Winter is here! Embrace the cold and snow and have fun with your campers and staff by holding a winter retreat on a weekend or during the school holiday break. Here are some great games to get your campers outdoors, having fun and embracing winter!
Snowman Building & Snow Sculptures
Everyone loves building a snowman, but the snow has to be just right for rolling. If it is, divide you campers into groups of 2 or 3 and spread them out in your sports field. Give them an hour to build the perfect snowman. Send them into nature to find sticks and stones for arms, eyes and buttons. Make it extra fun by giving each group a wacky hat to put on their snowman.
If the snow isn’t sticky enough for rolling snowballs, have them carve snow sculptures. This is more fun for kids if you prepare mounds of snow for them to carve before hand. The easiest way is to create piles of snow in the field using your snow plow or tracker. If you have older kids, you can arm them with snow shovels and have them mound their own snow.
Divide the kids into teams and have a snow carving competition. They can use garden tools, sticks and their hands to create a masterpiece! It doesn’t have to be in the shape of a snowman, it can be anything they can imagine! When time is up, have the whole group move from sculpture to sculpture and give each team the opportunity to present what they have made. Award points for creativity!
Create an obstacle course outside in a field or large open area. You can include poles or pylons to weave through, mounds of snow to go over, ice tracks, etc. Then divide your group into teams of three. Each team will have one rider and two pullers. The teams must race through the course one at a time, while you are timing them, until all have had a turn. The fastest team wins the round! Have three rounds so each kid gets the opportunity to ride. Tally up the total times and the one with the shortest overall time wins the sled race championship!
Snow Wall Tug of War
This is a camp classic. First have all the kids help build a giant snow wall. It should be at least kid-chest high but the higher the better. Carve a hole through the middle of the wall and run the rope through it. Then divide the group into two teams and have them hold onto the rope on either sides of the wall, blow your whistle to initiate the tugging! The real fun is pulling the opposite team until they come crashing into the snow wall.
If you wake up to find a fresh blanket of snow during one of your winter camps, then Footprint Tag is a fun way to get the kids active outdoors. To start, play a regular round of tag for about 5 minutes on the snowy field and then stop the game. From now on, the kids can only step in the footprints made in the snow. This makes it quite difficult and sometimes they’ll have to jump from printed area to printed area.
Giant Snowball Rolling Contest
This game only works in ideal snow conditions. If it is mild out and you have a field full of sticky snow, then a snowball rolling contest is a must! It’s pretty simple: divide the kids into groups of 5 or so and have them start rolling a snowball. The game ends when the snowball is so large the kids can’t physically roll it anymore, or when you run out of snow.
This game can roll into the next program block or the next day by having the kids carve a snow sculpture out of their snowball. You can hold a snow carving competition has listed previously in this blog post.
Have fun out there and remember to dress appropriately and keep these Winter Safety Tips in mind!