Get A Move On

By Jared Knight

Before campers file in this summer, gather supplies for the following games, which are sure to be a hit. After all, what kids can resist setting off mouse traps and playing with slime?

Remote Control
In teams of two, one person is the robot and the other person stands behind him or her to direct the robot’s direction of travel.

The person controlling the robot gives a tap on the back for “go” and two taps for “stop.” The controller taps the right shoulder of the robot to travel right and taps the left shoulder to travel left.

If the robot ever feels that it is in danger of running into a wall, it puts up both hands and yells “Beep, beep, beep.”

Exercise Story
Eight or more participants face each other in a circle and tell a story one at a time that involves moving arms, legs, hands, backs, etc., while the rest of the participants remain stationary.

Each person then repeats the story as well as all of the body motions of the storyteller. When the storyteller wants to transfer the story to someone else in the circle, he or she states that person’s name and then that person takes over.

For example: “One morning I got out of bed and walked over to the kitchen and opened the refrigerator and grabbed some milk. I then skipped to the cupboard to get a bowl, a spoon, and some Captain Crunch peanut-butter cereal. The cereal was really high on the shelf, so I had to reach as high as I could to get the box with my left hand. I then remembered that it was garbage day, so I picked up the kitchen trash can and opened the front door and ran as fast as I could to the curb to drop off the trash. I then jogged over to my apple tree and picked five apples and began juggling them. Then I saw my friend Mark in my driveway and walked over and gave him my five apples.”

Then Mark takes over the story from there.

Bobsled Challenge
Four people make a single-file line to resemble a bobsled formation. One participant is the “caller” and chooses from six options to direct each bobsled team:

Move--Stand in a line and walk in place.

Switch--The first person goes to the back of the line, and the whole team moves up one space.

Change--The second person and the fourth person exchange places in line.

Rotate--Everyone does a 180-degree turn.

Freeze--Everyone stops in place.

Loose caboose--The team is dissolved, and everyone must find a new four-person team to join.

Big Bubba
Ten participants face each other in a circle. Each is assigned a number, but the number stays with the position and not with the person. As someone is “out” of the game, the circle rotates, and the person at the front is designated Big Bubba, but the number stays stationary.

Everyone in the circle starts clapping their hands and then clapping their hands on their legs in rhythm. The person who is Big Bubba starts by saying, for example, “Big Bubba to number two.”

The person standing in the number-two position replies, “Number two to number 10.”

This continues until someone makes a mistake, and then that person is out, and all of the players advance counter-clockwise towards the Big Bubba position.

Troll Burgers
The object of this game is for kids to attempt to pick a troll’s papier-mache nose, which is full of green slime, to retrieve small toys from a bucket that a leader is holding on the reverse side of a 4-foot by 3-foot piece of plywood.

To make the holes for the nose, cut two 6-inch circles in the center of the plywood about 2-1/2 feet from the bottom. After making the holes, cut a 10-inch traffic cone in half and attach both halves of the cone to the plywood with crabber screws. (Make sure to knock off the sharp end of the screws on the back of the plywood to prevent injuries.)

Then place three tennis balls in the center of the cones, holding them in place with duct tape. (This is the point of the nose.) Finally, mold chicken wire around the cones to make the bridge of the nose. Be sure all ends of the chicken wire are wrapped around other wires to avoid injuries.

To make the papier-mache paste, mix one part flour with two parts water until the mixture is the consistency of thick paste. More flour or water can be added to thin or thicken the paste. Add a few tablespoons of salt to prevent mold. Then spread the paste on strips of newspaper over the chicken wire.

To make green slime, mix the following ingredients into separate bowls:

  • Bowl one--Mix unsweetened green punch mix, 1/3 cup of warm water, and two bottles of white non-toxic glue.
  • Bowl two--Mix 1-2/3 cups of water and two teaspoons of Borax.

Then mix the two bowls together, and knead the slime until it is soft and free of excess water.

Mousetrap Fishing
Remove the head of a broom from the handle. Use the handle as a fishing pole, twine as the fishing line, and a heavy metal weight for the bait. Place mousetraps in an empty kiddy pool to act as the fish.

Participants fish for the mousetraps by dangling the weight over the trap until it snaps. Keep all fingers and hands out of the pool until the game is over and all traps have been set off.

Balance Ball
Five people each hold the end section of a piece of string attached to a center ring that is 2 inches in diameter. Place a golf ball on the ring. The team must hold the string, walk 25 feet, and deposit the ball in a bucket without letting the ball touch the ground (if it does, participants must start over).

After the mission is successfully completed, make the size of the ball larger to make it harder to balance on the small ring. The second ball is a tennis ball followed by a baseball, a softball, and finally a soccer ball.

Jared R. Knight is the manager of Programs and Human Resources at Aspen Grove Family Camp and Conference Center in Provo, Utah. He is the author of five books published by Healthy Learning: 101 Creative Programs for Children, 101 Age-Appropriate Camp Activities, 101 Games and Activities to Strengthen Families, 101 Swimming Pool Games and Activities and 101 Games and Activities that Teach Leadership and Teamwork. He can be reached via e-mail at