyes. “Everyone needs to be accountable for their actions. Do not cheat. If you do, you’re only cheating yourself out of the experience.”.
Find a log, a tree that has fallen. Now divide the group into two. Have both groups stand on the log, one group at each end facing each other. Now have them change sides without touching the ground while you time them. Add 15 seconds to the total time for every touch of the ground. Once complete allow the groups to try and beat their time a few times. Talk about cooperation and communication.
Have the group make a circle and hold hands. Have two players grasp hands through a hula hoop. The group’s mission is to get the hula hoop around the circle and back to the starting point without unlocking hands. Time them then try to improve.
Use a Hula Hoop or a long stick. The group gathers around the Hoop and rests it on their two index fingers only. Their hands should be waist level with their index fingers out pointing to someone across from them. Keep your hand on the Hoop until everyone has it resting on their index fingers. The object is to lower the Hoop as a group to their knees, without anyone’s fingers losing contact. Strangely, the Hoop will go up as though it is filled with helium. Ask the group to be accountable for their actions. If any of their fingers lose contact they should start over.
Divide the group into teams. Have each team choose a person to be blindfolded. Place two objects (stuffed animals are good) 25 yards or so form the teams. Between the team and the object lay out other objects that will represent “mines”. The number of “mines” should depend on the age and ability of the players. Objects can include sticks, backpacks, Frisbees, and anything else you can find. - On “Go!” the teams are to verbally guide their blindfolded player to the object at the end of the “minefield” without them hitting a “mine”. If the blindfolded player hits a “mine” they are to go back to the start and begin again. Make sure the team stays behind the starting line. The first team to get their object wins.
You will need to create cards each with a different letter on it. You can use index cards or something larger like cardstock paper. Here are the letters. W N E T S D J O U O R Gather your group and tell them you are going to give them a set of cards and they have a certain amount of time to spell out “just one word” using the cards. The cards spell out “Just One Word”, of course it may take them a while to figure this out. The game is secondary. Watch to see how the group works together. Talk about it afterwards.
(3 person) For this activity you’ll need paper, clipboards, markers, and a some pre-made designs on paper. Have your group get into teams of three. Person #1 will be looking at a design on a piece of paper that nobody else can see. He or she cannot talk and will be pantomiming the design to Person #2. Person #2 will be giving Person #3 verbal instructions on how to draw the design. Person #2 cannot talk either and will draw the design that he or she is being told to draw. At the end they will compare the drawing with the original design. You can have the teams compete at the same time, using the same design and see who got the closest. Or you can have each team try their own design one at a time.
(2 person) Have each person partner up with one other. Give one partner (the receiver) a pad and pencil. Now give the other partner (the sender) a picture of a design. The partners should not be facing each other. Have the sender give directions to the receiver while he/she draws what their partner is telling them. The object is to draw the same design. The receiver is not allowed to speak. Once a certain amount of time is given see how the kids did. Now have them switch roles with new designs. Talk about communication.
Have the group circle up. The first person tosses a ball to a person across the circle. That person tosses it to someone else. This should continue until everyone has had the ball once only. Ask the group to remember who they threw it to. Ask the group to pass it to the same people in the same sequence. Time them. Once finished ask them if they can do it faster. After a 2nd time ask them if they can beat their time. Let them brainstorm. Two Rules: No more than two people touch the ball at the same time, and the ball must be passed using the same sequence. After that anything goes.
Divide the group into two teams. Blindfold one player of each team. Set two objects (shoes, stuffed animals, etc.) about 100 Feet away from the starting point. Each team will verbally guide their blindfolded teammate to the object. The first team to successfully lead their member to the object wins. With the exception of the blindfolded team member the team must stay at the starting point. There is no running. Talk about communication.
Have each kid pair up with another one. Give each pair a blindfold and have one of them put it on. The other kid will lead his blindfolded partner. Safety is the primary concern. Make sure the kids understand this. If the leader is making his/her partner run into, or trip over, obstacles, trust cannot be built. Lead the group over, under and through obstacles that are either natural or have been laid out by you (chairs, tables, etc.) Each kid should get a chance to lead and to be blindfolded Talk about Trust, Respect and Communication.
Have the group (the catchers) form a tight circle with one person in the middle (the faller). Each catcher should be in a spotter’s stance (one foot in front and one in the back making a solid stance with hands up in front of them, like they are trying to push a wall over). The faller places his/her feet together and crosses their arms over their chest (this helps to keep their arms from flailing and hitting others). The faller, while keeping their body rigid, falls in any direction. The catchers gently push the faller into the opposite direction, not allowing them to fall, for 60 sec. Talk about Trust.
Divide campers into groups of three or four. The leader then calls out a letter, and the groups must then form that letter using their bodies. The group can decide if they want to build the letters standing or laying on the ground. You can have the different groups spell out words as well.
Place as many objects as group members in a circle made from rope to make your calculator. Give each object a number. Have the group stand “on base” in a different area 15-20 feet away from the calculator. Explain to the group that they must start and finish on base. Once you say go the group must run to the calculator and take turns pressing and saying aloud numbers 1-20 in order. Once they’ve reached 20, they must return to base. The timer starts when they leave base, and stops when the whole group has returned. The group must work together to create an initial plan, and continue to refine their plan to improve their time. Specific Rules: The group must start and finish on base, everyone in the group must touch a number, only one person can touch each number, everyone must remain on the outside of the calculator, and can only reach in to touch their number (ie no stepping across, or standing inside).
The group task is to keep a beach ball or balloon in the air for a specified number of hits without letting it hit the ground. Additionally, no one person can touch the object twice in a row. Set a goal with the group for the number of hits that the group can make following the rules. After your group meets its goal, it can increase the target number or go for a world record and see how many hits the group can accomplish.
Lay two ropes on the ground parallel to each other, about 20 feet apart. Have the campers line up on one side of the rope, and tell them that they are looking at a giant hot chocolate river. They must get their entire team across the hot chocolate river, but it is too hot to swim across and too deep to walk across. The only way to get across is by using the large, fluffy marshmallows that you provide (such as carpet squares, polyspots, etc. ). Give campers about 8 or 9 spots, so that they have enough to get across with one or two leftover. Advise the group that this challenge isn’t about physical abilities, but rather it is about communication. Unfortunately, the current in the river is so strong that it actually sweeps the marshmallows away if someone is not holding them down (with a hand, foot, or other safe appendage). Campers may need to start over a few times before they get that they have to communicate with each other in order for this to work.
This game was inspired by those wooden puzzles that were played with golf tees. To set up the activity, lay Poly Spots (or other type of place marker, such as a paper plate) in a pyramid shape with five spaces in the bottom row. Have each player stand on a Poly Spot. The goal is to get down to one person remaining on the spots by strategically moving players while adhering to the following rules. The group can decide to move any player off of their spot on the pyramid to start the activity. The group can then “removes” another player by “jumping” them with another, as in checkers. Players can only move during the act of jumping or when being removed. If the group does not properly move the players, there will be unmovable players spread out in the pyramid. If successful, the group will be able to get down to one remaining player.
Rainy Day/Indoor Activities
2 or more players. Equipment: Each player needs a piece of paper and a pen or pencil. Goal: Score the most points by making words horizontally and vertically in a 5x5 grid Setup: On each piece of paper, draw a 5x5 grid of squares. Gameplay: The 1st player calls out a letter that everyone writes into one of the 25 squares. Moving clockwise, the next player then calls out a letter (which may be the same as or different than any letter previously called out). Each player then writes that letter into one of the remaining squares. Repeat this until 25 letters have been called. All 25 squares will be filled on every player's grid. Scoring: Words in each column and row are scored. No points for diagonals or proper names. 5 letter word = 10 | 4 letter word = 5 | 3 letter word = 1 Only a single word is scored in each column and row.
2 players Equipment: A grid of dots and a pencil Goal: To be the last player to draw a line Gameplay One player starts by connecting two adjacent dots. The line can go up-down left-right but not diagonally. Whatever direction the player chooses will be the direction that player always draws lines during the game. The 2nd player connects two adjacent dots in the opposite direction chosen by the 1st player. The line may not touch any dots that are joined by a line. The first player draws another line in the correct direction. The game ends when one of the players is unable to draw a line. The player who was unable to play loses. Notice that only one line can touch a dot.
2 players Equipment: Paper and pencil Gameplay: Sprouts starts with three (or more) dots on a piece of paper. The players take turns moving. A move has two parts: drawing a line and making a new dot. The line must go from a dot to a dot so that it does not cross another line and so that once the line is draw, no dot has more than three lines coming out of it. You might want to circle used-up dots. The new dot goes on the line the player just drew (this means it starts with two lines coming out of it). The winner is the last player to move. A line can go from a dot to itself as long as you don't break the "three lines" rule. The strategy in sprouts lies in using your lines to divide the paper up into parts that trap dots. It is very hard to think through all the ways this came can come out because of the many different ways it can divide up the paper. If the three dot game gets too easy for you, start with more dots..
2 or more players. Equipment: One standard 52-card deck, paper and a pen or pencil. Goal: To score the most points by aligning cards vertically and horizontally into Poker hands. Setup:On each piece of paper, draw a 5x5 grid of squares. Set the cards face down. Gameplay: One player draws the top card from the deck and announces it Each player then writes that card’s rank and suit into one of the 25 available squares. Abbreviate: "6-S" to mean "6 of spades" or "J-D" to mean "Jack of diamonds." Etc. Repeat this until all 25 squares are filled in. Scoring: Each column and each row are scored according to the following chart, for a total of 10 scores. No points are awarded for diagonals. Royal flush, 50 | Straight flush, 30 | Four of a kind, 16 |Straight, 12 |Full house, 10 |Three of a kind, 6 |Flush, 5|Two pairs, 3 |One pair, 1|.
2 players. Equipment: paper and a pencil. Goal: The goal of the player choosing the word or phrase is to come up with one so difficult that the other player cannot guess it before the hangman drawing is complete. The goal of the player guessing letters is to determine what the word or phrase is before making a pre-determined number of incorrect guesses. Setup: Decide which player will choose the word or phrase. That player draws a gallows and a series of dashes (blanks), one for each letter. (In a phrase, the spaces between words should be large enough so that it is clear how many words are in the phrase.) Gameplay: The player guesses a letter by saying it out loud. If the guessed letter is in the word or phrase, the other player fills in all of the appropriate blanks. If the guessed letter is not in the word or phrase, the other player notes the letter somewhere on the paper and then adds a body part to the hangman drawing. Game End: The game ends when either of the following happens: The hangman drawing is complete; or The player guessing letters announces the word or phrase before the hangman drawing is complete.
3 or more players, best with 6 to 8. Equipment: A pencil (or pen) and a piece of paper for each player. Goal: To score the most points by choosing legitimate answers other players don't. Setup: Each player draws a 5x5 grid on their paper, leaving enough space in the boxes to be able to write words. Five categories are chosen, and each player writes them down the left side of the grid, one category per row. Categories can be almost anything, and as easy or difficult as the players wish to make them. Examples include birds, television shows, novelists, cities in Pennsylvania, and U.S. presidents. A five-letter keyword is chosen and written across the top, one letter above each column. Keywords cannot have repeating letters. Keywords also should not include Q, X or Z, unless the players want a serious challenge. The categories and keyword may be chosen by any method the players agree to. One option is to roll a die or dice, with the highest roller choosing the keyword and the next five choosing the categories. Gameplay: A time limit is set, perhaps 5 or 10 minutes depending on the skill of the players. Each player tries to fill in the grid with words that fit into the categories and start with the letters of the keyword. For proper names, the last name should be used (e.g. George Bush would fit under “B” but not “G”). In cases where a person goes by only a single name (e.g. Shakira or Madonna), that name should be used. Scoring:When the time limit expires, players compare their answers. Each block is taken up, one by one. Each player announces the word, if any, they have for that block. One point is scored for each other player who does not have the same word. If a word is of questionable legitimacy, the players should vote on whether or not to accept it. Game End:After all 25 blocks are scored, players total their points.
Capture is usually played by 2 players; it can also be played by 3 or 4 players. Equipment: Paper and pencil. Goal: To be the player who captures the most boxes when the game ends. Setup: Ideally, Capture is played on graph paper. If graph paper is not available, a board can be made on any piece of paper by drawing a series of dots in the shape of a square. The board can be of any size. The smaller the board is, the shorter the game will be. Beginners might like to start with a 2x2 or 3x3 board to learn the basic tactics and strategies. More experienced players may prefer a board of 6x6 or even 10x10. Gameplay: At the start of the game, the board is empty. Players take turns, adding a single horizontal or vertical line between two unjoined, adjacent dots (corners on graph paper). When a player completes the fourth side of a box, she writes her initial (or some other distinguishing mark) inside the box and gets to take another turn. Scoring: The game is over when no more lines can be placed. At that point, the players each count the number of boxes they have claimed.
2 players. Equipment: A pencil (or pen) and a piece of paper for each player. Goal: To be the first player to successfully decode your opponent's secret number. Setup: Each player writes a four-digit number on a piece of paper, taking care to ensure that the other player does not see the number. The digits must all be different. (For example, 4729 would be legal, but 4724 would not be legal.) Determine which player will guess first. Gameplay: In turn, players try to guess their opponent's number. The opponent responds by announcing the number of matches. A digit which is in the number but not announced in the correct position is a "cow." A digit which is in the number and is announced in the correct position is a "bull." EXAMPLE: Andre's secret number is 8045. Beth guesses 0865. There are two cows (0 and 8) and one bull (5). Andre says, "There are two cows and one bull." Andre does not reveal which digits are the cows and which one is the bull. Game End: The first player to reveal his opponent's secret number wins. EXCEPTION: If the player who guesses first is also the first to reveal his opponent's secret number, the second player gets one final guess. If this guess is successful, the game ends in a tie. (This ensures that both players have the same number of turns.) Variants: The game can be made more challenging by using five-digit or six-digit secret numbers.