Are you planning activities for your summer camp program but need some guidance on what types of activities are safe for kids? This year will be a year of possibilities, and you may need to re-boot your program to match with the current times and regulations. If you need tips on how to best plan for summer, you may be asking these questions.
- What type of COVID-Friendly activities can we use this summer?
- How can we plan socially-distanced games and activities?
- What materials, supplies and equipment would you suggest we purchase this year?
#1: Have a Ready Supply of Ground Markers!
First of all, S&S Worldwide has a terrific selection of practical social distancing items including PPE and floor (or ground) markers such as:
We use these multi-purpose markers for a wide variety of games and activities. Additionally, you can create our own games such as in the three activities presented below:
Dodge That Dot!
Directions: In this activity, the children are challenged to safely cross from one side of the playing area to the other side by using social distancing (staying 6’ away from others) while weaving in and out of the polyspots as they travel. The Leader instructs the type of locomotor movement (i.e., walk, jump, slide, crawl, skip) and the number of polyspots they must weave in and out of before getting to the other side. For example:
- “Can you weave in and out of 10 different polyspots while keeping 6 feet away from others as you skip?”
- “Can you safely jump or leap over 12 different polyspots while traveling in a zig-zag pattern?”
Watch That Hole!
Directions: In “Watch That Hole,” the players are challenged to move safely between the holes (hula hoops) by either jumping, hopping or leaping over them. The Leader can also assign 2-3 Taggers to stand inside designated hoops. Each Tagger has a short pool noodle to tag passing players. If tagged, the player has to count to 3 before moving on. When all of the players are on the other side, begin another round. After 2-3 minutes, select new Taggers and place the used short pool noodles in a large container to be disinfected as time permits.
Directions: In this game, you are challenged to avoid the pools of quicksand (hula hoops) and the two Marsh Monsters who are the taggers. The game is played like Watch That Hole! After 2-3 minutes, select new Taggers and place the used short pool noodles in a large container to be disinfected as time permits.
#2: Individual Skill-Building Games Work Best!
While it is natural to incorporate games with a minimum of shared equipment, please consider those activities where individual pieces of equipment can be selected from your “clean” equipment bin and returned to a separate “used” equipment container. Items in the used bin can be sanitized prior to reuse.
For example, many PE teachers and youth specialty leaders are incorporating:
- Yoga mats
- Frisbee Golf
- Jump ropes
- Tennis and/or Pickleball racquets
- Pedometers to monitor their activity levels
Additionally, there are numerous ways to create Virtual Gyms, Classrooms and Sport Camps that effectively focus on motor skills with and without equipment! For example, here is a link from the GAMES Gazette that shows how physical education teacher Aimee Rosier (Texas) created her Virtual Gym.
#3: Virtual Games & Dances
Lastly, here are two outstanding educators who have created virtual games and dances that can be used within a summer camp setting. The first individual is Victor Spadaro from Virginia. The second person is Andy Hair from Australia. Both of these individuals have also been featured in our company’s COVID-Friendly publications.
- I have selected one of Victor’s four video taped dances as a good example of a dance for elementary-aged children.
- Please feel free to click on each image to go directly to the internet link!
Dance #1: “Rise” by Glee
Our second example comes from Andy Hair. I have selected one of Andy’s three Fundamental Motor Skills (FMS) activities. Please feel free to click on each image to go directly to the internet link!
FMS Activity #2: “I Like To Move It”
Our second example comes from Andy Hair. I have selected one of Andy’s three Fundamental Motor Skills activities. Please feel free to click on each image to go directly to the internet link!
We hope that you have enjoyed reading and exploring the numerous internet links within this article. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or other thoughts to make this one of your best summers ever. My contact information can be found below. Happy camping!
About Artie Kamiya: Artie is a former elementary physical education teacher and has spent his summers as a Program Director at Griffith Park Boys Camp (Los Angeles), Camp Easter-in-the-Pines (Southern Pines, NC) and Camp Harmon (Santa Cruz Mountains, CA). His TeachersPayTeachers site features a new series of COVID-Friendly publications under the GAMES Gazette emblem. Currently they have published Volume 1 and Volume 2. Volumes 3 and 4 will be forthcoming. Please feel free to contact Artie via (919) 818-6486 or [email protected]