Theme days are creative ways to break up camp and get kids excited. We’ve rounded up ten of our favorite ideas to help you pick the ideal themes for your campers. Plus, we have two activity recommendations per idea!
1. Comic con
Host your own convention! Encourage campers to dress up as their favorite comic book, TV show, or movie characters for a day.
Have a costume contest
Run a fashion show and have campers vote on their favorite costume. Don’t forget to give out prizes.
Make an “Artists’ Alley”
Many comic conventions have a section called “Artists’ Alley” where artists can display and sell their work. Set up some tables where your campers can do something similar and show off their creations.
2. Job fair
Take the icebreaker “What do you want to be when you grow up?” to the next level. This theme day is all about letting kids dress for the job they want.
Put your campers’ interpersonal skills to the test by hosting mock interviews for their dream jobs. You can even set up group interviews among the campers themselves, so they get practice asking questions.
Set up different stations for tech, the arts, business, etc. If you can, ask people from your community who work in those sectors to come talk about what they do.
3. Opposite day
Switch things up for a day and do everything the wrong way. From breakfast for dinner to backwards clothes, the opposite possibilities are endless.
Acting like counselors
Give campers counselor responsibilities for the day. They can plan activities for everyone (and poke a little fun of their favorite counselors).
Encourage your campers to choose the opposite of the activity they usually would. For example, the kids who always go for outdoor sports can switch with those who like to read or play indoor games.
Turn your camp into the big top for this theme day. Campers can practice performing and learn tricks of the trade.
Learn gymnastics basics
Take some inspiration from performances like Cirque du Soleil and teach your campers some tumbling tricks. If you don’t have indoor mats, stick to soft patches of grass.
Practice clowning around
Get some clown makeup, wigs, and bright-colored outfits. Invite campers to get silly with some clown performances.
Spice up your usual track-and-field day by turning it into a full-on Olympic event.
What sports did the ancient Greeks do that aren’t part of modern Olympics? Have your campers do a little research and try some ancient sports of their own.
Split into countries
Give your teams some flair by letting campers pick a foreign country to represent. They can also learn a little bit about their chosen country’s culture.
Dress up like rockstars and fill the day with music. This theme is all about appreciating music while making some of your own.
Learn new instruments
Ask your local high school if their band would be willing to teach your campers about their instruments. They’ll learn a new skill, and may decide to join band when they get to high school themselves.
Have a song competition
Break your campers into bands and give them time to write their own short song. Use whatever makeshift instruments are available, and make sure each band member has a role. Even the quiet kids should pitch in to the song.
This theme is perfect for a rainy day. Make the best of being stuck indoors by supplying and creating puzzles.
Split campers into small teams and give each team the same puzzle. Set a timer and see who finishes first!
Have campers work together to color a large piece of cardboard. When they’re done with their doodles, cut up their masterpiece into small puzzle pieces. See how long it takes for them to put it back together.
8. Museum curator
Let campers play curator for a day by gathering or creating interesting things to put on display.
Create camp exhibits
Set up a mini museum on your campgrounds. Campers can display things they’ve found in nature, art they’ve created, and more. Ask them to write a short description to display next to the item.
Explore local museums
Consider planning a field trip to local museums for this theme day. You may even be able to talk to some curators about what they do.
9. Inventor’s expo
Give STEM day a twist by focusing on unique inventions and the people who created them.
Learn about famous inventors
Stock up on books and movies about the people behind famous inventions. Make sure to choose a diverse group of inventors. Representation matters.
Build a hall of inventions
Give campers some craft materials and let them build their own special inventions. Then, set up a mini exhibition hall where kids can explain their inventions to their peers.
Telling stories around a campfire is a stereotypical (but fun!) camp activity. Make a whole day of it with a storyteller theme day.
Ask campers to dress up as their favorite authors. They can do a little research about their lives and tell their fellow campers about the books they love.
Collaborative story writing
In small groups, ask campers to write a story by going around in a circle. Each camper will make up one new line to add to the story, and they can present the finished product to the rest of the campers at the end.
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