Camp Articles


Sugar Explosion

Hungry for a new programming idea? Camp counselor can create a pretend world where children are in a candy factory and play games centered on confectionary delights. Let their imaginations soar and the fun will last throughout the camp program.

Jawbreaker Relay

Fill four gallon-size buckets with balls--which the children can pretend are gigantic jawbreakers--using a different type of ball in each bucket (tennis balls, golf balls, small plastic footballs, and ping pong balls). At the beginning of the game, dump all four buckets of balls in one big pile and mix them around. The group will be timed on how fast they can sort out the balls by type and put them back into the original buckets.

Making Chocolate Bars

Adult leaders purchase candy molds and melt either white or milk chocolate in a double boiler or microwave. Children can add sprinkles to the mold before spooning in the chocolate. After filling the candy molds, freeze them for a few minutes. Children can also make chocolate suckers by putting chocolate in flat sucker molds and adding sticks.

Unwrapped Game

Children sit on the floor in a circle. Prior to the activity, an adult wraps a candy bar in several layers of newspaper and tapes it heavily with masking tape. At the beginning of the game, put a fork, a butter knife, and a pair of ski gloves in the center of the circle with the wrapped candy bar. Each participant rolls a pair of dice. If he rolls doubles, the participant puts the gloves on and starts unwrapping the candy bar using only the knife and fork before someone else rolls doubles. The winner is the participant who unwraps the rest of the newspaper off the candy bar, thereby winning the candy bar.

Sticky Situation

Explain to the group that an explosion of marshmallow fudge took place at the candy factory. Each group of six people is “stuck” together with bandannas. Tie their arms and legs together and have the group try to move across the room safely.

Banana Splits

Children turn bananas into racecars by gluing (using nontoxic white glue) a paper racing number, a paper windshield, and a toy driver onto the banana. Attach four plastic wheels with small nail axles. The children can have a banana split racing contest after they make their racecars.

Guess How Many Jelly Beans

Fill a jar to the top with jelly beans and replace the lid. Have the children guess how many jelly beans are in the jar to win a prize.

Who Stole The Candy From The Candy Jar?

In this game, a group of participants sits on the ground in a circle with their legs folded and claps in rhythm to the following phrases, which are spoken by two members of the group:

“Who stole the candy from the candy jar?” (He would then say someone else’s name.)

“_________ stole the candy from the candy jar.”

“Who, me?”

“Yes, you.”

“Couldn’t be!”

“Then who?”

The second person would then say another person’s name and serve as the first person in the next round.

The Brown Sugar Tower

Form a small tower of brown sugar by tightly packing a cup of brown sugar and flipping it over onto a table. Place a peppermint candy on top. Each participant is given a plastic knife and takes turns trimming off a slice of the brown sugar tower without knocking the peppermint off. The person who knocks the peppermint off the tower is awarded the pile of brown sugar, and everyone else in the group receives a peppermint candy.

LifeSavers Relay

Separate the group into teams of equal size, with each team standing in a straight line. Participants hold a sucker stick in their hand to pass a LifeSavers candy to the person behind them. The team that has successfully passed the candy to each team member wins the relay. Sucker sticks can be purchased in bulk at craft stores.

Candy Bar Tag

The participant that is “it” chases other children and tries to tag them before they can say a name of a candy bar. After a candy bar is mentioned, it cannot be used again. Once a participant is tagged, he is out of the game until a new round begins.

Dangling Donuts

Hang several glazed donuts from strings suspended from a broom stick held up by two leaders. Each participant chooses one donut and tries to eat it faster than the other participants.

Chocolate Pudding Drop

Divide children into pairs and have one participant lay on the ground with his mouth open. The other participant stands on a chair and attempts to feed chocolate pudding to his partner by dropping spoonfuls into his mouth. The team that finishes the bowl of pudding with the least amount of mess is the winner.

Spoon Game

Have the children sit in a circle on the ground with place settings in front of them. The person who has been chosen to start the game tells the participant on his left, “This is a spoon,” as he hands the spoon to the second person. The second person questions, “A what?” “A spoon,” restates the first person. Then, the second person repeats the same dialogue to the person on his left and the conversation continues throughout the circle. Meanwhile, the first person brings out a knife and tells the person on his left, “This is a knife.” The process continues with a fork, glass, and plate. The fun of this game is the confusion that occurs when trying to keep the place settings straight.

Eat Crackers And Whistle

Have children determine who can eat three saltine crackers the fastest and whistle a short song afterward.

Cotton Candy Relay

A team of four children tries to keep a clear garbage bag full of balloons floating in the air as they negotiate their way through a course of cones placed in a line formation. The team of children has to weave in and out of the cones. Leaders can create a fun story about the children working in a candy factory and having to carry large bags of cotton candy to the store to be sold. However, the cotton candy cannot touch the ground or it will dissolve. Allow time for discussion with the children after this activity to see how they learned to work together. A fun way to end this activity period is to have camp counselors make cotton candy for the children. Children should be cautioned that this activity is an adult supervised activity and that children without adult supervision should never to play with garbage bags.

Graham Cracker Train

Allow children to design a candy train with graham crackers and extra thick frosting. Use an ice cream sugar cone for the smoke stack and add candy cargo to each boxcar. They can also make train wheels with peppermint candy and a train track with licorice and pretzels.

Jared Knight is the manager of Program and Human Resources at Aspen Grove Family Camp and Conference Center in Provo, Utah. He is the author of two books published by Healthy Learning--101 Creative Programs for Children and 101 Age-Appropriate Camp Activities. Knight can be reached via e-mail at jared_knight@byu.edu

Good Horse Sense

Going Gaga Over Gaga Ball