Camp Blog

Summer Camp Activities for Kids

4th June 2023

The possibilities are almost endless when it comes to summer camp activities for kids – from countless bushcraft skills to sports, art, crafts and more, to say there’s something for everyone is certainly no understatement. And as a summer camp of over 20 years, we at Camp Suisse are rather well seasoned when it comes to summer camp activities, if we do say so ourselves. So, whether you’re entertaining a group this summer yourself or you simply want to find out how your child might be spending their time at camp this year, get yourself comfortable and explore our summer camp activities list below.

Classic summer camp activities

  • Archery – A popular competitive sport amongst both children and adults, archery is a simple summer camp activity that can enhance balance, focus and coordination. Explore soft archery for younger children and beginners, moving onto a bow and arrow for older, more experienced archers.
  • Football – It’s a timeless classic and a great way to bring the children at your camp together for a spot of competition, teamwork and time outdoors. The scope for football-themed games and the soft and technical skills that come with it are almost endless – the same can be said for other sports like tennis, volleyball and basketball.
  • Art and crafts – Great for breaking up those physically intensive outdoor summer camp activities, experimenting with materials, textures and colours is not only fab for fostering creativity, but also self-expression and managing emotions.
  • Hiking – Depending on the summer camp’s location, hiking can be a real winner – it’s a simple activity to organise, plus it’s the perfect way to explore the local area and ideal for teaching navigation.
  • Dance – A great way to get kids moving and learning about a whole host of traditions from around the world, dance of all forms helps to improve coordination, balance and flexibility (and so much more).
  • Scavenger hunts – These keep kids entertained, whatever the weather. Choose from themes you’re exploring at the camp and incorporate areas of their new living space or outdoor area you’d like your campers to get familiar with.
  • Talent shows – While not everyone will be keen to perform, camp talent shows are fun for everyone – audience, circus acts, magicians and all.
  • Gymnastics – Children at camp get the chance to develop strength, coordination and body control through gymnastics sessions. You’ll naturally be met with a variety of abilities, so why not encourage campers to teach one another or even perform for the rest of the group?
  • Yoga – Yogis come in all shapes, sizes, abilities and ages, so there’s nothing to stop your campers stretching out after a day of hiking with a social media-worthy backdrop!
  • Cooking – Some of your campers might be well-seasoned bakers, while others will never have set foot in a kitchen before. Their range of experience and expertise gives you room to explore basic cooking skills all the way through to campfire cooking (and naturally, a singsong to go alongside it).
  • Climbing – Great for honing spatial and directional awareness, climbing (whether that’s indoor, outdoor, bouldering or roped) helps children learn how to positively manage fear in a safe and controlled way.
  • Photography – Like Camp Suisse, the chances are your summer camp sits somewhere scenic, and learning the basics of photography is a fab way to help children appreciate the natural beauty around them.
  • Water sports – Depending on the location of your camp, summer camp activities on a local lake or in the sea will be unforgettable for your campers – think paddleboarding, kayaking or canoeing.

Summer camp activities: team building

The benefits of team building activities at your summer camp are invaluable – helping children to bond, form friendships and develop cooperation skills that’ll serve them for life, they’re well worth including in any camp activity programme. Without any further ado, let’s take a look at a few of the summer camp team building activities and bonding games our campers enjoy, and a few yours may, too.


  • Gutter run – Instead of throwing your guttering (or other plastic piping) away, turn them into a fun game for your campers. Working in teams of four to six and using a piece of guttering each, the aim is to transport a ball (tennis or ping pong work really well here) through the pipes and into a bucket at the finish line. Players need to run to the end of the guttering before the ball falls out and avoid dropping it on the floor before the end.
  • Land skiing – Start with two planks of wood and attach a piece of rope to each end. The number of players depends on the size of your planks here – the more players, the harder the challenge! To play, line up the two planks (skis) parallel and have your campers stand with one leg on each. The aim of the game is to travel from the start to the finish line without stepping off the skis.
  • Lava river – ‘The floor is lava’ is a classic, and this team building activity takes it up a notch, challenging balance, communication and cooperation skills. To play, you’ll need small squares of wood that are just big enough for your players to stand on. Using at least one less than the number of players, challenge your campers to travel across the lava river (otherwise known as the pavement) without setting a foot down. If your players find it too simple, challenge them by forbidding verbal communication or only allow one camper to talk throughout.
  • Bomb disposal – This is a great summer camp activity if you love using a story line to get your campers hooked and engaged. There are multiple ways you can go about it, but the key is to challenge your campers to transport an object (which should look seriously hazardous, by the way) from one location to another using limited materials and restricted access to certain areas of the ground.
  • Lower the pole – If you’re after a minimal setup team building activity, this one is great for killing time and making sure your campers are engaged. Using a lightweight pole, challenge your campers to lower it to the floor using only one finger each, keeping contact at all times. The game can be taken up a notch by enforcing silence throughout.
  • Human knot – No points for guessing what this game entails – have your campers stand in a circle holding hands and instruct twists and turns that’ll result in (quite literally) a human knot. The challenge is for campers to release themselves back into a circle without letting go.

Summer camp activities: outdoor

While the activities your child will be getting up to over summer will vary, summer camp wouldn’t be summer camp without a variety of outdoor games. Below are a few games for summer and classic summer camp activities – many of which our campers enjoy here at Camp Suisse.

  • Rocket launcher
  • Frisbee
  • Ball games
  • Hiking
  • Races
  • Nature scavenger hunts
  • Water balloon dodgeball
  • Parachute games
  • B1 football
  • Giant scrabble
  • Camp Olympics
  • Solar oven cooking
  • Tending to a camp vegetable patch
  • Quizzes around the local area
  • Life-sized board games (such as human noughts and crosses or checkers)
  • Homemade outdoor twister (your campers can have fun building the pitch themselves)
  • Bicycle games (think slow races to test bike control, bicycle limbo, what’s the time Mr. Bike?)

Summer camp activities: indoor

Summer camp is a great chance for your child to get in touch with nature, but you’ll find that most camps will mix things up with indoor activities, as well as those that result in muddy knees and well-loved hiking shoes! Below are a few indoor activities you might expect your child to get up to when it’s time for a break from the sun (or rain!).

  • Camp-themed escape rooms
  • Myth-busting games
  • Cress growing
  • Herb planting
  • Woodwork (making picture frames, mini sculptures or even bookmarks)
  • Homemade bird feeders
  • Balloon tennis
  • Homemade indoor golf
  • Storytelling
  • Quizzes and game shows
  • Writing and editing a camp newspaper
  • Inventions (setting a theme and having teams design a new gadget)
  • Hallway maze (create barriers across a hallway using string or toilet paper – the challenge is to cross the hallway without touching it)

Summer camp activities: science experiments for kids

Science experiments are a fab way to get children interested in the subject – packed with wow factor, the noises, colours and sensory value these activities offer make them a great option when choosing indoor summer camp activities for kids (and trust us, there’s a lot more where these come from).


  • Volcano making
  • Fireworks in a glass
  • Homemade lava lamps
  • Elephant toothpaste
  • Slime making
  • Light refraction
  • Penny cleaning
  • Flower colouring

Summer camp activities: art and craft

It’s no secret that campers love a spot of art and crafting – a fab option for helping children get creative, these art-based summer camp activities for kids are guaranteed fun and (naturally) result in a homemade camp keepsake.


  • T shirt spray painting
  • Tie-dyeing
  • Woodland crafting (think decorating pinecones, foraged collages and woodland printing)
  • Land art (using foraged materials only)
  • Bracelet making
  • Dream catcher making
  • Card making
  • Poster design
  • Paper plate crafting (challenge your campers to make the animals that live in your local area or hats for an upcoming camp event)
  • Paper crafting (paper flowers are always a winner, but the possibilities are almost endless here)
  • Origami
  • Crayon rubbing (using foraged materials for patterns)

Summer camp activities: animals and plants

With a number of summer camps being situated in some of the world’s most beautiful spots nature has to offer, it would be an opportunity missed to forget about exploring local flora and fauna. Below are just a few plant and animal-themed summer camp activity ideas that work wonders for engaging children in learning about the natural world around them.


  • Food chain charades
  • Evolution (the aim is to evolve the furthest in the group by playing multiple games of rock, paper, scissors)
  • Garden making (using foraged materials to demonstrate their understanding of what plants need to grow)
  • Flora crown making
  • Wreath making
  • Plant collecting (using a hula hoop)
  • Herbarium making
  • Flower pressing
  • Flower life cycle charades
  • Hikes and foraging

Summer camp activities: survival and bushcraft

It wouldn’t be camp without learning a few essential survival skills, and something that stands out for our campers here at Camp Suisse are the bushcraft sessions. Marking their time at camp around the fire and building shelters are some of the most memorable moments for our campers, so below, explore a few of the woodland survival-based activities you might expect your little ones to talk non-stop about when they return home.


  • Fire lighting
  • Campfires with songs and stories
  • Campfire cooking
  • Shelter building (mini shelters for fairies of forest elves work for smaller children)
  • Water filtration
  • Foraging (and cooking)
  • Navigation (using a compass, mapping and map reading)
  • Compass making

Summer camp games

Between campfires, navigating their way through the mountains and building a shelter fit for a (fairy) king, children love simple summer camp activities as much as the next task. Here at Camp Suisse, there’s always something for every child to be getting up to, so explore a few camp gaming ideas below that ensure no one is left twiddling their thumbs between sessions at camp.


  • Wink murder
  • Time bomb
  • Splat
  • Duck duck goose
  • Ninja
  • Tag
  • Musical chairs
  • Musical statues
  • Capture the flag
  • Crab football
  • Memory circle games (this works well with ‘at the shop I bought’, categories or remembering dances)
  • What’s the time Mr Wolf?
  • Parachute games
  • Cat and mouse
  • Blindman’s bluff

Blast from the past summer camp activities

The saying olden but golden certainly applies here – there’s a reason the activities below have stood the test of time, whether it’s the best summer camp activities you’re after or ways to entertain your children and their friends over summer.


  • Egg and spoon race
  • Sack race
  • Wheelbarrow race
  • Three-legged race
  • Hula hoop race
  • Hockey slalom race
  • Beanbag toss
  • Relay races
  • Egg drop challenge
  • Tug of war

Summer camp activities: FAQs

How can I make summer camp fun?

While a child’s time at summer camp should certainly be action-packed, it’s important to make sure the activities planned are varied, non-repetitive and give campers the opportunity to bond with one another.

What are some indoor board games?

Classic indoor board games (that are great for rainy days at camp) include Twister, Cluedo, 4 in a row, Jenga and Monopoly. While children come to camp to get immersed in the outdoors, any successful summer camp will have indoor games to hand to fill time between sessions.

How do I not get homesick at summer camp?

Dealing with your child’s homesickness at summer camp is never easy, but a few ways to combat it are to prepare ahead by getting them used to time away from home for short stints prior to camp, informing camp staff, arranging phone or video calls home, or sending them to camp alongside a school friend.

What kids’ games can be played at summer camp?

When it comes to making camp fun for kids, we’d encourage selecting the broadest range of activities – think indoor, outdoor, equipment, non-equipment, competitive and non-competitive, grouped, paired, and themed around your local area or a camp storyline.