Beating the Snack Break Blahs

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“How much longer until snack is over?” … “When can we go back in the gym?” … “I’m bored” …

Do these sound familiar?  These are a few of the usual comments during summer camp snack & lunch breaks.  We often forget that break time is still camp time, and if our job is to create maximum awesomeness, we can’t forget about programming these parts of the day too!

Here are 6 easy ways to engage with children during snack times:

1 – SING CAMP SONGS

Bonus if you actually have a guitar.  I grew up going to camp and memorizing all the kooky songs my counsellors would sing to us.  Kids can’t resist a good “repeat-after-me-song” about worms stuck in soda straws or sing in the round about black socks that never get dirty.

For a great compilation of camp songs, check out “Camp Songs” or “The Ultimate Camp Resource“!  Once you see a song you might like, search it in youtube to find the tune!

2 – TELL JOKES

Everyone loves to laugh!  Just make sure your jokes are kid friendly!!!  I love asking the kids to share theirs. I always laugh the hardest at the ones that make no sense.

Here are some kid-friendly joke websites: Ducksters & Funology

3 – DO A MAD-LIB

Always hilarious.  Kids call out the nouns, adjectives, and other words as you need them, and the you read the resulting wacky story!

You can buy the books to fill in or find knock offs online using google searches. You can also go digital and use the free app found on the MadLibs website.

4 – RIDDLE ME THIS

Confuse the kids! Give them a riddle or “two-minute-mystery” and see if they can figure it out asking yes/no questions!

Find some examples here: Summer Camp Pro, this PDF, & this free sample of the book One Minute Mystery.

5 – RECITE INTERESTING FACTS

Who doesn’t love a little factoid here and there? My favourite way to get audience participation was to have the kids announce “WOW! THAT’S INTERESTING!” after every fact I would read out – surprisingly they’d get into it (even if they were just being facetious!).

Copy down some of the facts on these websites and wow the kids… check out National Geographic For Kids, SarahFincher.org, & Funology!

6 – SIT AMONG THE KIDDOS

This one is so simple, but effective. Instead of coaches clumping together, have them spread out and sit with the campers.  Inquire about their pets, listen to their stories, ask their opinions and just be there to connect. Watch out for the quiet ones and give them some attention and love.  Make them feel special!

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For a pre-made ready to go package of lunch time time-fillers,
check out my resource for sale over at Patchwork Marketplace (it’s a cheapy – only $2.00!)