Ideas to Bring the Fun Indoors
With super high temps in parts impacting some camps and air quality issues impacting others, many camps across the US and Canada are moving activities indoors this week. Moving things indoors can be really hard, and it can create REALLY cool moments if we’re intentional. Below, I’ve got some basic ideas to get the indoor fun started.
CARNIVALS & STATION GAMES
Bring all your carnival games inside, do create-a-carnival (where each group creates their own booth), or shrink your existing station games to indoor size. Instead of running across camp, have them travel from corner to corner, space to space, or cabin to cabin (if your cabins are close).
Instead of station games, you can also just offer stations—the bracelet station, the fix-it station, the learn to sew station, the help the kitchen station, the paper football station—whatever you (or your campers and staff) can think of!
Planning indoor days can be hard. And it can be stressful. And it might be a little less hard and stressful if we just ask kids what they want to do and do our best to make it happen.
Have campers come up with ideas and ask everyone at camp to help come up with ways to make these activities work indoors. They make work, and they may not, but they'll probably lead to campers learning a lot and making a lot of memories.
Invention Convention and Shark Tank are great, easy games to play indoors.
Give campers (either individually or in groups) the chance to come up with inventions and make them (or models of them) using things found in the space. Let them take turns presenting to celebrity judges, emceed by an awesome host. Add dramatic music in, decorations, whatever you want to make it even more awesome.
Based on the show Cake Wars
Grab un-iced cupcakes. You can usually call and get these from a local store, your kitchen could make them, your CITs could make them, OR you could get really wild and let the kids make them.
Provide each group with icing, sprinkles, and other cake-decorating supplies. Have groups pick a theme that they use to decorate a presentation area (a table or booth), decorate the cupcakes, make costumes, and come up with pitches or presentations. Pick an incredible host and let them go!
TALENTS & SKITS
Some of these activities might include:
All of these level up from "meh" indoor activities to super memorable moments when you add costumes, great music, lighting effects (even turning the lights on and off counts), props (like a broom microphone?), a cool emcee, and an excited staff. If your staff lean in and become gigantic fans, the energy will be off the charts.
GROUP THEMES & DECOR
Have each group pick a theme for their cabin and decorate it accordingly. I'll never forget the spaghetti cabin—complete with real strainers and fake noodles hanging from the ceiling.
If you already have theme weeks, they can pick a theme inside your theme. Add to the fun (and time it takes) by having them come up with chants, costumes, etc.!
Tailor this for day camps without cabins by giving them their own areas to decorate.
SMALL GROUP ACTIVITIES & GAMES
Take standard teambuilders and icebreakers indoors!
Play radio trivia or SINGO: Ask questions or play songs over the radios, and have groups record their answers (or mark their SINGO cards). Yes, this clogs up radios - make sure everyone knows an alternate channel at least one leadership member will be monitoring.
Have a sockball tournament: Use socks to make a ball, and play basketball, baseball, soccer, dodgeball, or any other type of ball.
Do skits, talents, fashion shows, etc. in the cabin (or group area).
Listen. I think you can bring almost any activity inside if you get creative, and I have faith in you. Finding ways to make things happen (even when it’s hard) will create unforgettable moments and remind you that you’re damn good at what you do. Have fun!
Want to grab this and give it to staff?
Looking for other ideas?
I was inspired by Jack’s blog about the Thunderdome, so be sure to check it out!