4 Openers for Kids Arriving at Camp

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summer camp ice breaker games

Looking for some fun openers and icebreakers for kids arriving at camp? 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, icebreakers and tasty treats that will encourage new friendships and help them overcome initial shyness.

1. S’mores Galore

Summer camp icebreakers

This old eating tradition first came up during the 19th century so can camp even be considered camp without s’mores? S’more eating is an easy icebreaker that doesn’t involve a lot of preparation and you only need a few ingredients. Make sure that you have enough for all the kids, and don’t forget about food allergies or 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. 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 obstacles.

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 icebreaker is great for all age groups and helps develop listening and empathy skills. You’ll need about 5-10 minutes, some space, and perhaps include a warning that toes may get stepped on.

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: 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: Caller says, “Step Left”. Group says “Step Left” but takes a step to the right.

Say the opposite of what I say, but do what I say: Caller says, “Step Left”. Group says “Step Right” but takes a step to the left.

Say the opposite of what I say, and do the opposite: Caller says, “Step Left”. Group says “Step Right” but takes a step to the right.

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?

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. 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 a long time and is effective for 10 to 40 minutes sessions.

Would You Rather is easy to prepare. First, you need a list of questions. Next, designate a place that will serve as options A and B. 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.

Summer camp or virtual camp icebreakers

4. Social Bingo

Social bingo is an icebreaker that helps kids learn facts about each other. Campers walk around looking for the person that matches the bingo sheet.The recommended group size when doing this icebreaker is around 25 people. You can do this icebreaker indoors or outdoors, requiring a printed bingo sheet and a pen. The bingo cards can also be made by the children, using different art materials as a welcome craft for kids.

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 Icebreakers Today

Use these icebreaker games today and enjoy the activities with your kids. These will make for great experiences that campers 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. If you’re looking for more check out our other activity blogs. 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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