Classroom Tips

5 socially distant summer camp games

With restrictions and lockdowns due to COVID-19 subsiding, in-person summer camps are set to return in full-swing this season. While this is a relief for parents and businesses, many educators are being prompted to rethink everything from safety protocols to the activities they play at camp.

When you’re running a summer camp, taking proper health and safety precautions throughout all facets of your camps is of the utmost importance for families. That attention even matters with the activities your campers play during the day! If you’re searching for some inspiration for summer camp activities, we put together five of our favorite socially distant summer camp games. Looking for more support to jumpstart your camp? Check out our ultimate guide to starting and running a kids camp.

1. Noodle tag

Searching for ways to keep some distance? Look no further than pool noodles — a product that could’ve been invented purely for social distancing. And no, we’re not talking about floating in the pool, we’re talking about games for your campers. 

One of our favorite go-tos is noodle tag. It’s an easy way to transform a classic game of tag into an activity that is safe, and socially distanced. Here are the steps:

Step 1: As always, a camper must start as the infamous “It”. Once you’ve selected your camper, hand them a pool noodle and take all of the kids outside or into a large, open indoor space.

Step 2: When you say “go”, the camper that is “it” must tag the others with the end of the pool noodle. Not only does using a pool noodle keep everyone at a safe distance, it’s also soft so that no one gets hurt.

2. An obstacle course like no other...

It’s time to produce an obstacle course full of twists, turns, jumps, and challenges! This socially distant activity is a great way to get campers outside and exercising. Grab some sidewalk chalk, cones, or anything else you can think of to create a fun maze for your campers.

Feel free to make up more rules like hopping on one foot, or spinning in multiple directions before they move on to the next portion of the course. Campers will keep a distance by going one at a time as they try to maneuver through the maze.

3. Airplane

Searching for a game that teaches balance and coordination? Give airplanes a shot. Not to mention it's a completely socially distant one (as all airplanes should be!), it’s also a ton of fun. Here’s how to play:

Step 1: Campers should point their arms toward the ceiling, then instruct them to lift their right leg and stretch it behind themself as they keep their knees straight.

Step 2: Lean forward and make your body, arms, and leg parallel to the ground. Can they hold it for 10 seconds? Or even better...who can hold it the longest?

Try to keep six feet of distance between campers. Not only is this important for COVID safety, it’s also important when kids lose their balance!

4. Make like a pretzel and race!

We promise this actually doesn’t include getting pretzels for all of your campers. In fact, it’s just a game that combines exercise, fun, and competition. Here’s why this is a great outdoor activity:

Step 1: To transform into a pretzel, start by standing on your right leg, then lift your left leg and cross it in front of your knee.

Step 2: Cross your arms in front of your body.

Step 3: When you say “go”, campers need to hop to the finish line! 

Remember to keep children appropriately spaced apart not only for proper COVID practices, but let's’ be honest — some of these pretzels will be tumbling!

5. Outdoor dance party

Who doesn’t love a good dance party? Whether you’re in a big indoor space or outdoors in a park or field, a good dance break is always fun! When it comes to group dancing, we love a good line dance because they’re choreographed with a repeated sequence of steps. This is a perfect socially distanced activity because dancers are not in physical contact with each other. Some classic line dances are:

  • Macarena
  • Electric Slide
  • The Chicken Dance 
  • Cha-Cha Slide

Or, you create your own! The only thing better than dancing to a popular line dance is choreographing your own. What moves will your campers come up with?

Ready for a summer of fun?

Just because educators need to be more conscious of the impacts of COVID-19, as well as the safety precautions that come with it, doesn’t mean that camp can’t be special. By incorporating socially distant games and activities into your camp curriculum and summer camp lesson plans, you’ll ensure parents feel safe enrolling their children in your program. Plus, put parents at ease by having them fill out custom forms before their child arrives to provide important information like allergies, vaccine status, and more. Safety first!

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