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4 Fun, Cool Ice Breaker Games for Kids Arriving at Camp
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Looking for some fun, friendly ice breaker games for kids? Summer camp is a great way to meet new friends and reconnect with nature, but first-day jitters are common for any camper. Welcome new and returning campers with some lively games (and tasty treats) that will encourage new friendships and help them overcome initial shyness.
Here are 4 fun and cool icebreaker games to try out this summer, whether your camp is in-person or virtual.
1. S’More du Jour (swap with would you rather)
Camping isn’t the same without s’mores. It’s an old eating tradition in camps that first came up during the 19th century. That’s why you should start their arrival by introducing easy ice breaker games for kids.
S’more eating is an easy icebreaker that doesn’t involve a lot of preparation. You will only need a few ingredients, such as graham crackers, marshmallows, and chocolate. Make sure that you have enough for all the kids, and don’t forget the adults. You never outgrow s’mores!
Now to make things interesting, you can create a simple obstacle course. The obstacle course depends on you, but the easiest that you can do is a three-part obstacle.
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You can start this ice breaker anytime, but it’s especially fun at the start of camp. Split the kids into three to four groups, then explain the obstacle they’ll need to do as a team. Their task is to get one of each ingredient for a s’more from the obstacle place.
Whichever team gets to complete the obstacle first will be the winner. After overcoming each obstacle, everyone can then enjoy eating their s’mores together.
Need s’more recipe ideas (did you see that wordplay?!), there are lots of ways to make these classic, summer camp treats.
2. Step In, Step Out
This fun icebreaker is great for all age groups and helps develop listening and empathy skills. You’ll need about 5-10 minutes, some space, and may want to include a warning that toes may get stepped on. While this works best in person, it can easily be modified for virtual environments.
Have everyone get in a circle, except for the person who will call out the seemingly simple instructions of “Step In, Step Out, Step Left, Step Right”. The caller will give the group the instructions listed below, one at a time. Start with an easy one for practice, and then move on to the harder ones. Add variation with different actions. The confusion and laughter will follow as people look to their neighbors to figure out what is going on.
Say what I say and do what I say.
Example: Caller says, “Step In”. Group says, “Step In” and does that action by taking a step in.
Say what I say, but do the opposite.
Example: Caller says, “Step Left”. Group says “Step Left” but takes a step right.
Say the opposite of what I say and do the opposite.
Say the opposite of what I say, but do what I say.
Optionally, you can follow up the exercise by asking the group some questions about their experience:
How much were you influenced by what others did?
What was the easiest to do? What was the hardest?
What did you learn about following instructions?
How did you respond when others made mistakes?
For virtual camp, have participants make some space in front of them. Modify the movements for shifting their bodies left or right, and moving closer or further away from their screen.
3. Would You Rather
Would You Rather is an icebreaker made for a small or large group of participants. It has easy mechanics that any age group can learn. This makes it a good way of teaching kids how to introduce themselves is by using this icebreaker.
The goal of this icebreaker is to start conversations with another person. From this, they can discover things new and unexpected things about each other. It can last long and is effective in 10 to 40 minutes sessions.
Would You Rather is an easy ice breaker to prepare. First, you need to prepare a list of questions. Next, designate a place that will serve as options A and B.
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Now ask the questions you prepared and ask the participant to move to the designated answer is. Have each side explain why they chose that answer.
Small groups can use this icebreaker in a more debate-style format. If you’re in a larger group, any member can call out alternative reasons. After the groups have had their say, move everyone back.
Virtual camps can also make use of this icebreaker. You can use an impromptu version by clapping or different apps that have similar features to a poll.
4. Getting to Know You by Social Bingo
Social bingo is an icebreaker that helps kids learn facts about each other. In a physical setting, the kids walk around looking for the person that matches the bingo sheet. However, in a virtual camp, it will require some call hopping.
The recommended group size when doing this icebreaker is around 25 people. You can do this icebreaker indoors or outdoors, requiring a long printed bingo sheet and a pen. The bingo cards can also get made by the children, using different art materials as a welcome craft for kids.
When used for a virtual camp, keep note that it may take a long time to finish. However, you can start it by following these steps.
Distribute a copy of the Bingo card online or through email.
Decide on how the kids can interact with one another.
Decide on how long the icebreaker will last.
A camper wins a point when they learn information from a camper that applies to the Bingo board. You can utilize different applications to make this icebreaker easier. The camper who gets to finish the card first becomes the winner.
Try Out These Camp Ice Breaker Games for Kids Today
Use these ice breaker games today and enjoy the activities with your kids. These will make for great experiences that kids will remember for summers to come. Also, don’t forget to grab some photos of the activities, so kids can share those special moments with family and friends back home.
We hope this guide helps in looking for ice breaker games for kids. Want to know how you can make the most out of your summer camp? Contact us today to get all your questions and inquires answered.
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