Tag Archives: Summer

Summer Picnic Games

By Tara Ziegmont of Feels Like Home

Summer picnic season is well underway. If you’re going to a picnic or hosting your own, it’s always a good idea to have some games planned for the smaller picnic goers.

Here are the games I organized for my church’s recent picnic. These games were great because the older kids (as old as 13-14) were able to play with the younger ones (as young as 3-4), and everyone had a great time.

  • Water balloon dodgeball – Each child starts with one water balloon. When you get hit with a water balloon, you have to sit down and you’re out of the game. After you’ve thrown your water balloon, you may come back to the bucket and get a new balloon and throw it at someone else. For a group of 14 kids, we used about 60 water balloons in this game. You could also play this game with squirt guns, if you didn’t want to fill all those water balloons.
  • Sponge relay race – Divide the kids into teams of 5-6. Each team needs a big dishpan full of water, a sponge, and a jar or wide mouth container. The dishpans should be at the far end of the area, around 20 feet away from the teams, and the jars should be next to the team. Each child will soak the sponge in the dishpan, keeping as much water as possible in the sponge, then run back to the jar and squeeze the sponge into it. The first team to fill their jar til it’s overflowing is the winner. (This game works best with really big sponges and smallish jars.)
  • Limbo – All you need for this one is a stick. Have two adults hold the limbo bar as all of the kids pass underneath. If anyone falls, touches the ground with their hands or arms, or touches the bar, they’re out. The last kid to successfully pass under the bar is the winner.
  • Tug of war – We used the same teams as we had for the relay race earlier. Tie a knot in the center of the rope, and mark a space about 10 feet apart as the neutral zone. The team that wins is the first to pull the knot over to their own side. Encourage the kids to tie handles into the rope to make it easier to hold on to, and help the little ones to do it.
  • Bubbles and water play – After the organized games were over, I put out bubbles, bocce ball, bean bags, and dishpans full of water with the sponges. The kids had fun making up their own games, blowing bubbles, and playing.

What are your favorite picnic games?


Homesick kids at summer camp

Megan Dunham of Half-Pint House

My husband and I met while working at a youth camp in Colorado. That year was my first. I was 19 and I spent it working in the camp kitchen. It was my husband’s third and he had just joined the camp staff in a full-time capacity. Fast forward three years and we were married and both involved as full-time camp staff. Between the two of us we experienced camp life in just about every capacity you can imagine – from kitchen crew to counselor to store manager to resident camp director we pretty much did everything there is to do at camp at some point during the 10 years we worked there.

One big thing we dealt with on a semi-regular basis was homesickness in our youngest campers. The camp we worked with started off with 2nd graders and went all the way up through high school. The camp we worked at was an overnight camp that lasted a full week. Kids were dropped off on Sunday afternoons and picked up again on Friday mornings.

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